Building a Mission

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When I first called Pastor Normand Doucette to ask about his recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic, he had to put the phone down to clean his hands. He was in the process of building cupboard doors for one of his parishioners.

“Is this a common thing you do?” I asked.

“Yes, it’s one of the ways I serve.”

 

Another way he serves is with his gift of evangelism. This particular gift changed his involvement in church.  He went from someone who occasionally attended, to a lay leader, to a commissioned minister at Mountainview Free Methodist Church in Clarenceville, Quebec.  He has been pastor there for 10 years now.

Pastor Normand freely shares his story of coming out of drug addiction years ago through the healing power of Jesus. This was the impetus for the recent trip he took with his Men’s Group to the Dominican Republic, the second time they’ve been.

Pastor Normand Team in Truck
Mountainview FMC Men’s Team in their mode of transportation in the Dominican Republic from left to right: Richard Mantha, Pastor Normand Doucette, Richard Miclette, Paul Giguere, and Carl Gibson (Lloyd Peterson behind the camera)

Pastor Normand’s Men’s Group had been meeting once a week for a few years. After a while they felt that God was calling the men together to do more than to minister to each other. They put an appeal out to the denomination to find out if there were any mission projects they could help out with. They heard about the need in a Free Methodist church in the Dominican Republic through Barb and Lloyd Peterson (who currently serve at New Horizons Community Church of Sarnia). The men went for the first time in 2010 to do some fact-finding and to use their abilities as labourers to minister to the church in the Dominican Republic, which was in need of repairs.

The 2012 trip was all about evangelism. While the men did some street evangelism, their main focus was ministering at a local prison and a drug rehab centre, to which the local church had ties. God put this group of men from Quebec together, most with a history of drugs and alcohol (some of whom had spent time in jail) in order to share the hope of Jesus.

The team visited the prison and rehab centre and simply preached the message of Jesus’ saving grace. Pastor Normand reflected that the only difference between the men in prison and himself was that he hadn’t got caught. He asked the prisoners if they wanted “to be set free from the prisons of your heart.” The message resonated and over 90 men received Jesus.

Pastor Normand DR - edits
Men at the prison responding to Pastor Normand’s invitation to accept Jesus.

Men at the drug rehab centre got the chance to ask Pastor Normand about his previous drug addiction, asking “What motivated you to stop drugs?” Pastor Normand challenged them that they all had different reasons to quit, be it family, health or some other reason… but what was the reason they started? “That’s the key for understanding. We are trying to cover up pain in our lives. Something is missing, but the only one who can heal that pain is Christ.”

The trip has been over for two months. Although they hope to go again in the future (a women’s trip is also being planned), Pastor Normand has noticed a difference in his own congregation. They have a new perspective about the blessings they have, but they are also starting to see their own neighbourhood as a mission field. Previously, it was up to the pastor to do all the evangelism.

They recently got the chance to minister to disaster relief workers during the flooding of Richelieu Valley. They partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and hosted disaster relief workers at their church.

At the end of our conversation, before returning to his wood-working project, Pastor Normand acknowledged the needs in his community and that this is not just a once-in-a-while project, but an ongoing vision to reach out to their neighbours. “We need to reach the lost in our own backyard.”


Read more about the Vision Statement of the Mountainview FMC’s Men’s Group and visit their photo gallery for more pictures from their trip.

If you have a story of local ministry endeavours, we want to hear from you! Feel free to e-mail Loreli directly.

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When I first called Pastor Normand Doucette to ask about his recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic, he had to put the phone down to clean his hands. He was in the process of building cupboard doors for one of his parishioners.

“Is that a common thing you do?” I asked.

“Yes, it’s one of the ways I serve.”

Another way he serves is with his gift of evangelism. This particular gift took him from someone who occasionally attended church, to a lay leader, to an ordained minister at Mountainview Free Methodist Church in Clarenceville, Quebec.  He has been pastor there for 10 years now.

Pastor Normand freely shares his story of coming out of drug addiction years ago through the healing power of Jesus. This was the impetus for the recent trip he took with his Men’s Group to the Dominican Republic, the second time they’ve been. 


 

Pastor Normand’s Men’s Group had been meeting once a week in each other’s homes for a few years. After a while they felt that God was calling the men together to do more than to minister to each other. They put an appeal out to the denomination to find out if there were any mission projects they could help out with. They heard about the need in a Free Methodist church in the Dominican Republic through Barb and Lloyd Peterson (who currently serve at New Horizons Community Church of Sarnia). The men went for the first time in 2010 to do some fact-finding and to use their abilities as labourers to minister to the church in the Dominican Republic, which was in need of repairs.

The 2012 trip was all about evangelism. While the men did some street evangelism, their main focus was ministering at a local prison and a drug rehab centre, to which the local church had ties. God put this group of men from Quebec together, most with a history of drugs and alcohol (some of whom had spent time in jail) in order to share the hope of Jesus.

The team visited the prison and rehab centre and simply preached the message of Jesus’ saving grace. Pastor Normand reflected that the only difference between the men in prison and himself was that he hadn’t got caught. He asked the prisoners if they wanted “to be set free from the prisons of your heart.” The message resonated and over 90 men received Jesus.

Description: Pastor Normand DR - edits

Men at the drug rehab centre got the chance to ask Pastor Normand about his previous drug addiction, asking “What motivated you to stop drugs?” Pastor Normand challenged them that they all had different reasons to quit, be it family, health or some other reason… but what was the reason they started? “That’s the key for understanding. We are trying to cover up pain in our lives. Something is missing, but the only one who can heal that pain is Christ.”

The trip has been over for two months. Although they hope to go again in the future (in fact a women’s trip is being planned), Pastor Normand has noticed a difference in his own congregation. They have a new perspective about the blessings they have, but they are also starting to see their own neighbourhood as a mission field. Previously, it was up to the pastor to do all the evangelism.

They recently got the chance to minister to disaster relief workers during the flooding of Richelieu Valley. They partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and hosted disaster relief workers at their church.

At the end of our conversation, before returning to his wood-working project, Pastor Normand acknowledged the needs in his community and revealed that thinking missionally is an ongoing thing. “We need to reach the lost in our own backyard.”

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