Please remember Samia Saif. She is still in Toronto Western Hospital and will be transferred to convalescent care soon for her broekn pelvis and shoulder to heal. Today she wil have surgery on her eye at the Kensignton Medical clinic.
It's time to go home from the capital city. Pray for us to have save travel for my back. We are in the train. Hopefully our friends help us on arrival because is hard to go up and down. I need to save my back I have no permission to walk the first week.
Thank you for continuing to pray about the possibility of the Fukushima Hope families staying at the Aomori Christian Center this summer. We have not heard their final decision yet but will send an update when we do.
Today we ask you to pray for an important meeting with the city authorities in about 7 hours. Luke will be accompanying Pastor Ashina, the pastor of Asunaro Church and the chair of ACC's steering committee, and another committee member Mr. Ashina (brother of Pastor Ashina), the responsible officer of The Evangelical Church of Aomori (where we currently attend and which has been without a pastor since Pastor Kano left). The meeting will involve:
1. formally reporting ACC's change of ownership and introducing ourselves as the managers of ACC
2. requesting a renewal of our right of way for the causeway across the creek owned by the city that separates the main property from the staff house and the public road
3. possibly beginning negotiations for the repair of the causeway and its immediate surroundings (this item of business may need to wait until a future meeting)
"The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever he will."
Please pray that we will find favor in the eyes of the authorities, that we demonstrate competence, and that their eyes will be opened to see and acknowledge that the existence of the Aomori Christian Center is good for the city.
Xerggyo and Hil are grateful for the prayers of many. Xerggyo had a successful operation to remove a cyst that was pressing on his spine. He will need to remain on his back for up to one month. They will travel back home on Friday--a two hour train journey.
Just arrived in civilization from the closed tribe. It was a blessed time. They are hungry for the Word and for God.
I wanted to pass along a very belated personal note of thanks for your extremely generous support of my trip to Ghana last month. I received an update from the trip leader that the expenses for the work has been paid in full thanks to you. Thank you, this response was quite unexpected! If you are able to pass along your mailing addresses to me (if you are outside of Toronto) I am in the middle of preparing a small token of appreciation for my support 'crew'.
Also, I have finally written a follow-up reflection on the country of Ghana and some spiritual 'lessons learned'. I hope it gives another good glimpse into the time our team had there. Click this link to access the latest post.
Some of you may remember a longstanding prayer request that we have shared in the past, namely, that the Aomori Christian Center could once again become a destination for the Fukushima Hope program. This was a program that sponsored young families living in areas of Fukushima where outdoor time is restricted due to contamination from the nuclear disaster of 2011 to spend time at camp and retreat centers in other parts of Japan. The Aomori Christian Center was a regular destination for this program until it was closed down due to the fire that happened here in January 2014.
The Fukushima Hope program itself has been discontinued, but yesterday we received a phone call from a representative of another Christian organization that is continuing some of Fukushima Hope's activities, including sponsoring families from Fukushima to spend time outside of Fukushima. They are now discussing whether our current, limited facilities are adequate for hosting a number of the families they will be sponsoring.
Please pray that:
1) They will decide to use ACC this summer, and
2) That we will be able to make whatever improvements to our grounds and buildings that might be needed to enable them to have a wonderful time here
The dates they are considering are sometime between August 6 and August 13. We ourselves will not be here, so we are very grateful for the special team from Hong Kong that will be keeping ACC open in our absence, making it possible for us to offer ACC's facilities to this group.
Please remember to pray for Samia Saif who is in Toronto Western Hospital after a fall at home and is suffering from a broken pelvis and femur. Albert and Samia are faithful supporters of KWM workers.
Tomorrow morning I will call the doctor to prepare the day for the surgery on my cyst in my back.
Today we didn't have time to call him because he did an other surgery. Now we arriving in our city it is midnight.
As I mentioned the end of last month, it seemed that the Lord was doing something unusual, and possibly leading me to South Africa for a seminar for two weeks. In order to do so I received a surprising personal monetary gift that miraculously arrived in my bank account in Germany just in time to enable me to book a flight, book a B&B in Cape Town, and pay for a temporary passport (my passport is valid until June 10th, but in order to travel, I had to have a passport valid for six months). Getting a passport in two working days, three days before the flight!, was also nothing short of miraculous!
So now I'm writing from Cape Town, South Africa (I'm here from March 3rd through 18th, then I'll be in Port Elizabeth from the 18th through 21st, flying back to Munich on the 22nd), in order to observe a training course for new facilitators of work centers to employ the unemployables--even though, quite obviously, there's not a direct relationship to my work. However, the factor which makes these centers so remarkable is that they bring about such a worldview shift in unemployable people in 2 weeks (!), that they become very employable, and after other seminars some have even started a small business (!!)--and between 60-80% have become Christians!!! I heard about this work during the conference I attended last year in AZ, and roomed with the woman who founded this work. It has to be seen to be believed! The worldview shift happening before my eyes already in just three days is nothing short of miraculous! Monday morning we had a group of 14 unemployables who had such "attitudes!" and yesterday their homework assignment was to start a small business with 50 Rand/$5.50 and bring back a profit before Friday, March 16th, the end of the class. They will compete with one another and the winning group shares all of the profit, as well as taking 50% of the profit of the other groups. This is in TWO days! The groups are informed, clear on their goals and motivated!!! It is AMAZING!!! Their other homework is to work on their times tables and do something kind for another person. They have no idea that they are following Mt 22:39 and Lk 19:11-27 (the parable of the 10 minas)--however, they will be given the opportunity to understand who Jesus is, and to commit their lives to Him. (For two short and powerful videos, if there is time, you might want to check out the website: https://siya-sebenza.co.za/) This morning about 8 in the class were found not to have done the homework of working on their times tables--they were asked to leave... They were actually sent out of the class and told to leave--the program was for those who wanted to grab an opportunity. The presenter did then follow them out, talk to each individually, and told them there were about 20 people (those who were learning to train and the organizers) who were willing to help them--did they want to take this opportunity? If they didn't, they could leave. Perhaps four came in resolved to change, and four with "an attitude." During the course of today's teaching on the amazing resources in Africa and the need for excellence in work ethics, perhaps the last four were also convinced that they would be able to change? We hope and pray so!
- Please pray for these 16 "unemployables" (two more joined yesterday) that they will will gain from this course to work for a living, and to know the living God. And pray for enough churches to be equipped to disciple the new believers--and many, many like them! (This "ministry" has been growing for 11 years and many people have come to know Christ--and work for a living!)
- Please pray for the 12 men and women who are being trained to open up more centers like the one in Cape Town all over South Africa, that they would be well-equipped to strengthen individuals and this wonderful country.
- Please pray that I'll understand more about deep worldview changes, how to bring them about in counseling, and how to teach this to a wider audience with regard to counseling individuals for my DMin project. I feel the Lord has led me here, and I want to know more of His mind and will for me.
With 70 odd kids all seeking Alpha (forgive me for the mistaken metaphor) it’s easy to imagine the chaos and noise. They fight and jostle for attention, and struggle for opportunity that they don’t identify. What they do identify is that they want Mom and Dad, and that, we cannot provide. Do we really connect with Who our ‘Heavenly Father ‘ is, and approach Him like Abraham with “Thanks a lot for your protection and reward, but what I really want is a son”? Can we put up with the waiting Abraham experienced? Do we jump the gun as he did? But when God opened up the accounts, it wasn’t the waiting, or the impious request that was valued, or the missteps into Egypt etc. and the preempting of getting a son that reduced the amount, but the absolute resolve to believe God, that was accounted to Abraham as righteousness. That belief is our only Hope.
Now why all this ruminating? You are two Presbyterian churches that sent me and supported me in the backwaters of the Middle East. Knox Church in Toronto and Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas are both hugely involved in major physical renovations and will present themselves beautifully for the next generations. The timing for doing this is (probably) perfect. Another Presbyterian church of long standing is also in the throes of renovation. It is repairing the damage caused by a rocket and bombing in BabTouma, Damascus where it is located. It has a strong reputation for taking care of its young people, one of whom has fled the war in Syria and served as a house parent to our boys here at Home of Hope. Just to satisfy your curiosity, it’s the church my parents were married in in 1933 when my Presbyterian missionary mother married my Damascene father whose family were the leaders of the congregation. God has given that church staying power.
Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus Name. On Chirst the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,…………
My time here is getting shorter.
April 19th will see me back on the North American Continent. Let’s think some more about our fellow church members in BabTouma then.
Please click below for our second prayer letter of the year.
We also give thanks for the many people who are preparing to serve at the ACC this year on short term missions trips. Many of the details still need to be worked out. Please pray that the Lord will match the right short term workers and teams with the right time frames and programs. Please pray for divine appointments between those the Lord brings here from abroad and those he brings from within Aomori. Please pray that in this years programs many will meet Jesus for the first time, and that those who already know Him will reach new milestones in their faith.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Click button below for live funeral feed.
As his public appearances dwindled in recent years, the Rev. Billy Graham began choosing songs, scripture and speakers for one last public opportunity to spread the Gospel — his own funeral.
Plans for Friday's service took shape in the years after his final crusade in 2005 as he huddled with confidants and loved ones in his North Carolina mountain home. Musicians who had shared Graham's stage would sing. Some of the best preachers Graham knew — his own children — would deliver personal messages.
And evoking the "Canvas Cathedral" revivals that helped launch his ministry seven decades ago, mourners would gather under a tent to pay their final respects. For his family, the idea became capturing the feeling of the crusades that made Graham "America's Pastor" and the world's best-known protestant preacher of his era.
"His fingerprints are on this service for sure," family spokesman Mark DeMoss said in a phone interview. "The Graham family has long considered that his funeral eventually would really be his last crusade."
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Graham, who died last week at age 99, brought a message of salvation to millions during visits and live broadcasts to scores of countries. While the invitation-only crowd Friday on the grounds of his Charlotte library is limited to 2,000 or so, internet livestreams are allowing many more to watch at noon.
The service features songs from gospel musicians who performed at Graham's crusades: Linda McCrary-Fisher, Michael W. Smith and the Gaither Vocal Band. They are all friends who sang for Graham at his home in recent years, DeMoss said, adding: "They're not just artists."
Graham's oldest son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, will deliver the funeral message after shorter addresses by his other children. The service, expected to last about 90 minutes, also includes prayers by pastors from as close as Charlotte and as far away as Asia.
President Donald Trump is expected to attend.
Afterward, Billy Graham will be buried next to his wife in a memorial prayer garden at the library, with his grandchildren serving as pallbearers. His casket was made of pine by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. The grave marker reads: "Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."
The funeral serves as the culmination of more than a week of tributes that included crowds lining the road for a procession from the mountains to Charlotte, where Graham grew up. Approximately 13,000 people — including former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — filed past his casket during a public viewing in Charlotte this week. And on Wednesday, Graham became the first private citizen since civil rights icon Rosa Parks in 2005 to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington.
Still, loved ones said Graham saw himself as a humble preacher who would have been embarrassed by such fanfare.
And most of all, to Graham, Friday's goodbye marks an end only to his earthly journey.
"Do I fear death? ... No. I look forward to death, with great anticipation," Graham told a Newsweek reporter in 2005. "I am looking forward to seeing God face to face. And that could happen any day."
Drew reported from Raleigh, North Carolina.
"I had the opportunity to attend the memorial today. What a wonderful opportunity. Sitting in the tent that depicts his 1949 crusade in LA sets the memorial into a realistic context for the funeral." --Geri Rodman
Friends and family at Knox Church in Canada: I want to take this moment to intentionally thank you for financial support, for praying for me, for encouraging me, for standing by me in every possible way and cheering me on. I wish I had all the money in the world to support each of you too. From the bottom of my heart, with all of my being with all that I have, thank you. I don’t take all of these for granted. I wish I could thank you in person but this will have to do for now!
Xerggyo has had extreme back pain for over one week. It seems to be a result of a cyst in his lower back. He is seeking a second medical opinion Friday. "It is so many pain in my left leg. Today I started to use medicine to control pain. Now there is no longer pain my back." Operation is one option. They are very happy and seeing God working in so many ways.
Jesus has given me a mandate; that is, He has chosen me to live my life as a witness because He loves me and has put His trust in me. He wants me to taste His glory. Thus, my hope and prayer is to be continually filled with passion and to know my purpose is to join God on a victorious process of reclamation. There are several things that God has either been teaching me or reminding me these past five lessons and I’d like to make them known clear in this response. 1. The Living God is a Missionary God: I was reminded about the land aspect of God’s promise and the reclaiming of the physical; when Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and after they had fallen, it was not as though he had outsmarted or defeated God and gotten past His defenses. Nor does God give up on this physical world and create a purely spiritual Heaven (full of fluffy clouds, baby angels, and bright light) for us to spend eternity in with Him. Instead, God is sovereign over everything and He will bring his physical world to fruition. It was in His will to redeem the broken physical aspect of our world, through the death of Jesus Christ, and to bring about a “new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21, ESV). 2. The Story of His Glory: I was mainly challenged to consider all the things that I am doing in my life, whether it be schoolwork, familial relationships etc. and to look at them through the lens/question of: Are the things that I do glorifying God? The nice thing about this question is it’s relatively simple but it also cuts right through all my selfish ambition. The only way I can answer this sort of question is continually seeing God’s glory in the Bible and spending time in prayer. 3. Your Kingdom Come: For this one there’s only one thing really that I need to keep telling myself: pray, pray, pray. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6, ESV). 4. Mandate for the Nations: Here I begin to realize the enormous task that I have been so graciously entrusted with by God because the things that I do with my life are either of lasting significance or ephemeral. Not only that, but I am to imitate Jesus and realize that Jesus has not kept hidden anything from me because I am his “friend” (John 15:12-17, ESV). 5. Unleashing the Gospel: Finally, it is not so much that I should be focusing on witnessing the Gospel to others around me (although that is obviously something I should do), but it is more so viewing myself and my own identity AS a witness of Christ. Out of that identity will acts of witnessing flow out. These are just some of the ways that God has been helping me grow through Perspectives and I am so grateful for your financial support. It would be great to meet you in person (if possible) to further share my experiences and I would be more than willing to talk to you about how I feel God calling me to missions. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
The weather is getting warmer, temperature 35C today, so summer is on the way...
Last week Sheila was in a rural area of Sindh for a "Sharpening Your Inter-personal Skills" (SYIS) workshop. Next week she heads north to Murree and then Islamabad for country team leadership meetings. Sheila will be leading her last meeting as country team leader. Then from 8 –
20 March she will be in Cambodia for another SYIS workshop! Sheila would appreciate prayer for:
Good handover of country team responsibilities
SYIS workshop in Cambodia
Preparing Sunday School lessons and finishing of things at our local church
Sorting, packing and selling our things
Bill continues to address issues at the NGO he is temporary assisting as acting Director. There are still difficult decisions to be made and continuing uncertainty of future funding. In all of this he is still doing clinics three days a week. Bill would appreciate prayer for:
Wisdom and guidance for how best to help the struggling NGO, SSEWA-Pak. For Bill as he helps draft a response to a donor's recent audit. For SSEWA-Pak's future leadership and funding.
For time to spend with Dr. Ebenezer and Imroze to help them with some new SaCHA proposals.
Job interview for Newfoundland on 28 February.
For health concerns of family in Canada.
We have decided to leave Pakistan in mid April. Sheila will come to Canada via Malaysia where she will be taking part in a mini E2S and attending a Leadership Training course.
We will be based in Toronto until the end of May to travel to meet with some of our supporting churches. Hoping to see many of you then.
Saying goodbye will be difficult, but we are at peace that this is God's
timing. We commit the coming days and our lives into His Hands.
It has now been nearly one week since 're-entry' into Canada. I have had a chance to catch up on sleep, visit family, and eat too much Ghanian chocolate. Now I hope to convey some of what happened during my visit to Accra. The week's post will focus on the 'who' and 'what' - who I worked for and with, and what did we work on? Next week I plan on answering the question 'where' and 'why' - giving you a closer look at Ghana through these eyes and some thoughts on what brought me and our team to this country.
Meet the Team
Each Engineering Ministries International (eMi) project is a partnership between a ministry and volunteer team. Our client for this trip was Dr. Edward Fynn, a Ghana raised radiologist who volunteers heavily with the Navigators of Africa. Edward's vision was to develop a 70-acre site North East of Accra into a training and retreat centre. One of the Navigators main ministry thrusts is discipleship, growing Christians through Bible discussion and training, specifically in smaller groups of 8-12. This seems to follow Christ's example closely as Jesus himself chose a select group of 12 to teach and impact specifically while ministering here on Earth.
Edward was our host extraordinaire...arranging for our accommodation and food while providing constant feedback during our efforts to design Abonse Farm Lodge.
There’s a good possibility that on very short notice it’s the Lord’s will that I should go to South Africa for 2.5 weeks next month—4th-22nd—to observe a phenomenal training course and visit the results... This may help a ministry here in Munich (so someone from here might accompany me), as well as advance my DMin work. Prayers to that end are also appreciated.
So grateful for your partnership in the work of the Lord!
Evangelist Billy Graham -- a confidant to presidents, a guiding light to generations of American evangelicals and a globe-trotting preacher who converted millions to Christianity -- died Wednesday at the age of 99, his spokesman confirmed to CNN.
Graham passed away at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, spokesman Jeremy Blume said.
The skinny preacher with the booming voice evangelized to nearly 215 million people over six decades and prayed with US presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.
Several presidents, including Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, relied closely on his spiritual counsel.
I m so saddened to read that my our faithful friend Billy Graham passed away but I really believe that God has told Rev. Billy Graham,well done, my Child and faithful servant. Welcome home my child!
Billy Graham was a great and true faithful man of God, He has his footprint everywhere in the word . A true world's ambassador of Christ . He will be missed by many of us but his voice and written messages will be engraved in our heart.
As I think of his passing, I remember many words of wisdom that my mom always tell me when she is choosing a book on the shelf that is written by Billy Graham. I think many of videos by Billy Graham 's preaching that a friend from Knox church always send to me to listen.
I didn't even know if that day was the day of Billy Graham 's way to heaven to be with God, I was reading the book written by him PEACE WITH GOD that mom gave me to read. To be honest my faith has very much impacted by Billy Graham 's preaching and writing . I wish I would have known him in personal. May the Lord comfort all of us at this painful time of missing him.
He has just changed address as he stated on his word "Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it . I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address . I will have gone into the presence of God" Billy Graham.
Thank you for your prayers, I’m back safely and still processing all that we saw and learned in Uganda. So pleased to be part of the board for Food for the Hungry Canada.
We took an MAF plane to northern Uganda to visit the South Sudanese refugee settlements. It is such a dire situation, but we met a single mother with 8 children - 3 of her own and 5 children that didn’t have any other family to care for them. She had already grown enough beans to not rely on the UN handouts and saved a little cash from the savings group! Praise the Lord!
Here is video that Food for the Hungry made of their work there. Click below.
I’m always happy to chat more about our trip if you see me in person!
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement will be happening February 16-23. Last year, 35 students - a delightful mixture from the U of T and seasoned ministry workers - came together to study the Biblical, historical, cultural and strategic perspectives of the global Christian movement. The early bird deadline for registration is January 15, but there are even more opportunities for bursaries and scholarships before then.
*Kara, Alice, Tara, Michelle, Tom and Mark. Each of these students are at the level of curious or seeking who Jesus is. Pray for us as a community to be filled with love for them, so that we might make space and get to know them more. Some have some blocks/incidents in their lives that keep them from Jesus, please pray that Holy Spirit will lead and guide us this month as we seek to partner in what he is doing in their lives. (*names changed)
Please pray for us as we wrestle with distractions and responsibilities and tasks, that God will help us keep ourselves centered on Him.
Please pray for wisdom about any structural changes we need to make to serve those seeking and curious about Jesus. We plan to center the ministry around mission together.
Please pray for students to say yes to coming to study Mark for a week at Mark Central at the end of April. Pray for provision for those to be able to attend, especially those who are seeking Jesus amongst us.
Please pray for Dom as she helps lead the prayer team at Mark Central this April 30- May 6. Please pray that all the training and people will be provided to serve in this way (both intercessory and prayer ministry prayer) soon. May Holy Spirit lead us in prayer leading up to Mark Central.