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

Engage: A spotlight on Christian Mission and Ministry – Spring 2020

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

 

Sign up to receive bi-monthly story updates at editor@lightmagazine.ca – put Light Magazine updates in the Subject line

 

Articles

“It’s like being reborn” – Samaritan’s Purse EFH in Italy

MCC 100: Four ways MCC is responding to COVID-19

MCC – Generations of gratitude

Missionaries also bearing COVID-19’s burden

Resetting the missionary paradigm

Putting the byte into Scripture translation

Nothing is impossible for God: Nothing!

Choosing to be present

Mission Central: Prayer for the Front Line

The Persecuted Church

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s like being reborn”

Samaritan’s Purse, and Canadians like you, are snatching lives from the fatal jaws of COVID-19.

“When you go through something like this, you really get scared.” For days, Umberto struggled to breathe normally and his temperature had slowly risen to an alarming 105 degrees. He recognized the warning signs of COVID-19, the virus that had disrupted the daily lives of so many in his community in northern Italy.

 

Emergency Field Hospital, Cremona, Italy

An ambulance rushed him to Cremona Hospital on March 17 where he tested positive for COVID-19. Doctors and nurses placed Umberto on a ventilator to keep him breathing – his lungs were not strong enough to keep him alive on their own.

“I remember that someone said now I am going to fall asleep,” Umberto said. “Then I only remember that I woke up and I saw you [Samaritan’s Purse staff and that is it.”

Umberto was among the initial intensive care patients treated at the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital in the city of Cremona, Italy. He was transferred to the Christian charity’s mobile hospital, specially outfitted as a respiratory care unit, still on a ventilator and unable to breathe on his own.
At the time, no coronavirus patients once in ICU at Cremona Hospital had survived. Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses – including Canadians such as B.C. native Bev Kauffeldt – prayed for a miracle, that Umberto would be one of many patients to walk out of the ICU as a testimony to the healing power found in Christ.

After more than two weeks on life support, that prayer was answered. Umberto woke up and was finally able to breathe on his own. He was overjoyed to be met with the smiling faces of the medical staff who had cared for him.

Though he had been mostly unconscious during his time in the ICU, he heard team members praying over him and reading the Bible. That continued, even more so, once he was alert and removed from life support.

“Everything was about Jesus,” Umberto said. “Everything they do, I could feel that they didn’t do it only because they are nurses and doctors but also because they really believe in Jesus.”

Umberto is now healthy and reunited with his wife and kids at home. He recognizes that he is a miracle, repeating over and over that he feels as if he has been “rebirthed.”

“I cannot even describe it, only the thought that I am here is a miracle,” Umberto said. “It’s like being reborn and now I’m seeing things from another point of view.”

He is forever grateful to the Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses for their spiritual support and physical care. “There aren’t words to describe it, I cannot thank them enough. There are no words to thank them, saying thank you wouldn’t be enough.”

“Samaritan’s Purse is a paver of God’s Word to come to people who probably never had the Gospel presented to them in a real, tangible way,” said Damaris Scalzi, a chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.

“Christ laid down his life, it wasn’t taken from him. COVID-19 is taking lives, but the Lord is giving [patients] an opportunity to have peace regardless of the outcome. It’s a perfect time for us to be here, actually during this season, during this holiday.”

Each day as Samaritan’s Purse team members enter the hospital site, an empty tent serves as a reminder of God’s protection.

“I think one of the coolest parts of being here at the site is coming in the morning and seeing one of our tents set aside for any staff who get sick; right now, it is empty,” said Matthew Hodgkins, a member of the organization’s Disaster Assistance Response Team.

Please continue to pray for God’s strength, guidance, and protection as the Samaritan’s Purse teams continue to serve patients in Jesus’ name.
You can learn more about the organization’s COVID-19 work in Italy, Canada and the United States at SamaritansPurse.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four ways MCC is responding to COVID-19

Things like frequent hand washing and social distancing have become the new normal. This is life during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures help reduce the spread and keep everyone safe. We’re all in this together.

But the hardships we bear are not the same. Some of our neighbours will be faced with impossible choices like staying home safely or earning enough to pay rent. Others have no one to call when they need help buying groceries. This virus is not an equalizer. It’s especially true for the tens of millions around the world who were already vulnerable before this crisis began. They face even greater risks during this pandemic.

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) knows this well. For over a century, MCC has cared for people who are vulnerable around the world. We know there’s not just one answer to a crisis. However, there are areas of MCC’s work that are vital to supporting people who are particularly vulnerable in situations like this.

 

Healthcare
Temporary shelters, close quarters and a lack of hygiene supplies – this is where disease and infection spread. It’s also the reality in the Mubimbi and Poste displaced persons camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). MCC is partnering with the ECC-MERU (Church of Christ in Congo) to provide healthcare to displaced people there. A clinic provides treatment for the hundreds of people living in each camp.

 

Water and hygiene
Now that you’re washing your hands what seems like a dozen times a day, it’s easy to see the importance of clean, safe water. Many people around the world don’t have access to it. MCC supports water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs that drastically reduce the spread of diseases. Clean water, effective hygiene practices and proper waste management keep people healthy.

Two remote Haitian communities, Wopisa-Gabriyèl and Kabay, saw 291 deaths from cholera in 2016. In 2017, MCC began public hygiene training, providing water purification equipment and building latrines. The result? Cholera was eliminated from the two communities.

In southern Chad, tens of thousands of refugees who’ve fled Central African Republic have virtually no access to resources. Living in camps and nearby villages, they often rely on unsafe open-pit wells for water. MCC partner SECADEV (Catholic Relief and Development) is working to install new sealed water pumps, build latrines and provide education on proper hygiene practices. This ensures waste doesn’t contaminate the local water supply.

Food assistance
It’s not unusual to hear reports of stores with empty shelves and restaurants closing in recent days. Feeling unsure of secure food is a new feeling for many of us. But millions around the world can’t walk to a nearby supermarket or order takeout when they are hungry. MCC provides emergency food and helps farmers grow food to feed their families.

After Cyclone Idai hit southeastern Africa in 2019, many families had no access to food. MCC and local Brethren in Christ churches worked to provide emergency food to thousands. This urgent work continues across the globe including places like Syria, DR Congo and Colombia.

In rural Cambodia, it’s common for families to run small-scale rice farms and vegetable gardens. But many don’t produce enough to sustain their homes. MCC partner, Organization to Develop our Villages, invests in farmer-led co-operatives, which bolster families’ ability to feed themselves and sell their surplus to pay for things like medical care.

 

Peacebuilding
The constant stream of news updates about the spread of COVID-19 has caused fear and anxiety for many. MCC’s peacebuilding tackles the difficult work of creating peaceful dialogue in areas of tension and conflict while also educating people about how to prevent the spread of the virus.

In 2006, Issa Ebombolo started Peace Clubs in three schools in Zambia to help students build peace and speak up for their rights and safety. Now, more than 650 peace clubs exist in 14 African countries, not just in schools. Communities, churches and refugee camps have also adopted this nonviolent method of building peace.

MCC is well positioned to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in the places we work. Together, we can care for our neighbours, whether across the street or around the globe. Thank you for your support.

www.mcccanada.ca/stories/mcc-celebrates-100-years-ministry-2020

As MCC celebrates 100 years, in the coming months we will look at how MCC has expanded beyond its beginnings. We will explore the many ministries serving locally, nationally and globally.

 

 

 

MCC – Generations of gratitude

by Laureen F. Guenther

“If it wasn’t for MCC, I wouldn’t be here,” says Renita Hamm. “My grandparents were starving. MCC saved their lives.”

In 1918, Sara Reimer and Heinrich Kornelsen, Hamm’s maternal grandparents, lived with their parents in what was then Alexanderkrone, Ukraine.
The Russian Revolution had occurred in 1917, and anarchy reigned. The Red and White Armies engaged in a civil war, and the Reimer and Kornelsen families lived near the warfront. Soldiers moved in and out of the villages, stealing or destroying whatever they wanted.

During the 1918-1919 winter, Sara Kornelsen wrote in her memoirs, their family had overnight ‘guests’ – soldiers from the Red Army, or the White – every night for five months. Soldiers of both armies, and bands of robbers, demanded food and stole belongings, destroyed property and assaulted girls and women, and murdered hundreds of people.

“The invasion of the (soldiers) also brought lice and an epidemic of typhus, which caused many deaths,” Sara remembered. “We had no choice. The soldiers made themselves at home in our homes.”

Then famine added starvation to their sorrow. The summer of 1919 brought total crop failure. “The sun was so hot the grain burned before it could fill out,” Sara wrote. “Our vegetable crop was poor too.”

At the end of the summer, when Sara and her mother harvested their half-acre of potatoes, they carried the entire harvest home in one trip.

They started the winter with some flour and barley, but not enough to bake bread. In the attic, where they’d stored grain, they swept up the left-behind kernels, mixed with roof plaster and mouse droppings. They sorted out the grain, washed it and boiled it, then mixed that with ground beets to make flat loaves of bread. It wasn’t enough, but it was all they had.

“When we were sitting at the table with our meager rations, Russian children from the villages looked in the window and begged, ‘For God’s sake, a piece of bread,’” Sara remembered. “It was so hard to say no. We were all so hungry too. We took to drawing the window shades so no one could see when we were eating.”

Sara’s brothers found crows’ eggs, which were baked into the bread. Then they all ate the family cat.

After Easter, Sara’s oldest brother, who’d emigrated to Chicago, sent a package of flour, rice, sugar and tea. “How delighted we all were when that parcel arrived and we could, for once, all satisfy our hunger,” Sara wrote.

In spring, the hens began to lay again, and the perennial herbs began to grow.

In summer of 1920, four Mennonite men from Ukraine went to western Europe and North America, to tell their fellow Mennonites of Russia’s troubles and to plead for help. At that time, small local Mennonite relief commissions were working in various locations. When they heard the stories from Russia, they decided to join forces.

The Mennonite Central Committee held its first official meeting in September 1920, but it was more than a year before the Soviet government allowed MCC to enter Russia. Hamm says her grandfather, Heinrich Kornelsen, was on the committee distributing the first food and clothing. MCC also set up soup kitchens and fed thousands of starving Russians. Later, they brought in tractors to replace the Mennonites’ horses, lost to war and starvation.
In 1923, Sara Reimer and Heinrich Kornelsen were married. There was food again, and relative peace, but Russia was still unsettled. That same year, Heinrich left his parents and siblings and emigrated with his new wife to Canada, settling in Coaldale, Alberta. Hamm’s mother Elvira was their second daughter, born in 1926.

Elvira Kornelson married John J. Dueck. Renita (Dueck) Hamm is their seventh child.

At family and church gatherings throughout Hamm’s childhood, she heard her grandparents begin every prayer with a heartfelt outpouring of, “Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You again that You brought us here (to Canada).” “Those prayers were heard every Sunday in church,” she says. “It resonated (with me) for a long time.”

Hamm’s mother, Elvira Dueck, never forgot what her parents had suffered, and how MCC had helped them. She volunteered at the MCC Thrift Store in Lethbridge, for over 50 years. She also volunteered at her church, the hospital and other community organizations. She passed away in 2019, at the age of 92.

Hamm and her husband Bill have four grown children and two grandchildren. As her mother did, Hamm still supports MCC. Recently, she participated in an MCC quilt-making project that provides comforters for displaced persons. And like her mother, Hamm gives to her church and community.
“Thank you for listening to the Spirit,” she’d like to say to the MCC founders and volunteers who rescued her grandparents. “Thank you for (paying attention to) the news. Thank you for caring. Thank you for getting organizations like CPRail and International Harvester to come onboard and help, and for providing ways for Canada to welcome us. Thank you for asking everyone to pay attention. Thank you.”

To those of her children’s and grandchildren’s generations, she hopes to pass on another message. “We’re all God’s children,” she says. “The world is just a big, inter-connected community and we’d better pay attention to all its members. We’re not alone in this world. There’s a debt that must be paid forward. In doing that, we honour our past and our future.”

 

 

 

Choosing to be present

by Angelika Dawson

Andrew Ardell is a friendly person who smiles readily and is thoughtful in his conversation. He cares deeply about the people he serves and is aware of how much he gains from the relationships he’s made through his work with Communitas Supportive Care Society. This positive perspective is borne out of years of service experience around the world and here at home.

Andrew has lived and served in South East Asia, Ukraine, Bolivia, as well as in Prince George, BC. He’s worked with organizations like Mennonite Central Committee and Multiply. Today, he’s studying to become a social worker and working with Communitas, serving people who live with mental health challenges, through a service called Supported Independent Living (SIL).

Ardell is bringing his global experience to his local context. He can still remember the experience that changed his worldview. At the young age of 13, serving with his parents in Cambodia, he began to see that he didn’t have all the answers. He realized that the people with whom he interacted had as much to offer him as he had to offer them.

“That experience reshaped my understanding of what it really means to serve people,” he says. “It changed how I looked at support and empowerment.”
This reshaping was reinforced by his subsequent service experiences. In each context, Ardell found resilient people working at creating authentic communities.

“I truly experienced reciprocal relationships, where people living with severe trauma were finding ways to support and serve me,” he says. “It was very humbling.”

His experiences in service and his current schooling also impact his current work with SIL. Even now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ardell supports a number of people who have lived with mental health challenges nearly all their adult lives. Bringing a different perspective, encouraging new habits, and setting realistic goals are a few of the ways that Ardell tries to support these individuals. Ardell sees each encounter as an opportunity to help change the trajectory of their lives.

“Each conversation, text, or meeting can help lift someone up and empower them to new heights,” he says. “I may not ever get to see where they end up but I get to support them as they change the trajectory of the rest of their life.”

COVID-19 has impacted Ardell’s working life in a few ways. He has begun working part time in one of Communitas’ group homes, supporting two children living with mental health challenges. Alongside of this work, he continues to engage with the adults he serves and now regularly connects by phone or internet. He’s also been able to come up with new ways for people to use their gifts and stay connected, developing art projects and other creative ways for people to stay engaged even while they’re apart.

Ardell is grateful for a flexible schedule that allows him to study as he works. He also loves working with his colleagues at SIL. Vicky Manderson manages the SIL service at Communitas and says Ardell has been a wonderful addition to the team. “Andrew is able to immediately put people at ease and build trust,” Vicky says, affirming his genuine support and encouragement of others. She is also appreciative of Ardell’s ability to think outside the box. “He has come up with creative ways to engage with SIL participants and empower them to go after their goals. We are all grateful for his presence.”

When asked how anyone could support someone living with mental health challenges, he says that genuine relationships are key.

“I wish people could know that their presence in someone’s life really has power,” he says. “You don’t need a degree or any special training to be someone’s friend. Being with someone isn’t complicated, you just have to choose to be present.”

To learn more about Supported Independent Living, visit CommunitasCare.com/services/supported-independent-living. To learn more about Communitas’ response to COVID-19 visit: CommunitasCare.com/communitas-responds-to-covid-19-2

 

 

 

 

Missionaries also bearing COVID-19’s burden

by S. Daniel Smith

Roy and Nancy Jones arrived in Spain as missionaries in 1978, starting three fellowships in Madrid suburbs between then and 2020. The most recent church plant is a roughly fifty-person fellowship in the town of Torres de la Alameda. Unfortunately, in the weeks since COVID-19 became a worldwide pandemic and ravaged Spain’s culture and economy, the Jones family has struggled to minister to a culture that needs the love of Jesus Christ now more than ever.

The Jones family is not alone in feeling the pinch associated with the virus’ impact on Spanish culture. Mario and Paola Iglesias, working in the small town of Sopela, also face stiff measures designed to halt COVID-19’s spread, but unintentionally affect mission work as well. Their struggle gives a window into the life of missionaries during a pandemic and provides a possible foreshadowing for ministers in the western hemisphere.

 

A new virus strikes
First appearing in Wuhan, China in late 2019, COVID-19 made its way quickly across the globe. Before full quarantine measures could take effect, it struck victims not only in China, but in at least one hundred countries around the globe. Spain, along with Italy, have borne the brunt of Europe’s tragedy. Missionaries Mario and Paola Iglesias, working in Sopela, know of two pastors who have died due to COVID-19. “We have brothers from the Church in the hospital as well,” reports Mario.

The Iglesias family, SEND International missionaries, with their two children, purposely chose Sopela because it had no evangelical presence. Since COVID-19 struck, the family has had to take all ministry online. Like many parents in North America, they’ve also had to start homeschooling their children.

Sopela is in Spain’s Basque region and is approximately 420km from Madrid, where Roy and Nancy Jones minister with ABWE.

 

Quarantine measures affect life and work
Quarantine measures have placed heavy strains on the Jones family ministry. “I tend to be pretty optimistic,” says Roy from his home in Campo Real (a Madrid suburb), “but in this case we are pretty much at the mercy of the government here and they’re not saying much. So far, they have been extending [the measures] by fifteen-day increments. We just have to wait and see how this develops.”

A country that used to be largely open and democratic before COVID-19’s increasing death rate, Roy now laments, “I got stopped by the Civil Guard the other day because I took the trash to a container that was farther away from our home.” Mario Iglesias adds, “It is forbidden to go out; you can only go out to buy food and [go to the] pharmacy.”

The strict measures create uncertainty on the mission field. “We haven’t had church services since March 15th and don’t know when we’ll be able to have them again,” reports Roy.

 

Missionary hopefuls also affected
Missionary hopefuls are also feeling the effects of the COVID-19 scare. Jordan and Jenny Standridge, missionary hopefuls to Italy, find that their move to Rome may be on hold because they can’t get out to churches in order to raise financial support. “We’ve had to cancel a few church visits,” says Jordan, who still hopes to move his family to Rome to begin language training in the summer despite the virus’ impact on fundraising.

Another concern is the rapidly growing jobless rates in America due to COVID-19. “If people lose their primary source of income, they might not be able to support us.” COVID-19 may be causing delays and roadblocks to ministry, but the Standridges are undeterred in their end goal. “Some wisdom is called for,” he says.”

COVID-19’s long-term impact on the Spanish people remains to be seen. Mario and Paola Iglesias know they will be needed once COVID-19’s threat diminishes, noting that many, “will need a hug from God and a lot of comfort,” when that day comes.

Likewise, Roy Jones believes that the Spanish culture will rebound and looks forward to a day when he can oversee the Torres de la Alameda flock in person. “We have no plans to leave,” said Roy. “This is our home.”

 

S. Daniel Smith is a freelance writer living in San Diego, California, with his wife of 19 years. They have three children and a beloved family cat. Dan blogs at his website: www.sdanielsmith.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Resetting the missionary paradigm

by Frank Dabbs

After his resurrection, Jesus met his disciples on a Galilean mountain and asked them to spend the rest of their lives proclaiming the gospel. He promised to go with them to the ends of the world.

The history of Christianity for 2,000 years was shaped by the obedience of these eleven apostles to Jesus’ great commission. What do Jesus’ words mean today in the context of thousands of languages and cultures on the globe?

For two years beginning in 2017, World Partners, the mission leadership arm of the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada, listened to and learned from the leaders and members, and worked with them to reset the EMCC missions’ paradigm. The result is a church that belongs to no nation and has no borders or boundaries.

“We work with individuals and churches in pursuing how God is nudging us all to participate in His mission in the world,” says Joel Zantingh, the executive director of World Partners.

Most of the world’s Jesus followers live south of the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23.5 degrees north).

The new paradigm recognizes that the rebalancing of Christianity southward is fundamental to missions.

No longer are Christians from Europe and North America sent out to proselytize the heathen.

Rather, Christians across the globe are now walking together to proclaim the good news.

“We work with individuals and churches in pursuing how God is nudging us all to participate in His Mission in the world through learning, connecting and mobilizing,” says Zantingh.

The World Partners assistant director, Nicole Jones-Qandah says, “we are brothers and sisters in Christ, walking together, learning together, mutually enabling and encouraging each other, praying together and and giving spiritual and financial aid where needed.”

Three words, Learn, Connect, Mobilize, summarize the re-envisioned work of the World Partners, the EMCC ministerial leadership and the church membership.
The discovery assessment process to determine the new paradigm permeated the EMCC at the congregational, ministerial, regional and national levels.

“The buy-in to the reset paradigm is encouraging because it will affect the posture and strategic direction for the churches’ relationship with global partners, for global workers, and for development initiatives,” Zantingh says.

Learn, Connect and Mobilize has five core values.

It is commission-driven, living out the way of Jesus by listening, trusting and obeying the Spirit of Jesus, and practicing sacrificial love.
It puts relationships first by fostering mutuality with Canadians and global partners.
It is cooperative, collaborating with like-minded partners in Canada and internationally.
It is integrated, engaging churches and individuals in Jesus’ mission, offering experiences that integrate development with disciple-making.
It is culturally aware, increasing the ability of all partners to serve each other with cultural awareness and sensitivity.

“We are opening a new chapter in global missions, journeying with the body of Christ together around the world, says Zantingh.

For example, in a Latin American country, EMCC is facilitating the church in enabling Christians to train and support medical workers to be sent elsewhere on the globe.

In North Africa, a Tunisian woman who considers the EMCC to be her spiritual heritage because she met Christ through EMCC missionaries, is leading house churches and aiding women in crisis because they face violence and fear due to their faith.

World Partners is meeting with EMCC pastors, members and leaders across Canada to share the new paradigm.

Zantingh says, “There are things we cannot see. What does God want to teach us? We need to develop a learning posture.

“We need to learn from one another. We need to be inquisitive, to slow down our pace of actions, to set aside the North American results-oriented culture and patiently listen and learn.”

According to Zantingh, “followers of Jesus can be more engaged in international missions because the globe has shrunk, due to ease of travel.

“There are many more opportunities for short term teams and mission assignments.”

He says, “the EMCC is shifting its mindset to develop a global heart that knows that senders and receivers have been replaced by mutuality. Christians are a global family of equals.”

“Although the church’s paradigm has change, the scriptural mandate hasn’t.” says Jones-Qandah.

She cited Micah 6, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

And Isaiah 61, “the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

For more information on the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada World Partners, check the website at www.emcc.ca/world-partners/wp-profile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Central:

Prayer for the Front Line

by John Hall, Mission Central

Covid-19 is disrupting my life.
Certainly, we are all experiencing disruption. But sometimes disruption is helpful. For many people, organizations, and churches, the things that we use to define ourselves – like jobs, school, activities and programs – have been stripped away. What does this mean? For the body of Christ, this is a wake-up call. Jesus is inviting us to slow down and consider whether we are servants of the Kingdom or whether we’ve been serving ourselves.

“I don’t think that we could have imagined a more ‘Lenty’ Lent,” I overheard someone say. So true!

The beautiful truth is that Covid-19 has nudged many of us to consider how Jesus is asking us to follow Him into the world. Mission Central has the incredible honour of being a hub for conversations about Christ’s mission. So, in this month’s article, we’d like to share about some issues arising among front-line workers around the world. We hope that as you read these stories, you would dig a little deeper and consider how you can come alongside them in prayer and practical ways.

Canada
I had the pleasure of talking with Dena Nicolai, who works as a Chaplain and Refugee Support Mobilizer at First Vancouver Christian Reformed Church. Dena supports refugees as they transition into life in Canada. A refugee is a person who is seeking to stay in Canada because they would face persecution if they returned to their home country. There are more refugees in the world than ever before, and half are children.

Dena shared that all official channels for refugees to enter Canada have been closed. The result is that even those who were in the pipeline to come to Canada have been put in a precarious situation. Pray for the government to re-establish the refugee programs quickly and for inspiration in the Christian community to support refugees, even before they must consider escape from their country of origin.

Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is familiar to most of us in the Metro Vancouver area. Kari Bergrud, Manager of Church Relations for UGM, talked with me about some of the changes to their workflow and the Downtown Eastside community. One of the big challenges for her is finding personal protective equipment locally because suppliers have not been able to meet demand.

A big change for the community has manifested itself in the increase of meals being served through UGM and how they are being served. Due to a decrease of other meal opportunities, UGM has increased the number of meals by 60 percent. Sadly, meals now must be “to go”, and the respite that UGM offered from the street has been decreased because of social distancing. Please pray for the virus to be kept from the vulnerable population on the street and in SROs, and for resources to meet increased demand.

Globally
In a call with mission agencies, an international agency working in the Middle East and other Muslim nations reported that many of their workers from the global south are feeling a financial pinch, especially now due to the pandemic. Since their supporters generally give through their churches (closed due to crisis regulations) and not online, it has disrupted the flow of funds to the field workers or projects. Even with these constraints, Christians who are often marginalized are reaching out and supporting their neighbours. This is a powerful testimony, especially in Muslim nations where a supportive response from governments is sometimes limited. Please pray for these workers’ provision now and in the days to come.

In 2018, Missions Fest Vancouver welcomed Lorraine Francis, Director of Mukti Mission in India. Lorraine reports that they have about 600 residents living in four campuses spread out over 200 acres of land at their headquarters. In addition, they have 16 projects in six different states of India. In total, Mukti is responsible for more than 1100 residents.

A significant source of income has been their schools, shopping complexes, and campsite/retreat centre. These have now been closed; social isolation is strictly enforced, so absolutely no income has been coming from these places since March.

Considering the above, the core team has been brainstorming to find different ways to be more self-sufficient and have come up with fantastic ideas. Gardens are being cultivated and the produce used for Mukti and neighbours. The young adults are teaching and coaching the young students, since schools are closed. And the whole Mukti community is making use of the extra time to grow their relationship with God and each other. Please pray that staff morale will stay high, and that they can balance the need for isolation with the concern they have for the vulnerable and marginalized.

In the book, Christian Mission in the Modern World, the author Chris Wright suggests that one of the biggest challenges facing the church in the West is that we have stopped believing the “good news”. I agree! To me this means that we’ve stopped “living in” and “believing in” the story where the creator God of the cosmos is redeeming and reconciling creation to himself at this time with his supernatural power. In these days, let’s choose to reaffirm and reactivate our faith in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Now is the time to engage the world with the love and power of Jesus.

Mission Central is a catalyst that inspires churches to be missional communities and individuals to become mature disciples of Jesus. Visit us at: www.missioncentral.ca

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Persecuted Church

edited by Al Coats

COVID-19 and the Persecuted Church

As people around the world struggle to adapt to the global challenge of COVID-19, the burden is far greater for the downtrodden and oppressed. Below are some instances where Christians face increased difficulties because of their faith.

In an attempt to stem the spread of the virus, Indian authorities have ordered everyone to return to their home villages. For huge numbers of migrant labourers, this has left them without food or shelter. In slums where large families are packed together in small shelters, the concept of “social distancing” is impossible. Many of India’s Christians are among the poorest segments of the population and may face further rejection because of their faith.

Similar problems are being experienced in refugee camps around the world, such as the case concerning Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are now in Lebanon. As world economies plummet, those on the peripheries are frequently neglected. Within the refugee camps, Christians are also frequently neglected when humanitarian aid is distributed.

In Pakistan, organizations have been providing food aid to those hit hard by the lockdown. However, on a number of occasions, Christians have been told that the aid is only for Muslims.

On March 28th, two pastors were falsely charged with holding worship services in contravention of isolation orders.

As The Voice of the Martyrs Canada seeks to fulfill its mandate to meet the needs of Christians in the midst of such suffering, projects are being established to assist those who are being neglected. Present targets are centering on Christians in India and refugee camps in Lebanon. See VOMCanada.com/covid-aid, and VOMCanada.com/covid-response.

VOM covets your prayers in the midst of this ordeal. If you believe God is calling you to help by contributing towards these projects, you can give to our Relief & Development Fund.

 

Source: www.persecution.org

 

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the profiles on a various Missions and Ministries.
Abundance Canada
CFI – Christian Friends of Israel
Christian Service Brigade
Christianity Explored
Discipleship International
Give the Word
Great Commission Media Ministries
Greater Europe Mission
Himalayan Life
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
Lighthouse Harbour Ministries
M2/W2
Middle East Christian Outreach
Mission to Seafarers
Northern Canada Evangelical Mission
Out of Zion
People International Canada
Rock Solid Refuge
Samaritan’s Purse
The Messianic Times

 

 

 

 

Abundance Canada

Faith generosity

by Yvonne Douma

Joe and Tammy Franklin (pseudonyms) grew up in a rural community where generous giving was the norm. Neighbours often went out of their way to help one another with seeding, equipment, or harvest. Their families both attended church where they put a weekly offering into the collection plate. Sunday school teachers taught them about money and generosity from a biblical perspective, and their parents continued the teaching at home, sometimes foregoing extras so the family could meet their charitable goals.

 

After they got married, Joe started his own farming business while Tammy worked as a teacher. They continued to live by their deeply-held beliefs about how they should earn, spend, and save their money following the principles modelled in the Bible. Over time, it became clear that their children were not growing up with the same kind of community they had known.

Joe and Tammy worried that generosity was being squeezed out of their modern life. Families, including their own, were incredibly busy. The couple asked their financial advisor about how they might increase their charitable donations. Their financial advisor referred them to Abundance Canada to talk about a Generosity Plan™.

 

Practicing Generosity Together
The Franklins wanted to model the principle of giving their “first fruits” to honour God and help others. I helped them set up a Gifting Fund™ that lets the entire family get involved in charitable giving. Each family member contributes what they can to the fund, and then everyone gets together at regular intervals to recommend the charities they want to support.

The younger members of the family benefit from seeing the adults in their lives prioritize charitable giving as they grow into making their own donations, and everyone gets to experience the joy of giving to causes they care about. Even as the family has expanded, the foundation has helped to keep everyone connected.

Abundance Canada is a faith-based public foundation, registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. We help people realize their philanthropy and giving potential in their lifetime and beyond. Charity registration number: 12925-3308-RR0001.

Visit abundance.ca to learn more.

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Service Brigade

Iron Sharpens Iron – CSB Men’s Network

CSB Canada is excited to announce a new initiative to make Samplers from their extensive library of Christ-centred resources available for free to the general public during this time of isolation. Brigade’s Achievement for boys has always been a take-home opportunity for their families to build their boys as men of God in training; men who grow like Jesus “in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:52. These resources have been reformatted for boys (and girls) ages 5 to 18 years old, and are found on the CSBBC website at: www.csbbc.org/brigade-at-home. Sign up is free. New Samplers are added each week for Tree Climbers (children 5 to 7 and their dads), Stockade (boys 8 to 11) and Battalion (young men 12 and up).

CSB builds Godly men (and women) of today and tomorrow through resources, training and certification. Check out how CSB can serve you.

www.csbbc.org

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discipleship International

In Matthew 28:19-20, when Jesus tells us to go and make disciples, he clarifies what he means by saying that to disciple is to teach Christians to obey everything that God has commanded us.

As Paul put it in 1 Corinthians, discipling is saying, “follow me as I follow Christ”.

Our disciplers at Discipleship International have all had mature Christians come along beside them and say follow me as I follow Christ and then encouraged them to do likewise with other Christians.

To be a true disciple of Christ we need to be equipped and established in our faith and that is the focus of our ministry.

The key to becoming a mature Believer is how much time we spend with Jesus. “To be little with God is to be little for God”.

If you are at a place in your life where you hunger to go deeper in your relationship with God, contact at us at Discipleship International and let us guide and equip you to be a true disciple (follower) of Jesus within your local church by spending more time with Him and having mature Christians teaching you and keeping you accountable to be a true Christ follower.

www.discipleshipint.org

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) was founded in 1980 by a group of Christian visionaries who paved the way for God’s work between Israel and His Church. ICEJ has progressed to include Aliyah, helping to build bomb shelters, advocacy for the State of Israel, the Feast of Tabernacles, support for Holocaust survivors and more.

ICEJ has also built strategic partnerships with Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem Post, Knesset and private Israeli institutions. We are proud to have inspired a pathway of encouragement between Evangelicals and Israel.

One of the ways we are helping to reverse centuries of Christian anti-Semitism is by educating the next generation of young Christian leaders with the truth about Israel.
Last year, 10 of our top young leaders attended monthly advocacy and leadership training which focused on support of Israel. These students were handpicked for their eagerness to learn about Israel advocacy and their faithful commitment to the Lord’s biblical mandate to love and bless the Jewish people.

After receiving in-depth instruction and training, our students went on a 12-day visit to Israel in July. They returned invigorated and equipped to defeat the insidious BDS movement, debunk lies about Israel and advance that Israel is the only beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

At 40, the ICEJ looks back with awe and thankfulness on the miracles God worked through our ministry in the past four decades.

Because of your generous support, ICEJ Canada will continue educating about and supporting Israel.

We need your generous support to continue with this educational program.

Please help us and visit http://icejcanada.org/banquet or call 1-866-324-9133.

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lighthouse Harbour Ministries

Taking Notes
“You Word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” (Ps. 119:89)

A Lighthouse chaplain had a very unusual, but blessed, encounter recently aboard a cargo ship in the Vancouver area. After boarding the ship, the chaplain who was masked, wearing gloves and trying to keep a good distance from the crew because of the current virus problem, met Andre, a Filipino deck seafarer, and started to encourage him from God’s Word. Almost immediately, this seafarer began to scramble through some papers at the security desk to find something to write down the verses being quoted. Andre was hungry for the Living Word and noted each verse being quoted; he also told the chaplain that he wanted his family to know God’s Word. In addition, he accepted many Biblical materials and looked at them immediately! God is working among sailors to bring them to Jesus.

 

For more information: www.sealight.org

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission to Seafarers

We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but ‘in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ’ Ephesians 2:13.

You have been brought near so that you can encounter the risen Lord and follow his example, ‘love one another as I have loved you’ John 13:34. Your response has been made essential in showing God’s love for the world.

The work of seafarers in supplying us with what we need esp. in times of crisis means that they offer an essential service to all of us and we acknowledge that at the Mission to Seafarers and your prayers and other ways you can say and show thanks do too.

Go to www.flyingangel.ca to learn more.

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Solid Refuge

At Rock Solid Refuge, we primarily deal with addiction and substance abuse.

Relationships are essential to helping anyone recover from any form of addiction. If they don’t trust you, you can’t help them. Here are some things that are necessary when helping a teenager struggling with an addiction.

• The most important first step is for the young person to recognize they have a problem and need help.
• Second, they have to get clean for themselves and not for someone else, although they will need significant support in the process.
• Usually addiction is never about the addiction; there are underlying issues that need to be unearthed and addressed. Outside help is often needed. Mentoring, counselling, support group, or treatment.
• Accountability is essential; non-judgmental support and healthy communication.
• Honesty is essential to recovery; addictions live on secrets and lies.
• All relational encounters need to be evaluated, including who, where, and when. Young people often think that willpower alone will sustain them in unhealthy environments. It won’t!
• Help them take the focus off themselves and show concern for others. Lead by example, serve someone else’s needs with them.
For more on this, or other parenting topics, go to rocksolidrefuge.com/resources.

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

Samaritan’s Purse

“It’s like being reborn”

Samaritan’s Purse, and Canadians like you, are snatching lives from the fatal jaws of COVID-19.

“When you go through something like this, you really get scared.” For days, Umberto struggled to breathe normally and his temperature had slowly risen to an alarming 105 degrees. He recognized the warning signs of COVID-19, the virus that had disrupted the daily lives of so many in his community in northern Italy.

 

Emergency Field Hospital, Cremona, Italy

An ambulance rushed him to Cremona Hospital on March 17 where he tested positive for COVID-19. Doctors and nurses placed Umberto on a ventilator to keep him breathing – his lungs were not strong enough to keep him alive on their own.

“I remember that someone said now I am going to fall asleep,” Umberto said. “Then I only remember that I woke up and I saw you [Samaritan’s Purse staff and that is it.”

Umberto was among the initial intensive care patients treated at the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital in the city of Cremona, Italy. He was transferred to the Christian charity’s mobile hospital, specially outfitted as a respiratory care unit, still on a ventilator and unable to breathe on his own.
At the time, no coronavirus patients once in ICU at Cremona Hospital had survived. Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses – including Canadians such as B.C. native Bev Kauffeldt – prayed for a miracle, that Umberto would be one of many patients to walk out of the ICU as a testimony to the healing power found in Christ.

After more than two weeks on life support, that prayer was answered. Umberto woke up and was finally able to breathe on his own. He was overjoyed to be met with the smiling faces of the medical staff who had cared for him.

Though he had been mostly unconscious during his time in the ICU, he heard team members praying over him and reading the Bible. That continued, even more so, once he was alert and removed from life support.

“Everything was about Jesus,” Umberto said. “Everything they do, I could feel that they didn’t do it only because they are nurses and doctors but also because they really believe in Jesus.”

Umberto is now healthy and reunited with his wife and kids at home. He recognizes that he is a miracle, repeating over and over that he feels as if he has been “rebirthed.”

“I cannot even describe it, only the thought that I am here is a miracle,” Umberto said. “It’s like being reborn and now I’m seeing things from another point of view.”

He is forever grateful to the Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses for their spiritual support and physical care. “There aren’t words to describe it, I cannot thank them enough. There are no words to thank them, saying thank you wouldn’t be enough.”

“Samaritan’s Purse is a paver of God’s Word to come to people who probably never had the Gospel presented to them in a real, tangible way,” said Damaris Scalzi, a chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.

“Christ laid down his life, it wasn’t taken from him. COVID-19 is taking lives, but the Lord is giving [patients] an opportunity to have peace regardless of the outcome. It’s a perfect time for us to be here, actually during this season, during this holiday.”

Each day as Samaritan’s Purse team members enter the hospital site, an empty tent serves as a reminder of God’s protection.

“I think one of the coolest parts of being here at the site is coming in the morning and seeing one of our tents set aside for any staff who get sick; right now, it is empty,” said Matthew Hodgkins, a member of the organization’s Disaster Assistance Response Team.

Please continue to pray for God’s strength, guidance, and protection as the Samaritan’s Purse teams continue to serve patients in Jesus’ name.
You can learn more about the organization’s COVID-19 work in Italy, Canada and the United States at SamaritansPurse.ca.

 

 

(Back to the top)

 

 

 

 

 

The Messianic Times

Are you in touch with what God is doing with the Jewish people? Are you seeking Jewish roots studies?

The Messianic Times has the distinction of being the only international Messianic Jewish newspaper in the world. The newspaper began in 1990 with a vision that coincided with the explosive growth of the end time revival of the Jewish People which continues to this very day.

Six issues per year jam packed with everything messianic and Jewish-roots oriented to serve the ever-expanding Messianic Jewish Community and the growing Evangelical Christian community, who fully supports the work that the Lord has done in Israel, North America and worldwide.

Articles on biblical holidays – messianic celebrations and recipes
Special Messianic Israel Section, Israeli current events and analysis
Current Messianic books, music, Messianic leaders teaching articles
and much more…

We provide accurate, authoritative, and current information to unite the international Messianic Jewish community, teach Christians the Jewish roots of their faith, and proclaim that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah.

Our newly designed state-of-the-art website provides a format that reaches beyond our many readers and supporters. Check us out at www.messianictimes.com and read our constantly updated blogs from Jerusalem.

As we begin this new decade, we feel it is time that we expand the nature, and reach of The Messianic Times ministry by launching a new outreach initiative called, Times of the Messiah (TOTM), actively supporting individuals who desperately need assistance. As a publication, our desire is to continue our mission and purpose by adding depth to the impact we are able to make in the community.

Enjoy your free copy, see our ad, sign up, receive free gift offers.

Call toll free: 1-866-612-7770

www.messianictimes.com

 

(Back to the top)

Leave a Comment