[pullquote]The 2014 Annual Fundraising Dinner on October 25th was a great evening of amazing food, inspiring and insightful stories as well as worshipful songs with the Travelling Ministry Team.[/pullquote]
Despite the rainy evening, we hosted 350 guests in a beautifully transformed Columbia Place as we explored what it can look like to be called to the city.
As guests arrived they were greeted by students escorting them with umbrella’s from their cars as well as guiding them to their tables once they were inside. Students from our Presidents Leadership Group, Student Council and Student Ambassadors truly exemplified what it is to serve in a Christ-like attitude as they hosted, greeted, assisted and spent the evening with many guests and friends of Columbia – Thanks to these students who were the face of Columbia on Saturday and left the impression of Christ on those who were here.
All our guests and student hosts enjoyed an Italian feast prepared by Gerald Thiessen and Columbia Catering team. Once again a fantastic meal, filling us all to the brim, with just enough room for coffee and cupcakes as we listened to the stories and hearts of those called to the city.
Donna Mayer, Intercultural Studies and Praxis Associate, introduced us to Chloe Parmentier, a 3rd year Intercultural Student doing her internship in the downtown east side of Vancouver. Chloe shared her heart, passion and calling to the people who are down-trodden and often seen as the outcast. Chloe’s first reluctant experience in Vancouver’s eastside was through Columbia’s Urban Missions Dynamics Course(UMD); this is a ministry opportunity and experience that every first year student at Columbia participates in. As the Lord walked with her through that weekend, her eyes and her heart were awoken to God’s heart for those people and that area of the city, and began a heart-passion to walk alongside the people and stories of this are. “It’s a privilege to work in my passion. I am humbled to be living there. Jesus was incarnational, showing his love for each person. Living here – instead of visiting – this is an incarnational experience for me.”
David Warkentin, Praxis Director, and Jesse Zak, Praxis Intern, together shared insight and impact from the inaugural year of the Praxis program at Columbia. “Praxis” literally means ideas and beliefs which are enacted, practiced, and embodied in our everyday lives. For Christians, our “praxis” is the reality that the good news of Jesus is relevant in every situation, in every place, and for every person. Praxis gives students an experience of faith, community, and culture in the city. Jesse shared about how his experiences in New York, the classroom and Vancouver helped him to realize that to integrate Praxis into everyday life beyond Columbia meant opening up to others. Hi heart for the city is all about the people, how God is bringing people together and working to be part of the community that is within the city.
David called each of us to have open eyes and open heart to what God is doing in the city, in our communities. To see our city with new eyes, leading us to greater opportunities to bring new life to the places we live and work. [pullquote]”As we begin to notice the people and places surrounding us, we can take steps to tangibly share the love of God in Christ through word and deed.”[/pullquote]
Nelson Boschman, a CBC alumni, from Artisan Church in Vancouver, shared through video a sense of what God is doing through His church in Vancouver.
Lance Odegard, a CBC alumni, from Artisan Church joined Shar Warkentin and the Columbia Travelling Ministry Team as they lead us in special music and worship. It was an exciting element to have an alumni, who is living out their call to the city, join in leading worship with our students as they are in the early process of seeking where God will call them.
As the evening was drawing to an end, Bryan Born, Columbia’s President, shared the vision and call to partner with CBC in a financial and prayerful way. He shared his heart and passion for students and the call that God has placed on each of us to impact the world around us for His glory and good. We were blessed as God’s people were moved to generously partner with Columbia and donated over $145,000 during the evening!
Thank you for believing in and joining in with what God is doing in and through Columbia Bible College.