Last year, on June 4, 2018, I received a phone call from Ken Friesen, the Chairman of the Board at Winnipeg Evangelical Free Church. “Would you consider filling the position of Interim Senior Pastor at our church until we find a new pastor?” he asked. My wife, Shelley and I were in the middle of packing to leave for a month-long vacation after having served as interim pastor for the previous eight months in Ste. Rose du Lac. My mind was not really on considering doing more work – at least, not at the present time. However, I felt the Lord prompting my heart to at least say “Yes, I will consider it.” So I did, and the next day we left for our vacation.
A few months later, on August 14, I started my first day of work as interim pastor here at WEFC. It has been a whirlwind year. There have been sermons preached and many meetings and discussions about ministry, organizational structure, staffing and programs. But now the church has called a new pastor, and it is time for us to leave. We have had a wonderful time at WEFC. Shelley has enjoyed singing in the choir, I have enjoyed working with the staff and the Board, and we are able to say that we can call many of you our new friends.
Thank you for the way that you have opened up your arms and welcomed us into this church, and into your lives. We have been invited to your homes for dinners, coffee times, family celebrations and small group events. It would have been easy for you to think, well, he’s only here for a short time, so we’ll keep our distance. But you didn’t do that. You made us feel a part of you. Right from the first time I met with the staff and the Church Board, I was made to feel welcome and appreciated. Thank you for your prayers, your words of encouragement to us and your well-wishes for the future. May God richly and mightily bless this church and every one of you in it as you move forward with your new pastor and wife, Tim and Judy Ryan. I will always feel a part of what God is doing here.
Thank you and God bless!