Bill Fitch, Listen to Learn, East Africa. “Please pray for one of our longtime Listen to Learn staff members in Kenya. He looks after our technical department and is coping with some difficulties. Pray that the whole staff will continue to function as a close-knit team.”
Ian’s surgery is complete and he is in recovery now. The surgery went extremely well, and there were no complications. The surgeon used a minimally invasive procedure, so his incision is much smaller than we expected. It should make for a more rapid recovery for him. It is possible he will be able to come home in 7 days instead of the 8-12 days we were expecting.
Please continue to pray for his recovery, that there would be no complications. Pray that he would have good pain management, and that he would be able to quickly get back on his feet. Pray for all the adjustments that will need to be made.
Thank you for all the love and concern, and especially for your prayers on his behalf.
Mfaume thanks everyone for their prayers. His chest pain has disappeared and he feels very well. His exams are going well too.
Last Sunday in the pre-service prayer meeting and again yesterday (May 10th) as part of the KWM May bulletin, we all prayed for God’s intervention in the lives of a Somali woman and her husband and child, who have been jailed and tried for putting their faith in Christ. What was most disturbing is that the Prosecution wanted them judged as “Apostates” under Sharia Law and condemned to death. The trial was held even as we and many others prayed for their deliverance and this is the outcome so far:
1) Six international observers were present including US and UK representatives with full security detail. (This was an amazing help and support!)
2) The judge said the final verdict will be made sometime between May 12-14. (Let’s pray for favor, mercy and acquittal)
3) The judge clearly stated that according to International law which their country is bound by, and the silence of the penal code with regard to apostasy laws – Sharia law cannot be used in this case! (Praise God!)
4) The Judge was very fair and even sympathetic to the couple’s case. When the defense lawyers were destroying the prosecutor’s arguments, the prosecutor tried to defend their case, but the judge jumped in and said to the prosecutors, “you didn’t present any proof.”
5) The couple’s lawyers made a good case today arguing that according to the constitution anyone has the right to believe and follow whatever they want. (However. the constitution also says in a different section that Muslims are not permitted to change.) But the lawyers did a great job defending the couple’s faith.
To be clear and precise: God has wonderfully answered our prayers so far, and the judge has moved forward with this case telling both sides that the case will not be changed from now on (Read: no moving to use Sharia law.) The verdict will be given according to the constitution, and the judge was very sympathetic to their cause yesterday. All glory to God!
Let’s keep praying for the couple and their baby, for acquittal and for the protection of the couple, their child, the judge and the lawyers, who could all be in danger.
Dear Knox family,
Mission is at the heart of Knox’s calling. Reflecting on our 200-year history, we witness the scope and importance that mission has played as we’ve lived out our role in the kingdom. Over the years we have allotted significant resources—in finance, prayer and people—to bring the gospel to the city and the world through various initiatives and partnerships.
Knox’s focus on mission is only made possible through your generous financial and prayer support. Both means of support display your passion for the gospel to be shared. While we might not see all the fruit of our mission engagement, surely our church is living out its missional calling and will continue to participate in God’s mission to bring glory to God, to reconcile God’s creation, and redeem his people.
As we marked the milestone of our 200th anniversary, God called our leadership to a time of reflection to consider how best to continue to provide mission focus and direction at Knox, and become more effective stewards of the resources God has given us. Through reflection, we quickly realized it was necessary to reframe our mission strategy: we need to identify mission priorities and determine criteria for the mission activities we support.
Why do we need to reframe our mission strategy? For one, determining mission priorities will allow us to be proactive in identifying mission partners that share the same passion and focus in mission. Secondly, the last few years have seen a gradual reduction in our resources both in missional giving and bequest funds. If we continue our current commitments of support as they are, we will only have sufficient funds to do so until the end of the 2022 fiscal year. We walk by faith, but it is imperative for us to be faithful stewards of our resources to ensure that our mission engagements are sustainable in the long term.
After a year of prayerful reflection, research, writing and discussions, our Knox World Mission committee with supporting staff and leadership, have decided upon the new Strategic Mission Framework that we share with you now and also invite you into with us. Below you will find:
• The Strategic Mission Framework—a full-length document outlining the priorities and criteria for those who are interested in all the details, including items for prayer;
• An Q&A sheet, as we expect you may have questions;
• A Summary of the Strategic Missions Framework, including our four new mission priorities and criteria for support.
As you read through this information, please consider any questions you have, and if they are not addressed in the Q&A, please send them to Pr. Nestor Abdon, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a deep peace that this framework is a timely, Spirit-led strategy for our church in this era of our life together and we look forward to discovering what seeds will sprout and new fruit God will grow from it. We’d like to mark this significant transition in our mission framework through a time to gather online. Will you join us on May 30? Find the details below.
Thank you again for your support and participation in the particular ways God is calling our church to join in his mission near and far. We can’t wait to see what stories of redeeming love unfold in this generation and those to come.
In faith and gratitude,
For the Knox World Mission Committee: Jeff Bloom (chair), Nancy Howard, Don Nicol, Sabrina Simmons, Karen Williams, Matthew Bodkin and Carly Schroeder
Strategic Mission Framework
Presentation + Prayer Gathering
Sunday, May 30 @ 2pm, Zoom
In our time together, we will:
+ review the new mission strategy shared here
+ respond to any further questions we receive that are helpful to share
+ and most importantly we will pray.
[ Link for joining will be emailed out closer to the date. ]
New Strategic Missions Framework - Full Document [Download]
Q & A for Strategic Missions Framework [Download]
New Strategic Mission Framework Summary
All applications for support need to fall within these four priorities to be considered for funding.
1 / Diaspora Ministry
Potential support and partnership include:
• Missionary support for missionaries doing outreach to international students, refugees, or immigrant communities;
• Discipleship or outreach activities to diaspora groups or communities;
• Shelter support for refugees.
2 / Student Ministry
Potential support and partnership include:
• General budget support for organizations doing student mobilization;
• Student mission training (courses, speaker sessions, workshops, conventions);
• Mission mentorship for students through supporting missionaries or mentorship programs;
• Student vision trips;
• Missionary support for missionaries serving students.
3 / Justice and Mercy Ministry
Potential support and partnership include:
• Supporting or partnering with organizations working towards justice for black and/or indigenous communities in Canada;
• Anti-racism efforts;
• Missions/ministries transforming marginalized communities in other countries—education opportunities, legal aid, etc.
• Ministry of reconciliation;
• Mission/ministries involved with creation care and environmental justice.
4 / Muslim Ministry
Potential support and partnership include:
• Support for missionaries planting churches in predominantly Muslim areas and countries;
• Support for projects of mission organizations that are specifically geared towards church planting in Muslim-majority countries;
• Mission activities in Canada that specifically serve Muslim communities.
The following support-level criteria are applicable to individual missionaries applying for funding.
A / Strategic
• Applicant’s work falls into one of our four priorities.
• High level of partnership, collaboration, or involvement with Knox Church members.
• Funding potential: maximum of 30% of the applicant’s annual budget.
B / Complementary
• Applicant’s work falls into one of our four priorities.
• No clear area of collaboration or involvement from Knox Church members.
• Funding potential: maximum of 15% of the applicant’s annual budget.
C / Catalytic
• Applicant’s work is not within the four mission priorities and has no possibility for collaboration.
• Either one-time financial support, or no financial support—one-time support to be based on applicant’s existing relationship with Knox Church.
• Inclusion in our prayer updates for ongoing prayer support.
Ian had his surgery today. He is sore, but everything went well. This surgery confirmed that they can proceed with The Big One planned now for next Tuesday, May 11. The date was changed due to a scheduling issue.
"We thank you for your prayers for Hil's parents, both have COVID. They are both out of danger. Complete healing, especially for Hil's father, will take some time."
After numerous counseling crises and ministry opportunities just before and during Christmas, with the same happening again around the Easter holidays, as well as a dogged sinus infection,finally I can share with you just some of the praises of the last months for your joyful prayers--and to share a few glimpses into my life in Munich, and plans for the next couple of months! I rejoice in the goodness of the Lord--in spite of all our challenges!
have students from Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Honduras and Venezuela. It's a real privilege to engage with Scriptures, and contribute to the nurturing and equipping of these students for Ministry. Please continue to pray for them and myself. (Classes will end on April 30th.)
As we close the book on another school year, we'd like to applaud our student friends who made it through an entire year of online learning in a pandemic! 👏👏👏 As for us, we're now pivoting to preparing for the summer months. Read on to see what we've been up to!
As the centenary date of John Stott's birth approaches on 27 April 2021, we join with the church around the world in honouring a man who truly embodied the 'spirit of Lausanne'.
John Stott—pastor, theologian, evangelist, author, and chief architect of The Lausanne Covenant—is also regarded as the co-founder of the Lausanne Movement alongside Billy Graham, with whom he shared a special friendship.
Centenary tributes and thoughtful resources include:
• ‘A Tribute to John Stott 100 Years After His Birth’, video from Michael Oh (includes reflections from Leighton Ford and Chris Wright)
• ‘The Legacy of John Stott through the Lausanne Movement’, Julia Cameron
• ‘The Head and Heart of the Lausanne Movement’, Michael Oh
In addition, a service will be broadcast live from All Souls on Tuesday 27 April at 11.00 BST and again at 11.00 EDT. Hear of John Stott’s commitment as a pastor, leader, and friend, his love of creation, and his ministry to students and pastors. Sing some of his favourite hymns. Chris Wright (UK), Ajith Fernando (Sri Lanka) and Ruth Padilla Deborst (Latin America) will bring reflections from scripture. Additional contributors include Vaughan Roberts, Femi Adeleye, Archbishop Foley Beach, Eidi Cruz Valdivieso, and others who knew John well.
Register to join the online event or learn more about other centenary events.
As you join with us in reflecting on John Stott's legacy both within the life of our Movement and beyond, may you be strengthened and inspired by his life to press forward for the kingdom.
I got the results of my MRI here in Mwanza. Not too great. Some of my vertebrae in my neck have shifted and are very dry. One has shifted almost 1 cm. going inwards towards the spine. The other that is bad moved outward but not as much. Dr Isidor thinks that physio will help and prolong the time before I may need surgery. I am sending all the reports to Dr. Gamble. I need to wear a collar whenever I am travelling as it is dangerous for me to go over bumps or make an abrupt stop. He gave me quite a few patches that bring heat to the area and reduce the pain.
I am so thankful that everything is now clear and I had such fast and great service. He really took time to explain and show me my problems.
I am well back here in Nakaale after a few days in Mbale last week. Nurse Tinah and I met with Agnes, our research advisor, and had a productive time of collaboration and brainstorming. I am so encouraged by Agnes’ timely feedback and advice. We are aiming to submit part one of our project next month regarding a descriptive study of our mission clinic. She would also like to visit Karamoja next month, weather and muddy roads permitting.
Hanneke will travel to Mwanza today for an MRI on her shoulder tomorrow morning.
Naomi has recovered from her operation and is now back helping Hanneke. She is feeling very well and thankful for all prayers.
So Many People
So many languages. So many immigrants. So many differences. How
does God manage it all? He keeps a tally on every sparrow. He numbers
the hair on our heads. His thoughts are far above our thoughts. It’s mind
Having a heart attack has been a good thing, sort of. It has reoriented my
usual plans, allowed me much more time to think, pray, and memorize.
Beginning November, I set myself to memorize and rememorize scriptures in Arabic so as to make them fluent and teachable, much as we did for the children at Home of Hope. It wasn’t clear how that might be used, but already, they have become useful in ordinary conversation.
Who would have thought?
The chance meeting of fellow passengers on a cruise about two years ago has led me to the neighborhood of the present Middle Eastern community, and after some time and searching, an apartment has been located in that area. There is attractive shopping, schooling and mosques nearby.
The first scripture taught to the children at Home of Hope was: “Repeating Himself again, Jesus said to them, ‘I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of
Life.’ “(John 8;12) Hopefully, that and many other ‘sayings’ of Jesus will be shared over the coming months as I meet people and form friendships.
Meanwhile, taking my meds, walking around the block, helping with the cooking and cleaning of the kitchen, and now organizing moving my stuff out of storage into a one bedroom apartment keeps me from falling asleep during the day.
Lebanon does not need my physical presence, but food and medicine have become precious commodities. Any help with supplying them would be greatly appreciated.
Here’s a post I’d ask you to kindly send out to whom you think might be interested in applying for this position: the Donor Relations Coordinator for LAM Canada.
Please send it out to your friends and networks. Your support is appreciated.
Hil's grandmother passed away this afternoon in her beautiful mountains of Chiapas. She has been a pioneer in the Christian community among her tribe.
Since January 2020 I partnered with one other student to replant an InterVarsity chapter at Ryerson. A couple months later, a pandemic was declared and we all went into lockdown. Since then, I have been walking alongside some students at Ryerson to form the foundation for a new fellowship...and it all got started in these unusual times.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has today announced the recipients of the 2021 Lambeth Awards. The awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to the Church and wider society, have been given to over 30 individuals. They include scientists, musicians, academics, activists, peacemakers, doctors and clergy.
Meanwhile, you might like to see a photograph of the award itself. It is silver, and can be pinned into clothing (though I’m not quite sure what, since it is rather large!). I was taken aback to see what looks like a skull and crossbones without the skull in the design!!! I looked it up and apparently Alphege (for whom the award is named), was an Archbishop of Canterbury around 1000 AD. He was taken hostage by the Vikings but, since he knew his people were poor, told them not to raise the ransom. As a result, the Vikings in anger clubbed him to death with ox-bones from the feast they had been having. I am not sure how I feel about this . . .
It is with sadness that I am emailing to let you know that my dear husband of 36 years passed away on Friday, March 26th. Two days earlier he felt strongly that it was time to check into the Palliative Unit of Abbotsford Regional Hospital for an end-of-life procedure. He shared his wishes with the health team that could make that happen and was told there was an empty bed in the unit the next day (Thursday) and that there might be one available on Friday as well. We were taken aback by the rapidity with which things were moving along and cancelled on the Thursday offer, but Dave said he would be ready to go in on Friday. And he was ready; he never looked back.
Dave, Robby, Leanne and I arrived at the hospital at 9:30 am and were taken to a private room in the palliative wing. What a blessing in these COVID times that the four of us were allowed to be there together! We sat for the first while talking with the ward chaplain who had been relating to Dave for the last year or so. Then we chatted with the doctor, nurse and social worker who would take care of Dave so capably and sensitively through the next few hours. The doctor asked why Dave felt the time had come to die and Dave was able to speak to that question in compelling detail.
First and foremost, he was maxed out in his use of his BiPap machines, so was really struggling to breathe when he had to go off ventilation even for short times. This lack of air wearied him and fed his anxiety and air hunger. As well, his weakness was making our use of his sit-to-stand lift risky. Neither of us looked forward to using the Hoyer lift that would replace it and that we had already acquired from the ALS Society. Dave could have chosen to live on with invasive ventilation--a tracheostomy—but even back in October of 2014 when he was diagnosed with ALS he knew that he would never want to go that route.
As well, Dave was losing appetite and occasionally didn’t have enough strength left in his left hand to feed himself, so I would take over. It was difficult for him to hold up his head while he ate and, after eating, he was increasingly experiencing a flood of saliva that he would have to work hard to swallow or spit out. I mentioned a couple of times that it might be time for him to start using the feeding tube that he hadn’t needed up till then. He wasn’t much interested in going that route even though it would have eased the stress of eating for him. Being able to taste and enjoy real food was a non-negotiable for him.
At night there was pain all along his left side as he lay on it hour after hour. How he ever managed to avoid getting bedsores, I will never know. Sometimes he would be able to move himself partially onto his back to give his side some relief, but that was never comfortable for long. When he would try to return to sleeping on his side he sometimes didn’t have enough strength to do so and he would have to call on me for help. This growing lack of mobility really fed his anxiety. About the only bright spot for him in the long nights in bed was the use of a bed cooler that one of the members of our care group put together for him. He could turn it on and off by himself and in short order it cooled the heat in the soles of his feet that prevented his falling asleep.
When the interviews with the chaplain and medical team were over and we had prayed together as a family, Dave was administered a sedative intravenously. He went into a deep sleep using his BiPap machine for the next three hours. When the medical team judged that he was sufficiently under to be unaware of the removal of his breathing mask, they switched his BiPap off. There was an unnerving silence and then signs that his body was trying to make up for the sudden lack of forced air. He died at 3:15 pm--soundlessly and showing no signs of distress--exactly half an hour after the BiPap was switched off. Robby, Leanne and I ended our time at the hospital standing around his bed reminiscing, talking about and to him, and crying now and then. It was a precious time; my first time to witness a death.
So how are we doing as a family after Dave’s passing? The five of us have had breakfast together twice and are spending more time together. On Sunday, breakfast was followed by viewing our church’s livestreamed Sunday service. We ended time by sharing how we are coping with our loss and I think it helps us grieve well when we share like that. I am being constantly humbled by how committed our kids are to making sure I’m doing okay. Jonathan and Leanne are setting up a bedroom for me at their place for whenever I want to enjoy life with them at the fish farm. Jonathan’s sister, who is living with them, minded their dog while they were at the hospital on Friday and is working full-time on the farm all this week so that Jonathan can take the week off to help out however he is needed. Bitsy is working full-time as a teacher, but has a knack for finding ways to bless us all. It was such a treat to return home to a plate of her excellent chili and cornbread after our time at the hospital on Friday. Our loss is pulling us closer as a family and I take great comfort in that.
If you would like to pray for us, please remember the following:
• Continued healthy processing of grief, both individually and as a family.
• I have never been the executor of a will before. There is a lot to attend to and I don’t want to overlook anything, so I would appreciate prayer to that end.
Dave so hoped to be greeted at Heaven’s gates with a “Well done, good and faithful servant”. Rejoice with us that he’s celebrating Easter in the presence of his Lord and Saviour from here on in--for eternity! Death has truly lost its sting because of Jesus’ saving work on the cross. We are forgiven because He, the sinless one, paid the price for restoring us, the sin-soaked ones, to right relationship with His Holy Father.
For those many of you who emailed Dave over the six and a half years of his ALS and who expressed appreciation for who he was and how he had impacted your lives, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words of affirmation moved me to tears time and time again as I was reminded of how blessed we have been to share life with him.
Jesus is Risen! Dave is restored to even better than full health! Hallelujah!
32 - 32310 Mouat Drive
Abbotsford, BC V2T 4J1
My second book, ‘Teach me to Number my Days,’ is a collection of sermons, chapel talks, and other writings that span the last 24 years of my life. The title is based on Psalm 90:12 (NIV), “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
‘Teach us to number our days’ is a literal translation of a Hebrew idiom that essentially means ‘teach us how short life is.’ I hope that, just as God blessed people through these talks when they were originally presented, they will be a blessing to each and every person who reads them in the future.