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The Online Bridge: Winter 2005
Issue 10, January 2005

Paul Weinmaster: Grenada Trip

I attended NABC from 1997-2000.  After graduating in 2000, I interned in a small church in Jansen, SK.  I interned as a pastor in that church for 8 months.  Following that internship, I moved back to Edmonton, and I've been working construction ever since.  For the last three years, I've been working as a carpenter, framing houses in Edmonton.  Throughout these three years, I've been attending McKernan Baptist Church. Back in November-December 2003 I went on a short mission’s internship to San Luis Mexico.  I worked alongside the Barcelonas family, who are church planters in San Luis.

I heard about the trip to Grenada with Samaritan’s Purse through Pastor Neil (at McKernan Baptist - Edmonton).  He came up to me on a Sunday and handed me a brochure about Grenada, and told me to get back to him if I wanted to go.  My first response was that it was too short of notice, as we would have only about three weeks to get the funds together.  I also wasn't sure how I would be able to get off work.  I work with only one other guy, so for me to go would really effect him as well.  But, I prayed about it that Sunday afternoon, just giving it over to God.  If He wanted me to go, I knew He would work things out.  My excitement and desire to go really increased as I prayed.  When I showed up to work on Monday morning, the first thing my work partner said was that he needed to take a week off in November to visit his wife's ailing grandmother.  And just like that, I had the week free to go!  This was God's first answer to prayer.

       

God also blew me away in the way that He provided financially for both Ian (another member at McKernan Baptist) and I to go.  Ian and I did some odd jobs for people in our church to raise funds.  A lot of people from our church just came along and generously gave so that we could go.  We ended up raising over $10,000.00, when we really only needed $4800.00 for the two of us to go.  God once again showed us in overwhelming ways that His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  So, with the prayers and support of McKernan, as well as friends and family, Ian and I were off to Grenada.

The physical effects of Hurricane Ivan on the island of Grenada were astounding.  Over 90% of the homes and buildings were either destroyed or damaged.  So, a group of 14 of us from all over Canada joined with Samaritan's Purse to rebuild homes for people who had lost there's.  We built temporary shelters for families.  These homes consisted of four walls, and a roof.  They were nothing fancy, but the families were very grateful to have someone where to live and to stay dry.

       

It was a great experience to go to Grenada and serve the people in such a practical way.  I wear a tool belt everyday, but I've never had so much fulfillment and enjoyment in doing carpentry work as I did on this trip.  It was also encouraging to meet Christians in Grenada who had experienced this storm.  It challenged me to see them living with hope and faith, in light of difficult circumstances. 

I was also really impressed with Samaritan's Purse and the work that they do for people in need.  They have a strong desire to share God's love in practical ways.  Through this trip I learned about Samaritan’s Purse and the work that they do all over the world.  God stirred in my heart to pursue doing this type of work in the future.  I don't know what God has in store, but I can't wait to see how He is going to open and close doors for me to serve.  I'm thankful that He is in control, and that He is always faithful.  By His grace He has given me a heart and a desire for outreach and for missions.  He is challenging me to grab hold of this passion and to really move forward in faith.