Chances are that you might not ever get to Parksville, Canada. It is located on the south eastern shore of Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island itself is about a 2 hour ferry ride from Vancouver, BC. While we were visiting my mother in Vancouver, our family took a short trip over to Vancouver Island to have a few days of quality bonding time. That we did over many excursions and meals cooked at home after some adventurous grocery shopping at nearby fishermen’s piers and oyster farms. I had my first live shrimp. (I’ve had drunken shrimp before which is somewhat alive while doused in wine) We stuck our hand and grabbed these live ones from a fresh catch, and we were told to pulled the head off, and peeled it while it was all alive. It was yummy sweet. We also saw some old growth (800 year old) Douglas Fir trees at Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park. Nathan and Karlson played guitar sang and worked on a song together in the evenings. What great times.
Our trip to the island spanned a weekend, so on Sunday we attended Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church. We got there after being lost for a bit and entered the sanctuary late but with the warm welcome felt at home. Pastor Paul Hawkes was excellent and we were so privileged to worship God with this church. At the end of the service we greeted and thanked those near us for being great hosts. There on our row was Pat. We ended up speaking with her for about 20 mins. She even invited all 5 of us to her home for noon sandwiches. Pat is awesome. (Present tense) Ever since our 1 visit to Parksville, Pat has been writing us, praying for us. She has taken on a role of a supporter, a sister in Christ for our family. Hopefully likewise we have been an encouragement to her.
In one of her first emails she writes “Dear Nathan (and family), how wonderful to hear from you!! It was great meeting you and family..||||||You are all so easy to love. I had not asked for your email etc. because I did not want to push myself on you so I was so happy to hear from you. YOU HAVE BEEN IN MY PRAYERS. I think I was so blessed to have you and your family sit beside me.” In another email just last week, she starts with “hi all…thinking of you warms my heart……”
We have been praying for her and her family too. Her 2 sisters are battling reoccurring bouts of cancer and there is more that we are in prayer for each other for. What sweet fellowship exists between believers!
We are so blessed to have Patty in our lives. It never would have happened if we did not venture, be intentional and worship whilst we were traveling. Lately the times at church in new places have been some of the most memorable highlights of our trips.
So you might not ever go to Parksville, BC, but there are churches and people like Pat that await you to encourage you and for you to encourage while you are on vacation. Most of all our Father delights in our worship.