Feb. 3: Rob & Debbie Hoffman, Gold River, BC
Gold River is an isolated community of about 1200 people on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Set in the midst of a mountainous rain forest, our annual rainfall is anywhere from 100″ to 150.” Such a wet climate makes an ideal environment for growing trees, and therefore forest-related industries are the main employers for all of Vancouver Island – which, by the way, is the longest island in North America. In addition to trees, the area abounds with lakes, rivers, caves, glaciers, black bear, deer, elk, and the densest population of cougar anywhere in the world! Gold River also has a dense population of unchurched people. Most are indifferent to the Gospel rather than antagonistic, so our attempts at outreach are generally pretty well received, or at least tolerated. I (Rob) am called on by the community at large to do most of the weddings and funerals, and I’m invited to speak at special functions at the schools. And as Chaplain for the Legion, I get many opportunities to publicly present the Gospel. Good rapport on our First Nations Reserve and my oversight of the local food bank afford even more contacts with those outside the church. Our church is small but pretty solid spiritually and growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, we’re lacking in younger people and would love to see more young families join our fellowship. In the 28 years that we have served Gold River through Village Missions, we’ve seen many changes in both the church and the community, some good and some not so much. But one thing hasn’t changed, and that is the need to “preach the Word and love the people.” May our great God help us to do so!