Chilliwack to Africa and back
by Debbie Cazander
When Chilliwack resident Maryanne Westeringh set out on a missions trip to Kenya last year little did she realize the impact this endeavour would have on her and eventually her friends back home.
The people she met and the situations she encountered “touched my heart” she recently shared. “The AIDS epidemic has largely wiped out a generation of parents leaving mostly widowed grandmothers to care for their young grandchildren”. With no social network, and poverty abounding they are desperate to supply the very basics for the children. The school program often provides the children with their only meal of the day. Maryanne recounted meeting one elderly widow, who had lost four grown children to AIDS and was now caring for 10 grandchildren. “I was moved to tears by what I saw.”
With a background in nursing, Maryanne was concerned about the difficulty and isolation girls and women face each month during their menstrual cycle. With no hygiene products available, they are not able to go to work or school and are confined to their homes for the duration of their period.
She was saddened by the lack of clean drinking water and the effect this would have on the health of those who do not have this basic element of life.
Maryanne and her husband knew they had encountered the most extreme kind of poverty in Africa. In the weeks following their return, Dick and Maryanne began to pary about what they had seen and to share with others. As they did the enthusiasm and passion to do something tangible for the people of Kenya began to increase with the couple and also among those who heard about the need. After agreeing that a fresh water well, a safe latrine with 3 stalls, new mattresses for the local orphanage and sanitary packages for the girls and women would be their main areas of focus, they began to fundraise.
“God has provided over and over again in amazing ways” says Maryanne, “It has become a community effort with people of all ages and backgrounds and churches working together to achieve a common goal of providing for these women and their children.”
For more information please go to Kenya Fundraising Page on Facebook or go to hungryforlife.org
Mennonite Central Committee – Grand Opening
Christian educators are called to teach students to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). That is the definition of excellence in Christian education. In many Christian schools, churches and youth groups, however, developing a biblical mind – a Biblical perspective on all of life—often takes second place to the training of the heart, with disastrous consequences. According to a recent Barna Research study, between 30 and 51 percent of Christian students lose their faith when they study at university. At Summit Ministries Canada, we believe that Christian education today can indeed become excellent once again, but this requires teaching students a comprehensive Biblical worldview. As William Lane Craig so rightly affirms in the book “The Two Tasks of the Christian Scholar”, Christian education is called not only to the task of redeeming the soul, but also redeeming the MIND. At Summit Ministries, our courses and seminars not only teach students to know and love God more, but also help them develop critical thinking skills, educate them to discern & defend truth, equip them to identify & engage non-Biblical worldviews, and challenge them to bring Biblical principles to every area of society.
Canadian LifeLight Ministries is releasing the First Nations Edition of The LifeLight New Testament, set to go to every Native community in Canada!
After 4 years of planning, Canadian LifeLight Ministries is printing 30,000 Scriptures to be distributed to over 600 First Nations communities across Canada. This is no small undertaking, but with God anything is possible! This New Testament features a First Nations theme cover and testimonies from First Nations’ leaders, such as rapper Fresh I.E., and tells of how God has set them free from hurts and restored their lives.
Appropriate for all ages, The LifeLight New Testament is in the easy-to-read New International Reader’s Version translation in single-column format. The LifeLight is filled with help sections such as the “Beginning Your Journey with God” gospel presentation, highlighted memory verses and a dictionary. It is especially appropriate for ministries geared to the un-churched, and people for whom English is not their first language.
Raymond Dueck, Founding President of Canadian LifeLight Ministries said, “People have a hunger to read God’s Word, but many don’t have access to it. Your support helps LifeLight to meet a spiritual need in a big way!” To contact him for media interviews please call 204-782-2112.
LifeLight is still looking for partners to sponsor 250 cases of Bibles and looking for more distribution partners. If you would like to sponsor a case or help deliver Bibles, please let them know via email at Bibles@thelifelight.com or call 204-339-3770. You can also mail them at: P.O. Box 28040, Winnipeg, MB, R5G 1R5.
For more Information go to www.FirstNationsLifeLight.com
International Christian Response (ICR) is an 11-year-old Canadian registered charity, that assists the global Christian church experiencing persecution today.
We work with 100 national groups in 37 hostile countries. Through long term, trusted relationships and annual field trips we discover what the needs are and then appeal to our friends in Canada to help meet those needs. We work with a variety of church denominations and organizations both in Canada and abroad.
We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest transformation agent there is. So, we help the nationals with training and equipping; planting new churches, where there is no Gospel message; supplying Bibles and other materials and humanitarian aid. Many of the people we serve are deprived of life essentials, beaten and abused, homes destroyed, no medical services, wrongfully charged, put in prison and even killed.
In the face of this severe persecution their churches are growing exponentially. In Vietnam the church has grown 900 per cent in that last 35 years; in Cuba the church has grown to nearly 10 per cent of the population; in China there are over 100 million Christians and 35,000 people come to Christ every day; in India, 17,500 people come to Christ daily; in Egypt, our partner reports a 40 percent increase in the last two years; In Nigeria, over 50 per cent are Christian. Our 24/7 Christian TV in the Arab world reports one million enquires a month and more Muslims have converted to Christ in the last 10 years than in the last, 1,400 years.
It is a privilege to partner with the Underground Church and to be a voice for them here in Canada. For more information contact:
Mel Wiebe – ICR Director
5786 – 203 Street,
Langley, BC V3A1W3
Cell 604 -836 -4546
Shop 604 -532 -1993
‘Meet us at Booth M-03 at Missions Fest 2015’
A dynamic 15-week discipleship course taught by a variety of veteran missionaries, influential strategists and professors, each an expert in their respective area. You’ll get the opportunity to discover what God is doing around the world and consider your part in His purposes. Give Him a chance to grip your heart with the things so close to His. Perspectives will help you understand God’s plan for our world – and possibly for your life – as you explore the following topics:
Biblical – What does God’s Word reveal about His plan? Discover God’s often overlooked yet unchanging purpose as it’s revealed from Genesis to Revelation. You may never read your Bible the same again!
Historical – How has God been working throughout history? You’ll be challenged and encouraged as you learn about the unlikely people and surprising events God has used throughout history in the unstoppable spread of the Gospel.
Cultural – How does culture fit in God’s global plan? Do missionaries destroy or enhance cultures when they plant churches? Learn the keys for communicating the Gospel to people with different worldviews and cultures.
Strategic – What role could you and your church play? What are unreached people groups and why are they so important in the completion of God’s eternal purpose? Learn how and why the Gospel is making breakthroughs in parts of the world that have been extremely resistant
Birthed in December, 1985, CFI’s prophetic destiny was prophesied by a Godly sister in the Lord from France the same year. “CFI will not explode into the heights but it will work in the depths”. These words pointed to serving in the deeper places of Jewish lives, accessing them in ways few Christians ever get to serve. A Christian outreach headquartered in Jerusalem with representatives from around the world.
CFI working teams travel across Israel from the Galilee to the Negev, to personally knock on the door of Jewish homes to meet and spend time learning from and ministering to Jewish people from all walks of life.
CFI’s ministers to new arrivals who have left oppressed lands to find refuge; CFI also assists new immigrant brides and grooms in our Bridal Salon. Outreach teams, trained to visit terror attack victims in communities in Israel under attack, Ethiopian Jewry who need opportunities to receive higher educational, messianic Jews with encouragement in their new found belief in Yeshua, and elderly survivors of the holocaust and WWII war veterans who fought in the Red Army against the Nazis CFI also visits the elderly, widows and widowers, street people,low income neighbourhoods, the handicapped and orphans. Our call is to the Jewish people but we also help Palestinian Christians and Arab Pastors with a proper understanding of the Jewish people.
Our Message is to build relationships and be a “healing balm” to the Jewish people. Our vision is twofold: To be a Christian witness bearing fruit through blessing Israel according to Genesis 12:3: To teach Christians about their Jewish roots and Jewish-Christian history.
Our Mission: “We believe Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world; however, our stand alongside Israel is not conditional upon that belief”.
God is making the crooked ways straighter and the rocky places flatter through the mercy ministry of CFI. We are helping to raise awareness of Israel, prayer support as well as financial support and Biblical understanding.
Hundreds of teens in Vancouver find themselves struggling within generational cycles of addiction, abuse and poverty. Inner Hope Youth Ministries was founded as a response to many youth who desired change and the support to break these cycles. A Christian non-profit on Vancouver’s East Side, Inner Hope seeks to reach out to youth, sharing the transformational love of Christ through providing supportive housing, life skills mentoring, practical support and discipleship.
Inner Hope has recently expanded to two homes. The newest home provides a private residence for up to four youth with a live-in house parent couple who model healthy living and provide an optimum level of support. The original home functions as a community gathering space and the home base for our discipleship, support and life skills programs.
With the aid of our Boundless mentoring program, the majority of our teens are now completing high-school. In response to this exciting milestone, we have recently formed a new agreement with World Vision to launch a post-secondary support program to help more of our young adults successfully make the transition into post-secondary education or the workforce. One of our greatest blessings has been a growing partnership with Reality Church. Over the last few years, dozens of our youth and family members have attended services and been welcomed into the Reality community.
Would you be willing to respond to our current need for volunteer mentors or provide financial support to help us sustain two sites in 2015? We would love to have you visit us at booth F04 during Missions Fest or attend a seminar by our Executive Director titled, “Hope Through Relationships: Creating a Community of Care for At-risk Youth and Children.” For more information refer to our website at www.innerhope.ca or contact Jenny at 604-767-1357.
MCC BC’s New Location
The MCC Centre on Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford is open for business!
Come by the Common Place Café for great food, cheerful and efficient service, and to support the work of MCC around the world – all proceeds from the café go toward the local and international work of MCC!
The new Ten Thousand Villages location in the MCC Centre has added a rich flavour and insight into the work of MCC overseas, and the stories of self-reliance and dignity in many countries where MCC serves. Ten Thousand Villages is the oldest and largest Fair Trade organization in North America, selling artisan-crafted personal accessories, home decor and gift items from around the globe. With a new location at the MCC Centre, finding great Christmas gift ideas is easier than ever.
The MCC Centre Thrift Shop combines two previous thrift shops into one convenient location. With more retail space and more checkout tills, your thrift shopping experience will be more enjoyable and more efficient! This will help expand MCC’s reach in our own communities and around the world, allowing us to respond to basic human needs and work for peace and justice.
Who We Are
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is a global non-profit organization that strives to share God’s love and compassion through relief, development, and peacebuilding. In all of our programs, we are committed to relationships with our local partners and churches – their needs guide our priorities.
Since its beginning in 1920, MCC has worked to follow Jesus’ call to reach out to those who are hungry, thirsty. Ill, or in prison, and to welcome strangers. Today, MCC responds to basic human needs and works for peace and justice in over 60 countries worldwide.
Through local programs, MCC British Columbia works to meet needs here at home by working to support refugees, the homeless, individuals who suffer from abusive relationships, and others in need in our community.
For more on MCC, visit our website at mccbc.ca.
Celtic Place is a refuge for healing. A place to retreat and process end of life and grief issues or just those difficult times in life when all seems overwhelming. Celtic Place is a space where people can come to learn how to live fully – even in the face of the most difficult times in life – and to learn to live fully as a part of the grieving and letting go process.
God is so present. God is in every detail of life at Celtic Place. His blessing is evidenced in the people who contact us and say such things as, “We’ve been looking for months for a place like this,” “I wasn’t a believer before, but being here makes me know that there is something that is bigger than me,” and “This is a wonderful place of refuge.”
When we look back and see what has been created at Celtic Place – well, only God could make it happen! We give Him all the glory and honour for creating a quiet place where people can experience His emotional and spiritual healing. I’m reminded of a song by Phil Driscoll: “Every time I say ‘yes’ to You, seems there’s something wonderful You’re waiting to do.” All we did, Lord, was say ‘yes,’ and it has been amazing to watch You move! Thank you, God.
Contact: 877-931-8880 celticplace.ca
The business world has been aware for years that it makes sense to be able to deal with people cross culturally. Dr. Rev. Soong-Chan Rah thinks mainstream churches in the West need to develop the same kind of cultural intelligence – or cultural intuition, as he puts it – but one that goes beyond mere knowledge acquisition to foster true, authentic relationships.
In his books and his addresses to organizations like World Vision, IVCF and more recently, Regent College, the Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at Chicago’s North Park Theological Seminary has set out to demystify and get at the roots of the fear and anxiety churches face in establishing cross-cultural relations in increasingly diverse communities.
“We’ve been called by God to move into this incredible picture that’s offered in Revelation 7: 9, of authentic multi-ethnic community,” he explains. “And yet, we’re doing so much more poorly than those who have no theological motivation to do this.”
Raised in working class Baltimore by immigrant Korean parents, Dr. Rah was perplexed by the lack of community he witnessed between people of different cultural groups at church. “We have the Gospel in common,” he says. “We have the Scriptures as a common witness and testimony and a shared experience.” Yet at the end of the day, people preferred to sequester themselves instead of build relationships and community.
Part of the blame today, he argues, lies in a Christian consumerist system that’s made rock stars of young, hip and predominantly white, middle-class male pastors, signed them to multi-book deals and allowed them to define the Christian experience for everyone else—while stories of minority churches and non-white theologians and pastors remain unpublished and untold.
The way forward requires a truly biblical understanding of the world. “One important aspect of cultural intuition is empathy and sensitivity to experiences different from our own,” he says. “Our inability to show compassion towards the suffering is a horrid witness to the incarnational love that Jesus has shown… and can be an obstacle to communicating the Gospel message.”
Dr. Rev. Soong-Chan Rah is the author of The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity and Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for the Changing Church. He will be a featured speaker at Missions Fest Vancouver in 2015.
BC Pro-Family Group Has Tackled Many School Issues
This November, BC citizens will go to the polls to pick municipal mayors and counsellors. Although it is often not given as much publicity, they will also choose another set of officials who can put their stamp on public schools in a way that will affect them for years. One BC organization that regards the choice of school board members as of great importance is British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life (BCPTL). Although they are a provincial organization, BCPTL is highlighting an issue that has come to the fore locally in Surrey School District: the adoption at the end of June 2013 of the wide-ranging “Regulation 9410.2” on sexual orientation and gender identity – a regulation that BCPTL regards as embodying important policy which the majority of parents were not apprised of.
BCPTL involvement in educational issues goes back a long ways. Nearly thirty years ago, a group of BC teachers got together because they were concerned about teachers’ organizations supporting abortion. The group later organized somewhat more formally; and in 1998, in recognition of parents’ support and in view of the fact that they were supporting parental rights, British Columbia Teachers for Life became British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life (BCPTL).
When the group discovered that young girls in BC schools could be referred to abortion-providing agencies without parental knowledge or permission, they protested, and presented their concerns about the matter to the provincial government. Regrettably, they say, the situation regarding this matter has not changed.
BCPTL has stood up for pro-life and pro-family teachers whose freedom of conscience has been threatened, for parents and their rights to determine the nature of their children’s education, and for students who are, they believe, targets for harmful indoctrination by those who would use the schools as a means of social engineering. BCPTL has opposed the introduction of programs that would promote a favourable attitude towards homosexual behaviour and place homosexual unions on a level with traditional marriage.
BC Parents and Teachers for Life has a moral rather than a theological basis for their unity, but its executive, which includes those from both Roman Catholic and Protestant Evangelical churches, is one example of co-operation across theological lines and without theological compromise. Working together in the public square for common moral objectives has led to a close co-operation and fellowship, feels Ted Hewlett, past president of the group. The organization is not a religious group, but seeks to work for the welfare of all students in the schools of the province.
More Than A Roof Foundation is a catalyst organization with a mandate to build awareness and support for the larger work of More Than A Roof Housing in B.C. This is a growing urban mission initiative to create affordable tenant communities by providing housing, care and more for those in greatest need. The MTR Foundation tackles issues of poverty, homelessness, mental health and addictions by fostering literacy and asset building programs, culinary training, pre-employment programs, and sustainable mental health and addictions housing plus much more.
More Than A Roof Foundation welcomes sponsorship and donations from private individuals, corporations and organizations who want to support effective Christian faith based urban mission. The funded programs give low wealth individuals, families and seniors in the eleven MTR communities an opportunity for turnaround and genuine hope for the future.
With strong partnerships, a dedicated team and a mindset for growth, More Than A Roof offers viable, long-term housing based solutions.
Bringing the ‘Good News’ to every boy and girl
Since 1945, Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) of BC has been serving the churches of British Columbia, helping reach the huge numbers of children that never seem to access the great ministries that are developed within the church. In fact, in BC, less than 10 percent of children are connected with any church. That means that in most communities, churches are surrounded by great numbers of unreached people, including lots of children. The Great Commission sent us out into the world to share a life-giving faith, and, of all groups, children are the most receptive as the truth is shared.
CEF has, for years, helped churches reach into their communities with neighbourhood club ministries that focus on sharing the gospel in a fun, kid-friendly way.
Pastor Stu Coutts has written, “Using backyards has proven to be an effective way of reaching neighbourhood children. It is also nice to have activities and lessons presented by trained workers. It’s not always possible for a small congregation to carry this load. And we really enjoy the teachers, too!”
Visit us at the Vancouver Missions Fest – Booth M-12 and ask us about our curriculum, teacher training and mission opportunities. www.cefbc.com 604-576-7796
Equip to Serve discipleship training has helped develop my relationship with God, increased my faith and has aided me in listening to God’s will for my life. Trough the training I am constantly being equipped to share the gospel with others – friends, strangers, neighbours and people in my church.
I grew up in the church. My parents were both leaders in the church and I ended up playing bass in the worship team and doing the power point for worship services/sermons. I did these things because I felt they were expected of me not out of a heart’s desire to serve God.
That’s what ETS has done for me – it has taken me from a child going through the motions, to a child of God hungry for understanding of His Word, His Will and His purpose for me in this life.
Overall, God has used ETS to change my life!! It has kept me constantly desiring to develop my relationship with the Lord, to build my faith and to learn how to serve others just as Jesus served.
I’m excited to continue with the ETS series and strongly recommend it to every believer. By changing your own life, God equips us to change many other people’s lives for Him.
Larissa (current Equip to Serve student)
Come visit us at our booth at Mission Fest S06 to learn more. www.discipleshipint.org