Dave and Anj Martin are founder members of King's Community Church and for many years Dave served as one of the eldership team.
In recent years they have become involved in supporting a church in Vancouver. Below you can read Dave's story.
My connection with Canada begins at the turn of the 20th Century when my Great Uncle Leslie migrated there and established a family and a nursery business in the Toronto area.
It was strengthened when my paternal grandfather Sidney Martin died near St John New Brunswick in 1933 when run over by a drunk driver while returning from a Bible study. He was hoping to become a pastor in that area and was serving the churches there between ships on which he worked as a pharmacist. In the way that God weaves things together, St John is only a short distance from Fredricton the first church in Canada to link with Newfrontiers under the guidance of Dave Fellingham who was our speaker for the 2014 church conference.
We visited our relatives in Toronto in the 1990's and one of those visits with John and Val Telford was significant in the birth of KCC. I never felt any strong spiritual connection although I liked Canada as a country very much.
During a visit to Western Canada in 2003 to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary I felt a strong spiritual connection with British Columbia which took me by surprise and led to me exploring whether New Frontiers had any plans for that area. A visit to a Canada Day the next year made it clear that at that time the focus was very much on Eastern Canada centred around the Fredricton church.
We continued to get promptings and developed a friendship with Sam and Marlene Poe who at that time were serving the then church plant in Tacoma near Seattle in the USA just down the coast from Vancouver. Sam preached at our church when they came to visit us for the weekend.
Fast forward to 2009 and we discover that Rhys and Sara Scott at Christ Church London, who we knew from their time at Bishop Stortford, had been called to plant a church in Vancouver.
We made contact with Rhys and Sara with the approval of the other KCC elders at that time and quickly developed a strong friendship. We attended the various events in the UK about planting the church and at an event in London had the same Dave Fellingham prophesy over us that God was calling us to be "Father and Mother to the Vancouver church plant".
This is the role we have sought and are continuing to seek to fulfil even though we are not able to move to Vancouver full time.
We visited Vancouver in 2011 shortly after Rhys and Sara and their family moved there and attended the original meetings in their home and walked and prayed around Vancouver with them. Our last act with them before we left for home was to pray over the Roundhouse as a potential venue. A few months later it became Trinity Central's first home.
When we visited in 2012 for a month Trinity Central was established in the Roundhouse and had grown to 40 or so regular attendees.
When we returned in 2013 again for a month Trinity Central had moved due to the need for more space to the Wosk Centre and had grown to around 70.
In 2014 we were again able to make a slightly shorter visit and the church is now established in the Van City theatre and has well over 100 members and a growing number of children.
We were also able to go to the church camp with over 130 and experienced a special time with God. Jeremy Simpkins from Manchester who leads the Christ Central Apostolic sphere, his wife Ann and Gary and Barb Gallant from Fredricton led the weekend.
Trinity Central has now appointed elders and has already, in just over three years, become a fully-fledged church which continues to grow. It is exciting for us to be a part of that journey.
So what does our parenting look like? When we visit we spend time with Rhys and Sara and have very open discussions and prayer over how the church is going and how they as a family are coping. We meet and encourage those in the church as guided by Rhys especially those new to the church and where we can share our values. We serve where we can including baby-sitting, helping with events and get involved in some pastoral issues. This normally means I have to produce a small spreadsheet to ensure we fulfil all our commitments and don't double book! Because of our regular visits we now have a strong network of friends in Trinity Central which grows each year.
When we are not there we continue to support them in prayer and keep in touch via their church network - The Table. We also regularly Skype Rhys and Sara for updates.
It is a huge privilege to serve Trinity Central in this way and to share their highs and their lows. God has given us a special love for them which was made very clear when they suffered a tragedy early in 2014.
We believe God is calling them to be a strong resource church and they already have connections in Langley and Mission and we look forward to church planting across British Columbia. This story has only just begun.