Spring 2004 Newsletter
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Remembering God's Presence
and Goodness in 2003
We look back at the year 2003 with thankfulness. This has been
Joy Fellowship’s 29th year, and we are aware of the
privilege of walking together through life, keeping each other
close to Jesus. We have walked home with Gary Armstrong and Ethel
Hilderman (also of Trinity Baptist), who died this year. We miss
them and are thankful for the legacy of love they have left us.
Although Gary could not speak very well, he taught us how to
welcome each other (his smile-crinkled eyes and his arms held up
for a hug), and how to be observant (he always knew where everyone
was and who had just walked in). Donations given in memory of
Ethel have risen to well over $75,000. These incredible gifts have
enabled us to purchase a new van (see page 2) and sound system and
extras that we would not otherwise have afforded.
Event highlights include:
|The ordination of Melanie Gonder-Benoit, chaplain at Brock
Fahrni and mother of Rebekah Mason (a member of our JF Sign
|Celebrations of creativity, fun, games and music at our
Annual Spring Fair (in April) and Christmas Craft Fair (in
|Our summer daytrips: behind the scenes tours at the
Aquarium, bird watching at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Indian Arm
luncheon cruise (our biggest daytrip yet, 64 people), visiting
an organic farm on Bowen Island and fishing at a trout farm.|
|Our large camps: a weekend camp in fall and spring at Camp
Squamish and a summer camp at Camp Alexandra in Crescent Beach.|
|A tent camp held at Porpoise Bay, Sechelt. This also
involves some of the people in the Sunshine Coast Joy Fellowship
to join us for a BBQ and games day.|
|A team of five from Joy Fellowship went to New Zealand for
three weeks to be a blessing and an encouragement to people in
our Joy Fellowship there (named Joy Ministries NZ). We had
opportunity to attend a large camp for people with disabilities
from all over NZ.|
|A team of two went with a missions team to Kazakhstan to
teach teachers English (using the Bible as a resource) and to
connect with people with disabilities that David Hayward Jr. has
made contact with there.|
But it is in the small everyday occurrences that we are aware
of God’s presence:
|In the joy of Meagan as she asks her staff every morning,
|In David whose prayers grow more and more intimate and who
ends his prayers with "so we can go out and tell others what we
|It is in the smile of a woman with a profound mental and
physical disability whose face lights up when she hears our
voices and as we sing together.|
|It is the delight of our very dedicated sign language choir
as they stand up in their robes (donated by First Baptist
Kelowna) and proudly lead the congregation in a signed song.|
|It is the joy of seeing someone come back to church who we
hadn’t seen for years.|
|It is in the excitement of someone who has taken the
challenge to read through the Bible and after 2½ years has just
finished the book of Revelation.|
|It is in the pleasure that our teams practice and present
dramas during the teaching at church.|
And it is Grant, very wound-up, unable to sit quietly, calling
out during the teaching, "He picked me, Jesus picked me. I
Our Joy Fellowship Council:
(L to R) (Front) George S, Pieter V, Ruby H, Ann B, Bram L
(Back) David H Sr, Rick B, David H Jr, Michael (Missing: Fred H, &
Joy G photographer)
April 2-4—Retreat at Rivendell on Bowen Island.
April 9—We join with those gathering at First Baptist for a
Good Friday Service. 11 a.m.
April 11—Join us at our usual Sunday morning time (10 a.m.)
for our Easter Service (43rd and Oak).
May 8—Joy Fellowship Spring Fair—10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Trinity
Baptist Church. Come for games, Crafts, Mother’s Day gifts
(Mother’s Day is the very next day), Car Wash, White Elephant
Sale, Hot dogs, and fun for all ages and abilities.
May 9—Mother’s Day
May 14-16—Spring Camp at Camp Squamish.
May 30—A team from Joy Fellowship will be joining
Broadmore Baptist .
June 7-29—Joy Gregory traveling to New Zealand to encourage
our Joy Fellowship groups there (called Joy Ministries in NZ).
She’ll be attending a camp and a leadership retreat.