O u r   S t o r y

Why Edmonton?

In a short answer: God. In January of 2010, I (Pete) was reading my Bible and praying in my living room. I was reading "Charisma vs. Charismania" by Pastor Chuck Smith. In that book, Pastor Chuck writes about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Part of that work is the Holy Spirit's leading and guiding. After reading that, I immediately began to pray:
"Lord, I will go wherever and do whatever you want me to do." 
The moment that followed is very hard to explain or put into words, but I believe it was the closest thing I will ever hear to an audible voice from God: "You're going to Canada." I sat for a few moments in awe of what just happened, then I began to think, "Where in Canada am I going?" Every morning for three weeks, I would sit at my computer with Google maps open to Canada and pray:
"Lord, where do You want me to go?"

A Heavy Burden:

For the three weeks that followed it felt like the city of Edmonton was staring straight at me. I knew nothing about the city except for the Oilers hockey team. I ventured to guess it was probably a cold place. Each morning Edmonton would stare at me from Google maps and the voice of God began to speak to me, calling our family to this city to plant a church. As weeks went by, the Winter Olympics started in, you guessed it, Canada. I remember sitting on my couch watching the Olympics by myself. Right before the commercial break, the camera would pan to show the city and Canadians walking about the streets. My heart began to ache. What was that? Right before the next commercial break the same thing would happen again: they showed Canadians, but this time I began to cry. What was going on?  The best way I can explain what was happening in my spirit is found in Nehemiah 1, when he had heard that Jerusalem lay in ruins:

Nehemiah 1:4
"So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven."

Waiting on the Lord:

The Lord began to burden my heart and the heart of my wife as well. We then asked the Lord, "When do you want us to go?" We both heard from the Lord in our devotions that the Lord wanted us to stay and serve for at our church in Florida, Calvary Chapel Brandon to see the current students to the end of high school. For five years we were burdened and we continued to pray for vision. We visited Edmonton and recognized that our burden for the city was genuine. We also experienced the peace of God that surpassed all understanding, knowing God was calling us to plant a church in Edmonton. When five years passed, I prayed a simple prayer before making our announcement to the church: "Lord is it time to go?" I got my answer that morning in my devotions:
"Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”  - 1 Chronicles 28:10

Not by might, nor by power.

This is the heart behind Citizens Church:
-To preach Jesus Christ, Him crucified by the power of the Holy Spirit
-To see lost souls saved and lives transformed  
-To long for and eagerly await His appearing
God called us here. We prayed. We counted the cost. For nearly a decade, Citizens Church was born, not our of our power.
"It's not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord." 
The apostle Paul modeled and planted Corinth similarly:

1 Corinthians 2:1-4
"And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

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