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Grace & Hope Award

Grace & Hope Award 2024

We sincerely congratulate Dryden Full Gospel Church and their Pastors: Nik & Sarah Amodeo and Brian & Jordan Callewaert in Dryden, Ontario as the recipients of ACOP’s Grace & Hope Award for 2024!

The leadership at Dryden Full Gospel Church saw the need to engage in disciple-making and outreach in the city where God planted them. Jeremiah calls us to ‘seek the well-being’ or shalom of the city. In 2020, the church changed its vision to be a ‘loving presence for the good of the city.’

Since then the church family at Dryden Full Gospel has been learning what it means to live this out. Pastor Brian Callewaert (youth and children’s pastor) has consistently championed this biblical cause: challenging them to extend compassion to the needy and homeless, the youth and young adults in Dryden.

God was calling Dryden Full Gospel Church to extend grace and hope beyond the church walls and into the community.

A few years ago, the church had the opportunity to partner with a local organization to tackle the growing homelessness and poverty issues in northwestern Ontario. While the initial project did not materialize
as hoped, Pastor Brian continued to prayerfully work alongside the organizations in the area toward caring for the poor and alleviating poverty. He helped to spearhead and currently chairs a new inter-church charitable organization that partners with local service boards and organizations to address the homelessness crisis in Dryden.

And closer to home, instead of running a youth group focused on isolating teens from the world, Pastor Brian has cultivated a youth ministry culture where teens feel safe to invite their non-Christian friends and experience the grace and hope of Jesus. The youth group has blossomed under his leadership!

For the last year, Pastor Brian was able to make missional connections and build relationships in the high school, which has now opened the doors for him to host a weekly disciple-making outreach. The group has been a real extension of grace and hope to youth and young adults who would never set foot in a traditional church building.

In partnership with Eston College and Deeper Life Ministries this last fall they hosted their first annual regional youth conference. This is the first and only youth conference of its kind in a 350 km radius! The weekend saw youth transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Jordan Callewaert (Pastor Brian’s wife) has worked tirelessly in heading up the Helps Ministry—an extension of compassionate care to hurting and needy families in the church and beyond. Her work has involved organizing meals and pastoral care for individuals who have gone through surgery, are grieving the loss of a loved one or some other tragedy, or are welcoming a newborn baby into their family!

Alongside all of this, Pastor Brian and Jordan head up a monthly Soup and Buns Lunch: a free fellowship meal where all can stay, eat together, pray together, and clean up together. The result has been a renewed sense of community and belonging as the church continues to welcome new families and new nationalities.

The youth and unreached teens are experiencing God’s grace and hope through tangible outreach and disciple-making; the poor and homeless are experiencing compassion and care through community BBQs and the ongoing logistics and work involved in establishing a new Christ-centred charity; our Christian children and families are experiencing Christ through new ministry opportunities.

While it can be easy for a church to look inward and do well at relationship and fellowship, the need to revitalize efforts to reach the lost and hurting—to be a loving presence for the good of the city is happening in Dryden!

Testimonies

From parents of youth:

“You have invested and been a part of our kids lives, you have spoken into their hearts, you have loved them with everything you have, you are a part of their stories and have played an incredible eternal significant role in their lives. You have allowed yourself to be used by God to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank-you, Thank-you so much, words cannot express what that means to [my wife] and me, you have been and are an answer to our prayers for our kids.”

Testimony from a non-church, unsaved family who experienced a house fire and received care through our Helps ministry, headed up by Jordan Callewaert:

“Thank you all for the support during this difficult time: meals, clothing, financial, emotional and spiritual support. It is so appreciated.”

Youth Testimony:

“From going to youth events, to talking with the youth leaders, to learning from fellow youth, I have gained a lot from the youth group over the last year. I have become better at ALL of the fruits of the Spirit. I have also learned the answers to many of the deeper questions around being a Christian. Lastly, I have been moving Jesus more and more to being the absolute centre of my life, and I have become much more committed to follow and serving him with my life.”

God’s grace and hope are being extended and ignited to the people of Dryden! Congratulations Dryden Full Gospel Church!

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