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Experiencing love as a besieged city

 

Blessed be the LORD,

for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me

when I was in a besieged city.

I had said in my alarm,

“I am cut off from your sight.”

But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy

when I cried to you for help.

 Psalm 31:21-22

 

The Israelites knew about sieges. The Assyrians laid siege to Israel and led the inhabitants away as captives. Later, the Babylonians did the same thing to Jerusalem. A city under siege is terrible. When a dominating army has surrounded a city, no one gets in or out. People eventually starve. Living conditions become unmanageable. Sieges suck the life out of the inhabitants.

But that is not why the Psalmist uses the siege as the image for how God cares for him. He turns it upside down and here is why. A city under siege cannot receive anything; no food, no help, no reinforcements. Everything is blocked. Yet the Psalmist knows what can get through the impenetrable blockade – God’s steadfast love.

The psalmist uses a term that means not just affection, like we might mean when we say we love. It means God’s love that is based in his character and commitment to care and protect his people.

When life has us surrounded, God shows his unfading love to us. His steadfast love is not blocked. Know that God is committed to showing steadfast love to his people.

Life as a besieged city hurts and can feel isolated. God passes through every block that might be hemming us in. He passes through isolation, addiction, rejection, doubt. When these warring life circumstances terrify you, call out to God. His character is faithfulness. His method is self-sacrifice. His heart is love. Be loved today by God who passes through the siege into your city.

MC

Teams

jon_shannon

Jon Wyminga & Shannon Bell-Wyminga

Jon and Shannon both grew up in Southern Ontario: Jon in the Toronto area and Shannon in Port Hope, a small town along Lake Ontario.

Jon first pursued a diploma in graphic design and during that time in college committed his life to Christ at a youth retreat. At the same weekend he sensed a call to missions. He went on to work in short-term missions in Holland and Toronto before going to Ontario Bible College, York University and eventually seminary. Shannon studied for a diploma from Ewart College in Christian Education and a degree in Religious Studies before she and Jon went to Knox College for ministry training.

Jon and Shannon dated while in university and were married in 1986. They each finished their degrees and entered Knox College together and were ordained together in 1991. Their ministry experience to that point had been focused on inner-city missions and they went on to share a position in Montreal in an inner-city ministry of the church. The call to the Cariboo and rural ministry was quite unexpected, but God always knows what is best for them. They have been truly blessed to labour in God’s vineyard in the Cariboo.

They have settled in the remote, predominantly Dakelh community of Ndazkoh where they are reaching out to their own village as well as other local villages and bands. Jon and Shannon have 2 daughters: Shelby is an actor, graduated with a BFA in acting from Trinity Western University. She is married to Tyler who has a BA in music from TWU and is working on a Master’s degree in theology and the arts at Regent College. Joelle is also working on a BFA in acting at TWU.

Jon and Shannon’s vision is to see Ndazkoh and the surrounding bands transformed by the love of Christ.

Bruce & Jackie Wilcox

Bruce & Jackie Wilcox

Bruce and Jackie Wilcox

Bruce was born in Kamloops. B.C., and has lived pretty much all his life in and around the 100 Mile House area. Other than a couple of stints of post-secondary education, he worked mostly for local lumber manufacturers until his appointment to full time ministry in the CPC in Aug. 2013.

Under the mentoring and encouragement of Dave Webber and other teaching elders, Bruce responded to a call to eldership in the Church in 1999, and has since been designated a “lay missionary with training” by the presbytery of Kamloops. Bruce began full-time ministry in the Cariboo in August 2013, taking on many of the house churches that had been led by David Webber until his retirement and developing new areas of mission as well.

His wife Jackie is a care-aide who works in home support, and they have been blessed with the house church model of worship in the CPC, and opportunities from the Lord to reach out in ministry to others with that; whether in a designated building, people’s homes, or places like Seniors’ Care facilities.

Bruce and Jackie live in 108 Mile Ranch, and have four “kids” – all grown up now. They love reading, music (Bruce loves jam sessions and trying to learn more on his guitar), and a good hockey game.