Mission in Victoria, British Columbia
Mission in Victoria, British Columbia
Canvas Church in Victoria is a great First Baptist Starkville partnership. We love to send our spring break teams there and hear how God is moving on Vancouver Island as a result of the faithful obedience of this wonderful church family. For an area informally known in evangelical circles as "a graveyard for church planters," God has blessed the service and work at Canvas.
How did FBC get connected with this ministry opportunity? During a vision trip to Victoria over five years ago, a small group from FBC joined with the Austin family and several other churches to pray and dream about what a church plant would look like in that city and how churches like FBC could join in the work. As the Austin family spent time in their new city over the coming months, they consistently saw families. They saw families in parks, at kids' sporting events, and walking around neighborhoods. In response, they began to offer high-quality camps for kids to reach out to their community and also to build up the name and reputation of Canvas. At FBC, we wanted to be a part of the work going on there!
Each of our spring break teams has led basketball camps and clinics for various age groups. The past four years, Coach Sharon Fanning-Otis has led the camps. Running a high-quality basketball camp is easy when you have someone like Sharon, who coached at the highest level of NCAA basketball for almost four decades. This is far from a one-woman show though. We typically have over 30 people on each trip. Each team member is different in personality and ability. Some are former college or high school basketball players. Others are great encouragers who learn the difference between free throw and three point lines during the week. Everyone plays a vital role to make the camp run smoothly.
Sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture when we're in the middle of a week of camp. However, it is rewarding to stand with Ashley Austin during the basketball camp and listen to him talk about how these camps impact different families. This is a common conversation. He will talk about how one child from a family came to our basketball camp four years ago, and that was their first introduction to Canvas. Then he will share about how the entire family was recently baptized and how they are active in the life and ministry of Canvas. These camps are so much more than teaching a third grader to properly shoot a jump shot!
This trip is always a great cross-section of the FBC family: families, retirees, and college students. College students provide plenty of energy and fun within the group. This impressed Kane Overstreet. "The commitment to the gospel by college students was refreshing. It was a great time getting to know these students and the way they accepted our children was amazing. Everyone was very open and accepting. That trip has spilled over into continued relationships after we returned with kids coming over to see us and stay with us and then taking time to take our children to baseball games and showing up for their sporting events. "
Please join in praying for Canvas Church and the Austin family as they continue to minister in the greater Victoria area. Consider joining one of our future teams. In 2020, FBC will send two teams. One will be for a basketball camp during spring break, and the other will be in late July for a flag football camp. Learn more about Canvas Church at canvaschurch.ca.
The Lead Pastor at Canvas, Ashley Austin, is excited about what is happening in the greater Victoria area:
"Praise God for the continued numerical and spiritual growth of Canvas! The first Canvas campus has almost 400 regular attenders now. Many of our friends at this campus our growing in their faith in Jesus and joining Him in what He is doing in our community. The second Canvas Campus in Oak Bay is taking great steps of faith and growth as well. We have an amazing campus pastor leading in Oak Bay, Mike Blackaby. We are running about 50 people at our Oak Bay gatherings."
- Pastor Ashley Austin
How to pray for Canvas Church
Pray for continued health and energy.
Church planting is hard work. Amazing yes! But physically and emotionally draining at times. We know we can't do this work in our power or strength. We need the supernatural power, strength, energy, and wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit. Please join us in asking for continued strength and energy.
Pray for salvations.
Join us in asking Jesus to continue pursuing and saving people in our community.
Pray for spiritual growth.
Join us in asking Jesus to continue to grow all of us at Canvas in our faith.
Pray for biblical community.
Join us in asking Jesus to protect the unity at Canvas and to continue to help us to build healthy relationships in our faith family.
Pray for courage.
Join us in asking Jesus to fill everyone at Canvas with courage and faith as they share the stories of what Jesus has done and is doing in their lives.
Pray for leaders.
Join us in asking Jesus to continue to call and raise up leaders to serve in all the ministry areas at Canvas.
Pray for families.
Join us in praying for marriages that are full of life and love. Join us in praying for children to take steps of faith toward a personal relationship with Jesus.