Friday, 6 January 2017

2016 Year End Wrap Up


As 2016 winds down, I’m happy to report that God’s blessing of the ministry of Alpha in Alberta has been more than I could possibly ask or imagine. 2016 was a pretty good year, as far as Alpha in Alberta was concerned. Many Alpha's (close to 700 or more at last count) ran throughout the Province, and from my conversations with various church leaders and Alpha administrators, many went very well. From the large (200 or more guests) to the small (two or fewer guests) I always find that every Alpha impacts someone's life in a positive way. Every Alpha makes a difference in someone's life.

I meet with churches, large and small, in every corner of Alberta, and at any given moment, as I'm meeting with a Pastor, their community is foremost in their mind as we meet. The concern is how to reach out to the citizens of that town or village or city, and more often than not, if they are running an Alpha, or have run one, the feedback is good; stories of the lost found, families reconciled, people returning to church after having walked away in youth.

I say there were, “around 700” because I know that there are Alphas running that haven't been registered. This is because we at Alpha make all our teaching and training materials available free of charge to any church or organization who wants them. Numbers are nice (for bragging purposes?), but the important thing is that the Gospel is being preached and people introduced to Jesus. Whether we know about them or not, God does. We may not see the results until we are in heaven. Bottom line, though, I believe those who support Alpha in Alberta are accomplishing even more than we can measure.

  
Just in the last week or so of the year I received amazing news about what is happening or about to happen, in various High Schools in, mainly but not limited to, Calgary and Edmonton, both in Catholic and public schools. Support is beginning to come from some high up places. At one recent Catholic High School Alpha, the percentage of students who said they had a personal relationship with Christ, or wanted one, rose from 24% at the beginning of the course to 67% by the end. Aslan is on the move. Please pray for continued good news in this area.

Just this week it was made official that the City of Grande Prairie is participating in the Bear Grylls Global Advertising Campaign, with city-wide advertising and Alpha’s being run in 8 locations throughout the city beginning in January. Especially heartening to me are a couple of things; one, that one of the churches I have been, “pursuing” for a long time, is running it for the first time. Secondly I was delighted to see an Alpha planned for GPRC (Grande Prairie Regional College) for college and university age students. Grande Prairie has been hit hard by the downturn in Alberta’s oilfield, so thanks be to God and to Wes Dong of Grande Prairie Alliance for this. Please pray for success beyond measure for each of these Alphas in GP.

Once again, my sincere thanks for all the support I've received this year.
If you feel called to support Alpha in Alberta financially, please click on the link to the right.
 
My own prayer is that I prove worthy of the confidence you have displayed in this ministry by your financial and prayer support and your personal encouragement to me.

May I wish you all the best to you and yours in the New Year.

Blessings,

In Christ,

John

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