Do you need a little inspiration during this Christmas season? Has the pandemic and all its restrictions on your daily life gotten you feeling a little down? Well then, you need to meet difference maker Joan van der Linde, a Prov graduate with a BA in Christian Ministries (1986).
Joan has a heart that pursues God! She told us that she asks Jesus every morning what He has for her, and she listens. Some of the seeds He planted in her are featured here.
One idea was to start a ministry to the elderly in Morris, MB. After leaving her position as Worship Pastor at The Open Door Church, Joan felt God giving her an idea and started the ministry called Finishing Well. Her mission “is to serve the seniors of the Red River Valley by offering an abundance of friendship, love, inspiration, connection, encouragement and pastoral care.”
COVID-19 has definitely affected the work in this area, but God continues to prompt and grow ideas as she seeks Him. Another of God’s creative ideas came to her on March 23, 2020 as the pandemic hit Canada.
“I sensed a whisper in my heart to bake bread for people,” explained Joan in an interview with CHVN. “The rest of that Sunday I felt like I had a download from God about this project – how I was going to do it and what to name it.” (She calls her ministry the Bread Basket.)
Joan bakes two to four loaves of bread every day. She will either leave a loaf at the corner of her driveway in a place marked ‘free bread,’ or she delivers it to a recipient she believes God wants her to bless. She explains that it feels ‘addictive’ as the smiles on people’s faces give her so much joy.
Another idea she got recently was to play Christmas carols on her back porch. The idea was to play one evening for 30-minutes to encourage her neighbors. She also recorded it on Facebook Live and the impact was overwhelming! At the time of this writing, it has had 11K views and counting. Since the response was so encouraging, she decided to continue her carol sing for another week. Her wonderful spirit and joy-giving personality is an amazing gift.
You can read the CHVN story on Joan van der Linde here.