Canadian Presbytery Report 2016 – Vancouver Congregation

Canadian Presbytery Report 2016 – Vancouver Congregation
The past year has had its challenges, and will continue so through 2016.  We also see that throughout the church in the western world.  The words of Jeremiah (chp14 v19) seem to speak to us today as they did of old: Have you utterly rejected Judah?  Has your soul loathed Zion? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing and behold trouble!  But we understand the cause as did Jeremiah; “for we have sinned against thee.”  The church in the UK and Canada can pray as Jeremiah prayed, “Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake; do not disgrace the throne of thy glory; remember, break not thy covenant with us.”  God’s covenant blessings, covenant mercies and the glory of his name, is the reason Jeremiah pleaded for the restoration of Zion.  Judgment was to come and then salvation, God’s covenant promises may take decades to fulfill, but he is faithful to his covenant, and the glory of his name.
Regular worship services continue at Cityview Baptist Church at 2pm and 4:00pm each Lord’s Day and a meeting for prayer and Bible study on Wednesday at 7pm.   Rev. Matandika has continued his ministry to the congregation, with weekly preaching, teaching, and witnessing in the community from January through to the mid- summer when he went to Malawi.   The youth group met at two week intervals and Miss Carmel Epp, is also meeting with the young women in the congregation on a fortnightly basis.  Over the summer months, when Rev. Matandika was in Malawi we had Rev. Stephen Roberts his wife and young children with us.  Steven is an energetic pastor and diligent evangelist.  Following his time with us he moved to Wisconsin as an assistant pastor.
At the beginning of September Rev. Matandika took a leave of absence from the congregation.  In January, 2016 Rev. Matandika informed the Presbytery that he wished to resign from the pastoral duties of the Vancouver congregation.  The Presbytery accepted the resignation with regret; please remember the Matandika family as the Lord opens new opportunities for his ministry.  The congregation is currently looking for a new minister.
In December we were saddened to hear of the illness and passing away of the Rev. T. Atkinson.  He has had a connection with the congregation and denomination for decades.  His faithful independent ministry in Italy and Greece influenced many young people from the 1960’s into the 21st century.  His visits to Vancouver were always appreciated.
The work in Malawi continues unabated, with church growth continuing in Dzuwa and in a village about 5 km away from Dzuwa.  JJ Matandika, Elliot Kembo and the elders minister to the folks in the congregation.  JJ is currently visiting churches in the USA to raise funds for continued expansion of the work in Dzuwa.   He is planning to pursue ministerial studies at Westminster Seminary and Lord willing will arrive in the US in the early summer.  The school continues to expand and there is desire to set up a maternity ward.  More information can be found at the Joy to the World website:
We would ask that you continue to pray for the folks and God’s work in Vancouver and the work in Malawi.   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. To God only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, forever.  We send our love to you all in the Lord.
          Mr Hugh Fraser – Presbytery Clerk – 2016