Are you wondering what it is like to be part of the OVV family? Checkout these stories and testimonials!
- By Tiffany
Ottawa Valley Vineyard is more than a church. It is a family. Even now, as we are physically apart, I feel the love that comes with a church family.
We have been attending OVV since the Spring of 2011, and after a short break, we were welcomed back with arms open wide last Spring.
Even before I was a mom, I felt the love of many mothers surrounding me. You see, I don't have the best relationship with my mom, and I often despised Mother's Day. One of my favourite mom moments, before I had kids, was when a woman of our church gave me all the ingredients for a cake and said go home and make it. You see, that motherly moment changed my life, it gave me confidence, determination and inspired me to try something new because that rhubarb cake that I made actually turned out and was delicious.
I truly believe my children are a miracle from God. I remember standing in front of the church asking for prayer the Sunday before John was born. You see, it took two years for us to conceive, and I was scared. The prayers and love and motherly support from everyone got me through a very intense labour. Who were the only people to visit me in the hospital other than family, my church moms! When John was transferred to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, who was the only person trying to call when we were in the NICU, it was Pastor Ahren who was showing his motherly instinct to love us. While our new family spent a week at CHEO, it was the OVV family that fed us spiritually and with a large cooler of food that we could eat at the hospital. When we finally returned to church after the NICU experience, I was recapping the experience to someone, and dismissively chalked it up to a rough labour. That person corrected me and said no, it was a miracle from God because there were so many people praying for that baby.
Lucy is also a gift from God, although she reminds me more and more of me. She was also the result of prayer from this church when I thought I would never have another child. Someone said, "I'll pray for you," and three months later, I was with child. This time there was no NICU experience, but again, just like after John, the OVV Meal train fed us so much I had the energy needed to care for not one but two little ones. Lucy had her own unique medical issues, and I remember after her dedication service, everyone laid hands on her to pray for healing. As you can often tell now by the way she runs around, there have been no lasting medical issues.
At the church in which I grew up, children were seen but never heard. I am so thankful for the other mom's who have held my children when they were quiet or screaming so I could lift my hands to worship. I am grateful for the moms who come up to me after service to thank me for letting the children run and dance during church. They are happy to see children who love being at church.
An OVV mom gave me the confidence to go back into teaching Sunday School and embrace the role of showing God's love to the next generation of OVV kids. Even now, as I share my fears and tears on Zoom meetings, the OVV mom family is there for me.
What is so unique about OVV is I had cared for the children here before I was a mom. I see them growing into Christ-followers, the moms at this church, young and old, have taken me under their wings even before I was a mom. The moms at this church have held my babies when I needed to cry. The moms have given me the confidence to try new things. And now, in these times, the moms are lifting my spirits and praying for me as I need a virtual shoulder to cry on.
Thank you to the OVV mom's and Happy Mother's Day!
- by Anne and Paul
We moved to Carleton Place on April 12, 2019. It was the week before Good Friday. Having moved here from South East Asia, my husband Paul and I knew little of the town, other than its proximity to Ottawa and its beautiful landscape. A high priority was to find a church we could call our spiritual family. The following week, Paul went on an overseas business trip. Not knowing anyone in town, I googled“churches in Carleton Place.” The results yielded what seemed to me an impressive list for a small community of 10,000.
I called each one. “Are you conducting a Good Friday service?” I asked. One of the churches was called OVV. I read their Statement of Belief. Nodded in full agreement. A man answered the phone and affirmed they were. “On a farm nearby,” he said. A worship service on a farm? I was confused. I hadn’t known there were farms in Carleton Place! The voice on the other line patiently explained. Oh, the farm was a special Good Friday venue. I was grateful for his help. Before we hung up, I asked for his name. “Ahren,” he said. The name sounded familiar. Then I remembered seeing it on the church website. “Are you the senior pastor??” I clarified. “Yes,” he humbly chuckled.
It was a rainy Good Friday morning. Nervous, I drove to the farm. “Will there be goats?” I wondered. What I saw, instead, made me gasp. A small crowd had gathered in an open field. Before them stood a large object that I had not expected to see on a farm. A wooden cross! It was taller than anyone there. The sight reminded me of Calvary. My eagerness to worship heightened.
The first person who greeted me was a lovely lady named Amber. Warm and friendly. Later we had refreshments in the barn. Anna, Rhona and Kathy welcomed me. Everyone was friendly. At the end of the event, my walk back to the car was intercepted by a couple. “We didn’t get to say hi earlier,” the lady said. Her radiant face exuded dignity and wisdom, but her voice gentleness and humility. “Are you new here?” We chatted for a moment. A sense of admiration came upon me. “What an amazing couple,” I thought. In the car, I jotted down their names. Kathleen. John.
Today, a year later, I share this story. This is how the Lord brought us to OVV.