In this bulletin insert Jonanthan Elgby tells the story of how God worked in and through one member of their rural church. Today, that member is “hitting the goal” in his spiritual life, and he impacts many. We make it available to you as a PDF document.
I first met Paul over 5 years ago when he came to play hockey in our small town of Ear Falls. That year a new Junior “A” team, called the Miners, was started up in our area. I had prayed that there would be a Christian hockey player on the team. God answered my prayer, and did far beyond what I could have imagined. Paul was traded to the Miners a week or so before the start of the season.
I went to a meet & greet for the new team one Sunday afternoon. As I left, the coach’s wife approached me with a player I had not met yet. I wondered if he was a Christian and sure enough he was! We hit it off right away and he wanted to come to the prayer meeting that night at church.
His passion for God really impacted me in the months to come. In the wonderful season we spent together we became so close. I really appreciated his hunger to grow and to be a light to others. We spent many hours together talking about God and meaningful spiritual things.
Hitting the Goal
It amazes me as I reflect on how God used Paul in the year, and how much Paul grew as a man of God. I believe our little Village Missions church and community needed him in that year, and that he needed our church family. One of the biggest impacts we still see today is one of the many people he invited to church in that year. I was overjoyed one Sunday morning when the coach’s wife came to church, after Paul had invited her. It was such a joy to welcome her, and she continued to come ever since. She has invited many other people to come with her to our church.
After the season, Paul did not seem ready to leave Ear Falls. He stayed and worked after all of the other players had left for the summer. That season was his last year of junior eligibility; the next season he played hockey for a University in the States.
We continued to stay in touch and grow in our friendship. He even visited our remote area of Ontario more than once, and we spent a lot of special time together during those visits. It touched me a couple of years ago, when we were talking on the phone and he said: “You are my best friend!”
This last year I had the joy of of performing Paul’s wedding in Buffalo, NY. He found a precious godly girl named Angela, and it has been such a blessing to get to know her in the last year. Their wedding took place on December 28, 2018—one of the most special times in my life! Their focus on God as the center of their lives and marriage blessed me so much. They greatly desired to share the gospel in their ceremony, and that impressed me. Their vows showed a touching heart’s desire to live fully surrendered to God.
The Lord has blessed me beyond what I could have imagined in my friendship with Paul, and I am so excited for what God will do through the rest of Paul and Angela’s lives!
Jonathan & Doralyn Elgby joined Village Missions 9 years ago, and have been serving in Ear Falls ever since. Ear Falls, a remote town in northwestern Ontario, features forestry, mining, & tourist fishing camps. Jonathan & Doralyn have been married for almost 11 years and have been blessed with 6 children: Annika, Michael, Luke, Caleb, Linnaea & Jace.