Fall 2016 E-Newsletter

Some years ago I met with a young man who wanted to participate in the Journey Discipleship Course.  This earnest seeker asked me to provide written confirmation he would be 100 percent struggle-free after completing the program.  My initial response was to laugh, as I thought he was poking fun at me; however, he was very serious.  He decided that without a money-back guarantee, he could not participate.

When an individual embarks on the discipleship course Journey offers, we hope they are accepting the invitation to follow wherever God may be leading them.  There is teaching and guidance on a range of issues designed to assist participants as they identify issues that bring them pain or confusion.  As facilitators we offer what we have - but the choice to walk this path is one that each participant must make on their own.  We do not force a direction or insist on a particular solution to an individual's struggle; we are simply fellow travellers, listening to His voice together and looking to Him for direction and wisdom.

In truth, we are all called on to be active participants in our journey with God.  I have often wondered what happened to the young man I met with so many years ago.  He seemed to be longing for the healing he believed God could give him, but reluctant to walk with God on a lifelong path of process.   If I had the opportunity today, I would welcome him and tell him that in the company of wounded others he would not walk alone - that if he committed and engaged in the journey of discipleship he would receive more from his heavenly Father than he ever imagined he would.  

But the choice to walk really could only be made by him.  

Toni Dolfo-Smith Executive Director

Toni Dolfo-Smith
Executive Director

 

For much of my life I focused on doing the right things and doing them well; on the outside I looked like I had it all together, but inside I was insecure, I didn’t like myself, and didn’t feel like I belonged.  Although I had been a follower of Jesus for many years, when I came to Journey I was weary and on the verge of exploding from years of hiding and stuffing my feelings down.  
 
What I found at Journey was a safe and invitational environment that challenged me to recognize and acknowledge that I wasn’t ok, and explore my struggles.  [Read more...]

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There's only 2 weeks left!

Last year the fundraiser was a wonderful celebration of God's work through Journey Canada.  Because of the generosity of our guests and donors from across the country, we raised over $52,500!  Please, help us make this year's event a success!

Last year the fundraiser was a wonderful celebration of God's work through Journey Canada.  Because of the generosity of our guests and donors from across the country, we raised over $52,500!  Please, help us make this year's event a success!

If you are in the Vancouver region please, bring a friend!  Click below to buy tickets.

Summer 2016 E-Newsletter

A unique and timely ministry...

I recently had the privilege of speaking to pastors and leaders at “Pastoral Approaches to Shifting Sexuality” – a series of seminars hosted by The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada.  Alongside David Wood (a friend and colleague), we addressed what’s happening in the broader culture, and pastoral approaches the Church must adopt in order to navigate our rapidly changing times.

In all six locations I was struck by two things: pastors have a deep desire to provide safe and welcoming places for the hurting, and pastors are grateful to be given language and a framework to address relational and sexual issues within their church communities.

As we continue to partner with the Church across Canada and around the world, I am reminded of how Journey Canada ministers to, supports, and disciples people in a unique and life-giving way.  This is a time when the Church needs to stand for Truth and Light, regardless of cost.  I believe we come alongside the Body of Christ in ways that few others can.  The overwhelming response we have seen to our Pastoral Approaches Seminars is certainly evidence of this.

Looking ahead to this summer, we will continue to provide ministry and training to pastors and leaders at our newly named Journey Canada Intensive Week – and we are already booked for Pastoral Approaches Seminars across the country into 2017!  I am so grateful for the amazing opportunities we have to walk alongside our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. 

See below to hear from Christian leaders who believe Journey Canada is a unique and timely ministry for the Church today!

Toni Dolfo-Smith Executive Director

Toni Dolfo-Smith
Executive Director

 

In a climate that is confused, baffled, and (in increasing measure) hostile, when it comes to issues of human sexuality, Journey Canada is arguably one of the most important ministries operating in Canada today.  Stocked with staff who live what they teach, Journey teachings are lucid, trustworthy, biblical, and Gospel-centred.  

To my fellow pastors, I would say: brothers and sisters, if you're wondering if it's possible for someone who experiences same sex attraction or who struggles with sexual addiction to experience profound healing in Christ, go check Journey out.  They're a plausibility structure to the truth of the Gospel.  But don't be deceived.  As they will tell you, there's no way to predict just how Jesus will heal you.  Oftentimes, our Lord is less interested, in the present moment, in healing us of our fallen desires than of healing us of our false identities.  Yes, we may have to wait with ongoing struggle, but Journey provides living proof that we may also live with transforming hope.

Ed Gerber | Pastor at Willoughby Christian Reformed Church
PhD, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David


Ministering as a Marriage Family Therapist, I have heard firsthand accounts of how sexually addictive behavior is affecting marriages and family life.  At "Pastoral Approaches Seminar: Sexually Addictive Behavior", the presenters provided relevant background and scientific research on the cycle of addiction that is essential for anyone working with individuals who are struggling with sexually addictive behavior.  They also shared personal testimonies and practical ways to journey with individuals who are seeking sexual healing and wholeness.  Journey addresses this issue with clarity of truth, and the compassion of mercy.

Sister John Mary Sullivan, FSE | Life, Marriage and Family of the Archdiocese of Vancouver


The reason for our ongoing partnership with Journey Canada, is that they continue to exhibit a heart for ALL people.  The team demonstrates compassion, sincerity and humility, and the heart of Christ is revealed in every seminar they present.

Brian Derksen | Assistant District Superintendent for the Christian & Missionary Alliance in B.C.


Winter e-Newsletter

In a recent discussion on the subject of Mentoring and Discipleship, one wise friend pointed out that Jesus discipled his twelve friends first, and only later did these disciples become Christians!  Initially, I was amused by the comment; however, as I thought about the work of Journey Canada, I began to see a parallel.

Journey Canada does not provide counselling, therapy or advice, but we do provide Discipleship. For us, Discipleship means walking alongside individuals as they discover what it means to follow Jesus regardless of the cost. The Discipleship we offer involves listening prayer - where we bring our struggles to God and invite Him to speak into our circumstances and travel with us on this healing journey.   In this process of Discipleship I believe we come to know what it means to be a Christian - a follower of Christ.

And as we walk with people, one of the privileges we have is to point them back to the larger Body of Christ, the Church.  While Journey Canada partners with churches by offering specific short-term Pastoral Care for individuals, this ministry is only a small part of what the greater Church offers.  I believe as we continue to come to know the Father, Son and Holy Spirit present in our church communities, our Discipleship can deepen, and we truly become Christ-followers.

Below is Darlene's story of how she discovered a safe place through the ministry of Journey Canada.

Toni Dolfo-Smith
Executive Director

 

I always knew that Jesus loved me, but I never really understood it.  Fear of rejection was the underlying theme of my life; I was always striving to do and be “enough”.  After being encouraged by a friend, I decided to participate in a Journey program.  I was pleasantly surprised by the testimonies of the leaders facilitating the program; they were the most authentic and heartfelt I had ever heard.  As I experienced the teachings and times of worship, and participated in a small group, I began to think that maybe Jesus had something for ME too. [Read more...]



Fall E-Newsletter

Many years ago when I first mustered up the courage to talk about my struggles with identity and sexuality, I felt shame and fear at being exposed. My shame had me asking for help for a so-called "friend" rather than for myself!

Years later, after having the liberating experience of sharing my story in confidence and safety, and growing in my relationship with God,  I attended Regent College. During the first few weeks of being a student, I encountered numerous others who spontaneously shared their struggles with me. Like the healthy mentors and counsellors who had provided a safe environment for me to share and grow, I now had the privilege of providing for others.  With hindsight,  I can see this is where Journey Canadà was birthed.

We all need to be known and supported. Many of us yearn for a sense of belonging that has somehow eluded us, and we will risk anything to find it.  Others of us have been hurt so many times we are wary of trying again. Embedded in the DNA of Journey Canada is the desire to provide a safe place for individuals to receive hope, spiritual care and the experience of belonging.

In all of our offerings, we strive to provide a caring and confidential space that allows individuals to explore the issues that are most important to them and deepen their relationship with God, without feeling pressured into an identity or lifestyle that is not in line with their values.  In spiritually safe spaces, as our sense of security deepens, we can begin to trust God and others anew as we move forward in our journey.

Below are two stories of others who discovered a safe place through the ministry of Journey Canada.

Read More