Northside Mission Team called to Canadian service

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2002

Features Editor

Where He leads the youth and adult mission team of Northside Baptist Church, they will follow.

Not even the tragic events of 9-11 will keep the team from the calling that God has put in their hearts.

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"Our mission team has been involved in several mission trips and we believe God called us to all of them," said Ramona Dunn. "We knew that He had other things planned for us, but we didn’t know what or where."

That call came through the North American Mission Board and the call was to Alberta, Canada.

The Northside Baptist mission team was asked to conduct vacation bible school for one of the Southern Baptist churches in the area.

Most Canadians are members of the Catholic faith, but the number of Southern Baptist churches is growing. There are about 152 Southern Baptist Churches in Canada, but, by the year 2010, that number is expected to grow to more than 1,000. The church the Northside mission team will serve is one of the new churches. Because it is a new church, the membership is small, around 20, but the number enrolled for vacation bible school has mushroomed to 120.

"In an attempt to get children to attend vacation bible school, the church is offering a combination sports camp and Bible school," Dunn said. "A mission team from Montana will conduct the sports camp and we will teach Bible school."

The sports camp will offer basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, creative dance and judo.

"The sports camp was an incentive to get children to come to Bible school," Dunn said. "It is a combination of the two. Children can’t come to sports camp and not attend the Bible school."

The camp is a day camp, so there will be ample time for both sports and bible study.

"We will be teaching the Southern Baptist literature and this year’s bible school theme is, ‘Amazon Outfitters – Southern Baptist on Expedition with the One True God.’ We will teach bible school at Northside before going to Alberta July 10, so we should have the lessons down pat by then."

Music will be a part of Bible school activities and the mission team has learned

the Canadians national anthem, "Oh, Canada."

"We can’t go to Canada and teach bible school and not know the national anthem of Canada," Dunn said. "Of course, they might have trouble understanding our Southern accents and we might have trouble understanding their accents, but we don’t think that will be a big problem."

What is a great concern for the organizers of the sports camp/Bible school is the weather.

"If the weather is good, we’ll be alright," Dunn said. "If it rains and is cold, that could be a problem, because they don’t have an indoor recreational facility."

The Northside adult and youth mission team is not going to Canada to try to bring converts into the Southern Baptist Church.

"Our mission is to teach the word of God," Dunn said. "We are going to provide an opportunity for bible study to young people who might not have the chance to hear about God’s love and grace otherwise."

All members of the mission team agreed that this "calling’ is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"We are involved in home missions and work closely with the mission church in the Pocosins," Dunn said. "We will work with them during their vacation bible school and we will also do outreach work at the Vineyard near Ariton."

Just where the mission team will go next, they don’t know.

"We leave it up to God and we’ll go wherever He calls us," Dunn said. "That is our mission."