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Authentic Messenger, Authentic Gospel

Speaker: Jonathan Griffiths, Lead Pastor
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Audio: Listen
Notes: Read
Questions: Study
Video: Watch

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Stories from High River

August 14-16, 2013
by Becky McGregor for the Metropolitan Bible Church

It’s still raw. It’s still real.” says Crystal F., mother of four children and resident of High River, Alberta. She and her family have been displaced from her home for 7 weeks and counting. They have been living with her extended family in the neighbouring town. At this point, she is receiving donations of second hand furniture pieces and household items. She is collecting used and donated things to replace the contents of her entire house. She explained that she has been very grateful to slowly receive donated items that will allow her family to function on a day to day basis, but “her only fear was to be forced to have her kids sleep on used, donated mattresses. I couldn’t stop thinking about my kids’ heads sleeping on a used mattress.” There was no way that her family could afford to buy any new mattresses. Then, she was told about a mattress program through a concerned friend. She says that she was told that there was a church in Ottawa who was buying people new mattresses in the name of Jesus. She couldn’t believe that this specific need that seemed so daunting to her was satisfied so quickly and efficiently. During our interview, she repeatedly expressed deep gratitude for “this church, The MET” who reached out in compassion. She said that her family has felt reminded of the depth and power of Christ’s love. “Please,” she says, “Tell those people in Ottawa how deeply grateful we are to have received this gift.” Her family received a new mattress for each child and a new mattress for her and her husband. Even though her family has been displaced for a prolonged time now, Crystal describes that she feels a new sense of the Lord’s blessings. The mattresses seemed to arrive at the perfect time. They have chosen not to remain in High River. They have chosen to relocate to the neighbouring town of Okatoks.

We sit on a gleaming white mattress in the middle of a grey and dark room, with a concrete floor, concrete walls and a concrete ceiling surrounding us. Cori D. describes how her oldest son “Is not doing well” after losing everything he had. “It’s difficult for him to understand” she says. She takes us on a tour of her home. There is nothing to see except the new mattresses. As we sit and talk about her experience with the flood, I get the sense that I have the opportunity to present the gospel message to her. I tell her that dozens of people and families at the Met gave sacrificially to express an outward demonstration of the inner love we feel due to our connection with Jesus. I tell her that Jesus has deep compassion, and that the people of the Met are carrying out acts of compassion in His name. I tell her that I hope her sons can get a good, physical rest on the new mattresses, but that God speaks about a deeper rest to be received in Matthew 11:28 - “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Cori listens, and expresses gratitude for these strangers in Ottawa who reached out to her. We are planning to follow up with her in the weeks to come, to see if she has reflected on the offer of Christ. 









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