I experienced the Bridges Restorative Justice Banquets for the first time this November and wow; was that an eye opener. Transformed lives and hope were the guests of honor. The banquet celebrated the invaluable work being done at Bridges. A ministry is only as strong as the network of people involved and I was impressed by the quantity and quality of the individuals I met who are involved with Bridges in both Vernon and Kelowna.
Integrating people into our society after a lifetime of hardship is a critical aspect of community building. Through the grace of God, people get a second chance and lives are being rebuilt. It requires deep commitment, intense hard work and many resources. God is at the helm but it still requires many hands, many hours and much funds. Quite often the path seems to be forever uphill, at other times, the road evens out, the sunshine peeks through and the rewards of a long journey unfold. All this I felt, heard and witnessed on November 3rd.
That night the servers did a great job, the meal was fabulous, the music lively, and the inspirational message exactly what people needed to hear. It was both shocking and moving to hear Cliff’s story. As he wove his way through the good times and the bad of his life, there was barely a dry eye in the house. By his own confession, Gods transforming power is doing an obvious work and we need to pray that the transformation that has begun continues. The freedom Christ promises from reckless abandonment in full surrender is the only way to live.
As I listened I was reminded that we in the Church are too often oblivious to the fact that we are in a major spiritual battle, and we need to get more serious about praying constantly to restrain the forces of evil in our world.
Never the less it is a true testimony of God’s sovereignty to observe how over the last fourteen years, in spite of continuous obstacles, God has knit the body of Christ together to become the Bridges to New Life. I am thrilled to be a part of it everyday and I am so happy God called me to jump into the river of life and go! To be able to play a small part in the journey of the men and women we assist is both humbling and inspiring at the same time.
I’d like to thank everyone involved with Bridges in various ways. You are making a difference. Thank you all for your hard work and support. My prayer is that we will see many more people get on board in the coming months. I also want to offer a special thank you to Brenda and all her ticket selling volunteers’ efforts in the weeks before the banquets. Without you we would not have had such a wonderful turn out. My heart was touched.
Stay in the Spirit and keep up the great work!!!