David & Susan Jeffery, Wycliffe, BC. “Pray with our CanIL recruiters for 100 applicants for the Summer Term. A healthy enrollment in Summer term makes for a healthy enrollment all year and, Lord willing, more recruits for the Bible Translation movement.”
Mrs. Owen went to be with the Lord and her husband Dr. Owen this evening, peacefully with the family beside her. Funeral arrangements will be posted here. Kopriva Taylor Funeral Home, Oakville.
Hanneke arrived safely in Toronto this afternoon. She is recovering from bronchitis as her first order of business. She will be in Canada until May 18
It is always a blessing and so exciting for me to visit Skylark, particularly when there are other groups on site. This visit has been amazing as I have witnessed a group of 170+ youth and their leaders from Compassion International sponsored projects in Leon. For many of these youth this is the first time they have been away on a spiritual retreat. The joy is evident in their faces and in their squeals and screams, yes even at 5am!
They have been having wonderful times of worship and teaching on what it means for youth to lead and to follow Jesus. It is for these types of groups that the Skylark Centre was built and it causes such joy to well up in me when I see first hand the blessing that your gifts, your support, your prayers bring in the lives of the people of Nicaragua. Thank you for your faithful generosity. Now more than ever we need to continue this ministry serving the Christian community in Nicaragua and impacting the lives of the next generation with the good news of Jesus.
I’m finishing up the 2019 academic year this week, then I have a teaching break until the first week of April. I’m doing okay, I guess. Physiotherapy is really helping a lot. But I feel myself steadily losing strength day by day. But I’m able to keep going day by day too. God is good.
We have never experience so much snow! Bill was able to get to work yesterday and this am. I got to the grocery store for the first time since Thursday, what a rush! I had to stand in line to get into the store and then at the checkout!
Thanks KWM again for your support of $1000 towards my Revive conference expenses! From December 27the to the 31st, 3000 students from over 50 countries and 20 mission organizations in Europe gathered together to pray for revival. My role was on the prayer team, praying for speakers before and after they went on stage, and praying for students giving their testimonies, and for God to use the sessions to speak to students. The recognition is that an amazing program could be prepared, but if hearts are hard or students are distracted, the word will not be able to do its work in and through them. We sensed that God was gathering these students in and calling them — a generation of Christians who are a significant minority in post-Christian Europe — and using them to bring the gospel to their campuses and their countries. One night the session was framed around the theme of “God, Revive our Hearts.” I got to pray for students, and witness hundreds of students stepping out of their seats to receive prayer ministry, to ask God to redirect their focus away from idols of school, pleasing others, social media, shopping, the internet, and to set their hearts’ priority on the gospel. On the following nights, the session themes were “Revive our Campuses” and “Revive Europe.” It was really powerful to see students moved to tears and the whole room of 3000 prayed and interceded for the Holy Spirit to bring revival. One interesting story is that over the course of the week, many of the main speakers and worship leaders began to lose their voices. The main worship leader was so hoarse his voice kept cracking when he would lead songs. As a member of the prayer team, I was interceding for him and others in the same situation. We wondered if this might be a spiritual attack, but then sensed that maybe this was God doing something: why, at a conference about sharing boldly about Jesus, would mouths be closed? We sensed that God was inviting the leaders to lead in humility and dependence on God and to model this and make space for the students to use their voices. On a continent like Europe that is known for its rational, coherent and respectable arguments, what if the revival God wants to bring comes from the heart, from students and staff who are depending on God, not their own giftedness or ability to speak well? It was amazing to see the boldness of the students grow, and to hear their desire to live in dependence on God, and to share their faith no matter how small or incapable they feel. On the night when Becky Pippert spoke (the author of Out of the Saltshaker), she invited anyone who wanted to commit to living a lifestyle of evangelism to rise up and she would pray for them: almost every single student in the room stood! I have been to many missions conferences before, and have never seen this kind of bold and heartfelt response. In many of the worship sessions, too, I could hear the voices of the students over and above the worship leaders: the whole room was truly raising its voices in praise, even people who aren’t confident, trained vocalists. I think that this kind of true worship and this desire to live an evangelistic lifestyle in reliance on God is a powerful corrective to some worship and evangelism techniques that can be more about performance or perfect execution of arguments or techniques. I’m curious and excited to see how God works in the lives of the students who have by now returned to their home countries, and are in classes again… I hope that we will get to hear stories of how God is using them to share the love and redemption of Jesus in their campuses, neighbourhoods, cities, countries, and continents!
Jason came from the east end of Canada—Newfoundland, where he grew up. He has a bachelor's degree in Biblical studies from Tyndale and is currently completing his Master’s in theological studies at Queen’s College and Seminary.
Before coming to Knox, Jason was a pastor and church planter for LOCAL Church St. John's and also served as a campus chapel coordinator for Tyndale and church plant intern in Oakville.
How did you first get involved in ministry?
As a kid, church was the playground where my imagination was opened up to the beauty of God in everything; as a teenager, I rebelled against my entire church foundation; and as an adult, I’ve come to know church as the most special place in culture for all people to come together and discover life, and a very vibrant life! My life as a pastor took root when being invited to start a new church with a small team while I was in my undergrad. The wild ride of ‘church-planting’ captivated my imagination, with the new and creative work happening in neighbourhoods and cities through the church!
What excites you most about young adults ministry?
Culture is at a wild time! Our faces are sun-burnt from cell phone screens and marketing drowns all people, young adults included, in ‘second-hand living.' I think there’s an undercurrent of suspicion rising in regards to the chaos of culture and in turn, a hopefulness for something new, beautiful and real to emerge and better than anyone young adults can see that. I’m sincerely excited to explore alongside of them how to truly be human, to follow Jesus, in this unique time in history!
What's a Bible verse that greatly impacted your life? What does it mean to you?
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood” - John 1:14 (MSG)
For a lot of my life there was an enchantment around Jesus, divinity without humanity. The image of Jesus moving into the neighbourhood—the markets, dinner-parties, couches, the sights, sounds, his own neighbours—keeps me grounded in the way of Jesus, loving God and loving people, grounded in neighbourhood life, the here and now.
How can we be praying for you as you move into this role?
Everything is brand new! There’s so much excitement. A couple of things off the top of my head: my wife Caitlin and I as we settle here, deep and meaningful connections with the staff, congregation and especially young adults, and for vision and clarity as I explore what God is already at work doing here in Knox, U of T, and the neighbourhood!
I leave in a week (end of Jan) for a month to Bangkok to prep for the Business as Mission congress for end of April to provide operational support for a church planting conference, Laos to visit friends doing great work in that country and Bangladesh with the board from Food for the Hungry to visit our communities and learn about life there. Hopefully too, a refugee settlement in that country.
Please pray for safety, I’m pretty sure I’ll be going through some solid culture shock. I’ll be hosted by FH Bangladesh staff when I’m in country, so that really helps alleviate my worries. :)
I think I have 2 people from Knox who are coming with me for sure to volunteer at the Business as Mission congress with me! Praise God! 1-3 more are considering coming too.
My colleague and I just finished leading a Karamojong language learning course for our new pastor and a few others on the mission. They were eager to put in the time and effort over the three weeks which was encouraging to us. The mission’s doctor just left today to return to the Netherlands. Please pray that the clinic will adjust well to his absence before we find a new doctor. I am nearly ready to buy tickets to come back to Ontario for a few weeks of vacation in July.
Remember? “All you need is love, love, love………All you need is love.”
They had it straight.
“I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Oops
That’s Jesus talking to the church.
It’s so easy to get distracted. I love politics: Bernie this and Donald that…….Have a little Giuliani; a little Pelosi, anyone?
I’m not being facetious. It’s fascinating to follow.
I listened as a Canadian erupted in fury over the result of the recent Canadian election. Some of the anger is unrepeatable. But it’s a fairly common reaction.
What are we worried about? Try Lebanon.
We sit here basking in our comfort and wealth, all of us. We can’t even control our house being blown away as we sit in it.
“Cheer up, ye saints of God, there’s nothing to worry about…Nothing to make you feel afraid, nothing to make you doubt.
REMEMBER Jesus never fails, so why not praise Him and SHOUT……….”
It’s odd to be old enough to remember all of the above.
Lebanon is worse than a basket case. You can’t get your own money out of the bank, as the banks are in the control of a fraudulent government.
‘Checks and balances’, you’ve got to be kidding. The hotels are closing: no business. No jobs. Middle class is fleeing the private schools for the public schools: can’t afford tuition this year. They say the price of bread has doubled: “give us this day our daily bread”. The poor live mainly on bread. On the street a woman covered in the common black accosts me in front of a super market on high end Hamra Sreet. ‘Please would I buy her some milk, cheese, labny?’ She follows me into the store, and picks out a bag of powered milk, some common cheese and a box of labny.
At the check out, she changes her mind, and exchanges the common cheese for tahini. My debit card does the job. No one has cash (no money out of the bank). I remind her that this is from Jesus the Messiah.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
It’s exhilaratingly exciting. PRAY: for the Christian communities of Lebanon: Maronite, Orthodox, Catholic, Evangelical Protestant.
Pray that we all be renewed in our commitment to Jesus and to loving Him. Nothing else matters.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King!
Warm greetings and a blessed Christmas to you all from Nairobi, Kenya! I’m sorry that I have been very quiet of late. Thanks so much to you, faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, for your on-going prayers and support.
Our very busy and happy first term at Nassa Theological College (NTC) finished well. Besides teaching an English class and a touch-typing class, I helped fourteen new students write their personal testimonies. This was a major investment of time and energy, but it gave us precious times of fellowship and getting to know one better.
Other activities included having people over for meals, visiting student homes (three of them for a meal), doing my best at giving my testimony in Swahili at the chapel service of the Women’s Swahili Course and seeking to deal wisely with the many requests for practical assistance that I received almost every day for help. A weekly highlight for me was the English Bible Class which has met (usually in my home) on Sunday afternoons since its inception on September 15th. On December 1st, we had a record attendance of 19 for the lesson on Genesis 15. Happily, as the absence of Natasha and myself was
drawing near, one of our NTC students with good
English, Rioba, volunteered to carry on the class!
On December 3rd, I flew to Dar Es Salaam for two nights before flying out of the country on the last day of my 90-day business visa for Tanzania. I stayed two nights at the AIM Guest House in Dar Es Salaam, and the next day (my one full day in Dar), after more or less collapsing from general exhaustion until about 3:30 in the afternoon, I called the taxi driver who had picked me up at the airport the day before and asked him to show me around town. Lazaro is a Methodist who often drives AIMers to and from the airport, and we had a great time talking about the faith, his job, family and future, etc., as we drove through town and out to the coast. We also helped each other with our respective languages. He was so open to learning more about the faith and anything I could share with him, such as how to be sure that one is saved and going to heaven. Lazaro taught me the numbers 20, 30, 40, etc. and the days of the week in Swahili, and I recorded the same for him on his telephone in English. We stopped for supper at a Best Western hotel that we came across driving along the coast road outside town and had the most delicious fresh fish you could imagine, accompanied by chips, salad and mango juice at the restaurant deck of a Best Western hotel overlooking the Indian Ocean. Lazaro couldn’t thank me enough for the supper and everything I’d shared with him; and I, for my part, was so grateful for that little taste I enjoyed of Dar Es Salaam and its beautiful coastline, as I may well “never pass that way again.”
From December 6th until yesterday, I enjoyed a holiday in Cape Town! Africa Inland Mission South Africa graciously found me a place to stay, about a two-minute stroll from their office. I dropped over a couple of times and enjoyed meeting the friendly, dedicated and creative staff. Cape Town was voted the world’s best city in 2018, and there were lots of things to see and do there. I enjoyed sleeping in and hopping for a change. (Picked up 2 dresses, 2 tops and 2 pairs of sandals at reasonable prices.) The mountains, beaches and seas on both sides of the cape are just gorgeous, and I was able to visit a vast animal reserve which had lots of space for lions, rhinos, hippos, ostriches, elephants, a very small gazelle, etc., to roam around in. (The lions were kept separate from most of the others, though.) With a lady who boards where I was staying, I also went to a lion rescue centre where lions from zoos (some abused) now live happily and wander around freely at will.
I attended three different churches on my three Sundays in South Africa, Common Ground Church, Lakeview Community Church and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. The congregations were all mixed, and the pastor of Common Ground Church and others in the congregation were from the DRC! Pastor André’s sermon, based on Ephesians 6:10-24, gave a beautiful, challenging sermon on the importance of the believer’s armour and of prayer. Of course, it was a delight to be able to chat with him in French and Swahili after the service.(For any interested, here is the link to some sermons of the churches related to Common Ground Church: https://commonground.co.za/category/sermons.)
God willing, I’ll fly to Mwanza, Tanzania, on January 4th and be back in the village of Bulima for the first day of the new term at NTC, scheduled to start on Monday, the 6th.
Meanwhile, I’ll be attending the Christmas service in the morning at Nairobi Baptist Church just (next door to the guest house), and I am kindly invited to join an AIM missionary here for Christmas dinner in a Kenyan home in the afternoon. A blessed Christmas Day to you all today with brothers and sisters wherever you are and very happy new year in our Lord’s glad service!
Matthew 1:21 ”She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save people from their sins.”
Dear family and friends,
Warm Christmas and New Years' greetings from our lovely family in Tabora!
Another year comes to an end and so much has happened with such pace, which makes it seem like the year has flown past. The world is in turmoil and we hear and see the suffering of millions of people afflicted by wars, natural disasters, pollution, personal abuses, etc. If it wasn’t for knowing Jesus, who predicted that these things would take place, I would be quite discouraged by now.
Many people blame God for all this (even though many of those who blame Him, claim not to believe in God!) Most of the events that we hear, see and read about are the consequences of our own human actions or our inactions. My prayer for this coming year will be that many people will turn back to God and seek His face. We all need forgiveness of our sins…..we need Jesus!
2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
For me and my kids, this year has had many challenges and I want to thank all of you for all your prayers and financial support! May the Lord bless each one of you!
I had every intention of getting this letter out before Christmas, however, I was faced with quite a few frustrating issues:
1. Selling the old vehicle and getting it registered in the buyer's name: The Government has so many regulations and need so many documents that I had to travel to Mwanza to get these. A man from this office had let me know what was needed. The buyer and I went to the Government office, only to find out that these papers, which were properly signed are not enough…sigh! I will most likely have to make another trip to Mwanza!
2. Since the beginning of this year, we were told that anyone using a phone needs to be reregistered with fingerprints and a photograph. I had gone to the phone companies (I use two companies) who told me not to worry they won’t cut my lines….Only 6 weeks ago I received a message with forms to be filled out through our AIM Tanzanian office. This form needed to be signed by the village leader, the village executive officer, an immigration officer and the general secretary of our Diocese. Then we were told that the lines would be cut by the end of December. I went to the government office with the forms….There was a lineup of about 100 people…A government official who knows me told me to follow him so I did not have to wait outside for hours. Thank God! However, inside the office, things were another obstacle course. Fingerprinting was the most “Challenging?" (Or absurd) procedure. The machine refused to take many people’s prints and we had to rub our hands and fingertips to warm them up..another try…no luck. This time I was told to rub my fingertips on the rough wall…another try…no one print only (they wanted 8) rub the fingertips on the dirt floor!... After about one hour they got 4 prints. I was told to come back in 10 days for a number and a special I.D. card I would have to pick up after…??? I went back after 10 days…no number. “Come back after 3 weeks!” I told them I needed my phone and that I was leaving for a long stay in Canada. I was taken to another official who was able to speed up the process and this Monday at least I got my registration number and now my lines are OK. Another praise item!
3. We are having tremendous rains and in some areas, people had to be rescued from their homes. Many people have bought plots in areas that were used for rice paddies… Due to the rains, we have had several power outages and no internet. Today we received a message that the water pipes and the pump which supplies Tabora with water is broken. Fortunately, with all the rains I have collected enough to fill our water supply!
During the month leading up to Christmas, I was busy with the final reports of the Malumba project, which is now closed. The church is looking at ways to continue a similar service. There are some projects at the Diocese that could be involved but at this point, I am leaving all the planning up to the Diocese. For Thomas, it was a stressful time, as there was a problem reg. his retirement money. I went at least four times to this office to help him out. He had registered by using the wrong combination of his names and we needed to go to a lawyer to get a signed letter to indicate that he was the same person as the one using the other combination of names. He is still waiting for his money.
The people of the villages of Itonjanda, Manoleo, KIlino, and Malumba are very grateful for all the care and support they have received over the years and they are sad that we have had to close the project. We hope and pray that the church will be able to provide the much-needed services. Especially the Home-Based care for people living with HIV/AIDs and the very elderly has been a real blessing to many.
In December all the kids came home and we were all looking forward to our Christmas celebrations as well as going to Mwanza for Mahona’s graduation and spending a few days at a hotel with a swimming pool. My brother and sister in law came over for these events and we had a wonderful time!
Just before they came we went shopping for the new Christmas clothes and shoes for all the kids. This went very well and everyone was happy. When we came home I went to my room and had left my handbag on the table. When I returned I caught Ngassa taking money out of my wallet I was quite shocked the way he did this and I am convinced it was not the first time. I send him to his room and in the evening we had a family meeting and decided that at the age of 22, I am no longer legally obligated to take care of him. I put him on a bus the next morning and he is with his relatives. I will help him finish his High school, and if he does well the Government will give him a grant for further studies.
I tell all my kids that life is making decisions. There are consequences for these either good or bad. They are with me by God’s grace and they have the best opportunities to enjoy a good life. Please continue to join me in prayer for my wonderful children! Satan is busy!
I just read a great verse in Psalm 113: verse 9 “He settles the barren women in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord” I never had the privilege of a happy marriage and having children but I believe that I am more blessed than many women who are married and have their own children. God is good!!!
Due to some work that needed to be done at the apartment, we ended up looking for a temporary senior's respite location...and Margy and Lynda have liked it so much that it has now become their permanent home. It is a lovely, welcoming place where there are many helpful benefits: all meals are provided, a nurse is on duty 24 hours, laundry and cleaning are done, etc. and all our workers that we had in place before can just carry on. Margy faces a big window and she is often bathed in sunlight...she glows!! Margy and Lynda are enjoying it very much. Misty, the cat, has taken a little longer to adjust.
408 - 155 Balmoral Ave.
Toronto, ON M4V 1J5
It’s about six weeks ago, that Marliese and I returned from a trip to Lebanon. In this update of our trip there, I’ll include a description of the orphanage that we stayed in to give a fuller picture of the situation we were in. Their website describes it as a Christian humane society that takes care of orphaned and disadvantaged children. It started in the 1950s to give shelter to children who had been separated from their families during Palestinian immigration due to the hostilities of that time. In the latter part of that decade, Christian leaders got together to discuss the joint running of a home for the disadvantaged. They received the official papers of acceptance in 1961 taking on the official name of Cedar Home.
Since its beginning, they have helped around 500 girls creating the conditions for their education and spiritual growth. Many of the former orphans have gone on to become teachers, nurses, social workers, etc. Many of them were the first ones in their families to graduate from high school and some have gone on to college.
When we arrived there I connected with a school that teaches Arabic, enrolled and started my studies. My goal was to learn the Middle Eastern Levantine dialect. Marliese took a different tack by helping the younger orphans, their ages ranging from 5 to 15, with their homework. Arabic is their first language and French and English is also taught from the early grades. For this Marliese was a perfect fit, and really enjoyed helping them.
Then there was the baby who had been abandoned at the door of the orphanage. The director had to go through the process of legally taking the boy into custody. When we arrived he had been there for about two years and was being taken care of by a Lebanese woman who was also the cook for us all at the orphanage. So, while she was cooking Marliese and another volunteer alternated in caring for him for 4 hours a day during the week. What a cute little fellow he was. Our contact with him left us with a lasting impression. We were told that the legal work was being done for his adoption by an American couple. They were scheduled to come to Lebanon to spend a month with him before they took him home to the U.S. Hopefully this has happened because before they arrived demonstrators took to the streets blocking roads and main arteries across the country. This led to the closure of banks, schools and in that context, the orphanage had to send the orphans to foster parents or relatives and we had to cut short our stay there. All in all, it was a rich experience for which we thank Knox for their prayers and support.
I could not be happier coaching General Secretaries (CEOs) and other campus staff around the world.
Thank you for your partnership in the ministry with coaching: mentoring and developing staff around the world through International Fellowship of Evangelical Students.
God has truly answered prayers in placing me into a role where I can utilize all my experience both successful and difficult; all of the knowledge and skills; and all the spiritual wisdom gained through various roles over these last 40 years. As you know, developing people is my passion and joy. What a great next step in this seasonal of my life.
Most of the coaching is done through Zoom. In a given day, I can be in Asia, South America, USA and Caribbean.
In a past newsletter, I mentioned Flemlyn, the General Secretary of Guyana (CEO).
It was a great joy to have Flemlyn stay in my home in October while attending the second module of “Breaking New Ground” led by Nigel Pollock, new CEO of InterVarsity Canada. This is a program created by International Fellowship of Evangelical Students to pioneer new student work in areas around the world. I asked you to prayer for her as she pioneered the northern section of her country. It is with great joy that I tell you that she found the right person for the role and new groups are being started in a new and difficult area of Guyana.
Most of you know, but I have found some folks were not aware that I finished my Doctor of Ministry in Leadership at Gordon Conwell. I was so grateful for the prayers and notes of encouragement. I learned a lot and am grateful that period is complete.
1. Pray for a number of staff that I coach for creative ways to seek funds for the ministry. In many countries tithing to organizations is a new concept.
2. Pray for my ability to move from country to country in a given day with cross-cultural sensitivity/
3. Pray for needed finances.
Thank you all for your faithfulness in your prayer, encouragement and financial support. This truly is a partnership in ministry. I am still needing $400.00 per month for this fiscal year ending August.
In memory of Paulina. Paulina has been a long-time, very close friend or X… This photo is from the last time he saw her about one year ago. She passed away this, morning at 104+. She lived high in the mountains and walked down into the valley and the market daily on rough slippery trails. She was one of the first believers of the Tenzel people and evangelized the area. She also formed the first Tenzel choir. She leaves many family and friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.