God At Work – Coming to London

God At Work – Coming to London

I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the Thursday before Senior High Winter Camp. I was working at Harvest Bible Chapel York Region (now Hope Bible Church Markham) as the Youth Intern. As I walked into work on that brisk January morning, I did not know what the Lord had in store for me.


I got called into the Senior Pastor’s office and sitting there was also the Executive Pastor. Something was up. The meeting was roughly 30 minutes, though I mostly checked out after they uttered the sentence, “Your contract ends in June, and we are letting you go.” I heard a few good things from them about how they loved me and wanted me to grow as a Youth Pastor/Director somewhere else, but that position was not vacant there. I am thankful for that. But mostly my thoughts were thoughts of, “But this isn’t MY plan! I was going to stay here and be best friends with Jason Lock forever, live close to my new girlfriend (now fiancée) and live happily ever after.”


Proverbs 16:9 – “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”


They gave me the day to gather myself. I held it together in the office, but when I left for lunch I went to the closest park and just broke. My eyes were flowing with tears. I was literally screaming at God, “WHY?!?!”, and I was so lost. I had no idea what the Lord would do next.


I started looking for jobs around March. I reached out to a lot of the Harvest churches, but the thing is, when you have such stellar youth pastors/directors, you don’t replace them often. I even looked to ones in the USA. Well, since nothing panned out, I decided I better start looking into other churches. I applied at a bunch of places, and even had interviews with a few. But I was losing hope.


One day, near the end of my tenure at HBCYR, the youth pastors, directors, and interns from Ontario Harvest churches got together to discuss life and ministry. Near the end of the meeting, we were praying for one another, and I broke a bit and asked the guys for prayer for a job, because I had no idea what the future would hold, and I really wanted to stay in the Harvest fellowship (now GCC), because God was (still is!) moving so powerfully, and I wanted to be part of that! All I knew of Jon Sodeman at the time was he was a bit gruff, very good with words, and just knowing him from a couple of meetings, he had a heart of gold. He approached me after the meeting and told me that he was going to work on something with Norm and the elders to see if he could get me on.


Being a month away from unemployment, I couldn’t risk just waiting, so I continued interviewing at churches. One church gave me two interviews, and things were looking promising. God was hearing and answering my prayers! Well, He was, but not in the way I had expected.


Proverbs 16:9 – “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”


The inevitable comes – I am extremely lovingly let go from being on staff at HBCYR. I go with blessings and prayers and friendships that still persist to today. A week later, I get a phone call from Jon Sodeman. “Hey man, can you come down and interview for an intern position here?” Of course, I can!


I make the trek down to London. My first interview is with Norm and Jon. Norm isn’t sure about how he can hire a person as a full-time Youth Intern. I offer to clean toilets, take out garbage, clean stuff, anything to get me in full-time! Norm still isn’t sure, but seems far more optimistic than when I first came in. I go back to Toronto hopeful, but still without answers.


Another few days pass. To say I was being sinfully anxious would be accurate here. Then the phone rings, and Jon is on the other end again. I am expecting him to offer me the job, so when he says I need to come back for a second interview, I am both let down and hopeful. A second interview is good, right?


In my second interview, I was nervous as anything, and then the interview was done. Still, no immediate job offer. Jon and I went to Fireside for some breakfast, to chat about life and ministry, and to pray.


The next week was the week of answered prayers in abundance. I got a job offer from that church I had interviewed at twice AND from Harvest London. I had prayed for so long for a job, and now the Lord had given me the option of not one, but two. He can do infinitely and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. I can’t lie, the other job offered to pay more and was a Youth Pastor position. Harvest London was slightly less pay, and there was a good possibility I could be doing stuff like cleanup or garbage duty in addition to youth intern.


But I had seen the Lord at work in Harvest London. I wanted to be a part of that. I accepted that job by faith, believing that the Lord would keep me here, and He has.


The only way I can describe the last five and a half years of my life is with this: Look what the Lord had done. I could not have predicted any of this, but I have been so blessed by the faithfulness of the Lord in bringing me and this ministry to where it is today.


Proverbs 16:9 – “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”