Friday, September 5, 2008

BH's concluding report for Halifax Project 08

The Herald - Final Report from Ben Harrison for Halifax Project 08

Dear Friends,

God definitely blessed this summer’s mission activities in Halifax. I was fortunate to have the experience of serving again with a group of dedicated students as we lived side by side in an atmosphere of ongoing evangelism and discipleship.

Through our weekly team meetings, we covered many important topics such as how to love by faith, strategies for how to live in the world while not being of it, the art of listening, and the characteristics of leaders (various types). Our Wednesday night inductive bible studies took us through 1 John. It is helpful to realize that our ability to love others comes because God first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Serving on the same mission project for the second straight year held some difficulties as I struggled to identify and continually accept my role. After serving as one of the student directors leading the project last summer, my transition into being a bible study group leader this summer involved the challenges for me to grow in an area where I am not as comfortable leading and to accept having less direct authority. I continue to learn the importance of delegating by inviting and encouraging younger Christians to step forward to serve God instead of constantly “taking more onto my plate.” I, along with every student on project have gained a faith that God can use us in new ways.

I worked part time at a Foot Locker store in Halifax for the second consecutive summer. Through prayer and having spent a longer period of time with my co-workers by this summer, I saw greater opportunities to speak with my coworkers about my faith. With the aim of doing evangelism, my team organized many events such as a concert, a Jesus Film showing, and a discussion night about hope based on viewing various types of media. Despite our best efforts to promote and put on high quality activities, attendance was continually lower than we hoped. We took faith that those who needed to be at the events were there, and we learned that events are often not the best tool for seeing people come to know Christ as Saviour. Instead, it was through our intentionality to develop relationships with non-Christians that we saw many opportunities to present the Gospel to the extent that we surpassed the goal of Gospel representations that we had set at the beginning of the summer!

It was through ongoing relationships that two students did make decisions to accept Christ this summer. Here are their stories.

Jack is a Korean student spending a year in Canada that constantly hung out with our team since early in May. He would drop by to eat with us, went to church with us, came to our Bible study even when he had very little grasp of English. Finally, the Friday afternoon at the start of August as we were preparing to leave for our debrief retreat, Jack accepted Christ as his Saviour. I had the privilege of starting to go through some follow-up materials for new Christians with him during the first half of August as I remained in Halifax.

Hiromi is a Japanese student that our team met the second weekend of project. We decided to invite some other students from the floor upstairs over for dinner and Hiromi was among these students. Over the summer a good friendship was struck up between Angela and Steph from my team and Hiromi. Finally in mid-July those two girls were able to share the gospel with Hiromi over coffee and she accepted Jesus that night.

God has given me a passion to reach these international students and I hope that I will continue to find ways to reach this group. God really seems to be moving among them. I see a key role for the Church here in Canada to make strides to love the international students and the new immigrants among us. This may mean housing students when they come to Canada to study, or to volunteer with an organization that helps immigrants settle in Canada, or even to hire a new immigrant when they apply for a job. We can love them in numerous ways.

Going forward, I will be finishing up my Master of Library and Information Science Degree in
spring 2008 and I continue to investigate full time ministry opportunities with Campus for Christ / Power to Change for the next year. In the short term, as I finish my studies I am coordinating the prayer ministry and leading the graduate student ministry of Campus for Christ at UWO. Incorporating grad students into our student movement is really just beginning and poses unique challenges, mainly with continuing momentum when so many of the graduate programs are so short in duration. One challenge in my life that I am now recognizing is to avoid spiritual pride (2 Cor 3:5) after serving on mission trips and with the campus ministry for five years. Entering this fall, I realize how much more I need and can depend upon God.

While this summer’s missions activities are “over” our relationships with non-Christian friends made this summer hopefully will continue. Many seeds were sown this summer and with God’s help we will persevere in prayer for our friends and develop the patience to wait upon God to cause growth (1 Cor. 3:7).

Thank you for partnering with me to see the Gospel impact the world,

Ben Harrison
1 Corinthians 15:58

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Couldn't have gone better

We had the first big event with the youth at my church yesterday. 5 girls showed up (Normally 2 come to the weekly meetings). We had dinner and games. 3 stayed for the sleepover. We had a great time and I can't think of how it could have gone better.

Engagement update: We are praying about paperwork. It's very complicated and takes a long time to process. Please pray for God's timing with a wedding date and that the paperwork will go through without problems.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

February updates (cont'd)

Grace: hello friends! im sooooooooooooooo bad for not writing this earlier! but life is going well for me this semester! God has truly blessed me with all that I need to stay centred on Himl i can't wait for reading week to come! Las Vegas here i come! God bless! grace

Nicole: Looking forward to winding down my third year... only one more to go at the U of S, then I'm off to who-knows-where (God-knows-where? ;) ) for my masters (yep, that's speech path). I only know I'm staying in Canada. U of A, U of T, McGill, Dal (oh Halifax, I'll always love you)... we'll see where I end up. I get kinda sad when I think about it. It's a whole new stage of my life. Eep! Going to SE Africa this summer-- I told you I'd get there someday, Colleen!...
[I edited this way down. Check the COMMENTS for the full version]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Video messages from the West

Firstly, if you haven't heard Liz's news yet, then what are you waiting for, SCROLL DOWN on the main page and read it!

So with that out of the way, here are a couple video recordings we made at Western Canadian Winter Conference 2007.

Halifax Projectile-gram - Western Winter Conference 2007

I also recorded a little bit of us hanging out and laughing with each other on video. It's the next best thing to actually being there.

Naturally Yours - Hanging out with Halifax projectiles

(Please excuse the sappy intro - I recorded it and thought it was too cool to throw away, so I left it in the video).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Liz is engaged!

This is what my ring looks like.

When: Jared asked me yesterday after getting permission from both of my parents.

Where: My kitchen.

How: We were sitting in the living room and Jared led me into the kitchen and said, "What's that?" pointing out a small box on the counter near the sink. I went over and opened it knowing that it would be empty. "Okay, it's empty." I turned around and saw Jared down on one knee, "Liz, will you marry me?" And I said yes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

February updates

[I edited this way down. Check the COMMENTS for the full version]
Erin: Hey friends. :) What a crazy life and what a great God we serve! My winter conference experience was awesome... I applied to project 5 weeks ago, 3 weeks ago I found out I was going... WOW. $2500 in less than two weeks, almost entirely provided by C4C'ers like you... can't wait to see what God will do in Scotland during the next two weeks... I'm still in design. :)


Gilberto: Shalom! I hope you are all doing well. It was great to see some of you at Winter Conference. I am sure our Western friends also had a great time! I am still in my 3rd year at Dal. This summer I will be going on the EA Project and I am super excited about it! Hopefully I will be back in Halifax in time to see those of you who are going to go be at the HP 2008.
I miss you all!


(now it's your turn!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Overdue from before Winter Conference

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Ben H.:
The last two weeks have been fantastic. The Harrison home in Hanover was graced by the presence of Ben T. and Gilberto over Christmas which made the season even more exciting. My parents asked whether everyone on project was as nice as the two guys and I could reply affirmatively that they were representative of the whole group. Winter Conference here in the East as amazing. I got alot out of the sessions and the frequent meetings with old friends was a real blessing. I am now recharged for heading back to campus. I have the same excitement that I had the first week of September and coming off project that was lost over the course of the fall. I am thankful for that and once again optimistic about the future. I am working on my application to be an intern on Halifax Project. I would like to spend most of the summer in Halifax following project - if it works out for me to intern - maybe serving with a local church or another sort of ministry.

Joanna: Hi friends,
Well last semester flew by. It was a blur of clinical (labour and delivery - alarming, but really great experience), classes, Campus for Christ leadership, and all that jazz. God continued to teach me that all that really matters is knowing Christ and delighting in Him. I had an amazing christmas with my family. God really answered prayers and I'm so thankful for the time I had to spend with my brother and his girlfriend and my sister. It was really great! Winter Conference was amazing. Such a refreshing time to be with friends (especially of the halifax project variety!) and to be with God. I'm all done with classes now and just have my final placement left. I need to work around 450 hours and then I can get my temporary nursing registration until I write my RN exam in June... [see the rest in COMMENTS]

Paulman: This is my last semester, and the plan is to finish writing my thesis so I can graduate. Then in the summer, I'll either be on Waterloo or North Africa project, but I'm having trouble choosing (again) due to some recent developments. I miss you guys as always, and I wish more of you would read my blog or talked online (lol). Then you'd know what to pray for me for! Bye for now :)