Our Missionary Trip to Saskatchewan

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By Rev. Brenda Stephen

From the onset the information and details for the planned trip to Saskatchewan was well organized. Bishop Pat Johnson was meticulous in providing ongoing communication.  Once I made the commitment to attend it was an electric feeling when I attended the meeting at Jesus Reigns Forever Ministry (Rev. Michael Delos Santos Church) in the presence of the entire team.  It was evident that everyone  was invested and Spiritually focused on the greater good, that is to serve God through physical, professional and Spiritual support as provided by CCM.

Bishop Pat Johnson outlined the details which included the time he would be leaving his home (in the wee hours of the morning) as he was picking up three Pastors from their respective homes. Bishop Johnson informed us of his expected arrival time at Pearson International. That is   5 am on Friday August 3rd, 2018.

Due to the fact that Canadian Christian Ministries was travelling with some technical equipment, gowns and books needed for the Leadership Seminar and Ordination.  The equipment was divided amongst everyone. As a result I took a bigger suitcase only to discover when I picked up Rev. Maria Miran that she was only traveling with a carry on.  God is awesome, at 4 am my husband was able to drive us back to our home; where Rev. Miran and I repacked and we still arrived on time at the airport.  This experience (having to repack) was a first for me (and I have travelled extensively) and will not happen again.

Bishop Johnson, Rev. Delos Santos and Rev. Emmanuel Echidime took care of the checking in.  We had a pleasant trip Praise and thanks to God.

We were all excited on arrival and to our surprise Rev. Romeo Cusay not only greeted us at the airport but came equipped to transport us all.  After introductions, Bishop Johnson sitting at the front of the van ceased the opportunity to discuss pertinent aspects of Spiritual business with Rev. Romeo Cusay.

Other conversations covered by Rev. Romeo Cusay included some of his history relocating from Alberta to Saskatchewan.  The inception of his Church, identifying landmarks for us as he drove, as well as answering numerous questions.

Rev. Romeo Cusay ran an errand at Long and McQuade.  The next stop was at the hotel where we stored our luggage.  We then drove to the Mennonite Church where Rev. Romeo Cusay’s church Jesus Ambassadors Mission Ministries is located.  We received a warm welcome from his immediate, and church family.  We had a tour of the church. This location is a lovely building that houses a library, kitchen and spacious eating lounge.  The outside of the building housed a vibrant kitchen garden.

Due to the fact that we were experiencing a beautiful, hot Prairie summer day it was great to spend some time enjoying the garden; before engaging in a meeting that served to address the timetable for the Leadership Seminar and the Ordination. The atmosphere,   communication and exchange between all parties present was filled with peace, order and more importantly the Holy Spirit.

Following the meeting Rev. Romeo Cusay took us to lunch at a restaurant. The meal, company and conversations were informative and uplifting.

We parted company with Rev. Romeo Cusay back at the hotel.  As surprising as it was to me Rev. Vena Smith wanted to go to Giant Tiger.  As a team we all entered the establishment and exited with purchases.  This was also an opportunity to communicate with two locals about CCM.  On returning to the hotel we got settled into our rooms.

Before walking over to the local mall where we not only had supper, but enjoyed each other’s company and that of a stranger who had only been residing in Saskatchewan for less than a month.  He had immigrated from China and Pastor Maria Miran exchanged a few sentences in Cantonese as she had previously resided in China.

I have never dinned in a mall, added to which, we closed the mall.  We had invited the above mentioned individual to the Services on the following day, and he attended as scheduled.

It was amazing, that despite us all having had an extensively long and demanding day coupled with the time difference; every-one was charged with positive energy.  Although the men offered, we the ladies relieved them of the ironing of the graduation gowns. Hence, we had to remind ourselves that we needed to retire for the night when in fact it was morning in  Saskatchewan.

On Saturday morning Rev.  Emmanuel Echidime telephoned before 7:30 am.  On answering the phone I was informed that they (the men) were on their way down to breakfast. I informed Rev. Echidime that we (the three ladies) would join them shortly. It was not short, on arrival our counterparts had completed their meal.  Nevertheless, they remained at the table and conversed with us as we consumed our breakfast.

Another dry hot summer day as we traveled in two taxis to Jesus Ambassadors Mission Ministries.  This environment was the hub of activity as they finalized technical equipment, re-arranged seating, and the buzz of activity in the kitchen.  Needless, to say the Prayer worship team, the Anniversary Service, The Launching of CCM in Saskatchewan and the Ordination Service were all addressed with professional ease.  All CCM members worked as a unified and cohesive team. Bishop Pat Johnson as CCM General Overseer who was also the  Guest speaker complemented the Spiritual richness of the occasion.

The above was followed by a delicious lunch that was prepared by Rev. Romeo Cusay’s wife, (Rev. Cusay) and her Church Family.  A warm, hospitable and Spirit filled day.

We returned to the hotel and a short period of time later;  we regrouped to discuss location choices for dinner. We voiced different site locations, but in the end, we all eat at the same location, that was  within walking distance from the hotel.  On our return walk the temperature had dipped, although welcomed from the hot dry days, we were glad to get indoors. 

Bishop Pat Johnson kept us all on schedule regarding time frames, expectations and presentations. We all exchanged Pastoral experiences, ministry visions, and challenges to list a few topics.  Having traveled together for the first time, we functioned in one accord on all matters. Conversations were serious, informative, jovial and enlightening.

We (the ladies) spent the evening organizing for Sunday, as the day included attending the Service at Jesus Ambassadors Mission Ministries and being prepared for our departure following the said event.

By Sunday morning it felt as though I had been in Saskatchewan a long time and on the other hand, I had just arrived.  Praise and thanks to God another glorious day. We succeed in arriving for breakfast together. I  had never stayed at the Best Western before and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of service; which added to the enjoyment of our trip.

Following the Service on Sunday.  Rev. Michael Delos Santos raised and addressed challenging internal issues facing Jesus Ambassadors Mission Ministries.  Rev. M. Delos Santos was candid and caring in his suggestions for change.  In addition, he made a heart-felt plea for everyone present to extend monetary support.  Which we did, ironically Bishop Johnston found he still had cash on his person as we were being transported to the airport.  He proceeded to put those funds in an envelope, which served to remind me that I also had some funds, that was also added to the envelope and left in the glove compartment of Rev. Romeo Cusay’s van. 

We were treated to an extensive Pizza lunch at Jesus Ambassadors Mission Ministries.  We said our good byes. It was such an unexpected and hospitable surprise when Rev. Romeo Cusay‘s family and several church members formed a convoy that accompanied us all to the airport.  Despite the fact that parking was an issue, (as the airport was undergoing restructuring) everyone present was so happy and at peace. 

Rev. Romeo Cusay had also gifted us all with bottles of Saskatoon berry jam. Which later caused some concern at the airport.  When asked by customs if I had anything fragile?  Oops! The jam was in my carry on. Rev. Delos Santos and Echidime accompanied the customs Officers so that our jam could be transported in the suitcases.

From start to finish every aspect of this trip was memorable. Again a heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Bishop Johnson for organizing all the necessary details prior to and during the entire trip. 


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