Fall 2017 E-Newsletter

JOURNEY, A SAFE PLACE | LOOKING FOR JESUS TOGETHER

I spoke with someone a few weeks ago who expressed relief at having discovered Journey Canada for the first time. They told me how they had tried many different avenues of healing, but had not felt these had provided the answer they needed. I probed a little more, and what became apparent was this person was searching for a "cure" - the five steps that would make them whole!

As we conversed, I shared that pursuing healing was less about finding answers and more about finding Jesus. We talked about some of the ways this person had been wounded throughout their life and the unmet needs that plagued them daily, yet they remained convinced there was a singular answer that could heal them, and that they could do it on their own.

Our healing journey does not happen in isolation - it is a journey that invites us to walk with Jesus, and with others. Journey Canada provides a safe place for people to share openly and to look to Jesus in the midst of struggle and pain. Like the person I mentioned above, many of us have spent a lifetime hiding our pain and struggle, often believing that we are the only one dealing with our particular issues. Our deepest pain and struggle remain hidden and unspoken, and we remain trapped and alone.

We are all broken in our capacity to love well, we are all in need of affirmation and love, and not one of us should walk alone. At Journey we walk alongside our brothers and sisters, providing a safe, non-judgemental atmosphere for anyone to face the challenges and brokenness we all have in our lives. This Journey is not just about getting better or overcoming struggle, it is about discovering and experiencing Jesus in the midst of it all.

Toni Dolfo-Smith
Executive Director

 

I grew up in a Christian home, but one with a strong suspicion of “outsiders”. I was taught that only members from my family could be trusted and that we were spiritually superior because we were blessed by God. With this upbringing, I grew into an adult who was extremely guarded and cautious of others.  [Read more...]


IHiding was something I was very good at. I hid from others and from God. Struggles in my sexuality and identity pulled me away from people and God. I was afraid to be judged, expelled, and rejected by others. I tried to be a good, friendly, and godly man in front of my friends and in the church. I pretended that I was happy and fine even though I wasn’t. The truth is...  [Read more...]


COURSES AND EVENTS ACROSS CANADA

Do you have relationship, sexuality and identity questions or struggles?  Journey is a safe place.  Come to a seminar.  Apply for a course.


3 WEEKS AWAY!

Come and invite a friend!  Not in the Vancouver area but want to participate?  Help us reach $30,000 to help people find hope and live life through Jesus.  Click here.

 
 

Summer 2017 E-Newsletter

Journey is for everyone looking for a deeper relationship with God.

As a young Christian, my constant and heartfelt cry was for God to take away my relational, sexual and identity struggles.  I was convinced that only if I was struggle-free would I be able to serve God and have real relationship with Him.

Looking back to that time, I believe God was less interested in taking away my issues than He was about inviting me into life-giving and intimate connection with Him.  What He wanted was for me to become His disciple.  I had been “performing” for Him, rather than embracing the invitation to be conformed to His image in a journey that will last a lifetime.

The ministry of JOURNEY is all about Discipleship.  We gather as a community of people who, through worship, teaching and prayer, are being called into deeper friendship with God.  In His presence we express our pain and longing, knowing He is with us and will respond to us as a good father responds to His children.  Discipleship is about coming to know how much we are loved by God, trusting He will transform our struggles and wounds into wholeness and life.

It took me years to acknowledge my sin, pain and struggle to God and others - even then I still wished He would simply take it all away!  Now I understand I have the opportunity to journey with God, despite my struggles, and discover His intentions for my life.  

Toni Dolfo-Smith
Executive Director

 

I used to believe that it’s more important to look good, than to actually be good.

My father was a well-known Christian leader; so we, as a family, were very good at looking good! I learned that perfect performance got me the affirmation I wanted so badly, so I became preoccupied with building up my “ideal Ricky” – my “glittering image”.  [Read more...]


I grew up in a Christian home, the middle child between two highly-gifted siblings.  I always felt that I couldn't measure up, either academically or spiritually.  I felt "less than" – so I set out to prove myself in areas where I felt strong.  I was cheerful by nature and loved to sing, so I worked hard to prove myself musically and please people by being cheerful and happy.  [Read more...]


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.