Joy Fellowship
Christmas Newsletter 2004

 

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You Have Something to Say

David Hayward Sr.'s encouragement to Joy Fellowship at Summer Camp
Continuing on from Ruby Hayward's message in Fall newsletter



I had something that Moses and Elijah didn't have: this wife, Ruby. And that has made all the difference. The three most significant people in my life are my mother, my wife, and Jesus. My mother gave me the verses from Proverbs 3:5-6 when I was young, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

The Apostle Paul's companion, Timothy, had a mother and grandmother who were in the faith. I had a mother and grandmother, grandfather, and step grandmother who prayed for me every day. I slipped away from Jesus until I met Ruby; then we decided to follow Jesus together. That's why we are here today.

The way we listen brings glory to God. Ruby's message (featured in the Fall JF Newsletter) was prayed over and listened to. This glorifies God. (At this point, Elaine interjects, "Dave, you have a beautiful wife.") I baptized Elaine and Ruby Lemphers about 30 years ago. There were not many of the disabled in the church at the start. Gordie had stopped going to Trinity, where he didn't feel welcome, so here was a group of people that I could tell about Jesus. Grant was one of the first in the flock. Today he is concerned that Jackie lost her mother. He has been telling everyone that Barbara is in heaven. And that is also because of Joy Fellowship — Barbara found out about Jesus and his love from JF. Barbara saw that love in our midst.

We started JF with twelve helpers and eight handicapped people. Grant was one of the eight, but it wasn't long before others came. One day a fellow came, it was Larry, and we did a memorial service for his foster sister, Brenda. I could visit Brenda Weightman as her pastor. What a joy it was to be a pastor to Brenda. When I said, "Jesus is your shepherd," she put up her hands and made a motion like a sheep. This was her last action, her last communication before she died.

Grant told people about Joy Fellowship and about Jesus. And he brought people to JF where they received Jesus, and then they were able to go out and serve others.

Grant started bowling on Sunday and stopped coming to church. This was a bit of a problem until Anne Cowper told him that he was a Christian and his first responsibility was to be in church. What happened? Grant gave up his bowling and came to church the next week and he hasn't missed since. Grant was so determined to come that his brother Keith had to come and so Keith came to know Jesus and where is he now?? In heaven! (At this point, Meagan had her Bible open and she was saying, "Yes, Yes, Yes!") These little things are so precious to Jesus and so precious to us. The more we notice, the more we will find worth in our life.

Our first camp was at Sylvan Acres on Vancouver Island in 1976. There were twelve campers and eight helpers, including David Stocks, Grant Thompson, and Allen Chow. It was so cold and it snowed. Allen pulled the power switch and the heat went off. After this I (Dave) took a one-year course in working with people with disabilities up at UBC, the first of its kind in Canada with just twelve students. Then I got a summer job as the recreation coordinator at VARCO. We went to Camp Capilano and we took a chance and tried a service at Camp. God led us to do this.

"To God be the glory great things he has done…," not glory to Dave, but to God. (Betty says, "Got it, Dave!") Because God did it, we have stories to tell. And they are wonderful stories.

Another of our first camps was at Camp Jubilee, a Union campsite up Indian Arm. We met a young guy who came up to run the generator so that we could have the power we needed: Jan Koster. God is no respecter of persons. He knows where we stand. He loves us. He knows our hearts. Guess what happened?? Jan Koster became involved with JF. Jan became a Christian. And I performed his marriage to a lovely Christian woman.

Through us God was looking for people with disabilities to bring to the church. In 1 Corinthians 12:21-22, speaking about the Body of Christ, the church, it says, "The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I don't need you!' And the head cannot say to the feet, 'I don't need you!' On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable." Now God has the weaker parts that he had been looking for in his church, performing the very essential part, and that's you. (Grant calls out, "Me??") And if any pastor has a flock that he's proud of and would go anywhere with and thinks so highly of, it's you: A loving, faithful, and beautiful flock.

A Chinese woman came in to our service from off the street. She walked in off the street she saw us coming in and so she joined us. She was a Christian and she came up to me and said that this service was special, that she hadn't experienced anything like this before.

"Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts" (2 Corinthians 3:1-3). Paul says here that he doesn't need any letters of recommendation, because the people are the letters that make him proud. And we (Dave and Ruby) have you, Joy Fellowship, as letters of recommendation of the results of our ministry.

I've always loved those who are put down to be brought up. I've always wanted you to be ministers: That I don't have to do it, that you can do it. You are becoming ministers and you have every right to be and you have every right to be heard, you have something to say. And you say it. And it is good!

 

 

Upcoming Events


Sunday, November 28, December 5 & 12—Joy Fellowship Advent Services

December 4—Dance in Squares at Trinity Baptist Church. 7:15

Sunday, December 19—Joy Fellowship Christmas Service: 10 a.m. at our usual Sunday meeting place: 5880 Oak Street, (43rd and Oak) in Vancouver.

December 26—Boxing Day Service with our missionaries Bob and Erika Sukkau from Peru.

January 28-30—Missions Fest at Canada Place in Vancouver. Joy Fellowship will have a booth and will do a presentation for the 4th graders from Christian schools on Friday.