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Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—     for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:1-2

Dear Bethel Family, Psalm 127 is a well-loved passage by many and is a beautiful picture of God’s involvement in our lives.  The picture of God providing for us is encouraging, but the futility described is a little chilling.  Who wants to waste their time doing something useless?  It’s an opportunity for us to stop and consider - what does this psalm mean, and how do we avoid this ‘futility curse’ in our lives?

The key to Psalm 127 is the idea of ‘with.’  The Bible uses the word ‘with’ over and over again to describe our relationship with God.  Here are just a few examples:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  ~ Deut. 31:8

“…They will call [Jesus] Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).  ~Matthew 1:23

[Jesus said], “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  ~Matthew 28:20

The lesson of Psalm 127 is that unless a house is built with God, the act of building is meaningless.  In other words, unless our actions are done with God, what we do has no purpose or lasting significance. 

For me, I struggle with this.  I am often content to live my life the best way I know how and I just ask for God’s input when I need a little help.  However, God’s grace has been teaching me to ‘abide in Jesus’ (John 15) and to ‘trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5-6).  While I’ve not done it perfectly, God has been very faithful and I have seen fruit in my life as a result, and it is has been the kind of fruit I can’t produce by myself.  

How often would you say you are living life with God?  When and where are you dependent on Him?  How about for us as a church – are we truly dependent on God, or do we just ask for a little help from time to time?  If we want to see meaningful, significant fruit in our lives and in our church, we have to discover (or re-discover) the ‘with-ness’ of God.[1]  Otherwise, we run the very real risk of living lives of futility.  As the old song says so well, “On Christ the solid rock I stand / All other ground is sinking sand.” 

May God’s grace continue to lead us into dependency on Him! 

     Pastor Jon  

Church Happenings

Kids and Youth Programs

Kids Church (grades 1-5) started up again in September. A big thank you to our volunteer teachers and helpers who are making this happen. The kids learn about Jesus, play games, and build community.

Kids Hub - Grade 1-7: Kids can come together outside of the church services for monthly events like laser tag, movies, art, baking, and much more! These events foster deep friendships and sense of community.

Young Life - Grades 8-12:  Bethel is partnered with Young Life Canada where our teens can meet weekly with the Young Life mentors and leaders.  

Open House is Presenting Alpha Starting September 20th Open House began meeting every other Monday and incorporating the Alpha videos into their time together. Meetings are held in the sanctuary for worship, followed by an Alpha video.  Then everyone moves into the foyer to discuss the videos and enjoy some dessert together.  The evening ends with a time of prayer. All are invited to come and participate in Open House and Alpha.  Please prayerfully consider inviting someone along.    

Greetings and Thanks from Pat and Rad

Warm greetings from our home in Abbotsford!  It's wonderful to be back in Canada and settled in our own house (it's the first time we've lived in this house since we made the purchase in 2001). 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping us in so many ways - cleaning up, moving our stuff back from Ron and Linda’s house, grocery shopping, providing household needs, bedding, furniture, food and others. We are truly blessed and overwhelmed by your love and support. 

We look forward to seeing you and worshipping with you in the near future.  May the Lord continue to richly bless you and use the church to bless others.  

Ministry Update: We trust that all of you are doing well.  We arrived safely in Canada on Sept 3rd and are now in the process of completing our 14 day quarantine in Abbotsford. The mandatory period of isolation has not been too bad, as it has given us a chance to recover from jet lag.  It has also forced us to rest and regain our strength and energy after being so busy the past few months with ministry, meetings and many arrangements that needed to be completed before we took off. We are very grateful to our local friends who have helped us to prepare our house with furnishings and food and who are regularly checking in on us.  

As we had mentioned earlier, our plans going forward for the ministry are to slowly transition ourselves out of Borabu and have national Thai workers do the work and grow independently. Pat and I will continue to coach them and guide them through online meetings and support in an advisory capacity.  Pat is returning [to Thailand] in February 2022 due to follow up with his business and also to visit the ministry. I (Rad) will return the following month in March to renew my visa and visit the ministries for 2 months or so before returning to Canada.  We believe through this way out it will help our churches in Thailand to grow stronger as they take more leadership and ownership of the ministry. We believe that training and empowering local leaders to own and steer the work is the most sustainable model for the ministry to keep going, even well after we are no longer physically there. We are confident of their abilities to lead and grow the church.  

No doubt, this is a significant time of adjustment for us as we return from the mission field after 25 years. There are many changes, and we are anticipating culture shock as we adjust to living in Canada on a full time basis - the times feel even stranger with the ongoing backdrop of the pandemic. Please remember us in your prayers as we continue our ministry in new ways, and pray for the church leaders in Thailand as they step into their roles.  

Thank you so much for being partners and working side by side through all the years. Together we have reached many hundreds of souls who have come to know the Lord. May God receive the glory through each one of us as we serve in a different capacity.  Thanks again for continuing to support Thailand ministries and to walk with us in these coming years.   

With love and prayers,  Pat and Rad  

Young Life Event - Thursday, September 16, 2021 Our first Young Life Kickoff Event on September 16th started out our youth year! We did a Couch Scavenger Hunt, which is essentially when the youth kids must go around Aldergrove and take pictures, but they must include a couch! This is very exciting way to build community. Since Bethel is in partnership with Young Life this event also kicked off our relationship with the students of our community. This was an amazing opportunity to show the love of Jesus and think and act like a church plant.  

Katie & Albert Wiebe Welcomed Their New Grandson on September 8th! Katie's daughter, Ashley, and son-in-law, Joey, had a baby boy last Wednesday, which makes Katie a GRAMMA! Ezra James Abram Kunze was born on September 8th in Mission and weighed 8lbs 10oz. Congratulations to the family in this happy, joyous time!      

Giving for September 2021:  $13,450.25  

Past & Upcoming Sermons  

Oct 3 Celebration Sunday

Oct 10 Thanksgiving

Oct 17 The Way Ahead – Part #1

Oct 24 The Way Ahead – Part #2

Oct 31 The Way Ahead – Part #3

Nov 7 The Way Ahead – Part #4  

Prayer Requests

-  Pastor Sergio has asked Bethel to pray that more students will register for the Bible college that Sergio and Martha lead. 

- Please pray for Cindy, an acquaintance of Kim Massa, who was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer.  Please pray for healing and that Cindy would believe in Jesus.

- Please pray for Emma Janzen and her family as they mourn the loss of Emma’s sister, Verna Bartel (89) who lived in Kansas (beginning of September). Emma’s other sister, Leona Krause (85) who lives in Abbotsford is suffering from lung cancer. 

-  Emma Janzen was in Langley Hospital (since Sept 21). She was diagnosed with a kidney infection initially and she unfortunately fell as well.  She would appreciate the prayers of her church family.

- Please pray for our church as we look for volunteers for the various tasks needed to run a church service each week.  We are looking for willing people to volunteer as:  

  >Greeter/Counter (greet newcomers, count the donations)  

  >Sound Tech (run all the microphones/speakers)  

  >LCD Tech (put the songs on the screen)  

  >Worship Leader

- Please continue to pray for Leni Epp, and if you wish, she is able to take calls. [1] I know ‘with-ness’ isn’t a word, but I’m hoping nobody will notice…