Serving Greater Vancouver & the Fraser Valley
Engage: A spotlight on Christian Mission and Ministry - Winter 2019/2020

Engage: A spotlight on Christian Mission and Ministry – Winter 2019/2020

Check out the profiles on various Missions and Ministries – Click Here

 

Articles

Putting the byte into Scripture translation

You too can have an amazing life

Nothing is impossible for God: Nothing!

The business of restoration

The long road of transition: a letter from a missionary surgeon

Intimacy and doing God’s will

The Persecuted Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting the byte into Scripture translation

by Jack Taylor

 

A boy holding the Kinaray-a New Testament.

How important is it to have God’s Word in your mother tongue and what difference has technology had in making that possible?

While the complete Bible has been translated into 650 languages, there are at least 7,000 spoken or signed languages known to be in use today. 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible in their language even though more than 1,500 languages have access to portions of the Scripture. More than 2,500 languages across 170 countries have active translation and linguistic development work happening right now. Approximately 2,000 languages still need work to begin.

Mark (and Karen) Naylor, Fellowship International missionary to Pakistan and Northwest Baptist seminary professor, started translating the Bible into the Sindhi language in 1989. The Old Testament was completed in Muslim Sindhi in 2007 but a parallel New Testament revision in both Hindi and Muslim Sindhi is underway. They began their work in translation without technology but are committed to what technology can accomplish.

Joshua and Jenni Smolders, working as translators in Ethiopia with Wycliffe since 2012 worked initially as a linguistic researcher on the Ganza and Opo languages. Living in Gambella, close to the border with South Sudan, he now advises on the Opo Bible Translation. “100 percent of my work as both a linguist and translator is dependent on modern technology.”

Irhya and Marianne (Stirche) Mahamadou worked in Niger (now from Canada) translating the Old Testament into Tamajag Tawallammat. Swiss born Marianne started work in 2001 and married Niger born Irhya after he joined the project in 2012. Technology allows them to raise their family in a safe place while still accomplishing their dream on behalf of Irhya’s tribal group.

Naylor says “Although it has been said many times, having the word of God in your mother tongue is very powerful. The reason we are doing a Hindu Sindhi translation is not because Hindu background Sindhis cannot understand the Muslim Sindhi, but because it does not resonate with them. That is, they do not appreciate the Muslim theological terms used (name for God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, etc.) and so they are repulsed. But when they read the word in a version that uses their vocabulary, they are excited and feel that it is for them. Also, having a meaning-based translation that is at the level of a 6th grade educated person, makes the translation very accessible to the average person. Rather than reading and being overwhelmed with a sense that they are not capable of understanding, they are drawn into the text. For example, a newly literate young Muslim woman commented that she preferred to read the Sindhi NT because it was easy for her to read.”

He adds that the impact of technology cannot be overstated. What originally took three days for three people checking one Hebrew word in a Strong’s concordance is now completed using Paratext in 30 minutes with fewer errors. “Flexibility, accuracy and speed are affected. There are amazing resources in terms of indexed exegetical commentaries and lexicons as well as powerful translation checking programs.” Support teams are easily set up and accessed while “distribution has shifted from print to digital with audio versions becoming increasingly important.”

Smolders uses at least three different computer programs on a daily basis including Paratext, Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEx), and Logos 8 Bible Software. “Four computers, an external monitor, a surge protector, and high-quality USB-pre recording microphones form the core of the hardware.” The internet is used for syncing and sharing work and “for accessing images and videos to aid in understanding the Biblical text.”

Stirche says that, “A lot of research material is available using networks like academia.edu where papers written on your topic of interest or book reviews that might be interesting and relevant for your translation can be found. The internet allows networking and accessing materials and contact with workers around the globe.”
With advanced technology, it is possible to work remotely and have working sessions via Skype with the national team on the ground. It is also easier to train national translators as computer programs are often cheaper than books and better training materials have been developed. SIL offers worldwide linguistic courses and helps, as well, training national personnel. The Home for Bible Translators in Jerusalem trains nationals in the Hebrew language (modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew), understanding the land and the culture Jesus was living in relation to Bible Translation (eng.bibletranslators.org).

Paratext’s most basic function is as a place for translators to type their translated text into a digitally indexed Bible template. Smolders says, “This means that translated works are immediately searchable (like any Bible app, with digital links to all books, chapters and verses) and exportable (you simply tell the computer what you want your book to look like in terms of columns and font and then presto! you have a perfectly formatted PDF). In addition to this, Paratext allows the translators to read commentaries, translation notes, and other Bible translations (from almost any language available) all in the same place. It also allows for spelling, punctuation and grammar checking (all configurable within the program to fit the target language), checking for content and consistency of key Biblical terms, the creation of Bible dictionaries, and mass editing (like advanced search and replace). It allows us to backup our work and mark points in a project’s history so we can revert back to a prior state after major changes (if necessary).”

Smolders is clearly committed to his technological support system. He adds that Paratext “makes it possible for teams to work with each other remotely via the internet. When we draft a text, like a chapter or book, we then sync it with all computers which have permission to view the project. Others can then post their comments on the text and make recommendations for changes as necessary, or record questions to be addressed during checking sessions. When an expert comes in to do an exegetical checking session, we add him or her to the project users list, sync our work with their computer, and receive their questions in return. All this makes the work of translation much more efficient than it otherwise would be, and greatly increases the amount of work that can be accomplished during face-to-face work.”

Naylor forsees the development of better checking tools for “target languages based on algorithms looking for patterns of speech.” Smolders says, “I know that there are people currently working on software which will help translation teams produce first drafts of biblical texts quicker (that is, a draft which a human team will take and revise, not a publishable book). Often, this first draft is the most difficult part of the process, since it takes the most creativity. Think about it like the difference between changing the lyrics or tune of a song (editing a draft) and writing a song from scratch (producing a first draft). The latter is clearly the more difficult and time consuming of the two processes.

Stirche says Christians “need to know that Bible Translation is a task that takes a long time. This is important inasmuch that our society is at a fast pace. Even people in the church are often more interested in supporting projects where you see immediate results. There is a great need for people with perseverance and willingness to go and be uncomfortable!

People need to know that Bible Translation is fascinating and very exciting!”

Naylor applauds the collaboration of societies such as the Bible Society and Wycliffe in their cooperation and development of translation tools. The Bible Society’s Paratext program coupled with “exegetical resources in SIL’s Translators workshop which is delivered through the Logos Bible program and synced with Paratext” is one example of this.

Stirche says “One thing that remains the same is that a translation needs to be checked by real people who speak the language. Proper research on the language still takes a lot of time even with facilitating technical tools.

Another thing that remains the same: people still need to go FIRST to the people without the Bible, learn their language, analyze it and develop an alphabet, then start training people along the process of translating the Bible!

 

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You too can have an amazing life

Late in the African night, a knock came at the door. John Chalkias, a missionary with Seeds of Hope Children’s Ministry in Ndola, Zambia was accustomed to having people coming to his door asking for things and he felt annoyed. He wondered if he was going to once again be asked to lend out money or some tool. But this time, one of John’s Zambian employees was standing at the entrance with tears in his eyes, “Can I borrow some money, my daughter has died of malaria and I need to buy a coffin.” John’s annoyance quickly turned to grief. He felt despair knowing that this man’s daughter had died of a disease that is totally preventable. As heartbreaking as it was for John to be asked to borrow money for a coffin, it is not uncommon for Zambian families to lose loved ones to malaria, infection or malnutrition. The problem has to do with poverty in Zambia; many people cannot afford to meet the basic needs of living, let alone pay for malaria nets or medication. This was not the first or the last time one of the Zambian staff had lost a family member due to poverty; but this incident was the catalyst that motivated John Chalkias to write a book and teach people how to overcome poverty and make a way to live a better life, an amazing life.

John and his wife, Susan, live in Chilliwack, BC. They have served as missionaries for Seeds of Hope Children’s Ministry (SOH), the non-profit they founded to rescue HIV affected and infected children in countries such as Thailand, Burma and Zambia. When their biggest project in Ndola, Zambia started 19 years ago, the goal was to provide a loving home for children who were dying of HIV/AIDS, many of whom were abandoned by their families. In 2005, antiretroviral drugs became freely available in Zambia and the children were no longer dying of AIDS. SOH built a village called Grace Academy, with houses and a school for these children where they can grow and thrive.

“I had a staff meeting one day with my construction workers, and I asked them what has changed in your life since you started working here?” They replied with nothing, they were still living in poverty and their children were still dying. “When I went to their homes I was shocked, their houses are dilapidated, there is no food, no refrigeration, the children are barefooted.” John asked himself, what is the difference between his own life and the lives of his Zambian coworkers. He realized that it has to do with a poverty mindset.

Chalkias thought about his own life and how he managed as a young man of 17 to get off of the wrong path to a life that he now calls amazing. “I wasn’t a Christian. I was sitting on the curb one evening thinking, I’m lost, I can’t figure it out; I expected to save myself.” He wanted to get a good job, drive a nice car, live a better life. He thought to himself, “I have to do something.” He took up boxing. His coach taught him well, believed in him and told him he was going to be a champion. Chalkias learned about discipline and hard work. He started to win fights. But his path changed again, he became a Christian. He was in a motel one night, preparing for a big fight. He picked up a Gideon’s Bible and started reading God’s word. Although at first it confused him, he started reading more of the Bible until “I found myself on my knees confessing all my sins to God.” He started a Bible study, he went witnessing door to door and he organized concerts with Christian bands. “I was a fanatic about spreading the Gospel.”

Looking back, John saw how amazing his life has been and he wanted to pass on the principles that he learned to the people in Zambia. He began to teach Victorious Living classes and he put those lessons into a book titled, You Too Can Have An Amazing Life. The book lays out the 15 principles to lift people out of their circumstances to a life of hope. “It all starts with forgiveness.” says John, “there is a need to forgive or you will always be living in the past.” John’s message is that God has provided forgiveness, God has provided human life and gives us the ability to change our mindset.

John wrote this book with the hopes of encouraging Zambians to move away from a poverty mindset and live a better life. But he says, “this mental poverty is totally here (in Canada) too.” The book inspires readers in first world countries too, it can be read by individuals or used as a group study.

John Chalkias hopes to have no more knocks on his door from fathers asking for money to bury their children. He is determined to help people get out of a poverty mindset to live a truly amazing life.

 

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Nothing is impossible for God: Nothing!

Nearly five years ago, Give the Word was two years into our launch in Winnipeg, MB. We were a growing ministry, raising funds to give away Bibles for free to ministries that needed them across Canada.

One morning, we received a call from Reynold Maines (the son of David Maines who founded 100 Huntley Street). Reynold says, “I don’t know if you remember me but I was in Winnipeg awhile ago and we were briefly introduced. You didn’t have time to chat long but you gave me one of your Bibles and your business card.” He went on to say how they had a ministry in Uganda that was in desperate need of Bibles for community outreach and evangelism. He specified how they were looking for 500-1000 copies of the New Living Translation Bible in hardcover that would be suitable for outreach and asked if Give the Word would be able to donate them.

As much as I wanted to be able to say yes, we were not yet in the position to provide for this request. We did not have these Bibles in stock which meant we would have to take this on as a new project and raise funds for it. One thousand hardcover Bibles is no small price tag. I relayed to Reynold that we were still a small ministry and that we would not be able to provide those Bibles at this time and that we were also not set up to be able to ship a large order like this overseas, due to the high cost. He replied, “No problem at all. I didn’t know how big or small of an organization you were and figured I would just ask.”

I hung up the phone, moved on with my day and put it out of my mind.

That same night, around 6 pm, I get a phone call from Regina. It was a businessman who was asking about Give the Word. He said “We don’t know each other but I’ve been following online what you guys are doing, and noticed that you give away the New Living Translation.” “We sure do,” I told him,“what can I help you with?”

He went on to tell me his story of how he got saved through someone giving him a New Living Translation Bible and God has put it on his heart to give others that same opportunity. He ended up funding a project with his own money to have 10,000 copies printed of the New Living Translation Bible in hardcover that was designed for outreach, that also has his own personal testimony of salvation in it. He shared that an entire distribution plan for these Bibles had recently fallen apart. He says to me “Ryan, I have 10,000 Hardcover NLT Bibles in my warehouse, I don’t know what to do with. I know that my ministry can’t continue like I had planned but I’d like it to continue through Give the Word and I would like to donate the entire 10,000 Bibles to you”.

Ummm WHAT?? That’s about $150,000 worth of Bibles for absolutely free, and these were the exact Bibles that Reynold was asking for in Uganda and now we were being offered 10 times what they needed.

We accepted the offer and they were shipped to us a few days later. We even had all 10 pallets of them shipped for free from a local trucking company.

I called Reynold back and told him the news that we had the Bibles he needed, and all we had to do was figure out shipping to Uganda.

A day or two after the news about getting the Bibles for free, I visited one of our donors. He owns a farm equipment company. I sat down with him in his office and before we even started the meeting, he hands me a cheque for $10,000 and says to use it wherever it’s needed. Amazing! I decided to tell him about what had just happened and asked if he would be ok with us using some of this cheque to ship 1,000 Bibles to Uganda. He pauses for a second and starts to chuckle. He says “Ryan, I am filling a container of farm equipment at this very moment that is destined for Uganda for a humanitarian project I am working on. Why don’t I just put the Bibles in my container and that way it costs you nothing.

I was floored! Twenty-four hours ago, this Bible request was an impossible ask, but God was at work here long before those Bible were even requests – and we had 9,000 Bibles left over.

I called Reynold and told him the news. We both just laughed and thanked God for orchestrating the impossible. To make it even sweeter, the distance from where the container was going to in Uganda to where the ministry was that needed the Bibles was only a 1 hour drive.

God’s word never returns void. It’s one of God’s many promises. Isaiah 55:11 says God’s word will never return void, but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it.

PS…the other 9000 Bibles were donated to Bible camps across Canada as well as to some Inuit communities in Nunavut, Canada. (We even had an airline fly them up north at no cost.) Praise the Lord!

 

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The business of restoration

By Emily Montesano

Looking over his dusty field, Wolde remembered a time when his family’s 30-acre farm was lush and vibrant. But inheriting land split between his siblings meant that his farm was both limited and overworked. Six months a year were marked with hunger, with only one meal per day to sustain him and his family.
But this is not God’s heart. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us, “I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

We know that God is good, and is for His people. He created us in perfect relationship with Him, to enjoy His good gifts and abundant blessings. God is working to redeem the whole of creation. He is in the business of restoration. Fifty years ago, Wolde’s family farm in Ethiopia was vast and full of life, filled with trees and abundant harvests. But as the family grew, the land was split into smaller plots, and more land was needed. Trees were cut down to make space. The soil became overworked and sandy, and heavy rain washed a lot of it away.

Wolde inherited poor soil. With no other options, he was forced to try to make ends meet with what he had. But no matter how hard he tried, he could never grow enough to provide enough food for him and his family. For half of the year, they only ate one meal a day. His children became weak.

But then he heard that the local church was teaching farmers a new type of farming – called conservation agriculture – one that could increase his crop yields by 3 to 4 times! He couldn’t believe it was true, but had little to lose. While he was there, the trainers taught Wolde how to replenish the land with compost, mulch and minimum tilling. He also learned about God’s heart for restoration.

Wolde got to work. He replenished his dusty fields into healthy soil and began reaping higher yields! He soon had a harvest large enough not only to feed his family but to sell as well. The amount of time required to maintain his crop reduced, he experienced new community and received a new heart for God’s creation. “The soil is now improving, and it’s growing better yields. We are seeing the difference within months,” Wolde exclaimed joyfully.

Catching a glimpse of God’s heart for restoration in his own family and community, he decided he couldn’t wait to tell others and became an ambassador of this mission in Ethiopia. He shared, “The basic principle of conservation agriculture starts with our relationship with God, our neighbours, and the resources God has given us. In Ethiopia, we have destroyed the environment as the population has grown. This has affected the land, our communities, and our churches. We are now involved in a restoration movement.”

Poverty is a result of broken relationships; relationships with God and people, within ourselves, with each other, and with creation. Any attempts to address poverty must focus holistically, not only on the economic aspect of poverty – but the social, emotional, and spiritual aspects as well.

Thanks to God, Wolde’s field is now thriving and providing him and his family with what they need to live life to the fullest. He eagerly tithes to his church and builds relationships with his neighbours. He is always smiling.

The teaching Wolde received was part of the ministry work of Tearfund. Honouring God’s mission of restoration and inviting others into seeing His earth restored. Acting as Jesus’ hands and feet, giving people the resources they need to lift themselves out of economic, social, emotional and spiritual poverty.

Learn more at www.tearfund.ca.

 

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The long road of transition: a letter from a missionary surgeon

By Dr. Andrew Chew, Program Director at PAACS’ Soddo Christian Hospital

I’ve always been interested in a mission to train surgeons. So much so, that my wife and I left Australia in 2015 to support the work of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) as their Program Director in Ethiopia. PAACS is an organization working in Africa to train and disciple African physicians as surgeons to take care of the poor and bring the message of God to others. We left our home and turned our attention to a surgical training program at Soddo Christian Hospital (SCH).

Right away, I was hit by the reality that trauma is an all-too-common occurrence in Ethiopia. With road traffic injuries representing 60 percent of the traumas seen at SCH, and half of the general surgery ward beds filled with people severely wounded — many with serious head injuries and in coma. We knew we were there to teach much more than surgery.

We asked ourselves, “What if we focused on prevention, rather than trying to fix patients after the event?” This question was the stimulus for our Ethiopian team at PAACS to develop our own trauma registry and begin to better understand the problem. We knew that we could not manage what wasn’t measured.
In Ethiopia, as with much of the African continent, statistics related to road trauma injuries (RTI) were largely lacking in detail or wholly unavailable. Data held from the World Health Organization drew a stark contrast from the estimates of road related fatalities reported by Ethiopia’s Federal Police. In addition, we found there was much more at stake than one victim losing his or her ability to talk or walk in an accident. There is also a loss of their way of life, their livelihood, and their independence. Often, trauma victims become dependent on others and enter a cycle of debt which impacts the entire family and community.
We saw our opportunity to make a difference by improving reporting and information and drawing a straight line to the solution.
Our observations identified many of the root causes leading trauma patients to us, including:· Motorcycle helmet use is minimal
· Most drivers are unlicensed
· Pedestrians and bystanders are unsafe

In June 2016, we created the first ever a comprehensive PAACS trauma database registering all patients admitted to SCH for the management of trauma. To date, more than 3,500 patients have been registered. Armed with credible data and information, we shared our data collections with the regional Police Commissioner and made the case for preventive action.

Our efforts were fruitful. Within an hour, the regional police commissioner invited the PAACS team to address this problem to high ranking officials from the regional police and a public forum where community leaders, a Speaker of the House, road transport authorities were present. Within three weeks, action steps had been taken; all motorcycle drivers were being pulled over for not wearing a helmet.

And we were successful. Our success was truly the health and wellbeing of others.

Our mission at PAACS isn’t to just train African physicians to become surgeons — it’s to think and act in ways that improve the long-term health and wellbeing of others.

The Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) is an organization training African physicians to become surgeons who are willing to remain in Africa to meet this need.

 

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Intimacy and doing God’s will

by John Hall, Mission Central

Doing God’s will is the essence of mission. (I know – master of the obvious.) Yet, it is surprising, in hindsight, how many missional endeavours appear to be massive exercises in hubris. In our current historical and cultural moment, many mission organizations and many Christians are asking the question – what is God’s will?
Actually, that answer is simple! Scripture tells us that God’s will for us is to “love the Lord” and “love our neighbour”. (Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27) What isn’t so simple is the execution. This is primarily due to the need for a catalyst. A catalyst – in scientific terms – is a substance that increases the rate of a reaction. So, what is the catalyst that moves us from knowing God’s will to doing God’s will?

A Detour
In 1975, John Stott wrote an excellent book called Christian Mission in the Modern World. Those of you who enjoy Stott’s writing may want to check out Christopher Wright’s 2015 updated reflections on this book.

This book was ground-breaking for several reasons. Notably, it tried to put into words a biblical picture of mission that superseded the liberal and conservative battle over what mission was about. Back in 1975, it was common for Evangelicals to put a flag in the ground, claiming that Evangelism was the core of mission. The Ecumenical or Mainline churches took mission to be primarily about Social Action.

Happily, Evangelicals today don’t separate Evangelism and Social Action, at least not as much as we used to. Most people are now used to viewing mission holistically. As Stott said about Jesus, “Certainly He preached, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and teaching about the coming and the nature of the kingdom, how to enter it and how it would spread. But He served in deed as well as in word, and it would be impossible in the ministry of Jesus to separate His works from His words.”

Jesus, I would argue, lived out God’s will naturally because He embodied the mission. Two things are worth noting about embodied mission.
Our words and actions must be in sync. Our relationship with God impacts the missional fruit of our life.

 

Intimacy – The Catalyst
In Mark chapter 3 verse 35, Jesus says to people listening to him: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Doing God’s will appears to be important, especially if we want to be part of Jesus’ family. Somehow, people often think that they can do good things and just categorize them as “God’s will”. Feeding the poor, caring for the widow, even evangelism can all fall short of God’s will if not done in relationship with Jesus. Conversely, I’ve heard a lot of people complain that they’ve never had an experience of knowing God’s presence, and yet they’ve never tried to distinguish God’s will from their own.

Jesus says that he has come to do his Father’s will (John 6:38). What is the Father’s will that Jesus is doing? Jesus says the Father’s will is “that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life” (John 6:40). Then later, in Chapter 10 of the book of John, He connects the Father’s will and His relationship with the Father with these words: “My Father, who has given them to me (those that follow Jesus), is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” You can’t get much more intimate than “one”.

In a similar way, Jesus links doing God’s will and intimacy with us in John 15:5: “I am the vine; and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.” Once again, doing God’s will, and even the fruit our efforts produce, is connected to intimacy.
Intimacy with Jesus is the catalyst that moves mission from an activity to identity. God’s will, through intimacy, becomes part of who we are.

Repercussions
Redefining mission from an activity – “something we do”, to being a pillar of our identity, is incredibly important. Just as our God is a God of mission, we need to be people of mission. God doesn’t look at mission as an activity and neither should we. Unfortunately, when we talk about mission, that’s often the impression we give. For instance, how many times have you heard someone say, “I’m going on a missions trip!” or “They have a great missions program”?

Treating mission as an activity has implications for all sorts of things, particularly the types of organizations we build – our churches and mission agencies. An organization that speaks of mission as an activity may naturally gravitate to participating in mission like it’s a program. This might lead to the task being taken over by professionals. The natural outcome is that it is harder for an organization to get funding to nurture identity than it is to get funding for a program. Most of us like a good ROI (Return on Investment). If I told you I was going to bring clean water to 30,000 people for your $1000 investment, you’d probably be quite happy. If I told you that, for that same $1,000, I was going to help 10 people be more intimate with God, and that the measure of success was that they would be more loving, more patient, and kind… I’d probably never see a dime.

We’ve gotten ourselves into a mess by trying to do God’s will without intimacy with him. Jesus’ mission didn’t work that way, and neither can ours.

 

Mission Central and Missions Fest Vancouver exist to foster collaboration and networking of people who are passionate about serving Christ in His mission. For more information, visit www.missioncentral.ca.

 

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The Persecuted Church

edited by Al Coats

Iran

If Iranian State Media is to be believed, the country is in deep mourning following the US assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, a Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) member and leader of the elite Quds Force.

For Iranian Christians, the IRGC is an institution of terror. The government views Christians as a national security threat, and as a challenge to Iran’s Islamic identity. The IRGC collects intelligence on Christians. They conduct searches, make arrests, play a role in conducting sham trials, and hold Christians in some of the country’s worst prisons. Forced disappearances are common. Converts to Christianity are watched and acted against on a regular basis. However, when Iran’s relationship with the West is strained, the Iranian Christian persecution ramps up.

In light of this latest news, one can expect a major crackdown on Christians and other minorities living in Iran.

Also, “the IRGC has been identifying and actively monitoring Iranian groups or factions residing in the West, whom they deem as a threat to the Islamic institution of Iran. This includes Iranian churches, synagogues, student groups, and opposition leaders residing outside of Iran. The threat of IRGC retaliation may extend to any of these groups in the West,” warned Dr. Ansari, an Iranian Christian from ‘Heart4Iran’.

“The deep economic problems of the people, the brutality of the government in killing protesters on the streets, the fear of an imminent war with the US, and the desperation and hopelessness in the country has provided a great opportunity for Christians in Iran to be different and shine for Jesus,” said Pastor Hormoz. “They have a great opportunity to bring real hope in Jesus into people’s lives.”

“Daily on our satellite broadcast, we are teaching and encouraging Christians in Iran not to be fearful and hopeless like others, but to share the good news of the Gospel boldly, bringing salvation, peace and hope in people’s lives,” he continued. “Christians in the West should wake up and know that this is an opportunity of historical proportion to feed the flame of revival already started in Iran.”

Source: http://www.persecution.net (VOM)

 

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Check out the profiles on a various Missions and Ministries.
Capernwray Quebec
Castle Travel
Chosen People Ministries
CFI – Christian Friends of Israel
Christian Service Brigade
Christianity Explored
Creation Science
Discipleship International
Give the Word
Great Commission Media Ministries
Greater Europe Mission
Haven Canada
Himalayan Life
Insight For Living
Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Lighthouse Harbour Ministries
M2/W2
Mennonite Central Committee
Middle East Christian Outreach
Mission to Seafarers
Northern Canada Evangelical Mission
Out of Zion
People International Canada
Regent College – Theology that expands the soul
Rock Solid Refuge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capernwray Quebec

Bible school at Capernwray Québec is designed to provide a practical understanding of the centrality of Christ in the Christian life, preparing students for full-time Christian ministry, regardless of occupation!

Biblical study through classes and group discussions, community living, outreach opportunities are highlights of the program.
We offer an English speaking program located in French-speaking Québec, giving students a unique opportunity to encounter and engage the culture of Québec.
Bible school is offered as two stand-alone programs; Fall school runs from September to December, and Winter school from January to April. There is no overlap in material, so many students join us for the full year!

Reach is a four-week Spring program, created for both new students and alumni who want to grow spiritually and are ready for a challenge! Reach has a strong emphasis on proclaiming Christ within Quebec through outreach and service.

For more information visit www.cqbc.ca

 

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Castle Travel

I’m Joseph Newell, Founder & Managing Director of Castle Travel, our goal is to bridge travel & Missions, vacations too!

Come visit me at Mission Fest in Vancouver Booth 902. I have over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry, owning and operating my own company.
I work with the Travel Agent Next Door. Together we have the best brands, hotel chains, airlines, cruise companies, touring companies and more. I am passionate about travel and providing you with the Air Travel or Holiday of a lifetime that will fit your needs and budget.

Today, your business support allows me to be a Global Volunteer Missionary.

On another travel-related note; Pastors, you and/or your congregation could help us by allowing us your air mile points. This would help missionary travel to and from our home countries. Hope to hear from you soon! www.castletravel.ca, jnewell@castletravel.ca or 613-340-7718.

“An affinity partner of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada”

 

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Chosen People Ministries

Chosen People Ministries has been around for 125 years, and in Canada since the 1940s. We have a staff of over 100 workers serving in sixteen countries (and counting!) around the globe. Our ministry is bringing the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles, but we especially focus on Jewish people.

To put it as simply as possible, we are committed to helping Jewish people come to faith in Jesus, discipling them into a solid, Biblical faith and lifestyle. We are also a teaching resource to the church, reminding believers of their rich Jewish roots and heritage and equipping the church to more effectively reach out to Jewish people.

We share the Gospel through the most effective and creative means possible. Our skilled and well-trained staff members connect with Jewish people in their homes and on streets and campuses. We conduct Bible studies and evangelistic services, yet the core of our ministry is one-to-one, heart-to-heart and home-to-home.

We spend time with individuals, helping them grow in their faith through personal and small group Bible studies. We also establish new congregations of Jewish and Gentile believers in major Jewish population areas across Canada. Through this ministry, hundreds have been equipped to serve the Lord as a witness to the Jewish people.

Ask us about our short-term missions programs, our speakers and our many print and online resources. Join us, March 6-7 in Burnaby for our conference, Israel: the People, the Land, the Future.

Visit us at www.chosenpeople.ca.

 

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CFI – Christian Friends of Israel

Christian Friends of Israel offers Christian Friendship and support for Jewish people and the Nation of Israel, having a clear Biblical mandate for this hour in history. Christians are being called upon to uphold Israel and her right to exist. Now, more than ever, the Jewish people need Christians who will not only Pray for the peace of Jerusalem but openly stand on their behalf.

Some of our projects:
o Project Open Gates – assisting new immigrants from many countries return to the promised land – Israel
o Project Streams of Blessing – assisting elderly people and poor from many walks of life
o Project Bridal Salon – providing attire to Brides and Grooms at no cost
o Project Forsake Them Not – helping needy and sick Holocaust survivors
o Project David’s Shield – outreach to the Israeli soldiers
o Project Under His Wings – binding up psychological wounds and scars for victims of terrorism
o Project Communities Under Attack – reaching out to victims of rocket attacks
o Media and Development – supporting truthful information about Israel to be spread globally
o First Fruit – sowing seed into Israel – prayer and financial support.

www.cfi-canada.org 778-388-0817
MissionsFest Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2020 Booth 716

 

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Christian Service Brigade

Iron Sharpens Iron – CSB Men’s Network

Men’s ministry – the ministry of Jesus Christ through men and to men – is a vital part of every church. It’s all about fellowship and trust, and when it’s working well, it can take a man with overwhelming burdens to being engaged in Kingdom-growing action. Faith is strengthened and men are moved in serving their families, churches and communities. Churches grow. Therefore, we invest in Iron Sharpens Iron; it builds churches which build men.

Iron Sharpens Iron is an international men’s conference which draws together men and a network of local, regional and international partners to showcase ministries that are specific to men.

Join us on April 4, 2020 for two keynote speakers and twelve seminars which build men as church and community leaders, as husbands and fathers, as shepherds and evangelists, and as workers of the Church. Register at www.csbbc.org/mens-network. Presented by the CSB Men’s Network – “Building Godly Men of Today.”

www.csbbc.org

 

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Christianity Explored

Christianity Explored (CE) is an outreach ministry which was developed in a church in London, England, in the early 2000’s by evangelist Rico Tice, under the leadership of John Stott. It involves a seven week journey through the Gospel of Mark to look at Jesus from three perspectives: Identity (Who is he?), Mission (Why did he come?), and Call (invitation to follow him and what does it mean to do so.) It uses the format that has proven effective in communicating the Gospel message to todays, lesser-churched culture – invitation, food, talk, discussion – where guests are welcomed unconditionally and encouraged to ask any question or offer any opinion without ridicule or condemnation.

CE has resources not only for leading people to a first-time relationship with Jesus Christ, but for discipling and deepening the faith of those God has brought to that new relationship through other means.

www.christianityexplored.ca

 

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Creation Science

Christians should not feel a need to compromise a literal understanding of Genesis.

Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. During a second eruption in 1982, water, mud and ash flowing at 64 kph carved out ‘The Little Grand Canyon’ (about 1/40th the size of the Grand Canyon) 43 m deep in a single day.

How has this event affected the scientists who believe in long age uniformitarian geology?

The Mar/Apr 2019 Canadian Geographic magazine published an article titled, “Volcano Alley” by Andrew Findlay. The writer of the article and the scientists involved are not young earth creationists.

The subject area is our local Garibaldi area and Mt. Meager. The writer of the article is traveling with highly qualified volcanologist, Professor Kelly Russell, from the UBC department of earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences.

The following is a verbal discussion between Findlay and Russell. The two men are on location and looking at Keystone Falls where the Lillooet River flows through a narrow 100 m deep canyon. “What do you think caused this canyon to form?” asks Russell, and goes on to say, “conventional wisdom suggests that it’s simply the result of the persistent erosive powers of the glacier-fed Lillooet River. -Not so simple,” he says.

Professor Russell goes on to explain that the last eruption of Mt. Meager was 2,400 years ago. He compares the eruption to that of Mount St. Helens, then goes on to describe how the canyon formed at Keystone Falls.

“Viscous lava and ash began oozing down the mountainside . . . forming a natural dam on the Lillooet River. Over a period of between 40 and 70 days a lake formed . . . but the reservoir didn’t last. Water infiltrated the deposits at the top of the dam causing it to suddenly fail and release a flood that would have been biblical in its intensity. Over a period of between 10 and 20 hours the torrent eroded a 2.5 km long canyon . . . ”

Then Professor Russell made this statement: “Gradualism is out. Catastrophism is in”.
The greatest catastrophe in history was the Great Flood of Noah’s time. In that year-long global event “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). In the years that followed, massive amounts of water trapped inland would have broken through still-soft sediments of natural dams quickly carving out canyons as they made their way to the sea. This can adequately account for rapid formation of most of the canyons we see in our world today.

www.creationbc.org

 

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Discipleship International

At Discipleship International, a big part of our training is giving those being discipled transferable tools to help them grow their faith and to be used to disciple others. One of the first disciplines we teach through Application, Accountability and Affirmation is being in the Word of God on a daily basis (having a daily quiet time). This is a vital step in the discipleship process, for to be little with God is to be little for God.

One of the tools we teach to help those being discipled to navigate through the scripture is the acronym S.P.E.C.K.
S – Is there a sin to confess?
P – Is there a promise to claim?
E – Is there an example to follow?
C – Is there a command to obey?
K – Is there new knowledge or insight about God?

When reading the scriptures on a daily basis, many people have troubles drawing out key concepts and making personal application from what they are reading. The S.P.E.C.K acronym gives them some specific areas to look for when reading.

This is just one of many tools that are provided as we take Christians through the process of going from milk to meat in their walk with God.
Come and see us at our booth S06 January 31 and February 1st at Missions Fest to find out more about getting involved in a discipleship journey.

www.discipleshipint.org

 

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Give the Word

Each one reach one

Imagine the impact us as believers would have if every single one of us would take opportunities to share the gospel. This world would look so much different. And yet, this is EXACTLY what Jesus has asked of every single believer. Not a single believer is exempt from the task of sharing the gospel. Many of us ask God for opportunities to share our faith but when the opportunity comes, we shy away or consider it “too awkward”. I get that we are not all evangelists at heart. Some of us are a little more introverted….but is there anything at all that is preventing you from giving someone the Word of God? Jesus often preceded his gospel message with an act of service, love, or a miracle, which then gave Him an opening to share the gospel. What if we would do that? Go and do something so outrageous for someone that is causes them to ask you. “Why would you do that for me”? And then tell them and give them a Bible. It’s that simple, and it works. If you need a Bible to give away, we’ll send you one.

Info.givetheword@gmail.com, www.givetheword.ca, 204-803-5773

Visit us on Facebook @givetheword

www.givewithword.ca
Call: 204-803-5773

 

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Great Commission Media Ministries

Accelerating the Great Commission

God’s Power to Transform Cities
Great Commission Media Ministries uses all the media simultaneously to proclaim the Gospel in a major city, nonstop, for a 30-day period, an idea conceived of the Holy Spirit. These month-long Mega City campaigns utilize local TV, radio, outdoor ads, billboards, banners, signs, light boxes, ads on buses and taxis, ads in newspapers, and a specially-produced evangelism book. The book has 15 high-impact transformation stories, the road map to new life in Jesus, and the prayer of salvation.
This coordinated use of media would practically reach a whole city. Participating local churches work closely with GCM Ministries during these campaigns and follow up on new Christians.

A call center operates 24/7 to receive calls from people searching for faith in God. Callers would receive the book on transformation through faith in Jesus.

 

God’s Miracle in Tanzania
The highly effective, mega-city media campaign in Tanzania was held in November 2019.

Over 140,000 people have called the call centre to find out how their lives can change. An incredible 70% of calls are from Muslims. For many Muslims, it is a risky step of faith to contact a Christian call center or talk to believers.

One of the stories in the evangelistic campaign book and in all major media in Tanzania was about a home grown Muslim named Mesek.

Mesek was on a mission to convert every Christian in Tanzania to Islam. But, in the process, Jesus saved his soul and delivered him from the clutches of Satan. He was a Tanzanian “Saul of Tarsus” on an unholy mission. Mesek’s transformation story triggered thousands of calls from Muslims across Tanzania, wanting to know more about his faith in the God of the Bible.

We originally printed 30,000 evangelism books for distribution, but we upped the printing to 90,000. The demand was so great that last week we placed an order for 100,000 more books. A massive follow-up operation is now taking place.

This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations. Let us go together into all the world and preach the Gospel. Matthew 24:14, Mark 16:15.

For more information or to partner with us in missions, go to our website: www.gcmministries.com or call us toll free: 877-674-5630.

 

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Greater Europe Mission

Spend a summer living out the gospel across Europe with the Ten2 Project! Our name comes from Luke 10:2, where Jesus says that, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Ten2 is a unique, 11-week summer program that gives college students an insider opportunity to see God at work in Europe with European and Greater Europe Mission (GEM) Christian workers. If you want to impact your world for Christ, keep your eyes on Europe because of the incredible opportunity it represents in global ministry. Europe is unreached, influential, and connected in a way that no other field is!

Find out how you can make a difference and participate in this incredible, life-changing summer at www.ten2project.org, and see what others have to say on Instagram @ten2project and #ten2project.

 

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Himalayan Life

We are a Christian charity that exists to enhance the lives of children in the Himalayas.

Through protecting, nurturing and educating children, we aim to move them from a place of not life to life. Our work is literally about life and death as we provide comprehensive care to street children, abandoned children, slave children, and other socio-economically disadvantaged children. We touch the lives of a wide range of children through meaningful school- and community-based programs by standing in the gap so that these children choose life.

Your big-hearted partnership will bring disadvantaged children in the Himalayas from a place of not life to life. So thank you for the part that you play in making these children flourish.

This past year, we served over 2,085 children through all of our programs. Of these, 231 children were provided homes! In addition, through these programs, we helped provide 323,000 meals.

 

www.himalayanlife.com

 

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Haven Canada

Haven Canada’s new office is a miracle, much like the ministry itself, born out of many “Christ-moments”.

Haven was founded 86 years ago by Paul Meyers. Awoken from an alcoholic stupor on a San Diego pier by the sound of a ship’s bell ringing eight times, signalling “all’s well,” Paul went back to his cheap hotel room and started reading the Gideon’s Bible. That day he met Jesus.

In March 1934, Paul Meyers went on air with the first radio broadcast of Haven of Rest. Each program began with 8 tolls of a bell, the greeting, “AHOY THERE SHIPMATE… EIGHT BELLS AND ALL’S WELL,” and the hymn, “I’ve anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest; I’ll sail the wide seas no more; The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep; In Jesus, I’m safe evermore.”

Our current speaker, Charles Morris, has been described as almost Canadian, a non-partisan pastor and “the man with the lullaby voice… like Mr. Rogers!” As I have come to know Charles personally, he is what you hear on the radio – a thoughtful communicator who genuinely wants everyone to experience the pure joy that comes from knowing Jesus.
Today, the daily broadcast, now called Haven Today, airs on 650 stations across North America and around the world, with a weekly listenership of over 1,000,000. The ministry also offers the Anchor Daily Devotional and El Faro, Haven’s Spanish radio broadcast in Cuba.

As Jesus came to calm the storms of life, literally and spiritually, Haven is one of God’s instruments to help rescue people in the storms of their lives. “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble… and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalms 107:28-30. Please stop by to meet our team at Haven Canada, #302 – 1777 56th Street, Tsawwassen, BC.

www.haventoday.ca

 

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Insight For Living

This year, we extended an invitation to our listeners and readers. We invited you to partner with Insight for Living Canada as we plant the seed of God’s Word in the Lord’s ongoing work of building His church.

To those who have supported this ministry through prayers and finances, thank you.

Every week, our programs air 2,000 times across the country. On top of that, thousands of people stream Insight for Living online or on mobile devices, read our devotional emails, or purchase books and CDs. The Word of God is reaching Canadians. Jesus is building His church and lives are being changed.

We are continually reminded of this by the phone calls, emails, and letters we receive that Insight for Living Canada is in a spiritual partnership with God and with people like you.

We cherish your friendship with Insight for Living Canada. Thank you for standing with us.

www.insightforliving.ca

 

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Kenneth Copeland Ministries

2020 – The Year of new visions, great change and manifested power
Prophecy delivered by Kenneth Copeland

 

“What about 2020? Many things will be said about vision in 2020 because of the natural nature of 20/20 eyesight. But you and I, and those who seek the face of God and know the voice of God…will have vision, insight, ideas and concepts. And it will be a time of the fulfilling of the word that was spoken in My WORD that said, ‘The young men and the old men shall have visions and dreams’…

“The LORD is revealing new visions this coming year that will be absolutely stunning. They will include insights, ideas and concepts that have never been heard of before. Joel 2:28-29 (and Acts 2:16-18) tells us, “It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

“2020 will be a year of great change. Wonderful and magnificent changes in the kingdom of God in the earth. Changes that will come because of insights, ideas and concepts directly from Jesus to His Church by His mighty Spirit. Glorious concepts of how His laws work; the laws governing increase and financial prosperity; the laws of the Spirit that release miracles and divine healings and manifestations of His Almighty power on the earth. New concepts of His love; His very person; for He is love. Insights into the true power and strength of His joy. “

Stay focused in 2020. To help, we want to offer you a FREE 2020 Calendar. This beautifully-designed calendar includes a daily Bible reading plan and inspiring scriptures. Order yours today and let it be a reminder of God’s love for you!

www.kcmcanada.ca

 

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Lighthouse Harbour Ministries

Lighthouse Harbour Ministries operates two recreation/ministry centres for international sailors in Vancouver area. Recently, while having coffee at the North Vancouver Centre, an Indian sailor, Jag, happened to see a scene from the Jesus Film playing on a video screen. It depicted the brutal beating Jesus endured prior to His crucifixion.

Puzzled by it, Jag asked a Lighthouse chaplain why Jesus was being beaten. Perceiving the situation as an opportunity from the Lord, the chaplain responded by sharing the Gospel with Jag. God’s plan to rescue mankind through Jesus’ sacrifice was explained and, amazingly, at the same time the video had progressed to show Jesus’ crucifixion; impeccable timing. Jag appeared to be truly touched by the Gospel in a manner that, likely, would not have been so potent without the visual communication. God is working in the hearts of seafarers from around the world.

For more information: www.sealight.org

 

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M2/W2

At M2/W2 Association – Restorative Christian Ministries, we believe in second chances. After all, each of us got a second chance. We chose to turn away from one path and discover what God has for us on another – the narrow path of faith. Everyone’s journey is different, though, and we face unique obstacles.

For someone who is in prison or transitioning back into society, belief in a second chance is critical. It’s a source of hope and purpose. When you believe that change is possible, it empowers you to live for something bigger than yourself.

Our organization has three programs, each designed to support and encourage people who are committed to change yet face the emotional, spiritual, and physical obstacles that often result from incarceration.

For over five decades, our one-on-one mentorship program has been equipping volunteers to go into prisons and build relationships with people behind bars. In time, these connections become lasting friendships based on mutual respect and affection.

At Hidden Treasures Thrift Stores in Abbotsford and Chilliwack, inmates on work release gain employment experience alongside store staff and volunteers from the community. The proceeds from selling quality used items help support our ministry.

The No One Leaves Alone (NOLA) program lifts up former inmates as they seek restoration and healing as free men and women. Each NOLA member works with a circle of volunteers and staff who help that member find their place in the community and make the most of their second chance. To learn how you can make an impact visit m2w2.com

 

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Mennonite Central Committee

As Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) celebrates its Centennial Birthday (100yrs) in 2020, volunteers, supporters and staff across Canada and the U.S. will sew comforters and attend an event titled, The Great Winter Warm-Up.

“Comforters are an excellent metaphor for the nature of our work around the world at MCC,” says Rick Cober Bauman, executive director of MCC Canada.

“One square of fabric alone cannot keep the cold away, but many pieces connected together produce warmth against the cold. When our volunteers and supporters come together to create comforters for The Great Winter Warm-Up, they will make a difference in the lives of people affected by conflict and disaster.”

MCC, founded 100 years ago, was called to provide food and relief to refugees and families affected by war and famine in southern Russia in the 1920s. Today, MCC continues to work in the areas of relief, development and peace in the name of Christ, as called in Matthew 25:34 to offer food, water, clothing and care to the stranger. The comforters that are tied with love, are an expression of our response to the 70.8 million people displaced around the world today.

The Great Winter Warm-Up will take place in Abbotsford on January 18, 2020 at Ross Road Community Church (3160 Ross Road, Abbotsford). Join us between 10 am and 2 pm, as we collect and create comforters. Whether you’re a seasoned sewer or new to the world of comforter making, there will be an opportunity for all. Find out more at mccbc.ca/events or 604-850-6639.

 

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Middle East Christian Outreach

I want to make the most difference possible when it comes to reaching out to those who have yet to experience a relationship with Jesus. The older I get, the more I understand the concept of making disciples.

The one-to-one relationship gets most of my time. Although I may still dream of the masses coming to faith, I know it is my gift of time to disciple that makes most of the difference. It happened with Jesus, and it happened with Paul, and it has happened with so many others.

Those we spend time with may become the next generational leaders. “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2.

Visit us at www.mecocanada.ca.

Erwin van Laar is the President of MECO Canada, called to serve those in and from the Middle East
www.mecocanada.ca

 

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Mission to Seafarers

‘On Father’s Day he got to hold his daughter’

A Captain and crew had been onboard a ship without pay, proper food and scant means of communication.

Into this situation stepped the Mission Chaplain in the United Arab Emirates as he does on an all-too-regular basis to assist seafarers who are existing as they describe it on a floating prison.

After 28 months abandoned at sea, the Captain and crew got to go home to India and he ‘held his daughter’. It was there that the Mission chaplain in the port of Tuticorin continued the support.

You can learn more about the global work of the Mission to Seafarers in caring and advocating for seafarers at www.missiontoseafarers.org. When we work together, the light and love of Christ shines brightly for those who find themselves abandoned but not forgotten.

 

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Northern Canada Evangelical Mission

Our missionaries are active across Canada in evangelism, discipling, and ministering to the needs of the whole person. We do these within the framework of the bigger picture – we believe that establishing local fellowship groups and churches is central to the Great Commission and the building of God’s Kingdom among Canada’s First Peoples.
There are still many Aboriginal communities without a healthy Bible-based church. Can you imagine anything more rewarding than seeing, firsthand, a church planted where there previously wasn’t one?

We have career church multiplying opportunities, as well as short- and long-term ministry openings in Bible camps, publishing, television, office, and facilities maintenance.
Visit our website (www.ncem.ca) or call 306-764-3388. See how God is working among Canada’s First Peoples when you tune in to our TV program Tribal Trails … or watch anytime online at www.tribaltrails.org … and come see us at Missions Fest Vancouver, Jan. 31-Feb. 1!

 

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Out of Zion

Bringing light and blessings to the nations

Out of Zion Ministries is based on Mt. Carmel in northern Israel. Founder David Silver immigrated to Israel with his wife Josie and two sons in 1992.
David and Josie began to participate in evangelism campaigns in Russia and Central Asia in 1995, planting Messianic congregations and seeing large numbers of Jewish people coming into the Kingdom.

In 1997, David sensed the LORD directing him to take the message of the Biblical relationship of the Church, Israel and the Jewish people, to the nations. Since that time, David has ministered the Word of GOD in more than 40 nations, and has been coming to Canada since 2003.

David has written a book, A Slow Train Coming, which is a very simple but informative look at the history, present and future of Israel and the Church. The Out of Zion website contains numerous articles and teaching videos that scriptually clarify this very important subject.

www.out-of-zion.com

 

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People International Canada

People International Canada serves in greater Central Asia often referred to as the Stans. Our friends and those we minister to are shop keepers, teachers, bakers, taxi drivers, grandmas, farmers and business people. Our goal is to invest in local believers and build up the local churches. In one country we work in, a “Gypsy” or Roma ministry has begun. One of our team members has a special interest in Gypsies. He ministers in a gypsy community where many have now come to Jesus. Not only have they decided to follow Jesus, but the decision has changed their lives: they have registered their marriages, put their children in school, and started working! No one has ever heard of such life changes before in this country. This is the real outcome of sharing Jesus in hard-to-reach places. People’s lives are transformed. Communities are changed for the good.

www.gopeople.ca

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Regent College – Theology that expands the soul

An interviewer once asked J.I. Packer why so many people today find theology boring.

Some theologians wait their whole life for this kind of juicy opportunity. All Dr. Packer had to do was draw and take aim at some easy targets. He could denounce the secularization of our churches, our culture of instant gratification, or many other (legitimate) scapegoats.

Instead, he did the opposite. He shifted the weight onto people who teach theology—people like himself.

“Too often theology has been taught in a rigidly defensive way: ‘This stuff you are to believe and share; these are the errors you are to recognize and reject.’ … Such an approach shrinks the soul.

“Focusing on the greatness of God, though, enlarges the soul. Paradoxically, it makes you a greater person by making you a smaller person. It makes you humble. It lowers you in your own estimate.”

Correct doctrine is vital: few believe that more passionately than Dr. Packer. But teaching theology is about more than just filling students’ heads with the right ideas. It’s about bringing them into God’s presence and giving them the opportunity to be awed and inspired by their creator.

Our great desire for our students at Regent College is not just that they will learn about God, but that they will encounter God with their whole beings. That kind of theology is the most exciting thing we could teach––because it’s the most exciting thing we will ever do.

www.regent-college.edu

 

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Rock Solid Refuge

At Rock Solid Refuge, half of the equation of what we do is working with parents in hopes of giving them greater tools to work with their teenage sons with the goal of repairing those often struggling or broken relationships.

Communication is usually the biggest area of dysfunction between teenagers and their parents. Most teens don’t enjoy conversations with parents and parents often struggle to engage their teenagers in basic conversation. So the following is probably the most common advice that we at Rock Solid Refuge give to parents to help them connect one-on-one with their teenage sons:

· Do ask thoughtful questions.
· Do spend more time listening than talking.
· Do give them your full and undivided attention.

However…
· Don’t turn your conversation into a lecture.
· Don’t give your opinion, without asking their permission.
· Finally, don’t shut down their response with critical words or body language.

Starting a conversation with a teenager is often difficult, although, with the application of these basic tips, parents can begin to create a safe place for conversations to happen.

For more information about what we do or more helpful resources, go to:

www.rocksolidrefuge.com

 

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