We're back with another “Partner Highlight”, where we interview different church partners to learn more about them, ask about outreach practices, and share stories of connections they’ve made with seekers. Our hope is that pastors will deepen their relationships with each other through commonalities and encouragement.
This week's highlighted partner is Dave Bueckert from Beacon Baptist Church in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Continue reading to learn how he was able to offer comfort to a young woman struggling in her relationship.
Q: What is the temperature range on Prince Edward Island?
A: Typically in the summertime, you’re gonna range around 20°C, which is in that 70-75° mark. It’s a little hotter this summer, averaging up around 30°, which is around the 80-85° mark. In wintertime, it drops down to 17 or 18 below 0 and it stays there all winter long. Lots of snow in the wintertime, so everything kind of slows.
Q: It actually sounds fairly temperate.
A: It is fairly temperate actually. Temperatures stay pretty constant throughout the summer, not a whole lot of fluctuation. Some rain, but this summer’s been exceptionally nice.
Q: Tell me something unique about Charlottetown, what people might not know.
A: Charlottetown—I don’t know if everybody knows—is the birthplace of Canada. It’s where everything started: the Confederation was signed here, all the forefathers got here in Charlottetown back in 1768. This is really considered the birthplace of Canada, they just had their 150th birthday and this last year they had huge celebrations here in 2017, so it’s got a unique flavor to it as far as the birthday. A lot of people come here because of that [unintelligible] museums and political places you can visit that commemorate Canada and how it all started and how it’s grown over the years and that kind of thing—that makes it unique. Obviously most people know about Anne of Green Gables, it’s kind of the birthplace for that as well. Though it’s just a story, it’s treated as very real-to-life here. The original house of the actual author that wrote Anne of Green Gables, who was a preacher’s wife. So she wrote this series of books that most ladies know better than I do. [laughs] Anyway, she was a preacher’s wife, her original home is still here. It’s used as a museum, so it’s got a huge draw.
Q: What was the community like when you first arrived and how have you seen it transform?
A: As far as the transformation, we’ve seen a lot of growth as far as immigration is concerned. They’ve immigrated (I believe) somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 people to Charlottetown over the last three years. That’s a big number when you consider the whole island. The population is about 140,000, you add 20,000 people into the equation, it’s created some unique challenges for the island in that there’s not enough housing now to house everybody; there’s a housing crunch right now. I’ve got three people I’m working with right now in ministry that are without a house for four months and no place to go. So they’re staying with family and friends and bouncing around. One man that’s been like that, he’s been doing it all summer long and he finally moved into his new apartment. So it’s created a unique challenge. There’s been a lot of growth, lots of construction going on, and it’s helping the economy…but it’ll take them a long time to get caught up. So it’s been unique to watch that growth enlarge in the immigration process here. It’s given us the opportunity to invite a lot of new people, to reach out, so it’s good.
Q: How has your church been working to serve your community and meet those challenges?
A: We’re in the community every Saturday. We spend time literally knocking on doors, giving out Gospel literature, trying to speak to people in the community right where they are. I try to do outreach through Facebook with different things that the CV Outreach program has given. Also, just one-on-one. I also work in the community. I’m bi-vocational, which has opened up a lot of different opportunities. I work in car industries, so I work with the public every day. That has opened doors to me to be able to reach into the community. Though we’re a small church—we’re just about 5 families, we started with literally me and my wife just over 5 years ago—so it’s a real slow process. Our goal, our aim is not to pull people out of other people’s churches, but to reach people who are unchurched and that’s been our focus. When they find that out, that becomes a goal, an opportunity for me to spend time with them, and oftentimes I’ll spend time working in the community, volunteering. If it’s a Saturday, I’ll spend time working with a family that we’ve been trying to reach for the better part of a year—I’m going to help them put their roof on. So really do some hands-on type of labor work just to kind of rub shoulders and meet in real life, meet where they are. So in all of our families that are being added to the church, we try to disciple that and try to teach that. So it’s been a little bit slower process that—again—when you reach them, you get them to stay.
Q: Have you had any one-on-one conversations with people you’ve been able to connect with that stick out to you?
A: One particular one that sticks out to me is a young lady, 22 years old, reached out to us through CV Outreach, and going through a—is to be married in a year September 22nd, found out through a process of events that her fiancé has been unfaithful to her, and she really was hurting, somebody who was really hurting by the whole situation, as it often is. This couple that had been living together for five or six years, have three kids together already, so it’s kind of a unique problem…she really is torn—making the big step, saved up for two years to be married, and found out about his unfaithfulness. So these people are hurting, these people don’t have answers, and sadly, a lady that’s spent most of her life in church, but has only recently come to the Lord. So it’s been a unique challenge. Again, she’s reaching out to us still. Again, it’s about building relationships with these people and giving them someone to trust in, somebody to confide in to work through some of these circumstances. So that one really stands out to me and it’s a problem that we have dealt with over and over again in forty years of ministry. It’s a very difficult one to overcome, but she really is uniquely tended to the Lord and the Gospel and blessing the relationship, and realizes that there are some things in the mix now that make that even more difficult. It’s not an easy fix, it’s not one thing to solve overnight, but we pray with these people and love on them and work with them where they are. So that one has been a real connection. She came to our home, and it’s just that deep down we make a connection. It’s been good. We’re praying now and continuing to help develop the friendship. That one really stands out for certain. There are several others through CV Outreach we have dealt with and have been able to recommend other churches that are not from this area.
We hope that you were encouraged by this story. No matter where you are or what you're going through, you are never beyond redemption. We'd love to connect you with someone who wants to listen to your story and shed the light of the Gospel into your situation. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're someone who wants to share that light, we'd love to connect with you to reach more people with the Gospel! Call one of our friendly team members at 214-856-4678.