Written by: Idelette McVicker
My parents were visiting from South Africa and insisted we go see the Rockies.
But we have Whistler, we said. We already have mountains!
Thankfully, we heeded and that summer we drove through British Columbia and made our way to the Rockies and it was one of those trips of a lifetime.
While driving through BC, I kept pouring over the map—how close we were to Alberta, but also how there would be another eight hours to a city to the north and 17+ hours to the northernmost point in my province. It was on that trip that I got a glimpse of the sheer size of our Canada.
My heart sank.
My spirit sighed: This place is so remote. No wonder we can’t change some of the statistics and stories in our remote locations. My heart ached for our women. I felt paralyzed by the size of our country.
And then came Cathie Ostapchuk’s invitation to GATHER.
We gathered with the women in Vancouver.
We gathered with the women in Edmonton.
We gathered with the women in Montreal.
Women flew in from across the country. Some drove for hours to gather in. Even before the morning in Edmonton started, I stood with a fellow immigrant in the lobby and we were both in tears. We’d found our common ground.
In Montreal, I was literally welcomed at the door by another immigrant friend. We worshiped together in French and ate bagels with peanut butter.
At each of these Gather Events, I was astounded that I actually knew women. I didn't just know these women, some of them were my heart women. Women whose hearts I read and whose words I fall into. One of the girls from a Sunday School class I facilitated in Richmond walked up to me in Montreal and it was like God was so big and so intimate, all at once.
With every gathering, this country has become smaller. With every gathering, my heart for this nation and for the women of Canada has grown.
Every time, I stepped off the flight, I knew I was going to be with my sisters.
There’s something about showing up with women to gather and lean in and hear from the God of Heaven. There’s something about having stars in your eyes for Jesus, as Sarah says, and gathering with the girls who share the same hearts. Women of all ages.
GATHER is a rally cry for the women of Canada to connect, to gather, to rise. We are a sisterhood. We have a unique sound. Our voices matter. We stand strong and free.
From the very first time I skyped into a meeting in Toronto, the women of Canada have begun to come close. We've shared meals and hearts and stories. We've shared worship and tears.
These women bring Canada close for me, because they each have a place in my heart.
Coming together like this is communion.
My heart has grown, my country has shrunk.
GATHER is making Canada small for me.
PS: I honestly can’t wait to be with our sisters in Toronto. There are so many women there I want to hug, laugh with, cry with, sit with, share a meal with. I hope you can join us! (Click here to register)