Christmas Newsletter 2004
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You Have Something to
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
"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!
Sunday, November 28, December 5 & 12—Joy Fellowship Advent
December 4—Dance in Squares at Trinity Baptist Church.
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.