On July 9, Dawn and I set out on our adventure from Vancouver to Stewart. The original plan was to get the Stewart building ready to be listed for sale. It had been sitting for a year and every time it looked like there was interest in the building by a third party to use it for ministry or a community centre for the town, the negotiations fell through.
We arrived in Terrace and rented a vehicle to take the four hour drive to Stewart. Being in Terrace and Stewart was like setting foot into the “land before Covid”. Yes, the businesses were doing all they were supposed to do, but other than that, it was like nothing else changed in the communities. Before driving to Stewart, Dawn and I took a tour of Melinda’s office and building at University North and we were impressed with the facilities. The Bahr’s were awesome hosts and great workers as they travelled to Stewart on the weekend to help us with the building clean up.
Another family from their church also came to help and we were able to take two big trailer loads to the dump, give lots of material to the Terrace church, pack up numerous boxes for the local thrift shop, offer items to former members of the church, and donate the Hymn books to a church in PG.
As we were planning this trip to Stewart, I received a call from Kimberly Reid, the chairperson of a community group in Stewart called, Stewart Community Connections Society (SCCS). She asked if we were open for them to lease the building. Their board works with the town of Stewart and they have an excellent relationship.
Dawn and I arrived on a Thursday evening and began sorting materials and carrying items from the second floor to the main floor; did I mention that there are 15 steps between floors? On Friday morning I had a meeting with the District Chief Administrative Officer. She has been in her position for one year and we had a very good talk about the town, and the support she would like to put behind this charity should an agreement work out for all of us. I took her and the town’s Chief Financial Officer for a tour of the building. In the afternoon I met with Kimberly and three other board members from their charity. They were impressed with the size of the building and the many possible uses it could have to serve the town’s needs. In our conversation we discussed some key issues that would be a part of a future rental agreement if it came to fruition.
As we were lamenting the loss of the Stewart building being used for church services, Dawn and I had an interesting word from the Lord. Our room in the house was beside a big tree. Every morning a pair of doves would sit outside our window and coo. As we thought of the doves, as symbols of God and of peace, a thought came over me. I believe that God was saying, you haven’t lost the church in Stewart, because I was never contained in that building. Use the building to bless the community! That’s not quite the same message that a neighbour got from the doves as I talked to him. He said that when the doves start cooing at 4:30 am he has other words he would use for them! LOL
On the drive back to Terrace we saw six bears, one was a mother with three cubs, but I wasn’t sure if it was three cubs or two cubs and one adopted dog! LOL
I am happy to announce that effective October 1st, SCCS will begin their five-year lease using our building to provide much needed support services in Stewart, such as youth support programs, a seniors drop-in centre, a safe house for battered and abused women, after school programs for children, food bank services, support for children and family services work, etc. We praise the Lord for His guidance in working out the details for the building in Stewart! Dr. Bob Krahn, Executive Minister, BCBA