The following post comes from CBF field personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt. You can read more about them in the most recent edition of the fellowship magazine. You can also order Offering for Global Missions promotional materials promoting Kim and Marc’s work in Canada.
The second week of January I escorted my friend, Daniel Cimon, pastor of Eglise Chretienne le Rocher of Chateauguay, Quebec (Montreal area) to Durham, North Carolina. His church is numbered among the 8 million Québécois (French Canadians) who represent the less than 1% who are Evangelical Christians. The French Baptist Union states the Québécois are the largest unreached people group in North America. For over 10 years CBF has been diligently calling churches and individuals to come north and help our Canadian Baptist brethren with very little response; that is until now.
We were in North Carolina to meet CBF pastors and mission leaders interested in partnering with French Canadian churches and internationals ministries. The consultation was hosted by Temple Baptist Church. Dr. Larry Hovis, CBFNC Executive Coordinator and Linda Jones, CBFNC Missions Coordinator, Dr. John Pond, Mission Professor at Chowan University, representatives from 6 North Carolina churches and believe it or not, Santa Claus were in attendance; yes that’s right, Santa Claus, the real one!
Santa James ‘Jim’ Hastings is a card carrying member of the Triangle Santa Buddies of North Carolina. When he is not at the North Pole he attends Temple Baptist Church with his wife Barbara, who serves on the church mission committee; among her many talents, she handmade his custom red wool suit. Jim has been a professional Santa since 2007, when he retired after 30 years as a special education teacher and trainer with Durham Public Schools.
The Hastings served as coordinators with a ten year partnership between North Carolina churches and work that was being done in the Ukraine. They have participated in many mission initiatives including CBF’s ministry, The Village of Hope in Kiev. Last September, the Hastings led a team of 7 from Temple BC that served with Pastor Cimon’s church as well as the Matthew House and Furniture Bank in Ottawa.
We are thrilled that CBF churches from North Carolina and especially, Santa Claus are responding to the French appeal, ‘Venir et de nous aider’! Acts 16:9. Who would have known, Santa is a Free and Faithful Baptist? In Canada… we believe!