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Hard at work in Pincher

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Church becomes community hub

Pincher Creek is a community unlike any other we have encountered in Alberta. My wife Gemma, our children, and I moved to Pincher Creek to start a new church plant in this rural community in partnership with the C2C Network. We launched officially one and a half years ago.

Our ministry really started to take off in a different direction last fall. With the forest fires all around us, we were able to step up and serve our community by becoming the evacuation shelter. Over the winter, we provided shelter from a major snow storm.

The fires were tragic and there are many still recovering, but the experience did bring the community close together.

By opening our facility to love and serve, we have met and grown deeper into relationship with many people.

We have seen many come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, including one man who came into my office as his life was in ruins. The Sunday I spoke difficult truth into issues he struggled with, he sat in my office at the end of the service and gave his life to Jesus.

There was a young man ready to give up on life. He started coming to church, joined a men’s study group, and, weeks later, gave his life to Christ. One year later, he is passionate about Jesus. He shares the good news wherever he can.

What a privilege we have to be a part of God’s incredible work – God’s hands and feet in Pincher Creek, so that people will not only hear about Jesus but see his love in action.

That brings us to our current blessing. The local food bank was going to close. Because of our relationship and reputation in the community, town officials approached us to take over the food bank.

“Why us?” I asked. The response was simple: We know how much your church cares about our community; this partnership with us will enable you to serve Pincher and area on a bigger scale.

So we are now in transition to take over the local food bank. More than 400 families (75 percent Indigenous) come through for help each month.

The exciting part is that because it will be a ministry of Vertical Church, we are free to share Jesus’ story. We have the privilege of serving people not only with food but spiritual nourishment as well.

What is next for us? We are never sure – except we know that we cannot do it alone. We are grateful for the fellowship of MB churches across the country to help us through prayer, finances, and serving alongside.

God is good. We are blessed to have the privilege of serving the King.

[Chris Ney and Gemma Ney are C2C church planters at Vertical Church in Pincher Creek, Alta.

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