Mission’s Trip Report
June 13-14, 2017
Some months ago I became aware of several chaplains at 16 Wing Borden who had engaged with local churches to provide a contemporary Christ-centered praise and worship experience to the military community whom they serve. Several members of the Ottawa MCF traveled to Borden to witness and participate in what God was doing there. Their report was exciting.
This past week I travel to Borden along with some of the Ottawa MCF members who first visited the base to witness and participate in the new work. The focus of effort is a monthly event that has been entitled “Love Borden,” which occurs on a Wednesday evening. The service began at 7:00 pm with Padre Darren Miller providing an explanation of the intent of the evening; that being to experience, through scripture reading, teaching, singing and prayer an encounter with the Living God. Though, many church leaders make similar claims and promises, Padre Miller’s introductory remarks were accompanied by a tangible air of hope and expectation that the Spirit would meet with those gathered. We were lead in songs of praise by a worship leader from one of the local churches, and though initially I sought to restrain my voice, I was compelled to worship wholeheartedly. I was moved by the revelation that the Living God was present and I desired to adore Him. After a time of song, Darren shared with us his testimony of his experiences with God though Bible study, prayer and worship; then he presented his understanding of several passages of scripture that explained to those listening that they too could have a personal relationship with the Living God. The gist of Darren’s message was an invitation.
Padre Dave Fowler next discussed the peace that he has found in Jesus, providing evidence of the calming effect that communion with God can have on a person and then led those present in the Lord’s Table. Concurrently, Darren and his wife Sally prayed with people individually and anointed them with oil. I partook of the elements and then went to Darren and Sally to have them pray for me. I then returned to my place and joined with the worship leader as he provided us an opportunity to again express our adoration of Jesus. It was then that I experienced the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit and I was filled with gratitude for God. So filled with adoration, I began to cry uncontrollably. I will tell you that I am not a man who does such things as a matter of practice, and in fact, I have not experienced God as intensely since 1997. God was with us. We sang a few more songs, and then Darren pronounced a blessing on us and then dismissed us.
I listened to and spoke with several people after the service had concluded and found that the experience of God that I had encountered that evening was not unique, but was wide spread.
What is happening in Borden? From what I have learned, I can tell you that two chaplains, Darren and Dave, operating under the oversight of their leadership, have been earnestly and persistently praying for God to move in Borden. They have engaged with local churches to obtain their endorsement and participation, to which several have responded. And, they have started a monthly praise and worship service. People are coming, Christ and his message of hope is being proclaimed and lives are being changed. Though these are still early days, the impression I was left with was that of a beach-head having been established from which by the grace of God and the collaborative work of chaplains and local churches were generating a fresh experience of Jesus within the military community.
After folks had left I asked Darren and Dave what could the MCF do to support them, and they were quick to respond. They have asked for prayer. Specifically, they seek prayer for:
Wisdom and strength for the work that needs to be done;
Increased unity among the key stakeholders of the monthly event called “Love Borden;” and
Increased influence among the members of the military community who need Christ and the life-changing message that He brings.
I am humbled by the love that Darren, Dave and Sally and participating local churches have for the members of the military community at Borden and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a witness and beneficiary of the move of God occurring there. Please pray as they have requested and please consider how you may either support this new initiative in Borden or how you may be able to follow their example and do likewise in your local area.