VANCOUVER (BP) -- Billed as North America's most diversity-dense city, Vancouver, British Columbia, boasts 200 language groups among its population of 2.3 million. Naturally, this Canadian region, which includes nearby Vancouver Island, has become a strategic city for the North American Mission Board's Send North America church planting initiative.
In the shadow of this towering urban melting pot, across the Strait of Georgia, sits the picturesque seaside town of Sidney, a year-round tourist destination known for its fishing and natural scenery.
"Most people here are enamored by the natural beauty of creation but reject the Creator. We are working hard to help people connect the Creator with His creation," says NAMB church planter Matthew Bond.
Less than 2 percent of Vancouver Island claimed Christianity on a 2011 census, and 40 percent claimed "no religion."
Bond and his wife Heather and their two teenage sons Ethan and Joseph landed in Sidney in 2012 to plant Ekklesia Church. In less than a year, they established a thriving congregation and have branched out to planting additional churches across the island, which claims a population of 770,000.
"We have wonderful conversations beginning with God," Bond, an alumnus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, says, "but when the conversation turns to Jesus the people become defensive and turn away. We are definitely not in the Bible Belt anymore! Read More