As 2020 comes to an end we are very grateful for you and the support we are experiencing through this pandemic. The ministry of the MARK Centre has been significantly modified these days, with most retreats and training experiences being cancelled. But we are not discouraged. What we have been able to do in person or through online retreats has been very meaningful. You can read one reflection below from a pastor who enjoyed a day retreat with us in October. The message he received from God is similar to what we’ve heard before, witnessed others hearing, and sense God is saying to us now during this pandemic. Patrick’s experience reminded me of Teresa of Avila’s quote; “May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.”
THANK YOU to all those who have given generously during this difficult year. MARK Centre will make it through this tough season. And as usual, it will be through the community of friends and supporters like you that we thrive. For those of you who would still like to give a year-end donation this is your friendly reminder. You can give online, mail a cheque or send us an email and we will call you. Thank you for standing with us as we look forward to more dynamic opportunities to help people listen for God’s voice in 2021.
MARK Centre Executive Director
Eactly Where You Are
By Patrick Elaschuk
An interesting thing just happened as I was sitting under a shelter in a park near the MARK Centre. I’m with other pastors from Tenth Church on a day retreat and we’ve been given a solo time so I decided to walk and pray. As I sat down to quiet my heart, a man walked up to me, put his backpack next to me and then walked away for about twenty minutes! This brought back memories of living in the Philippines. On March 4 a man walked into the Davao International Airport and put a backpack next to a missionary, then walked away. A bomb in the backpack exploded killing the missionary and 20 others and injuring another 145 people. I was so tempted to run away from the backpack in the park, “just in case”, but instead I had a sense that God was wanting to tell me something.
As I sat there in the park, rather than running in fear, I believe God was right there with me, healing me and speaking to me about who I am and what I’m called to do. I was reminded of how God calmed my fears and helped me give leadership in the Philippines following that tragedy. I remembered how I received grace to make decisions, gather together the people in YWAM I was responsible for, and communicate to families who needed to know we were okay. As I sat under the shelter with that backpack next to me, I listened, and I believe I heard a few things;
1. Listen to my voice.
a. Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)
2. Do not run when it gets uncomfortable, embrace the season, bloom where you are planted.
a. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:8)
3. Do not stop being a shepherd after me. (Jeremiah 3:15)
4. Do not get too settled in comfort and ease for I have called you my son, to plant and to build. (Jeremiah 1:10, Jeremiah 29:5-7)
5. Do not complain but allow my words to make a difference. I will replace your shallow words with wise words that plant and build the kingdom as you wait on me.
6. Step into the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans that give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11-14) My thoughts and my ways are higher than your ways. (Isaiah 55:6,8)
Remember how I set you apart and used you before, during and after the bombing, I will use you again. Know who you are in me! Get ready by waiting and allowing your roots to go down deep.
“May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.” Teresa Avila