God continues to do amazing things in our church family. Over the last two years we’ve seen many lives changed through the Good News of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit:
- 57 people began following Jesus
- 16 people began were baptized
- We have had people who have experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit for the first time
- Some people heard God prompting them to make significant changes in their life
- Some people experienced inner healing and release from hurts and sins of the past
- We prayed with people who were sick and watched as God healed them
- And many people heard the whispers of God’s voice
God is at work in our church and in our lives. It is an exciting time to be a part of Living Hope. God is leading and speaking to all of us, me included. I want to share with you a story of God speaking into my life and guiding me and our Board of Elders in an important decision.
Fifteen months ago, Britton and I stood on this stage as I was installed as your Lead Pastor. At that time, I spoke about God doing something new in our church and cast a vision for the future.
After the service, I distinctly heard my name called. I turned and standing about ten rows back were Rick and Luana Orban. I excused myself from the people with whom I was talking and walked back to Rick and Luana, who presently talking with others. I stood awkwardly as Rick and Luana kept speaking.
Finally, I interrupted, “I’m sorry, did you call me?”
Rick responded, “No, but I want to tell you about something that happened when you were speaking.” Rick went on to say that when I was speaking on stage he felt physically shoved from behind and, instantly, the thought that came to his mind was “I can help Kirk with this.”
It was imminently clear to us this was a God moment: God called me and God spoke to Rick. We agreed to begin praying about what this meant and began meeting regularly to talk about why and what God was saying and doing. So, that’s what we’ve been doing since that wonderful day.
This past July, our Elder’s Board and I began discussing the possibility of Rick joining our staff team as our Director of Operations. This is not a typical move for a church our size. However, we feel God has led us to this point.
Six years ago when my family moved here, the church was visible from Woodland Grove and only a handful of homes east of Woodland Grove Drive. Now we are surrounded by homes and with more being built every day. Currently, 20,000 people live west of Woodland Grove Drive. Over the next decade another 10-15,000 people will move into the new communities of The Creeks, The Greens on Gardiner and The Towns located east of Woodland Grove Drive; we are the only church zoned for this area.
It has long been a desire of our church to be the “hub” of our community. God has seen fit to give us a 66,000 square foot facility that is more than we currently need. In the past our building was under-utilized. It sat empty for a majority of days each week. But now, God is bringing people to us. If you drive by the church on any given night you will find the parking lot dotted with cars.
Each week we host dance lessons, gymnastic classes and volleyball practices. We regularly host meetings for organizations including condo associations, community groups, coaching clinics, polling stations and many more. This is not to mention the many birthday parties, anniversaries, and other family gatherings held here.
At the same time God was working to make all this happen, God was working on the relationship between Rick and I. I’d like to introduce you to the heart of the man I’ve been fortunate enough to come to know better of the last 17 months. Rick, and his wife Luana, are faithful members of Livng Hope, serving in many ministries, including Sunday morning greeters, groups ministry and, who could ever forget Rick as “Coach” in the Building Fund campaign videos with Terry Liske? On many occasions, Rick and Luana have opened their home to serve and deepen relationship with others. On any given Sunday, you can catch Rick and Luana ensuring new people feel welcome with a warm smile and connecting them immediately with others so they will feel at home with Living Hope.
As well, Rick’s business acumen is adept. Rick is a former principal with the Public School Board and opened server schools in Regina, including Jack Mackenzie. Since retiring from the school board, he began his own catering company which has been incredibly successful.
We have been given a unique opportunity to become a place where the community gathers to build relationships. The Board of Elders and I believe Rick is uniquely equipped to help us as a church to become the “hub” in our community – a place where the community gathers to build relationships with each other and our Heavenly Father. That’s why we have hired Rick to be Living Hope’s Director of Operations.
Rick will lead our efforts to use our space to serve the community. Reporting to the Lead Pastor, Rick will focus on managing our facility and administration as well as building the rental side of our operation. Rick will begin as Director of Operations in January and his position will be a .8 FTE (full time equivalency).
Please join me in welcoming Rick to the staff team.