Happy Canada Day! It would seem fitting that on Canada’s 150th Birthday I finally let out a secret I’ve been keeping for 150 days: I’m moving to Florida in August!
Many of you know my educational background and calling is in music ministry. I am elated to announce that I have accepted a full time position as Associate Pastor of Music and Leadership Development at Harvest Bible Chapel in Naples, Florida.
So why was this a secret (to some) in the first place?
It had to do with the uncertainty of obtaining a work VISA. We got word this Wednesday that I’ve been approved to apply for an O1B work VISA and the process will be complete following my interview with the US Government at the end of the month.
Harvest Naples is the 154th church in the Harvest Bible Fellowship. I have attended Harvest Bible Chapel in Barrie since Fall 2001 and have been involved helping launch Harvest churches in Oakville and York Region. In many respects this is a dream job for me not only because of the location (yes it’s incredibly beautiful and warm!) but because my ministerial convictions align so closely with those within the fellowship of Harvest Churches.
I will be joining Senior Pastor John Secrest and a core group of 100 who started the church this past November.
We set-up church every week at the Greater Naples YMCA. We already have a remarkable team of musicians in the band who are eager to serve and learn from one another. I couldn’t be more thrilled to serve and help lay the groundwork as we do the hard work of ‘church planting’. With many young families relocating to this region, Naples is a rapidly growing area in demand for Gospel-centred churches. I am excited to be a part of what God is already doing in SouthWest Florida.
Leaving my friends in Barrie will be bittersweet. It’s not the first time I’ve left Canada to go live and work state-side but I feel as though the things we’ve accomplished together in the past few years, including the Barrie Historical Archive, have been achievements of great importance and significance in our community. I am so pleased that this organization is financially healthy and in the hands of some of the most capable community servants our city has to offer.
I am deeply thankful for my tenure at BJ’s Records downtown and indebted to Bill and Dan who provided me with steady income and experiences that only downtown Barrie could offer over the past four years. My two years teaching at Georgian College was equally enjoyable. I will miss my students and fellow vinyl connoisseurs!
I want to thank those close to me who kept this secret as long as I did and who have been praying for me as I processed and wrestled with this decision. Even after many visits to Naples over the past five months the decision did not come as easily or instantly as some may assume. It truly been a journey of faith and trust. After all, the boat is safest in the harbour. In Hebrews 11:6 the Bible says “Without faith it is impossible to please God”. Please continue to pray for me as I seek to please God by trusting His lead and calling on my life.
Life is full of adventures and they often come at the most unexpected times. Prior to taking this job I had a trip planned with some friends. I leave for Europe next week where I’ll be visiting (for the first time) Iceland, Belgium, Germany, France, Holland and Britain over the course of 16 days. I hope to use this blog as a diary of all the amazing sights and experiences that await before my big move South in August.
With Christ, the best is always yet to come . . .