It was 1987 when the Lord opened the door for the JIL Church to be born in this vast country. Armed with passion and zeal for the JIL vision and mandate they have received, workers from JIL Hong Kong came to Canada as Overseas Contract Workers (OFW) and began to see with eyes of faith the opportunity to plant the first JIL Church. These unknown yet mighty women of God had the burning desire in their hearts to follow God’s will and purpose and to boldly declare that Jesus is Lord over Canada!!!
JIL OPENED IN FOUR PROVINCES OF CANADA
From this courageous and bold women of God, a bible study group was established and the JIL Banner was officially raised in Canada as JIL Canada Chapter in Edmonton, Alberta and was later renamed JIL Alberta Chapter. The following year, some of them relocated south of Edmonton to start a Bible Study Group and formally established JIL Calgary. In 1990, heeding a call from British Columbia, representatives from JIL Calgary came to meet a Bible Study group in White Rock, Surrey, British Columbia composed of not more than ten people. The group was formally recognized as JIL British Columbia Chapter. The following year, another group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada called to inform that a bible study has started and formally opened JIL Ontario Chapter. Two years later, this time, workers from JIL Pampanga emigrated to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada as independent immigrants. They contacted JIL Vancouver and accepted the challenge to start a Bible Study and formally opened JIL Regina / Saskatchewan Chapter.
EXPANSION TO OTHER CITIES
With much boldness and desire to minister through the JIL Church, JIL Calgary extended beyond their city and established an Outreach Bible Study Group for Filipina domestic workers who emigrated from Hong Kong in this quiet and small city of Red Deer, Alberta in 1993. JIL Toronto received a call from a group in Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada, requesting to be formally recognized as JIL Ottawa. This group was composed of families desiring for someone to lead them. And in 1995, the JIL Church banner was officially raised up in the capital city of Canada. It began with small bible study groups and eventually experienced such growth that the need to expand and plant churches in neighboring cities has been seen. In 1996, because some families who are attending in JIL Vancouver moved to Surrey, a suburban city of Vancouver, the need to spread out was considered. From these families, JIL British Columbia grew into two churches; JIL Vancouver and JIL Surrey. The same situation arose in JIL Toronto that a need for an extension service and outreach was established in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. So in 1997, JIL Mississauga was formally established.
ANOTHER PROVINCE ADDED
However, the Lord was not yet done in opening doors of opportunity for new cities in another province of Canada for the JIL Church Canada. In the same year, a family called the Church in JIL Vancouver and expressed a desire to establish an outreach in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This is the city where many Filipinos came to work and reside in the early 70’s and to facilitate the opening of a new JIL Church, the need to send someone and to pioneer the work was accepted by a worker from JIL BC. She accepted the challenge to relocate and pioneer JIL Winnipeg
CONTINUED EXPANSION WITH CENTRALIZED SYSTEM
The expansion continued to happen and in the following year, JIL Church was extended in Richmond, BC and was formally opened as JIL Richmond. 1998 became a significant year when the whole organization of JIL Canada was changed and became centralized per province. So, under JIL Canada, there were 4 Provincial Chapters that were established then, namely: JIL Alberta Chapter, JIL British Columbia Chapter, JIL Ontario Chapter, & JIL Manitoba Chapter. Thus, JIL Canada was strengthened as it becomes united in fulfilling the JIL mandate in Canada. Then another opportunity came when in 1999, the Lord opened the door in Vancouver Island for a JIL Church to be started in Victoria, BC which was formally known as JIL Victoria
QUEBEC: THE FRENCH PROVINCE WAS OPENED TO JIL
Moving towards the Eastern region where the French language is most dominant in this province where the JIL Church was born: Quebec. The prayers offered and visions implanted many years ago were eventually fulfilled in the life of few JIL workers who came from Hong Kong to Montreal, Quebec as OFW’s. This group was staunchly supported by the brethren from JIL Ottawa two hours away for almost a year every Sunday when they began. They drove to assist and show support to this new group and formally recognized JIL Montreal in 1999.
ACQUISITION OF PROPERTIES
Within a span of five years, God has opened the door to JIL Canada and acquire its first property located in Vancouver. Subsequently, additional properties were also acquired in Toronto and Vancouver as well. A JIL Mission House in Vancouver was bought in 2003 currently housing the JIL Pastors assigned in BC; a mid - size church building was bought in 2005 and currently used as the JIL Toronto Worship Center; a 6.2 acre lakeside farmland property was bought in 2006 in Mission, BC and named as the JIL Prayer House; and in 2007, a 3.1 acre lakefront camp property was also purchased and renamed the JIL Canada Praise Valley Campsite. These properties were purchased and became a reality due to the financial support through their pledges and partnership with the vision of the whole JIL Canada congregations and churches for these acquired properties. Truly, this is God’s work alone and it is just the beginning of more properties to come.
FROM HISTORY TO NEW HISTORY
These are just some of the things that transpired in the history of JIL Canada since it began. It is still being written today as additional churches, church pastors, leaders and workers of JIL Canada are raised up to partner with us to see the Great Commission fulfilled. The work is going strong even as new strategies and system are being utilized to preserve the fruits received in the past years. JIL Canada keeps on moving forward to see new opportunities seized in planting additional churches in another province or another country. Whatever the Lord will do, JIL Canada will respond to become a blessing for God’s glory alone. Truly, as the Lord continues to open doors and lead JIL Canada with His hand, it will guarantee the completion of His purpose and plan through the JIL Church as a whole. JIL Canada waits with expectancy and excitement for the greater things ahead.
Today, the work of the Lord in JIL Canada will continue to go strong to fulfill the mandate it received from the Lord through Bishop Eddie C. Villanueva, the Spiritual Director of the JIL Church. As well as, it will continue to work hard in fulfilling the JIL Church’s Mission, Vision and Core Values (MVV) until Jesus comes.
All glory belongs to God alone!