2012 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering
TORONTO—If Liam McGibbon had been tumor-free, you might not be reading about his parents this week. They probably would have never made it to Hamilton, Ontario, and certainly not as miraculously.
For one, Jason and Kimberley McGibbon didn’t really imagine themselves as church planters. At least that’s what they’ll tell you. And two, they weren’t looking to leave their life in Milton, a suburb of Toronto where Jason served as worship leader at The Sanctuary Church Milton, and move to the other side of Lake Ontario.
Jason and Kimberley McGibbon are one of five missionaries featured during the Week of Prayer for North American Missions, March 4-11, 2012, and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® emphasis. The offering helps support McGibbon and other missionaries like him who are serving on behalf of Southern Baptists in North America. With a goal of $70 million, this year’s offering theme is “Whatever It Takes.”
Their story began three years ago in a pediatrician’s office. Little eight-year-old Liam was complaining of headaches. Migraines run in the family, and so they assumed the best. When Kimberley heard it was much more serious, a parent’s worst nightmare materialized before her eyes.
“I remember when I found out about Liam and I thought ‘I can’t breathe’ and the room got very cold,” says Kimberley.
A tumor was growing in the middle of Liam’s brain.
The next week Jason, Kimberley and Liam were in Hamilton meeting with neurosurgeons at MacKids, the
pediatric division of McMaster University Hospital.
This couldn’t be happening. But it was.
Two surgeries and several weeks passed. As Liam, now 11, recovered—regaining his faculties and vital signs improving—God opened Jason and Kimberley’s eyes to the needs of those around them and shifted their hearts.
Looking around the waiting room, the couple could see a desperate loneliness across other parents’ faces.
“As we waited, we saw people sitting there by themselves in the hardest times of their lives, we wondered how they made it through,” says Jason. “We heard so many stories from other parents whose lives were rocked by illness. They had no real hope outside of medicine and science.”
In the end, Jason and Kimberley couldn’t get away from the idea of true community, which they had experienced with church members praying for them, visiting with them, practically camping out at the hospital with them.
And then there were these parents in Hamilton who had no Christian presence, no church family to walk with them during their own difficult journey.
To leave the area without a Gospel presence seemed out of the question.
“I’d been to Hamilton before. I’d pass through it when I was at graduate school,” says Jason. “But I’d never really thought much about it.”
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