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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Surreal Moments-First Night of Alpha

Ten years ago my sister asked me if I was interested in taking a course called 'Alpha'.  I had heard of the course because she and her husband had both been through it, and they didn't come out the other side the same way they went in.

Quite honestly, at the time I found it scary.  What happened during this course that was so powerful it turned my 'spiritualism of the month club' brother in law into a bible reading, Jesus loving, cross wearing Christian? Did they brainwash you?

Sharing my story in Portuguese for the first time.
I was also at a point in my life that I was wondering if there was more to life than what I could see around me.  I had just finished living my life dream of working with primates in Africa but now I was back in Canada and wondering what the point was?  Where was my life going?

I decided to take the course.  Curiosity got the better of me.

To say it was life-changing would be an understatement.  My whole view of the world, of things beyond what I could see and touch changed.  I have since been involved in the Alpha course at my home church, Cambridge Vineyard for several years and I'm always amazed at the outcome.  I've seen people physically healed, brought to tears and making a complete 180 degree turn in their beliefs. Yes, some come and go with little difference, it's not a formula and no, it's not brainwashing, but if you go in with a willing and open heart to see and hear things from a different perspective I doubt you will come out unchanged.

"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." Rev 3:20

As I sat in the back of the church while our participants watched the translated Alpha videos, I had a flashback of my first night at Alpha.  Ten years later and thousands of miles from home I'm now introducing my new Brazilian friends to the the Alpha course in another language.  If someone had told me that on that first night this is how things would unfold I would never have believed them.

We are so excited to be able to start this here.  Our church is at a point where we are beginning to see more adults attending, people who are seeking and looking for God in their lives, their hearts are open, the timing is right.  We are hoping to train leaders in the this group for the next Alpha.

Who knows what God will do during this time, and what this will look like ten years from now, maybe there will be missionaries in the midst of this group, traveling to other places to bring the amazing news that there is a very real world beyond this one, where a God who loves us has a huge and exciting plan for our lives, we need only to open the door and let Him in.

For more information about the Alpha course you can go to www.alpha.org and find out where there is an Alpha course in your area.  If you live in the Cambridge area, The Cambridge Vineyard (www.cambridgevineyard.org) also runs the Alpha course twice a year, in the spring and fall.  You can contact them for start dates.

Ready to go!

Luke and Faith played waiter and waitress and served the food.


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