"A little more patience..." It may be that this is the encouragement everyone needs to hear today.  People all over the world are facing one of the most difficult pandemics in history.  We need to be patient.....to wait for the vaccine to take effect, the pandemic to subside, the variants of the virus to be controlled, everyone to be vaccinated, the infected patients to recover, etc.  All of the above requires a little more patience.  

         This is the same for the family: everyone in a family needs a little more patience.  In this pandemic, social activities have been reduced, or totally eliminated.  The family stays at home most of the time - even to work, or take classes.  This is a great challenge for many families.  Recent statistics indicate that over the past year, 60% of Canadians have experienced mental health issues related to the impact of the coronavirus e.g. social isolation, economic instability, uncertainty of future, etc.  Two-thirds of them did not seek help.  As a result, domestic violence and many emotional problems have occurred in some families.  All of the above requires a little more patience from family and family members.  

         Similarly, for the church and our brothers and sisters, a little more patience is needed.  We have missed more than a year of in-person worship, fellowship and small group gatherings, and so on.  Visitations and caring activities can only be done online, not in person.  Funerals and weddings allow only limited attendance.   We have no choice, but to accept all these restrictions which we have never experienced before.   All this requires a little more patience from each brother and sister in our BAC family.  

         We need to be patient, nevertheless, we are full of gratitude.  This is because BAC's ministries have not stopped.  In spite of the restrictions caused by the pandemic, worship services, fellowship and small group gatherings have continued in alternative ways. Facing all these sudden changes, God raised up gifted brothers and sisters and the pastoral team, to start online worships together, and care for brothers and sisters in different ways.  We are still moving towards the vision and mission, and the direction that BAC has set before.  Even under the restrictions of the pandemic, the Mandarin ministry in Langley has stabilized and transferred to become part of the Mountainview Alliance Church family.  The Annex rebuild project is also progressing smoothly with a construction firm being appointed.  Construction work will start once the building permit is issued.  The direction of discipleship is clear and firm.  Training and promotions are undergoing.  All these are laying an important foundation to prepare brothers and sisters to receive and participate in the Tri-city church-planting project in the coming year.  When the church family is united in loving God and one another, God’s work will never be impacted or delayed no matter in good times or bad times.

          “多一點的忍耐...”,可能是今天大家都需要互相鼓勵的說話。這句說話今天在整個世界中,都是用得著的。全世界的人正面對著有史以來最難對付的疫情。我們需要忍耐...。忍耐等待著疫苗的生效,疫情的減退,病毒的變種得著控制,人人可以有機會接種疫苗,受感染的病者能得到康復...等等。以上一切,都需要多一點的忍耐。 對家庭和家人來說,亦需多一點的忍。在疫情中,減少了、甚至是失去了過去的社交活動。家人大部份時間都要留在家中,甚至要留在家中工作。

          這對很多家庭來說,是一種極大的挑戰。最近的統計指出,在過去一年,因著新冠病毒的影響,社交隔離,社會經濟不穩定,未來境況的不確定等等,令至百份之六十的加拿大人,產生了精神健康的問題,而當中有三分二的人,在這個困擾中,沒有尋求幫助。以致在一些的家庭中,產生家暴和不少情緒的問題。以上一切,對每一個家庭和家人來說,都需要多一點的忍耐。

          同樣,對教會和弟兄姊妹來說,亦需要多一點的忍耐。大家失去一年多的實體敬拜,團契小組生活等等。而互相探望及關懷亦不能實體進行,大家只能在電話或網上進行。喜事、喪事亦只能夠在有限度的人數中進行。很多在過去未曾經歷過的限制,在過去一年中,大家都無奈地要面對及接受。以上一切,對本宣家的每一位弟兄姊妹來說,都需要多一點的忍耐。

          然而,在以上一切所需要的忍耐之中,我們卻是滿有感恩。因為教會的事工, 並未停頓或減少過。在疫情導致很多的限制下,崇拜或團契小組等,亦繼續進行,只是用了另類形式進行。在急切的突變之下,神興起不同恩賜的同工及弟兄姊妹,一同起來建立網上的敬拜,用不同方式去關顧弟兄姊妹,本宣家過去所定立的異象方向,亦未停頓過。在疫情的限制中,蘭里市國語事工已告穩定和轉交山景西人宣道會。附堂重建亦順利進行,已經安排及聘請主要的建築公司,現正等待市政府批出建築許可證,便可以開始重建工程。門徒訓練的方向亦已明確,同工們正在訓練及推動之中。這個重要根基,是要預備弟兄姊妹,在來年領受及參予三聯市植堂的計劃。環境的順逆,從來不能影響及拖延神的工作,因為本宣家充滿著同心合一、忠心愛主愛人的弟兄姊妹。