BCS challenged to love the lost at 2819

Posted: October 5, 2009

Reporting by Kenedy Oginga, current student

Photos by Viktor Karklins

Charles Price, Senior Pastor,
The Peoples Church, Toronto.
Drs. Charles Price (The Peoples Church, Toronto) and Jean Barsness addressed crowds of about 400 at Briercrest College and Seminary's 2819 this weekend about our call to care for the lost.

Barsness opened the weekend Friday morning with a devotional, which was followed by Price’s first plenary address. He used stories from the book of Matthew to emphasize the importance of vision (seeing people), compassion (loving them), and intercession (speaking on their behalf) in the process of disciple-making.

He also emphasized that we’re working with God, not for God—that he has a purpose precisely where he has put us.

A concert of prayer led by two current BCS students, Bree and Benj Gillen, followed Price’s address.

“It was an awesome moment seeing BCS students pouring their hearts out and faithfully praying for the nations of the world,” said Ken Oginga, Briercrest College and Seminary’s student government’s missions coordinator. “The presence of God could literally be felt floating in the atmosphere.”

That evening, Price addressed the conference a second time, talking about the people God uses to reach the lost. He pointed to the imperfections of the 12 apostles, saying that God needs “not our ability, but our availability.”

Saturday morning Price spoke for the final time, challenging attendees to obey the command of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19).

Geoff Moore performs at 2819 October 3.
Attendees were given inspiration through several reports of local missions trips to China, Africa, Mongolia, and Ethiopia. Jean Barsness encouraged people to “Think Lost,” and Geoff Moore shared some personal lessons from the music industry. Moore also performed a concert that evening, sharing his experiences with Compassion Canada.

Barsness brought the conference to a close Sunday morning, encouraging attendees to yield and rejoice God’s plans for them—no matter what.

She shared the story of her husband’s kidnapping and murder in Panama many years ago, saying, “All of a sudden, I began to see for the first time—ever in my life—that heavenly mathematics were so different from earthly mathematics or arithmetic. Because I began to see that day that God was subtracting from my life. As I went back to our apartment and took my children, who were 8 and 10 at that time, and told them that their Daddy was now in heaven, I began to process this whole thing about followership. The whole thing about Lordship—what it means for obedience. I had decided to follow, but it didn’t turn out the way I thought it might.”

Dr. Jean Barsness.
She said that as she pondered everything amidst her tears, the Lord brought to her mind Psalm 103:1: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, bless his holy name.”

“God’s mathematics are different,” she said. “God blesses even when he subtracts.”