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By Shelley Dueck
The MCC BC Homelessness Prevention Outreach Program (HPOP) is working on the frontlines to address poverty and homelessness in Abbotsford by offering a holistic response to the realities that vulnerable/homeless people face daily. The program recognizes that people are not defined by their circumstances but by their humanity. People have difficult journeys, the goal of HPOP is to walk intentionally with people on their path toward wholeness in creating an environment of welcome, inclusion, and community.
It is funny how God works. I see the vulnerable and homeless in my community every day and want to respond, but where or how or is this the right thing to do? I received an answer when I was chatting with Jane, the HPOP Coordinator. She was looking for someone to serve meals at the Thursday Night BBQ during the COVID crisis. Immediately I said, “yes.”
This is my where and how.
Awkward, uncomfortable, curious, passionate, judged, and a little scared. These were the feelings that initially floated within me. The feelings did not stop me, but they were real on my first night. The line starts at 4 pm, people either sign up for a shower with Refresh Showers or wait in line for food. As they expectantly wait in line, I see them practicing social distancing. Some wearing masks and everyone, headed over to the handwashing station to practice good hygiene, reminding community members and the volunteers around them to keep safe.
My job is to collect the order, help put it together, and deliver the finished plate. There are many small yet important parts to this job: greeting the person with a smile, welcoming them to the table, listening to their order, getting the order right…
“Two burgers and a dog, mustard and relish on the dog, cheese, ketchup,
mayo, relish on the burger with potato salad”
With the plate ready I head back to the table, “Here you are, have a good night” I say. Their eyes still down they respond with, “thanks so much” then turn and head into the parking lot to eat their meal.
For the first four weeks, the routine was pretty business-like. Greet the person, get their food, and wish them a good night. Over time, I started to become curious about the individuals. Who are they? What are their names? Noticing they come every week, what are their preferences?
In the fifth week, I intentionally changed my approach. I began with a smile and this time I included a question, I asked, “how are you tonight?” preparing myself to receive a wide range of responses, and I did. I began to introduce myself and ask what their name was. Some were taken back, and some preferred to remain anonymous, and that was fine. After five weeks of serving, I began remembering names and orders, which surprised people. They would respond with “Oh you remembered?!” or they would joke back, “you got my order wrong last week.” (but they still took it), I made sure it was right this week. Not only have I noticed the people who attend the BBQ, but they have also noticed that I have been there for a while too. Showing up every week has nurtured familiarity, connection, and mutual respect.
I have been learning and growing – my assumptions have been challenged and have been found wanting. As I continue to invest in small ways, I see how trust is built and broken, how a kind word or a smile can build a bridge, and how shared experience brings people together, instead of judging from the outside.
The MCC BC Homelessness Prevention Outreach Program not only offers weekly meals but also runs a variety of services including the Rent Bank, emergency shelter, and sponsoring three low-barrier houses with Raven’s Moon Resource Society. Through these initiatives, the program has been able to assist people when they couldn’t make a rent payment, provide warmth during the winter months, and partner with Raven’s Moon Resource Society to house over 100 people. As the program grows, more and more people will have a place to call their own and a foundation on which to build a lasting change.
Scattered throughout the jungles and mountains of Peru are some 45 tribes, each with a distinct language and culture. Many are still unreached with the Gospel, and some live in Stone Age conditions. Some have been exploited or persecuted by those around them, and now live in hiding. But missionaries with Segadores (an Intercede International partner) have been reaching out with love in a focused and faithful way to the unreached tribes of Peru for 57 years.
Segadores (Spanish for “Reapers”) was founded in 1963 by Peter Hocking, the son of American missionaries. Today its work is carried on primarily by indigenous Peruvian workers. Over the years, Segadores missionaries have planted dozens of churches in unevangelized areas. First, an investigative team is sent to make contact with unreached tribes, establish peaceful relations with them, and gather information about them so that Christians can learn about the tribes, pray for them and go to them as missionaries.
“Since the focus is unreached people groups, we have found it very important to do field research – missionary expeditions to seek out unreached tribes in Peru,” explains Hocking.
Once churches are planted, they are turned over to local Peruvian evangelical churches. Segadores believes that the key to the evangelization of Peru lies in the training of indigenous missionaries. Ministry leaders spend much of their time and energy traveling to remote areas to hold Bible training seminars for tribal missionaries and believers.
“For missionaries to go to unreached peoples, they cross cultural barriers,” says Hocking. “Many mistakes can be made if one isn’t properly trained to understand another culture and how to adapt. So, we have a cross-cultural missionary training program which builds on the Bible institute, and Bible training that trainees get in other Bible institutes and seminaries in Peru. This course is two months long, once a year, and in three years they can cover all the courses of the program. Five weeks of intensive studies, and then three weeks out in a tribe in a cross-cultural situation. Trainees go to live with a Christian family. We have seen the Lord bring not only Spanish-speaking missionaries to us from Peru, but we are seeing tribal missionaries and Quechua missionaries in training.”
One tribe Segadores works among is the Yaneshas, who live in the central mountainous jungle region of Peru. The mission runs a Yanesha Bible Institute, which now has a Yanesha director.
Segadores’ cross-cultural training program is offered to 15 students at a time. The second stage of training involves living with the Yanesha tribe in the jungle. Several leaders accompany the trainees as disciplers. A Yanesha Christian couple gives practical training in language, tribal customs, and how to live and work in the jungle. The tribal believers teach the trainees how to hack out a farm in the jungle, how to plant, fish, make and use a balsa raft, cook over a wood fire and prepare native foods.
This coming September and October, Segadores plans to offer intensive missionary training courses at its missionary base in the jungle town of Atalaya, Peru.
Community development is one way that Segadores missionaries help Peru’s isolated tribes. Missionaries help them to come out of their poverty and improve their quality of life. They provide wells and improve their nutrition by teaching them how to plant vegetables, raise chickens, and introducing them to fish farming. Segadores missionaries also help tribal people with medical emergencies and health concerns.
The ministry encourages churches to form prayer groups praying exclusively for missions, and for unreached people groups. Segadores provides them with information and news bulletins.
Segadores also provides supplementary training of pastors in rural areas, so that churches can be stronger, and send out and support missionaries. Native churches are encouraged through seminars on Christian family life, basic youth conflicts, how to face persecution, and how to awaken missionary vision among church members.
Open and closed doors
“God has opened many doors for missionary work that we must take advantage of before they close,” Hocking explains. “Uncontacted tribes are coming out of hiding. The Spirit of God is drawing some of the tribes out of hiding to contact neighbouring tribes that have Christians. This now makes it easier for missionaries to find them and work with them. However, hardly anyone wants to go as a missionary to them. Meanwhile, lumbermen continue to invade their territories for illegal lumbering, killing these primitive nomads when they oppose their work.”
Segadores also runs into struggles sometimes. In March 2012, Hocking relates, “we had a sad setback in the work with the Ashaninka tribe where four Segadores missionary couples have been working for years. In Buenaventura, the villagers requested that our missionaries leave! The natives declared that they did not want to hear more of God because they preferred to continue with their drunken feasts. This was a shock to all of us, but our missionaries had to leave, moving out all their things to the other mission base further down the river.” Sadly, one missionary couple decided to discontinue working with Segadores because of this incident.
“Pray for the inhabitants of Buenaventura, that they might realize what a big mistake they have made in rejecting the Gospel, and might turn to God,” urges Hocking. “The chief acknowledged that we have helped his village in many ways (schools, feeding program), but that the village did not want to hear more of the Word of God. We leave that in the Lord’s hands, and press on, seeking to serve the Lord better than ever.”
“We thank the leadership of Intercede and Christians in Canada for giving us a helping hand for many years in the ministry of reaching the unreached tribes in Peru,” Hocking wrote to Intercede. “Without your help we would not have been able to make the progress that has been made.”
Please intercede for Segadores’ missionaries as they faithfully reach out to the unreached tribes of Peru.
- Intercede News Service
by Jason Dueck
Alida Thomas has been thinking about food differently lately. She didn’t get a new cast iron frying pan or start working her way through a whole cookbook; she’s been thinking about the way community is shaped around shared meals. How we centre weddings and funerals, happy times and sad times, around eating together. This has been on her mind since she started giving through Share Your Table.
A new monthly giving program from MCC Canada, Share Your Table (http://mccshareyourtable.ca) provides food for displaced families around the world. Nearly 71 million people are displaced around the planet – the highest than at any point in history. While the causes and solutions to displacement are complicated, generosity isn’t. With a donation starting from just $7 a month, MCC provides food where there isn’t any. Each month, donors receive a story from a family helped by donations like theirs, along with recipes shared from dinner tables in that family’s region.
One such recipe is beef wat. This rich hearty stew is a common staple on dinner tables in Ethiopia, where Nyadieng Gach Gatkouth lives as a refugee since being displaced from her home in South Sudan. Thomas says the thought of sharing a meal at someone’s table, being a distant dinner guest, added a layer of personal empathy to her giving
“What stood out to me from the very beginning was the holistic approach,” says Thomas. “Share Your Table
is thinking about people as whole people—not just people who need food. They’re full people aside from their immediate needs.”
Thomas says if she could share a meal from her table with someone like Nyadieng, there is no doubt what would be on the menu.
“I come from a Dutch background, so it’s this dish called stamppot,” she says. “Mashed potatoes, carrots and onions all smashed together—some people do it with kale. You can add farmer sausage or rookworst. It’s lik
e Dutch comfort food that always reminds me of being a kid. I also remember eating it a lot during university and grad school.”
After receiving her master’s degree with focuses on refugee and forced migration studies and international human rights, Thomas has worked in international development and relief. She says it’s easy to feel helpless when faced with such daunting numbers of people in need. She’s often asked herself what can ever be done to help that many people. But hope, she says, is worth working for.
“Those are 71 million stories, 71 million dreams, 71 million networks of relationships, 71 million people with unique skills, capacity, and agency, and 71 million people made in the image of, and dearly loved by God,” she says. “If we each do our part – individually, communally, nationally – to generously care for and walk with as many of those 71 million as we can, we can transform that number.”
White Rock resident Sheila Vicic, 57, is back home after spending almost two months (March 17-May 12) in Cremona, Italy at the Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospital.
Sheila was there serving as finance manager dealing with contracts, arranging services, looking after payroll and procuring supplies. She stayed out of the hospital’s patient treatment zone but was able to safely visit with patients who were able to go for brief walks.
The Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospital was set up, at the invitation of the local government, because the number of coronavirus victims overwhelmed local medical facilities.
Sheila said her time in Cremona “was amazing. We saw an entire community go from fear to hope when we arrived.”
This is Sheila’s seventh international deployment with Samaritan’s Purse. Her previous deployments, usually with our emergency field hospitals, include:
- Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, 2019
- Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, 2017
- The ISIS-Iraqi government battle for Mosul, 2016-17 (the emergency field hospital was 20 kilometres from the fighting)
- The Bangladesh Rohingya refugee crisis, 2017
- The Greece refugee crisis, 2015
While she has definitely been in some risky deployments, Sheila said her husband and three adult daughters are okay with it. “It’s what they would expect me to be doing. They’re pretty chill with it because they know it fits with me.” In each case, she serves as a short-term Samaritan’s Purse employee. In Canada, Sheila deployed with Samaritan’s Purse after flooding in Windsor, Ontario, the Williams Lake BC wildfire (2017), flooding in Ontario and Quebec, and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire.
Sheila shares some thoughts on serving:
Q. How did you see God moving in the midst of the fear and chaos caused by this pandemic?
A. There are two aspects of God at work that stick with me. Unity and Providence. In every deployment, we have unique needs to get operational – a hospital in tents still requires power, water, sanitation, assembly. And the team needs gear and climate-appropriate clothing and food and shelter. In the midst of fear and chaos, our Italian partners assigned by the region to help us were the conduits to the resources we needed, and when we asked – where can we get winter clothes – they knew who to call.
Miracle after miracle of provision of accommodation, clothing, food, oxygen supply, drinking water were facilitated by these co-workers; but God had prepared the hearts of the donors / owners. He had pre-positioned exactly what we would need in and near Cremona in the months leading up to our arrival. That provision, which I can confidently say exceeded €1 million, was from God’s storehouses, through the local owners, through our Italian co-workers who didn’t volunteer for this role, but were assigned it by their regional government. All these people and businesses being used by God to provide for our facility day-by-day decreased the chaos into orderly operations. To know, from the business perspective, that God was in the very minute details of clothing the team, oxygen systems for patients, housing and food for the team; brings confidence that God is present and near in the work we are doing in Cremona.
Unity among the local churches of all denominations often arises in crises. In Italy, we were able to see servants from every church, including monastery and convent, join us in serving the sick and supporting our team. I see God desiring unity in His people worldwide and if I was looking for meaning in a pandemic, I would clearly see God bringing unity to His churches, no matter how they express their faith in Jesus.
Q. Is there one particular person, or story, that still lingers in your memory?
A. There are two moments that I will share – among many that will stay with me and motivate me to serve again. The first was as an observer of a ‘fence’ visit where family members could stand about 10 ft apart and visit their recovering family member. A lady who had been very ill and who hadn’t seen her son in about 6 weeks since entering the hospital system, put on her lovely pink housecoat, had her hair combed through and then told her son about her stay at the camp hospital. It was her first time staying in a tent and so she told her son that her first ‘camping trip’ was totally lovely, the people were like family and she was having a good time and he wasn’t to worry about her. He was to go home and eat better and she was fine. What I loved was her resiliency to a relatively harsh hospital environment, and a brutal disease and her optimism and positivity about being in a cot, in a tent hospital in a parking lot. To see her turning her concern to her son, for his well-being, allowed me to see that she is indeed on the mend, even though still frail and sitting in a wheelchair for this visit
Our first intubated patient that survived and was released from the tent hospital was a miracle recovery by every definition. This man arrived in our care 100% on life support and on a beautiful sunny April day, he walked out to a waiting taxi, carrying his own duffle bag and waving and calling out his thanks to God and to his caregivers. As we stood 1-2 metres apart, masks, gloved hands clapping and cheering for him, overwhelmed by the miracle we were watching, an Italian co-worker turned to me with tears in her eyes, and we hugged. All our protocol and PPE aside – humans and miracles need hugs and so we had a brief embrace – but an important release of all the beauty of God’s miracles that we were witness to. Subsequently this co-worker prayed for the Lord to be her Saviour and I know that tender moment allowed her to be vulnerable in an extremely anxious and fearful environment.
Q. What motivates you to serve in this way?
A. Although the title within SP is called Finance officer or Finance manager – I prefer to think of myself as Stewardship Manager. We have been given so much by God and through our donors, but we have a lofty responsibility to manage it wisely in the field, to carefully consider what we are doing from start to finish on a deployment and to apply the God-given resources with wisdom and avoid waste. Not many accountants, CPA’s, are inclined to be in these unpredictable, risky work situations. I think by nature, accountants are risk averse and prefer order to chaos. For me, it is safer to be obeying God’s call on my life than to be seeking safety away from risky situations – those factors of risk and chaos don’t weigh heavily on my mind while I do my work. I’m a person who can get it done no matter what and likes to bring order out of chaos or reduce the sense of risk by bringing reason and a principled stewardship perspective to situations full of crazy variables. I know that God has made me this way (able to process a ton of information from different sources and perspectives and see the commonality or the priority) and that He has called me to serve in tough places where these skills are needed. By doing the relatively routine, yet decisive tasks of a finance (stewardship) role that are the necessary business end of meeting the needs of those facing crisis and disaster, I allow others to also serve in their area of strength and not have to stress over the matters of finance and payments, contracts and securing funds.
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.”
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.
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!
Justice and prayer at the heart of creation
by Aaron White
Justice and prayer are fundamentally interconnected within God’s created purpose for humanity. We were made for intimacy with God; and we were made to do good.
We see this in Genesis 1-3. Humans are created to fellowship with God. They walk with Him in the cool of the day, and the great disaster of sin is broken relationship with God (and subsequently with each other, and with creation). Prayer calls us back into the practice of intimacy, the walking with God in the cool of the day. It is not simply a functional tool for intercession, mission or justice. I recall sitting in Room #504 of the Empress Hotel, overlooking Main and Hastings, asking God if I was wasting my time in prayer when there was so much visible pain on the streets below me. “Yes,” came the response, “waste your time on Me. I am worth wasting your time on.” This is why when people ask me if prayer works, I say, “Yes, every time. I don’t always get an answer, but I always get an audience.” We were made to pray.
Intimate communion with God will endure in glory beyond all our tears, injustices, mourning and intercession.
But here and now, within this veil of sorrow and trial, our prayerful connection with the Lord is meant to lead us into doing good.
Genesis 1 supports this. In the beginning “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” These descriptions – “without form”, “void”, “darkness” – are not good things. Every time they appear in Scripture (usually through the phrase, Tohu Wa-bohu, which translates as void, emptiness, darkness, confusion, vanity, waste), they are shown to be destructive and in need of correction and redemption. God’s act of creation has the purpose, in part, of shaping the form, filling the void, lighting the darkness. And we are key actors within that purpose.
This is emphasized all throughout Scripture, not least in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
How do we participate in good works?
‘Child of God’ is a familial term, but also a vocational term. Children grow up to participate in the work of their parents. Everywhere we see void, darkness, chaos in our world – whether it be racism, abuse, homelessness, displacement, addiction, trafficking, loneliness – we know that we were created to address these things as children of the Father. Think of how the mission of the Church is described in the New Testament: bringing the ministry of reconciliation; shining light in darkness; rescuing people from death; setting the lonely in families; casting out demons; healing sickness; and overcoming the devil – the champion of tohu wa bohu – with the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies.
The integration of prayer and justice is why we were made. There is great danger when they are separated.
When prayer is separated from justice, it runs the risk of becoming entirely internalized, self-absorbed, individualistic, concerned solely with our own personal development. Prayer – indeed faith – becomes an excuse to not do anything, (which is why the phrase “thoughts and prayers” needs to be retired – it is heard now as a deflection from responsibility).
Genuine prayer leads us always more deeply into the heart of the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit. Which means that genuine prayer is going to lead us always more deeply into the things that God cares about. If prayer does not lead us into justice, then perhaps we are not truly communing with God.
Matthew the Poor says: “The road to union with God is not a one-way street ending solely with God; on the return journey it leads back to one’s neighbour, the stranger, one’s enemy, and toward all creation. He who unites himself to God undertakes to consider how he should unite himself to all, and takes no rest until that union has been accomplished.”
Justice separated from prayer is equally troubling for Christians. It tends to lead to unchecked anger, judgment, polarizing, and labeling. We try to recruit God to our political side and demonize our opposition. This creates echo chambers where we only talk with people who already agree with us, and then wonder how the other side could be so stupid, ignorant, bigoted and monstrous. It is so much easier to mock, unfriend and de-platform than it is to lovingly engage in relationships with others, and in actual conversations about injustice.
This is why Thomas Merton said: “Without contemplation, without the secret, silent pursuit of truth, our action loses itself in the world and becomes dangerous,”
and Jacques Ellul: “Prayer is the opposite of an adaptation to the world, and the opposite of the kinds of works this world demands.”
In our haste to act, we must remember that justice is utterly on God’s heart, and He is the One to best direct our way. Authentic prayer will never make us less invested in justice. Prayer should reveal our hearts in this. If prayer does not lead us into justice, we should ask if we have really been in communion with the God of the Bible.
But prayer also reveals that justice as a concept is not what we were created to love. As children of God, our primary relational and vocational responsibility is loving obedience to God, faith in his commands, and compassion for his people, especially for the poor. When we fall in love with our idea of justice, the cause can become more important than the people involved, and we also feel free to dismiss others as enemies. When we fall in love with God, however, we will become united with his love for the oppressed, and we will learn to see even our enemies as precious children of God whom we are invited to love.
May we learn to pray and to do good, and so grow into our created purpose in the world.
Aaron White is the National Director of 24/7 Prayer Canada. Check out 24/7 Prayer at: www.247prayercanada.com/
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
edited by Al Coats
NIGERIA: Hundreds slain in a campaign of violence
“There is today, an epic battle waged against the church in Nigeria. The daily violence and brutal persecution endured by Nigerian followers of Jesus are both shocking and disturbing. Voice of the Martyrs implores Canadian Christians to set aside a dedicated time of prayer and fasting to intercede on behalf of our Nigerian family in Christ.”
~ Floyd Brobbel, Chief Executive Officer for The Voice of the Martyrs Canada
Attempts to stay current with the reporting of attacks and destruction in Nigeria can seem devastatingly futile. The description expressed by VOMC’s CEO Floyd Brobbel, as it being “an epic battle,” is apropos. One witness defines the situation as an “atmosphere of anarchy and despair.” A report from the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law states that at least 620 Christians have been killed in the first five months of 2020 alone.
The coordinated attacks have been described as a genocide against Christians. For members of the Boko Haram terrorist group, their specified goal is to create an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, thus considering the large Christian population an obstacle to their plans. Similar Islamic ideologies held by the Fulani herdsmen led to daily attacks on villages that are predominantly Christian. Men, women and children have been slaughtered without hesitation.
Between attacks from Boko Haram in the north-east of Nigeria, and from the Fulani militants in the central states, literally millions of people have been displaced and tens of thousands killed in the last decade. Although the government has made efforts to defeat Boko Haram, it appears indifferent to the Fulani.
Greg Musselman, from Voice of the Martyrs Canada, recently interviewed Rev. Yunusa Nmadu, CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria. We encourage you to pause for a few minutes and view this captivating video report. This first-hand report will help provide some additional background information on what is happening within the country, as well as specific ways you can pray for the many needs that are representative of our Nigerian brothers and sisters in Christ.
Source: http://www.persecution.org (ICC)
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.
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.
Iron Sharpens Iron – CSB Men’s Network
Are you looking for something good for kids to do while stuck at home? Then check out CSB Canada’s growing library of free Achievement Samplers. These resources have always been a take-home opportunity to build boys as men of God in training; people who grow like Jesus “in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:52. They have been formatted for boys (and girls) ages 5 to 18 years old, and are found on the CSBBC website at: www.csbbc.org/brigade-at-home. 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). This past week included Star Lantern, Pet Owner Interview, Electricity, Special Needs, Mastermind and Siege Weapons.
CSB builds Godly men (and women) of today and
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.
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.
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.
Visit us on Facebook @givetheword
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.
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.
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.
A Lighthouse chaplain recently reflected on his experience with seafarers he had met in Vancouver during a day of Gospel ministry aboard freighters. Many fellows from the Philippines, China and Ukraine were engaged. However, most of the contacts seemed to lack any noticeable fruit, at least in the chaplain’s estimation. But, two contacts stood out; three particular seafarers on two different ships exhibited something special: they came near the chaplain as he shared the Gospel message. They seemed to be thirsty for something and acted on this. So, the chaplain encouraged the seafarers to take their spiritual futures very seriously and shared Living Water (John 4:13-14) with them. They seemed to respond well to it. God is good! To find out more about Lighthouse: www.sealight.org
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
At Rock Solid Refuge we believe that building relationships is the single most influential thing we can do to help our students succeed!
So our goal is to build influence and help them see that personal change is both good and necessary.
We know kids change through Relationships, not simply from the exercise of Authority.
Below are some points that we think would be valuable for you the parent to consider:
- If your teen doesn’t have a relationship with you, they will have it with someone else.
- If they don’t get their wisdom from you they will search for it somewhere else.
- If they don’t spend time with you they will spend it with someone else.
- If you don’t give them value, then they will find their value elsewhere.
- A young person best recognizes wisdom when there is a Relationship.
- Often a relationship problem is actually a communication problem.
- Ask question. Asking questions shows young people that you value what they think, and has an amazing way to get them THINKING more.For more on this, or other parenting topics, go to https://rocksolidrefuge.com/resources/
Exhausted flood victims receive vital help from Samaritan’s Purse and people like you Volunteers provide physical, spiritual aid in Jesus Name to grateful northern Alberta family
By Frank King
The situation at Gerry Gaunt’s home in Fort McMurray, Alberta was bad. So bad, that the 53-year-old machinist didn’t step off his property for a week after the Clearwater River flooded in late April, depositing almost four feet of water in his shop and nearly two feet in his house.
“I wasn’t expecting the water to breach the house,” he said quietly while sitting on a garden tractor. Once the floodwaters receded, Gerry used that tractor to move dirt around the house and encourage the water underneath his home—which doesn’t have a basement—to finally drain away.
“I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation; I was concerned, but optimistic,” he said.
The gravity of the situation became frighteningly clear when Sheri, Gerry’s wife, and their three dogs had to be kayaked out of the property by one of their sons, as rising water cut off the home from rescue vehicles.
An overwhelming amount of work
After the floodwaters disappeared, the amount of work ahead of Gerry and his family was overwhelming. He felt he had no choice but to stay on the property, sleeping in an RV so he could spend as much time as possible cleaning up.
That’s when an army of orange-shirted Samaritan’s Purse volunteers arrived to offer a welcome light at the end of a long, dark tunnel that was looming ahead of the Gaunt family.
Thanks to prayers and support from people like you, the team was able to bring in specialized recovery equipment and spend two days removing waterlogged furniture and belongings, tearing away soaked drywall and flooring, and spraying to stop mold growth. All this at no cost to the Gaunt family.
As Samaritan’s Purse volunteers respond, the organization is investing extra resources and taking special precautions, while coordinating with government officials, to protect them and those they serve from COVID-19.
Offering stability in an unstable time
“This is a big help,” Gerry said gratefully as he watched volunteers coming and going from his home, many of them carrying tools or removing damaged drywall. “It would take me a long time to get this work done.”
The timely help and professionalism of the Samaritan’s Purse volunteer team also impressed Gerry. “Everyone’s polite and courteous. They offer stability in an unstable time,” he said.
The Gaunts are just one of more than 90 Fort McMurray families that reached out for help after the ice-jammed Clearwater and Athabasca Rivers drowned their homes.
Please continue to pray for them. Many are still recovering from the devastating wildfire that ripped through Fort McMurray in 2016, while also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and very challenging economic times.
In times of disaster, you can continue to bring stability, help, and hope in Jesus’ Name to hurting Canadian families. As you do, you “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, ESV). Please visit SamaritansPurse.ca to learn how you can help.
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