Our journey with the Vineyard and Canada began back in 2005, when a short-term mission trip turned in to a 2 year stay in North Vancouver, BC. We instantly fell in love with the way they did things! Intimate worship and ministry, real friendships, good teaching, and doing "the stuff" out on the streets. We married in 2007 and started a family back in the UK.
We made it our priority to find another Vineyard Church in our local area. The moment we walked in to the building, we knew we were home. Everything was somehow familiar. From the way we were greeted, to the accessible worship and teaching. As is the Vineyard model of "caught not taught" - we walked alongside our pastors and leaders for the next 7 years, watching and learning. Somewhere in that process, God was stirring our hearts to move back to Canada. Through old connections, we met with the Aldergrove Vineyard Church in Feb 2014. They were looking for Associate Pastors, who would eventually transition in to the Lead Pastor role - After lots of prayer and Skype calls, we began to have an excitement for what God had in store. We moved out with our 2 kids, Grace and Malachi (Esperanza, our youngest came later), for our new family adventure in the summer of 2014.
We had the privilege of arriving at a church full of servant-hearted leaders with a desire to serve the poor and marginalised. After the service each week, a team makes an incredible meal, that people from the community come in and join us for each Sunday. As the Vineyard we also felt God lead us towards a low-income housing complex a couple of blocks from the church gathering. We realised these people were close to His heart and have become very close to ours. We now have many many families in this complex we would call friends. As a church we've sought to love on people here in various ways; Easter egg hunts, Mothers day flower give-aways, carol singing and partnering with another local church to do a "back-to-school" give away. Linked in with this, the last two years our church hosted a free Christmas market; we've been blown away by the amount of quality stuff that came in for this and loved the stories of people finding just the right thing. We had the opportunity to invite God's kingdom and pray with many people this day. We think they experienced Jesus.
We became the lead pastors just over a year ago now, and are super excited for what God has in store for us and the community of Aldergrove. Lizzie preaches and Mike leads worship, a dynamic duo! Our heart is to connect with people, through small groups, worship, prayer and having lots of fun together. We LOVE being part of the Vineyard Canada family, and we feel extremely blessed to go on this journey with all of you.