Sandy and Carol are faithful supporters of the work of KWM.
Sandy celebrated his eightieth birthday with friends, family, neighbours and golf buddies today.
This coming Sunday, July 22, marks the sixth year that CanIL has organized a summer cycling fundraiser. This year it is called CanIL Ride 2018 and, for the second year running, it's part of a much larger local event called the Valley GranFondo. Because generous sponsors are covering the costs of the event, 100 per cent of all donations will go to the CanIL Scholarship & Bursary Fund. For more information, you can find the Ride website below.
In previous years I (Dave) have been heavily involved in organizing this event as well as actually riding in it. But even the shortest distance of 50km is too much for me these days. So this year Susan and I will be volunteering as Course Marshalls, directing cyclists and cheering them on. In the past I have benefited from people helping me stay on course, so this year it is my turn to return the favour.
While we did not sign up to do fundraising ourselves, we still want you to know that the Ride is happening and how you can donate. Check below to learn more:
You can either click on the Donate button and give to the event in general, or look down the list of participants and choose one or more of them to donate to.
Susan and I would be very pleased if you would consider donating to CanIL Ride 2018. Scholarship funds make getting trained at CanIL possible for quite a number of our students. The training CanIL offers, in turn, prepares them to be part of the next generation of Bible translators and literacy workers to join the Bible translation movement worldwide.
God’s Word is for all peoples, but they really can't access it until it is translated into a language they fully understand.
This morning I took Jacky to the hospital and explained about her back pain. It is at her spine. (I had to pick her up from Kahama yesterday after the hospital there was not able to do any testing.)
So I asked for a full blood picture, an X-ray and ultra sound. The person in charge of X-ray had left the job and they were in the process of getting another person....
The machine to give the full blood picture was out of order.
I asked for an ultra sound of kidneys and gall bladder. The doctor doing the ultrasound advised to do a pelvic ultrasound first.
The ultrasound showed a very small cyst. She told me that this can cause the pain and told me to take her answer to the doctor who was to prescribe some hormone treatment....
When I went to his office he prescribed some strong antibiotics! I asked him the reason for this prescription. She has no fever, no signs of infection. I asked about the hormone treatment and he had no idea what I was talking about. So I left.
Dr. Kathrin, my German doctor freind, had been in touch with me throughout the process and agreed that she should not get antibiotics. She also let me know that the severe back pains Jacky has cannot be caused by such a small cyst.
When I came home I called the doctor at the Kamanga Hospital in Mwanza. This is a reliable hospital with real doctors, specialists and equipment that works.
This morning I started at the Diocese office and then went to Malumba where I had a few clients who needed help. One of them is one of our HIV clients and she was so pale that I had to give her a referral for the hospital as I think she will need a blood transfusion. Then the mama from Kilino came who's husband died of AIDs and she was so sick that she no longer could take care of her youngest child who is still at the Kazima orphanage. He also has the virus and is now almost 4 but looks like a 2 year old.
She was so happy to see me and she gave me a big hug and she really has improved so much that she looked quite healthy. She wants to visit her child this coming week.
Around 11 am I received a call that Jacky had been taken to the hospital with severe lower back pains on Thursday. Kahama has a referral hospital....all they did was look at her from behind a desk and do a urine test. Then she was send back to school. At the school she was given one tablet of Ampiclox and some Ibuprofen on Monday when the pain had started and one more tablet of Ampiclox yesterday....(the medical care is terrible!)
Today the pain became worse so they called me to pick her up. I had just finished with the last client and I closed the doors at Malumba and drove to Tabora. I made an appointment for her tomorrow morning and she will get an ultrasound done. Then I got into the car together with Mfaume and drove to Kahama. We left Tabora at 12.40 pm and arrive at her school at 4 pm. I had brought a pain killer for her and she was so relieved to see me that she cried. We made it home by 8 pm and Naomi and Ngassa had prepared our dinner. Now I can relax a bit and will hit the hay early.
Pray that nothing serious will be found but that they will know what the problem is.
We have certainly been following and trying to adjust to the new challenges in Nicaragua. The situation is quite volatile, changing every day it seems. The Skylark Centre is in Carazo province which has been a scene of major upheaval. We praise God that our staff and centre are safe. The needs are many.
Xerggyo and Hil arrived in Toronto yesterday after some fairly long airport layovers. They will be in Toronto area until early August and hope to meet with many friends. They will be introduced at Knox on Sunday the 22nd.
Carluci & Christina Dos Santos, Latin America Mission, Toronto.
I am off to Bolivia tomorrow, July 19, to speak at a university student conference, ECUA, which gathers university students from the Andean region, July 21-30. Also, I will be visiting with missionaries in Bolivia. I return to Toronto on August 3rd.
Please pray for the outcome of this conference that the Word that will be planted in their hearts in the course of the conference will bear much fruit as each student returns to their home country. I will speaking on the theme of the Kingdom of God.
Please pray for me also as I return and prepare to teach an eight week course in the fall, on Old Testament history and theology at the Spanish Bible Institute, IFM, in Toronto.
After several months convalescing from several health challenges, Jim passed away unexpectedly last night. Jim and Reima were sacrificial supporters of the work of KWM for so many years.
Pray for the kids who will do their exams in September.
At Malumba we still need the official license but we continue to work under the verbal agreement from the local authorities. We receive many new clients who used to only go to witch doctors. Many need referrals as their problems are too big for any dispensary to deal with.
Thanks praying for my mom's health.
David and Angela Morris. 5 ships were unloading much needed food through the main harbour of our friend's war-torn country. Now a major Sunni invasion is taking place destroying that port and city. Pray for our friend as more people will connect with him, many with heightened spiritual hunger.
I want to thank you and all at the church for your faithful and sacrificial financial support and for your prayers for my ministry here. As I believe I mentioned to you before, I look forward to being at Knox on Sunday morning, August 12th . Lord willing, I will go to the AIM office the next day, and return to Montreal on Tuesday, the 14th, for my flight to Vancouver on the 16th and on to Seoul from Vancouver on the 28th.
My classes are pretty small these days (about two five students each), but are going great with the Lord's help. At our food bank yesterday, we helped more or less 90 individuals or families with big bags of groceries for $5 each for one or two bags. It is a privilege to be getting to know some of the clients of the food bank by name as well as my students and to be able to chat freely with them and encourage them as they bravely face the challenges of getting established in a country where they have to learn two new languages before they can find work, etc. Many of them have probably been dealing with the boiling temperatures in homes with no air conditioning these days, too.
I will really regret saying good-bye to my dear students from Rwanda, Taiwan, Syria, Lebanon and Columbia, etc. Please pray for the salvation of some of them - in particular of Emmanuel (78 years old, from Rwanda), Peter and Grace (young parents from Taiwan), Hala (a Syrian mother of young adult children), and any others the Lord wishes to save. Also, a young Muslim student, Hani, just joined us this week. May he feel at home with the classes, as (probably for the first time in his life) he will find himself in our weekly Bible class this Tuesday - on Noah's ark. May he not feel he has to refuse to read or even touch the Bible, which is sometimes the case, I believe. However, Hani has already managed to survive his first Wednesday class, which was on the Good Samaritan story, mixed in with other basic vocabulary about things such as feelings, numbers and directions. With prayer, I trust that he will be able to enjoy the lesson and hopefully learn something important.
As I, Margaret Mackay, approach my 99th birthday - Saturday, July 7th , I want to express my gratitude to all of you for being on this long, life journey with me.
In place of a large gathering or even smaller gatherings.... (some of the challenges of getting older is more limited energy, hearing and mobility)...I thought I would write a letter to each one of you sharing my reflections on turning 99. That is a lot of history - world, family ,friends - to absorb and be grateful for. The world has changed a lot over the years...but these things remain:
> the enormous importance of community - always..
> the joy of living simply, gratefully and with purpose
> the abiding strength and hope of faith
Let us continue to give thanks and pray for each other as our journeys unfold.
Peng-an..and thank you,
Margy (Margaret Lucy Mackay)
Reflections on Turning 99
Stay, stranger, stay
as you are passing by.
As you are now
so once was I.
As I am now
you soon may be
Oh,then, prepare to follow me.
This is a poem from a park in Hong Kong that we, the Mackay family, visited many years ago. It seems a fitting way to begin a small reflection on turning 99.
I am grateful for so many things. This treasure trove of memories of growing up with my siblings in Tamsui..what a gift that was. We thought Tamsui was the most wonderful place on earth. And then my brothers and sisters and I went to the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan, as boarders. That was another adventure. It was a four day trip on a ship..we travelled second class (with cabins and bunks) and went to the dining room for Japanese-style meals. The Canadian Academy was made up mostly of Canadian and American families who lived in Japan. We had our larks and lots of fun memories…along with having a pretty strong academic tone. We wrote the Ontario Provincial exams..and we always did well.
We were born with this wonderful Mackay history of George Leslie Mackay, our grandfather..our missionary roots and life..our families in Taiwan and in Canada. The whole Church connection was simply part of our heritage. Our family home in Tamsui has been made into a museum: Mackay Memorial Museum. For us, it was our much-loved home where we as a family lived and loved. I feel we grew up with two homelands: Formosa (now Taiwan) and Canada. What a gift!
It is impossible to sum up a whole long life…I find it ‘ridiculous’ that I am turning 99..and, yet, I think of the Winnie the Pooh line: I didn’t know we were making memories, I thought we were just having fun. Over the years, there were, of course, many joys and sorrows: all the history involved in living from 1919 to now; my siblings and I growing up and leaving home; the death of our much-loved brother, Leslie, during World War II (1942); the death of our father (1963) and our leaving Taiwan as a family (1968); wonderful friends made and enjoyed ; the various places that we Mackay sisters lived in Toronto..with our mother for a while until her death (1969); the many pets we loved over all the years: our favourite Tamsui dog – Samuel Samson Samkin de Daniel to the last dog we brought to keep our mother company in Canada– Parka. Anna and I have always had a cat to entertain us. Misty is my much-loved cat who gives me much joy right now.
We were all blessed to do what we loved: Anna – teaching; Ross – a world-recognized geologist; Isabel – a nurse; and I retired from the Admin. Office of U.of T. with people I loved to work with. Knox Presbyterian Church has always been our home Church and our faith home…from beginning to end…and always,
we stayed connected to Taiwan and our many friends there and here.
Mostly, I feel great gratitude for Tamsui, Taiwan, and all we lived there and the rich Mackay heritage we inherited. I feel blessed with a lifetime of wonderful friends and family – including all of you who are reading this. In my old age, I am also grateful beyond measure to those dear friends and workers who have helped me live so well in my own home. You all have my deep thanks for sharing this life journey with me..and faith sustains it all.
And so I close with the Traveller’s Psalm that we Mackays always sang when we were going on a trip (for example, when we went off to school or on furlough):
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
From this time forth,
And even for evermore.
Peng-an…and great blessings on your journey,
🌟 The future is bright 🌟
Ann-ecdotes along the journey. A wonderful new opportunity and a board trip to Uganda with Food for the Hungry Canada.
In March, I was invited to begin a new role with the Lausanne Movement as their Forum Director set to happen June 2019 in Manila. In April, I traveled to Manila with Larry Russell, their Chief Operating Officer to meet the local planning team and arrange logistics for the forum.
The team has been going strong for quite some time, but the Lausanne leadership realized that they needed a director to bring leadership to the overall core team planning and graciously invited me into this role over the past month. It's been a pleasure meeting new team members, and interacting again with long-time friends!
GWF represents Lausanne’s most concerted effort to date to address the false ‘sacred-secular divide’ that has ‘permeated the Church’s thinking and action’, telling us that ‘religious activity belongs to God, whereas other activity does not’ (from Part II-A-3 of The Cape Town Commitment. At GWF, we will reclaim the biblical truth that all legitimate work is intrinsically valuable and integral to the missional work of God’s kingdom. GWF will involve a diverse spectrum of participants from all regions of the world, across generations, and across all 35 issue networks.
The hope is that through the 2019 Global Workplace Forum, Lausanne’s fourth vision point, kingdom impact in every sphere of society. For this vision of radically transforming the whole world through the whole gospel can only become reality through the whole church.
UGANDA: STRIKE ONE OFF THE BUCKET LIST!
In early February, the board of directors for Food for the Hungry Canada visited our partnering communities in Uganda to understand better our strengths, challenges and learn from our local staff. On day one, we flew with Mission Aviation Fellowship to Northern Uganda to visit a South Sudanese refugee settlement. Before we hopped into the plane, the pilot asked if anyone wanted to sit in the co-pilot seat. My hand shot up faster than you could say ,"BUCKET LIST!" It was incredible chatting with the pilot, awed by the instrumentation and chatter coming from the control tower. We flew over the Nile River! #mindblown
We heard from an extremely vulnerable mother of 8 children: 3 biological children + 5 adopted children since they don't know what happened to their families. She proudly showed us her crop of beans, which prevents her from relying on the UN food ration of beans as a member of the farmer group.
We spent the majority of our time around Mbale visiting a community that graduated from partnership with FH 8 years ago. They saved enough money to send 50 of their students to university! In a country where free education only goes up to grade 6, saving enough money to send their students to high school and university in another city is a game changer for this community and Uganda as a whole. It was so good to see the trust in our FH Uganda staff, their improved quality of life and confidence in their future.
Another community is just beginning their partnership - we realized we are the first NGO to work with them as even their government ignores their requests for assistance.
We had THE best view for our board meetings...from an island overlooking the source of the Nile! We hopped into a canoe and were paddled out to a gorgeous resort. In case you were worried about the extravagance, we paddled back out at the end of the day to stay at a cute hotel and ete yummy pizza.
From my earlier report you will know that since April 18th of this year, there has been considerable unrest in Nicaragua. It began with peaceful protests against government changes to social programs. Although the government reversed those changes very quickly, the response of police and paramilitary groups, in violently repressing the demonstrators has led to continued unrest and disruption. According to the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights, there have been 309 people killed and over 1,500 injured.
We pray for a quick and peaceful resolution of all of the outstanding issues. The unrest is having a serious impact on our ministry. None of our event staff have had work for over two months. Our maintenance staff have been rotating taking unpaid vacation and we have taken measures to reduce our expenses both in Canada and in Nicaragua.
Our staff at Skylark are safe but travel can be challenging. Some have had to walk for kilometres to and from work. Others are now the sole breadwinner in their family as spouses have lost their jobs due to the economic upheaval. Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs as hundreds of businesses have closed, particularly in the tourism industry.
As long as teachers can make it to our site we are running our Mom's & Tots, and pre-school programs. We are glad to have this ongoing ministry to young families, in need now more than ever.
We appreciate your continued prayers for the safety of our staff and their families. Pray too for pastors in Nicaragua to continue to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus to a people living in fear and uncertainty and daily hardship.
We praise God for a good early response to our call for funds to help our workers. I so covet your prayers, as does the board as we consider options and how best to respond to this challenging situation. We trust God knowing that this is his ministry.
I am so excited to see how God works in my heart and the hearts of my friends, family, and those we come into contact with!
Please continue to pray for me and for my classmates and friends. Pray against the enemy's lies and against our own doubting hearts here at the university as well as in our life.
Pray the Lord would whisper truth to us, and that we would speak truth to ourselves constantly as we communicate with our lecturers and others
Tests and university exams are scheduled to begin this month again!
If you take time to pray for me and for other students, that will be great!
One of the great tasks the Lord is engaged in through His Church is the translation of God's Word into every language. It is a privilege to be assigned to CanIL and to be part of the training phase for a fantastic group of young people who are planning to join the Bible translation movement. This task is not an easy one as many of the needy communities they will work in are found in parts of the world where the Gospel is not welcome. Even in our own land of Canada just last week we saw the Supreme Court of Canada put limits on religious freedom when it ruled against TWU's plan to open a law school. What this will mean to Canadian Christians in the future is hard to predict, yet we know we must remain faithful, just as so many of our brothers and sisters around the world have remained faithful through times of adversity.... [click link]
Last week, I was officially celebrated by the Board for my tenure as President of InterVarsity Canada. I will step down from the Presidency on September 1st.
Sabbatical: September 1st through February 28th
I will then continue on InterVarsity staff with new responsibilities. I will move into a sabbatical for six months to finish my doctoral thesis at Gordon Conwell and pursue rest and restoration.
New Role with InterVarsity
On March 1st, 2019, I will return to staff as a Ministry, Executive and Life Coach.
I am excited to take all the experience that God has provided over all these years and provide staff and leaders not just in Canada, but throughout the world of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (InterVarsity around the world) with coaching. My first assignment will be with the Executive Directors of eight Caribbean movements. I had the privilege of being introduced to these precious men and women three weeks ago. They are young, passionate and eager to see the gospel of Jesus impact each of their locations. It is so exciting to assist these folks in any way possible.
When I review my almost 40 years in ministry with students, I can honestly say I love the work that God has provided me. I realize not many people can say that after a long tenure of work. I look forward to providing as many years in this role as I am able with effectiveness. I am still energized and passionate about the ministry to youth and young adults. The opportunity to witness a life changed for a lifetime is incredible.
I just met an alumnus yesterday who is retiring from his long successful career as a lawyer. He recounted how his life changed dramatically when he met Jesus 50 years ago at camp and grew in faith at university in the campus fellowship. Without this time of development in his life, the values that guided his life would not have held him through all his years of business. His life is incredible because he chose to follow Jesus.
I wish I could come and sit in each of your living rooms to tell the stories of incredible life changes. This year, you can look at our website at www.ivcf.ca. There you will find stories of youth and students who have changed all because of encountering Jesus.
Prayer Requests for July through October
1. July through September: Raise additional $1500 per month.
2. July-August: Complete projects
3. August 26-31: Transition with new President
4. Pray for the immigration process for the new President, Nigel Pollock. He is the Executive Director of the New Zealand International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. He comes to this position with 30 years of ministry experience.
Thank you all for your commitment to InterVarsity ministry to youth and young adults and to me over these years.
We wanted to take this opportunity to advise you of the current situation of civil unrest in Nicaragua, which has been little-covered by the Canadian news outlets (slightly more so by the U.S. ones).
Two months ago, on April 18th, civilian protests began against the sitting government, arising from a change implemented to the social security system. Although those changes were subsequently withdrawn, the spark had lit the fire. The citizens began demanding the resignation of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, and Vice-President, Rosario Murillo.
Over the past 2 months, there have been many peaceful anti-government protests but there have been some that have ended in violence purportedly by government or government-supported groups. The direct, primarily civilian, death toll currently stands at over 200, recently including young children. The indirect death toll can be safely assumed to be much higher as medical and other emergency services are greatly restricted, if functional at all. Over 1300 have been wounded, and approximately 100 are being detained in prisons notorious for brutal treatment.
There are few ways for citizens to defend themselves. The primary mode of defence, and to secondarily garner the attention of the Central American region, is the by-hand construction of roadblocks, which has been done throughout the country. This disrupts ground transportation, affecting the delivery of goods and services, including food, medicines and fuel, and the ability of people (including some of our own Skylark staff) to get to, or home from, work.
Normal Skylark Centre operations have been suspended as it is not safe to travel to, or within, the country. The one exception is that we are still working to maintain the “Best Start in Christ” programming as staff and local participants can safely reach the Centre. Los Medranos, where the Centre is located, remains quiet, although gunfire from nearby San Marcos can be heard at times. To the best of our knowledge, all of our Skylark staff are unharmed and safe, although we are concerned that some of them may be unable to provision basic-need items. We are being kept apprised of the situation by them, as well, as they determine ways that we can help. We will share those with you as well, as appropriate.
We encourage you to do your own research, and ask for your prayers for a country in turmoil and specifically for individuals that some of you have come to know over the years. We are discussing these matters in only a very limited manner over social media. We will keep you apprised of the situation through email, and will be regularly updating information on our website. Please contact us with any questions that you may have. We are happy to distribute any notes of encouragement that you might want to send.
Thank you so much for praying for Yuko's infected elbow. It is now almost as good as new. Please pray for protection during the camp season, that the Lord will not allow the evil one to physically or emotionally disrupt what He has planned these camps.
Please continue to pray for the three JECA churches in Aomori City, that love and unity would prevail over habit and selfishness. Luke will be preaching to a joint service of two of the three congregations on the first Sunday of every month for the foreseeable future. Please pray for July 22 when these two congregations will join our International Work Camp at ACC for an outdoor worship service.
Please continue to pray for the renovations of the first floor of the Staff House in preparation for using it as a camp kitchen and dining room. We have Mon.~Fri. to finish it. We are so grateful for Luke's father who is doing most of the work and for Paul, a local BIMI missionary who has offered to rebuild the pantry floor.
The camp fliers have now gone out to churches in Aomori Prefecture and in Hokkaido, and we are beginning to receive applications. Please continue to pray for our summer staff.
There are so many individuals we would like to ask you to pray for--returning campers, our neighbors, our children's friends and classmates, their parents--but privacy concerns and space do not permit us to list them freely. Do pray, though, for Shigeru Kanno. He is the youngest son of Pastor and Mrs. Kanno who had to leave Aomori for family reasons. Shigeru chose to stay in Aomori for university and is helping to teach Sunday School at the Evangelical Church of Aomori. Please pray for his discipleship, and that we would be able to contribute meaningfully to it. Unfortunately his school term doesn't end until Aug. 4, so it doesn't look like he will be able to help with our Bible Camps. Please pray that somehow his schedule will allow him to at least help with Youth Camp (Aug. 2-4).
Sylvia Dresser, Norine Love, Jim Mason, Angela & David Morris, Marg Roth and Pam Stedman.
I am in preparations for my next assignment in the fall, teaching English to future missionaries at the Missionary Training Institute at Yeosu, in South Korea. God-willing, I’ll leave for Korea in the last week of August to arrive at the school on August 30th, and the new school term is scheduled to begin on September 3rd.
Today we went to the village to do Home Based Care for the very elderly women who can barely walk and get to a dispensary. Most had high blood pressure and many had trouble walking.
It was a great day and one 80+year old went into her garden to give us casava roots as a thank you.
We came home around 4pm and had a visit from Scott and Cassie with their two little boys. They work in a village about 70 km from Tabora. Their co-worker and evangelist was killed by family members. Pray for this widow and children.
Pray also for Scott and Cassie [Tabora missioary couple and close freinds] and for their safety.