The End of an Era, but not a Destiny!!

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Wow, what a party!! Thanks to all of you who came, as well as to Annika Pretchuck and the team that put together such a wonderful evening for Jane and myself, celebrating our 20 years with the Redwood Park Church family!! Twenty years is a good chunk of time! And a night like that we just celebrated is so bitter-sweet, so full of tremendous memories and heart-felt emotions!! And above all of that, so many incredible stories about what God has done over these years. Fact is we are not immediately leaving the city, but even so, starting that process of saying “good-bye” is so tough!! Again thanks to those of you who came out and made it such a great night of celebration!! And yeah, thank you for that wonderful gift of a trip to Cancun for the whole Doyle family!! You have always been so generous! We love you all so deeply!!

The past 20 years have been an amazing ride for the entire Doyle family, as we have watched our kids grow up here at the Thunder Bay site, as we have watched a church truly embrace what it means to be an outward focused community who love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength, and from that love for God have really embraced loving their neighbour locally and globally as themselves. Redwood is truly a unique church family with a heart full of love and grace for people who are far from God. Beyond Thunder Bay it’s been our privilege to develop a satellite campus in Barrie and have impact around the world. Incredible when you start to think of all that’s happened. I look back over the years and can only say, “Wow, only God!! Only God could have accomplish what we’ve seen happen here in Thunder Bay, Barrie and beyond through the Redwood Park Church family.” What’s happened at Redwood is unmistakably divine. I’m just so thankful that I got to be a part of what God wanted to do through this church family.

About a year or so ago Brian Houston, from Hillsong Church in Australia made this statement at a pastors’ conference: “The end of an era is not the completion of a destiny.” That statement has been so powerful to me, as Jane and I step out and trust God for what’s next in our lives, and as the Redwood community does the same for their future. Exciting and scary days for all of us. But then that’s all part of “Life, Passion and Adventure!”

So let’s pray for each other, that as one era ends and a new one opens up, that we will truly hear the voice of God and trust him to lead us and make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6). Know that I will be praying that God will continue to advance His kingdom powerfully through the ministry of the Redwood family.

Hey, thanks for all the loving words and stories that you shared with Jane and myself at that party. We treasure them all. But perhaps the most unique words were those that came from our friends John and Joy Cutts in Papua, Indonesia who wrote:

Dear Doug and Jane

Thanks for taking a walk on the wild side! It has been great working with you and your teams who have come alongside our Papuan brothers and sisters and blessed them in so many ways.

I will never forget your first trip and how you wanted me to explain how huge this moose was you were hunting, and this to villagers who’s biggest animal is a wild pig!! In light of that, I am DHL’ing the biggest gourd I can find on the island for the biggest story teller I know with also the biggest heart for Papuans!!

Blessings as you tame some new jungles for God. . . . .

John and Joy Cutts
Village Heartbeat
Sentani, Papua, Indonesia

Do pray for us as we seek God about those new jungles as we move beyond Thunder Bay!! Thunder Bay has been a wonderful city to live in and the Redwood Park family have made and will continue to make Thunder Bay, Barrie, the Papua Highlands and on and on, even sweeter places to live. And again thanks so much for being a part of our lives these past 20 years. To God be the glory great things He has done!! Oh … and I can’t wait to get that gourd from John and add it to my collection!!

And hey, check out the videos below to get a bit of a flavour of our past ministry and the cities and places we served in. The first video is our 2011 Missions trip to Papua, Indonesia and the second video was prepared for Redwood’s 65th anniversary. Enjoy!!…

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