ONE OF THE MOST DIVERSE NEIGHBORHOODS IN ALL OF CANADA
We are so thankful for the partnerships God has allowed us to have through churches in the SBCV…Thank you for the continual reminders that we are Not Alone!”
Second only to Paris as a primarily French-speaking city, Montreal’s metropolitan area is home to more than 4 million people. English is widely spoken there too and so are other languages that represent the area’s diverse cultural backgrounds. Christianity has almost disappeared in this part of the world, with only 0.7 percent of the population identifying as evangelical. In fact, the Quebecois—natives and residents of this province—are the least-reached people group in North America.
In 2014, God began redirecting Ben and Alyssa Fleet’s heart for ministry, and they quickly felt burdened for church planting in North America. As they began seeking where God might be leading them, statistics pointed them to Montreal, Quebec. After praying and researching, they saw the need for Bible-based churches there. Their one constant prayer throughout this time was Peter’s prayer in Matthew 14:28 (ESV), “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” They simply wanted to follow Jesus wherever He called them. In October of 2014, they were able to clearly see what Jesus was leading them to do for Him.
The Fleets moved to Montreal to begin the work of plowing in preparation to plant a church. Their first year was spent working with Renaissance Church. During that time, they continued to seek God’s direction to reach the 99.3% of the population who have no relationship with Christ.
In June of 2017, the Fleets moved to the Cote-des-Neiges borough of Montreal, where they have been focusing on planting Voyage Church: Montreal in a neighborhood known as The Triangle. Just 10 years ago, the population of The Triangle was about 2,000 people, but due to a massive influx of high-rise apartment complexes, it will soon swell to nearly 10,000. Through this explosive growth, The Triangle has become one of the most diverse neighborhoods in all of Canada.
Ben shares, “A recent survey found that 85% of the people who use our metro stop to commute to work were born in another country outside of Canada! So while we are surrounded by a French-Canadian province, due to the makeup of our community we are preparing to launch an English-speaking church in this extremely multi-ethnic community.”
Ben and Alyssa have spent the last year building roots in the area, and God has provided opportunities for outreach. “I spent this past year volunteering as a school tutor at our local community center,” says Ben, “and as a result, was asked to serve on the Board of Directors at the center for this next year. We believe that God intends to use this opportunity as a way to further build relationships with our neighbors, serve the needs, and ultimately share the Good News of Jesus with them.”
At night, many low-income, immigrant neighbors will bring their families to the local park to allow their houses to cool down. “This summer,” says Ben, “we took advantage of that time by hosting free BBQs [at the park] in partnership with mission teams from SBCV churches. As a result, we have connected with many unbelievers and even a few believers!
“One of the craziest interactions we had was with a believer from Cameroon who, at one point, lived in Radford, VA at the same time I did, and now we live in opposite buildings from each other in Montreal.”
Through these connections, the Fleets are building their launch team and gaining allies in the community for Voyage Church: Montreal. They are preparing for the first of five preview services in April 2019 and anticipate publicly launching Voyage Church on September 8, 2019.
“We are so thankful for the partnerships God has allowed us to have through churches in the SBCV, and we pray that as we continue to grow, more partnership opportunities present themselves! Thank you for the continual reminders that we are Not Alone!”
If your church would like to partner or participate in serving alongside the Fleets in Montreal, contact the Mobilization Team or check out upcoming trips at sbcv.org/partnership-missions.
Dates for the 2019 trips:
May 30–June 3
If you are interested in any of these trips please contact Brad Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org
The need is obvious, and the choice is simple. Please join us in taking the Gospel to the most unreached people group in North America.
Subscribe to the Proclaimer for Free
Not yet receiving the Proclaimer? The print version of the magazine mails three times a year, and there is no cost to readers. Why not sign up now?