Spotlight on Mission and Ministry
You can help improve life for impoverished Niger villagers
Zeinabou, a young Muslim mother from the village of Dougounawa in Niger, was always worried about her children who never seemed as healthy and energetic as young children should. It was a burden the African woman carried from the moment she awoke until she laid her head down at night. “My children were quite sickly, and I didn’t know how to help them,” Zeinabou recalls. “My first child was malnourished, and my second child was always falling sick with something.”
The mortality rate was tragically high for newborns in her village, one of 10 in Niger where Samaritan’s Purse Canada is reaching out with projects that improve the medical health, economic independence, and spiritual well-being of vulnerable community members, especially women.
She says before Samaritan’s Purse Canada reached out to educate and empower leaders in her village, the mothers were in constant emotional turmoil and fear for their babies’ lives.
This project, funded by Canadian donors, teaches women to find and prepare affordable, locally-sourced food to feed their families. Samaritan’s Purse also drills deep water wells to provide safe water for drinking, irrigating crops, and more.
The organization selected the 10 participating villages based on their lack of access to safe water, their high child and maternal mortality rates, and their urgent need for sustainable access to food.
Addressing all of these needs would improve each community’s overall medical health.
Zeinabou believes Samaritan’s Purse’s donors brought hope and help to the mothers in her village.
“Samaritan’s Purse gave us the awareness we needed to understand how to care for our young children,” she says. “Our children are healthy and nourished and less prone to sickness.”
Zeinabou says her entire village has been transformed. That includes her own children. Today, they are well-fed, have achieved a healthy weight, and are active and growing.
“We are so thankful for the presence of this project in our village,” she adds. “This Christian project has helped us a lot. We did not believe Christians to be so neighborly, but now we know that Christians love people very much. It’s like the story in your Bible of the Good Samaritan. Thank you very much!”
You can equip families in developing nations to grow vitally-needed healthy food by donating to the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog. Go online at SamaritansPurse.ca/gifts or call 1.800.663.6500 to order over the phone or receive your copy in the mail. The catalog also offers many other many ways to help struggling people in Jesus’ name.
We are a grassroots ministry – not a political force, building relationships and to being healing balm to the Jewish people. We also help Arab people in need. Some projects have a deep impact that bears much fruit for our Lord.
We have a variety of projects that include assisting new immigrants; helping Jewish people, single parents, and families in desperate situations. Helping those in need from all walks of life.
We operate a bridal salon, providing bridal gowns and clothing; we comfort survivors of the Holocaust; assist the household of faith. We have a project that links Christians from a variety of nations within every town, village, kibbutz and moshav throughout Israel.
Project Under His Wings offers hope and comfort to victims of terror attacks. Project Hope for the Future supports needy Ethiopian Jews in the land; Project David’s Shield helps traumatized soldiers.
We operate the Mount Carmel Relief Fund and Communities under attack ministry. We offer media production and development with Front Page Jerusalem and Focal Point TV.
Reading through the long genealogies in scripture can be tedious and seemingly lacklustre compared to the vivid accounts of Israel at the Red Sea and Christ’s miracles. The genealogy of Jesus, beginning in Luke 3:23, moves backwards from Jesus’ adoptive father Joseph all the way back to Adam. The list of ancestors is a physical and historical connection between the first Adam and the last Adam – Jesus. These ancestors are each like the individual links in an unbroken chain of descent.
The genealogies in Genesis tell us how long each patriarch lived and how old they were when they fathered the son recorded in the listing. This chain of descent connects the historical Christ with the historical Adam. In First Corinthians we read “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive”.
When we add up the ages in the genealogy of Christ with other temporal references in scripture, we have strong evidence of the recent creation of mankind and a young Earth. Christ told us that scripture can’t be broken. In this season of Advent perhaps we can look a little deeper into the genealogies and find the hope of Christ that God intended.
A true sense of community! – West Coast Christian School is now in our 25th year of training young people in Christian faith, academics, character and service with a roster of 148 students from K to 12. Our desire is to be a place where teachers and parents, supported by the wider church community, work together to nurture and train our children in their personal walk with Jesus Christ.
Although smal,l we have unique opportunities to invest in our students. Why consider us for your family? Here is a quote from last year’s valedictorian. “A great thing about being in a small school is the sense of community felt by all. Older students interacting with younger ones, good relationships between students and teachers and just being able to know everyone’s names all contribute to that sense of community. When a school is small, you don’t have much choice in who your friends are. This allows us to learn to get along with each other. We learn to cooperate with each other and to be flexible. These skills will prove valuable going forward in our lives, helping us in making connections and relating to people.”
Reconciliation: Israeli Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians
By Lisa Loden and Salim Munayer
Missions Fest Vancouver’s theme in 2019 is Mission: Discipling. David Fitch in his book Faithful Presence, lists reconciliation as one of the disciplines that the church must practice to be a faithful presence in the world. We are called as disciples to minister reconciliation. We’re pleased to have Lisa and Salim with us this year to take us deeper into this important topic.
As decades-long reconciliation theorists and practitioners, we advocate and facilitate reconciliation encounters among Palestinian and Israeli followers of Jesus based on the life and teaching of Jesus.
Our purpose in this short article is to lay a foundation for how we view and implement principles of reconciliation in our ministries. We are both, together and separately, engaged in a variety of reconciliation activities, mainly Musalaha and the Lausanne Initiative on Reconciliation in Israel and Palestine.
Our approach is Christocentric and we have chosen to call our approach to reconciliation “a Kingdom Approach”. We focus on the reality of Jesus’ kingship, and by implication, His kingdom, advocating that reconciliation is central to the kingdom of God and it provides a framework for a theology of reconciliation with a particular emphasis on Jesus’ understanding and use of power. This approach, while contextual and timely in our situation in Israel-Palestine, is also universal and applicable to other contexts.
The kingdom of God begins with the incarnation. Philippians 2:6 tells us that Jesus, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used for His own advantage”. Jesus did not hold on to His power and privilege; rather He chose to fully identify and engage with humanity. It was through His incarnation that Jesus laid aside His power, and created the conditions by which we may be reconciled with Him and one another. Jesus’ life, actions and teachings, embodies the Father’s way and will for His disciples to live in the world.
Reconciliation is not a method or a strategy to be used in the service of either evangelism or social action. It is the heart of the gospel of the kingdom and as disciples of Jesus, it is our mandate.
Obstacles to Reconciliation
In our work, we encounter many obstacles to reconciliation. These obstacles take a variety of forms, many of which are not unique to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
One of the major physical obstacles to reconciliation is finding a venue where relationships and trust can successfully develop. In our society, there is a clear division between Israelis and Palestinians. Finding a space where both Palestinians and Israelis can come together is a difficult logistical issue. Israelis cannot go into the West Bank, and Palestinians over the age of 16 cannot come into Israel unless they receive special permission. In addition, there are frequent closures of the Palestinian areas which make it impossible for Palestinians to leave or Israelis to enter.
When looking for a place to meet, we attempt to find a neutral location where both sides feel equally comfortable or uncomfortable. The most ideal situation, however, is the desert where both sides are out of their comfort zone.
The imbalance of power is another significant obstacle to reconciliation. The Israeli partner, who holds the power, is often oblivious to this dynamic and its impact on communication and perception when the two parties meet. The lives of Palestinians, including issues of status, access to goods and services and freedom of movement, are under Israeli control. This imbalance manifests itself in our group identities. As the groups begin to interact, they become more aware of how their culture and education reinforce this imbalance of power. One of the challenges in bringing people together is enabling them to recognize, confront and counteract the imbalances of power.
Physical barriers to reconciliation are often the easiest to recognize, but conflict amongst groups is almost always complex and dynamic. Some of the most difficult obstacles to contend with are those within ourselves, our emotional obstacles. The most prominent emotional issue is suspicion and fear of the other. Much of this stems from the almost total disengagement between the two parties, coupled with negative propaganda and prejudices that are an integral part of the two cultures.
Israelis and Palestinians living in the land of Israel and Palestine have history together. Our experience of this history differs vastly as does the way we tell the story of this history. The issue of conflicting historical narratives is hard to overemphasize. For both sides, portraying themselves as the sole victim in the conflict is linked to the way they justify the violence they commit against the other side. Both sides view themselves as the native or indigenous people, and the other side as the invaders.
The afore-mentioned obstacles to reconciliation are typical of many conflicts, regardless of their context. However, in the relationship of Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews, the differing theologies of the two groups are a significant obstacle to their reconciliation. There are several components in this discussion, including issues of land, the election and role of Israel, the continuity or discontinuity of the two testaments, etc. These issues are not merely abstract for Israeli and Palestinian followers of Jesus. How each side views these issues determines their views on practical daily matters of life.
Our call to reconciliation
According to 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 we are not only called to experience reconciliation as part of the community of the Messiah, we are also called to be ambassadors of Christ, ministers of reconciliation. This implies that we are called to go beyond the limits of the believing community and proclaim this to all individuals, from all nations, so they too might become citizens of God’s kingdom. The work of reconciliation is a cooperative labour between God and us, His ambassadors.
First John reminds us that love ought to infuse the entire community of believers. There is no room in the body of Christ for hatred or preferential status. We are all equal in Christ. Love is the animating factor behind believers reconciling with other believers. Because He loves, we too are called and empowered to love one another. In this way, we become the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17, “that the world may know…”
Visit www.missionsfestvancouver.ca to see a full listing of conference details – January 18-20, 2019.
Plant-the-Word Bible Campaign: Help send 10,000 Bibles to the Philippines ($2/copy)
SeedCare envisions building partnerships between you and the church planters in the Philippines as we invest in kingdom opportunities, primarily in Bible distribution and real-world support for daily necessary needs of local pastors. Our desire is that you – as seed planters – may partake in the joy of fulfilling the Great Commission.
The Bible is a basic tool for men and women of God. And yet, for many of the children, students, and elderly brethren in small villages in the Philippines, the Bible is rarely read. Many of them cannot afford a copy of their own. Most of the time, the Word of God is preached only once a week during a Sunday service by a pastor who only has one copy of the Bible.
Would you help hand the Bible to our brethren in the Philippines at $2/copy only?
On a cold, wintery night just outside of Chicago, a young college student introduced his Sunday school class to Christian Service Brigade. He was worried that though his boys lived like Christians on Sunday, they were anything but during the week. That was in 1937. Things have gotten worse. Few boys show up at church on Sunday; men even less. Most churches don’t do much for the boys or men in their own congregations, let alone in their neighbourhoods. As a society, we lament the loss of Christian values in our schools and government institutions, but we do little to change it. We won’t volunteer to be part of a Christ-centred ministry. Very few people even encourage those who give up an evening each week to win and train boys and young men for Christ. It’s hard making a difference in people’s lives.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ entered this world and changed it. Generation after generation went and made disciples of Jesus. Those disciples reached us – this generation of Christians. Building Godly Men of Today and Tomorrow is hard work. It takes time, money and dedication.
Be part of the solution. Point boys to Jesus through Brigade: www.csbbc.org.
We asked a group of students currently taking the Equip to Serve (ETS) discipleship class through Discipeship International, “Why is discipleship important to you?”
It matters, for it equips us as soldiers of Christ in the battlefield, which is the world. An equipped servant is better than 100 servants unprepared combined. To effectively share the gospel by going back to the basics ensures clarity and a better method of relaying God’s good news to everyone.
Regine Cervantes, 22 year old
ETS is important because it helps me to have time with God. As a disciple of God, it is important to have a solid foundation about Him, who he is to me, and help me share this message to those who don’t know him. Especially to those that I love the most.
Angel De Lunas, 19 year old
ETS made me understand and appreciate “the fear of the Lord” to another level of intimacy. Complacency and laziness were challenged head on by discipline.
Pastor Ben Pantoja
Come out and see us at Mission Fest January 18-20 at Canada Place. We are at booth S06 and will be presenting a seminar called Developing a Culture of Discipling in your Church on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 11am in room 9.
M2/W2 NOLA Reintegration Project (No One Leaves Alone)
M2/W2 has been planning and preparing for the first NOLA circle for years, and it felt incredibly good to be part of this moment; the commencement! Volunteers and ex-inmates bound together on a journey towards greater accountability and restoration. Oh, the beauty, the raw necessity of connection! God understood this!
My heart ached, as I heard a gentleman sitting in our circle express the crime he committed, the pain and loss he caused his family, his community, and himself. He appeared to be a broken and humble; willing to do whatever to give back to his community, to make amends for what he had done – acknowledging there was no way to bring back the life he had taken; yet how he desperately wished he could.
As we sat in this circle of hope, we were making history and breaking the vicious cycle of the past! My heart was overwhelmed with hope, excitement, synergy, purpose, gratitude, connection, grace, mercy, and love. Could this be what the Father experienced as well when He chose to give His son so that we could live in communion with Him, to experience forgiveness, to feel genuine, undeserving, precious acceptance?
There is no limit to spiritual growth. When you serve a God who is infinite, there are an infinite number of places He can take you.
Unfortunately, not many of us find that an endlessly fascinating relationship with an infinite God is part of our real lives.
There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is that we’re hurting – we have things in our past or in our present that make us ashamed, or someone has wounded us and we find it’s difficult to be ourselves. Other times, it’s simply a matter of creating time and space for God in our lives.
Journey Canada seeks to provide every follower of Jesus with a safe space to explore their lives and reconnect with God. It’s a chance to create space for God, receive the love and prayers of fellow Christians, and ultimately, find Jesus.
From the dark of the rainforests to the golden deserts, multitudes of people groups are born, live their lives and die without one single chance to hear that Jesus carried their sin. Tribes scattered across mountain walls and down over the riverbanks of the world spend the entirety of their generations without anyone ever coming to share God’s love. They don’t know. They have never heard.
So they cut themselves, dance around fires, chant to unknown spirits, follow empty traditions, they dread through the night, and do their best, but they are lost.
We believe that hearing the Gospel once in your life time is a birthright! We believe it is our responsibility as the Church to make sure our generation doesn’t die in their sin with out one chance to kneel at the feet of Christ. Will you join the force?
Let’s give one chance for every person.
At Lighthouse Harbour Ministries we pray for Divine appointments when going on ships to share the Gospel or hosting sailors at our centres. Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well (John 4) is an example of a Divine appointment. The story below is another one.
Recently, Lighthouse Chaplain Carl Dorozio received a generous donation of baked bread and, although outside his normal routine, decided to bring some to two ships at berth in Vancouver. On one ship he met a Chinese chief engineer who told Carl that he was an answer to prayer. The engineer had received a Chinese study Bible at a Lighthouse seafarers centre the night before and prayed for another one for his father-in-law, a Bible teacher in China. Not having one with him Carl purchased one and the next day delivered it to the grateful engineer. Praise God for a Divine appointment!
What are you doing next summer? Do you have skills in evangelism, construction, TEFL, or outreach? Why not serve in Europe on a two-week trip to Valencia, Spain ministering to the homeless and immigrants? Or in Bourg D’olsans, France (in the French Alps) to serve French believers during a two-week family camp? Maybe consider Poland doing some construction, evangelism and working with homeless and developmentally challenged adults? GEM offers other teams at www.gemeuroteam.org. Greater Europe Mission also has opportunities to do one to 12 month terms in Frankfurt, Germany or Birmingham, UK. Go to www.gemission.org or call 1-866-241-3579 to contact Greater Europe Mission for other opportunities. There are less than 2 percent evangelical Christians in Europe. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2
You + Global Disciples = Impact
Partnering with Global Disciples enables churches in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to passionately fulfill their vision of impacting the lives of unreached people. We equip these men and women with a proven model for training self-sustaining disciple-makers and church planters.
“I’d love to develop my chicken farm to support my family and missionary work, and also help other missionaries become self-sustaining. This business is a bridge into my community. People come for eggs and meat, but hopefully I can give them Christ too.”
“My family is excited about small business that furthers the gospel. We heard about Mangesha, and my daughter had the same business, so we invested to help his business grow. Our hearts are aligned, we want to reach the lost and we’re both using business to do that.“
Visit us at Missions Fest, booth C8 or www.globaldisciples.ca
The month of December is a very busy time for most people and can be filled with a flurry of activities and events. The weeks leading up to Christmas can be especially so. Although intended to be joyful, this time can actually be one fraught with anxiety and stress due to a variety of issues.
This year Telecare is teaming up with Wagner Hills to provide a daily 9 am to 9 pm listening, caring and prayer line for anyone needing some emotional support. Having a caring person to talk to can help. Call 604-852-9099 if you live in Abbotsford or Mission, and 1-888-852-9099 toll free from anywhere else in the province of BC.
The call of missions is a call that burns in many people who want to respond to the scripture found in Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved…”
Many have a specific calling to go but don’t fully understand how they could actually start something.
Many have started a ministry but do not have the ability to provide their donors with receipts for tax purposes, hindering their ability to finance the work.
ICMS is not in competition with the Church, we are cheering on the Church and want to come along side to assist in the areas that the Church cannot provide the needed support in these specific areas.
International Christian Mission Services begun in 2005 strategically for those purposes.
ICMS is an administrative ministry, providing its agencies with CRA and IRS defined direction and control to be able to release the agency into the work of the ministry.
We have a common goal to see the kingdom of God continue to grow until every person hears the gospel.
Contact us at 604 850-1817 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have regarding missions and your part to play in it!
It’s all set pp! Mark 14:12-16 …The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them….