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Gord & Brenda Nickerson, Josiah Venture, Eastern Europe, US/Canada. Pray for Brenda as she works on her studies with Leadership Transformation’s certificate in spiritual direction. She’s partway through a 2-year program.

Mobirise

Jim Mason

Click below for our April prayer bulletin.

Mary Jane Fandrich

March 28

With Jesus in the boat we are perfectly safe, oh little faith ones! Don’t be afraid! It is I, just follow Me. How often does Jesus put his disciples in storms!
Here in Lebanon, the economic self made storm with the Coronavirus added seems like a perfect Storm. Pray for the people, that they will respond to the Holy Spirit knocking on their hearts’ door. The local muezzin sings beautifully. I pray for him every time I hear the call to prayer. 

Dave and Susan Jeffery

March 28

We hope this finds you well and leaning hard on our Heavenly Father in these days of great uncertainty and seeming chaos. We can be sure they are no surprise to Him and that He will bring good out of them if we can rest in Him. How many of us are struggling right now with the fear of sickness and death, dismay at evaporating savings, disruptions to our familiar schedules and the work and activities that fill our lives? Perhaps God will use this strange time of pandemic to convict us and bring us back to His “be still and know that I am God”.

Ministry update

In spite of the distraction of coronavirus, there are some work-related positives brewing at CanIL. Chief of these after many years of planning is a new degree program. CanIL is working with Northwest Seminary and SIL International to develop a competency-based education program, leading to a Master of Arts in Bible Translation degree. The purpose of the program is to train people to be translation consultants while they remain engaged in their ministry assignments. Dr. Joost Pikkert, new to the CanIL team, is leading this initiative. It is hoped that the first cohort of students and mentors will launch this program in January 2021.

Effective March 18, all remaining classes in Spring Term at both CanIL and Trinity Western University are being taught online. This is to protect everyone from COVID-19. Students can now attend classes from their homes, or even home countries. As well this week, the President of CanIL informed staff and faculty that the whole of Summer Term 2020 will also be in online format.

I (Susan) have been working at CanIL every Thursday all through the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 terms, in addition to the library work that I do from home. When we were last in touch, I was starting to catalogue a couple of large book donations. There ended up being four such donations, in addition to books I ordered on faculty recommendation. All that cataloguing kept me quite busy till mid-December. Since the New Year I have picked up where I left off with my grand sweep of the journals section of the library. I’m weeding out some journals that aren’t seeing any use, archiving the earlier issues of other journals, checking the cataloguing of issues in the library database and standardizing as much as possible. I’m about two-thirds through this project.

As for Dave, he may have been on long-term disability leave this past year, but he’s kept busy following through on CanIL and other commitments. The graduate student whose thesis he had a part in supervising successfully defended her thesis in October. The same month Dave presented a colloquium on the subject of Bible translation in difficult places. It was based on research he did for the 2019 Evangelical Missions Society (EMS) annual conference and has since been published in both the CanIL Working Papers and the EMS published collection of 2019 conference presentations.

Dave has also had his article on miracles and grace published in the January 2020 issue of Faith Today. You can access it at this link: https://www.faithtoday.ca/Magazines/2020-Jan-Feb/While-we-pray-for-miracles. The editor Dave worked with at Faith Today suggested that he consider doing a book version to pull together all aspects of the writing he’s done on the subject of miracles and grace. Just last week Dave emailed out a complete second draft of this ‘book’ to interested individuals who have offered to read through it and suggest edits.

A few of you have asked where we stand in our relationship with Wycliffe these days. Dave’s long-term disability leave ends on Apr. 30. He can no longer receive support after that. However, I will be continuing on at CanIL in a part-time capacity, spending a day a week in the library plus working the equivalent of one to two days a week from home. So gifts can still be directed to my support. At such time as Dave’s health needs make my working for CanIL impossible, I will go on Wycliffe’s compassionate leave for up to a year, remaining on support for the duration of that leave. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them.

Dave’s health

Dave is still able to do everything he was doing when we wrote last September, but with more difficulty. He’s weaker, tires more quickly and naps at greater length than back then. Difficulty in breathing and muscle deterioration account for most of this decline. Nowadays he uses his BIPAP machine almost constantly, only going off it for meals, baths, and the occasional outdoor jaunt. He can no longer travel in our Corolla because the passenger seat is too low for him to get in and out of. So we make do with neighbourhood outings, with Dave in his power wheelchair and me walking briskly by his side. When we need to go farther afield, such as to church, our kids take turns transporting us in their SUVs. However, attending church is no longer an option because of the pandemic, so we’ll be having church at home for the foreseeable future. Our pastors are recording sermons that we can access from the church website.

Family news

Our kids are well and flexing with the ever-changing nature of life nowadays. Robby’s work in social services can be stressful as funding is inadequate for all the demands being put on his department. Like so many others, he will be meeting clients online because of COVID-19. Bitsy is enjoying a two-week March Break from her kindergarten class right now. They have just welcomed a puppy into their lives, so this has been a good time for them to be around home more.

Leanne’s counselling clinic is offering clients virtual appointments, so she should be able to keep working despite the coronavirus. Jonathan is enjoying his new job as Site Supervisor on the fish farm at Miracle Springs. At the end of February he and Leanne moved into a rent-free four-bedroom bungalow on the farm. We are looking forward to the odd sleepover there this summer, helping them with gardening and enjoying fresh-caught fish!

For those of you who knew our ‘Bear’ and loved him, we need to mention that he had to be put down on Jan. 4 at the ripe old doggy age of 15½. Bear became part of our family when we were serving in Thailand. My daily walks with him were key in restoring me to good health following our time in West Asia.

Matters for prayer

• Pray that CanIL’s new Master of Arts in Bible Translation program will launch in January and that the right people will join as the first cohort of students.
• Some of our CanIL students have chosen to complete Spring Term from their home countries. Pray that others who are considering returning home will find a window of opportunity to do so and that all students will adjust well to online studies, complete their terms successfully, and avoid COVID-19.
• About a half dozen students have completed their Masters theses recently. Continue to pray for some who still have to wrap things up, that they will have access to good resources and persevere to the finish.
• Someone with health challenges like Dave’s has to be very careful not to catch a virus like COVID-19 and I need to stay clear of it too so that I can continue to care for him. Thanks for praying!
• Dave is finding this stage of his ALS to be emotionally stressful and ‘dark’ at times. He tried antidepressants briefly, but their side-effects only compounded his weakness, so he’s off them again. Pray that God will bless him with grace and peace in this difficult road he is walking.

Mobirise

Bill Fitch

March 26 Update

Just letting you all know that Bill’s aortic valve replacement surgery has been postponed and he will be discharged home tomorrow afternoon. There are several reasons that this decision has been made which I don’t need to go in to, but they all make good sense, and he is at peace with the surgeon’s careful decision making.
This procedure still needs to be done likely later in the summer or into the Fall.
He is so thankful for all your concern and prayers on his behalf and has asked me to communicate that to you. 

Carluci dos Santos

Dione Santos Lima de Oliveira (Ruth Thomson co-workers)

"Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you." I Peter 5:7
In these difficult times, when I hear about a pandemic that has already killed many, I see an opportunity. It's a great opportunity for us to make a difference by trusting that God is in control of everything. God does not abandon us! We need to pray for ourselves, for our families, and for all who are suffering from this pandemic.
Recently, in March, Samuel, who is still undergoing medical treatment because of the accident he suffered in November last year, was not feeling well so he had to see the doctor. He is now taking medication and is better. I also went with Sabrina to Palmas for the medical staff to adjust her back brace.
This week, in our ministry to the indigenous people, we had the privilege of seeing Paritêre give his life to Jesus, believing in Him as his Saviour. He and his family came to our house to praise God and read the Word of God together. Glory to God! Today they flew to their village in order to avoid contamination with COVID-19.
This month two indigenous people died, brother Krôjre and Pastor Nĩngri. We praise God because we know that they are with the Lord. Please pray for their families.
I recently helped the health team who are responsible for the health care of indigenous groups. I assisted in preparing preventative measures for COVID-19 and joined them at the health center where they screened for symptoms of the virus before people returned to their villages.
Now we are at home as a family, which is the recommendation of the authorities here in Pará and other locations in Brazil. We only go out to buy food and other items that we need on a daily basis.
Please pray:
• That God will protect the Indians against COVID-19 since they already have low immunity.
• For our family, for protection against COVID-19
• For the health of my mother, who's getting an eye infection. (She had cataract surgery last year.)
• For God's wisdom in sharing the Word of God with the Indians through WhatsApp groups and over the phone to those who call me.

Mobirise

Rosemary Walker

March 23

Warm greetings on this snowy evening from Hutchison Street, Montreal! Yes, I did safely arrive back on Friday afternoon as planned. Thank the Lord!

I had a good trip home, though very long and tiring. The flight from Dubai was 14 hours, and that after two flights to get there from Tanzania. On that long flight, I had a long conversation with a sweet little lady from Dakar, Bangladesh, who was on the verge of tears because she had left there a grown daughter who had been injured by men trying to grab her by the sarang and drag her into their car. The girl has since dropped into depression, with her parents in Canada and nobody else around caring about her. I suggested to the mother that both of them find a church nearby and go there to find friends and be supported by love and prayer. Although Muslim, the woman is totally unhappy with the doctors her daughter has had. They have taken her money but not helped her. I explained to her that Jesus loves them both very much, that a warm welcome awaits them in a church, and how the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from our sin if we put our trust in Him. She was very grateful for my prayer and friendship.

On Friday afternoon, I arrived safely in at the Dorval airport around 2:30 p. m., and was taken by a Christian taxi driver from Egypt to the apartment of a sweet little African couple from Congo Brazzaville whom I know through the French Friends of Africa Fellowship. Arnaud and Laura had generously decided they wanted me to pass my two weeks of quarantine resting in their spare bedroom. A couple of the neighbour ladies in the building, however, objected to my staying there, as they were afraid I might somehow infect them. When she heard that I was not going to be able to stay with Arnaud and Laura, Dita came down to Montreal from Lachute to bring me to the place where I am currently staying – a very nice, old condo on Hutchison Street, Montreal. The owners of this place are studying out west. It was freezing here when we arrived, but the Lord has helped me figure the heating system, and I’m now just fine here. Both Dita and Pastor Joel Coppieters (the pastor of my church, Côte-des-Neiges Presbyterian Church) have brought me food. I truly think that I now have enough food in this place to keep me satisfied for the next month!

So, yes, I am one of millions caught up in today’s strange circumstances, but the Lord and Dita have seen me through famously. I look forward to these next two quiet weeks at home, a time for rest and recuperation. It will be a nice change to have more time with the Lord and not to be roaring out the door for eight a. m. classes.

Today, I managed to send off two final English exams for my two English classes at Nassa Theological College to sit tomorrow. (Having had to leave NTC abruptly, I hadn’t been able to prepare them earlier.) Having left NTC two weeks before my planned departure date, I still have marks and attendance records to complete and forward to Mrs. Edina Kiulah, the Academic Dean of the school.

It was just last Tuesday, the 16th of March, that Abram, my fellow AIM missionary and assistant to the Principal of NTC, called to tell me that I was to leave Bulima last Friday to fly home. He then called back around 8 pm to say that my departure had been pushed back to being early Thursday morning, as our travel agency was afraid that I might be stranded in Europe if I went home that way; she decided that it would be best for me to fly home via Dubai. The next day, Wednesday was very busy, with several people (including the principal and his wife) coming by to visit and say goodbye to me. Also, that evening, the school had a special dinner and celebration in honour of Natasha (my fellow “short termer) and myself. All of the students and staff were there, and several speeches were made, thanking us for our contribution to the school. My English students, Natasha and I sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “Father, I Place into Your Hands the Things That I Can’t Do;” and one of my students made an excellent speech, thanking us for everything. We both were given time to speak and thank everyone for everything. All in all, we felt like celebrities.

Somehow, I managed to get my packing done that night and even to spend about 45 minutes in bed! I was up and almost ready for Abram when he came at 4 in the morning to drive me to the Mwanza airport for my 7:55 flight to Dar Es Salaam. I never did quite finish all my marking, but trust that Mrs. Kiulah will be able to mark in my absence the few pieces of homework that I received belatedly. Please pray for my two classes as they write their English exams tomorrow morning and afternoon. I miss them, especially my morning class of three young men – Yohana, Charles and Meshack. 

John Hong

March 23

John is home now. He is feeling better but remains on IV antibiotics. We truly appreciate your friendship and prayers.

Mary Jane Fandrich

March 22

Perhaps we learned it in Sunday School, or maybe it came to us later.
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust……….all………..own understanding. In all……….
acknowledge Him……………..will direct……… Really, now, with the world taking a long pause?
Anyone cancelled a cruise? Anyone have kids suddenly mooning around? Everyone has enhanced family time.
Beirut is eerily quiet. The ex-pat community is panicky but there’s nothing you can do. The airport along with everything else is closed.
Even the common street window sandwich shops are closed. Where do people get their breakfast? The beggars have disappeared.

Just in this minute: the army is being deployed in the streets. No foot traffic is allowed. No going anywhere anyhow. Fortunately I went for a walk today and bought some lemons from the corner store. Hot lemon (tea) is good as a defence against Corona (not beer), and good for other things too.
So no church. Ours was the only one staying open. If the airport opens……….

“He will direct your paths,” He said it. 

Rosemary Walker

March 17

Hi for the last time for a while from the village of Bulima, Tanzania! It is with deep regret that I can report to you that our Canadian AIM office has, upon consultation with other mission leaders and Raptim Travel, informed me this evening that it would be best that I make my way home straight away before I am stranded somewhere in Europe with no plane to board!

I have just received an email from our personnel assistant confirming that I am now to leave Tanzania via Dar Es Salaam early tomorrow, Thursday, the 19th of March. I am tired and on the verge of a cold after my last classes today, so please pray for me. I’ve given it all I’ve got, and now must somehow be packed and ready to catch an 8:30 a. m. flight out to Dar. Until this evening, I was expecting to leave two weeks today nine days after my two exams, scheduled for next Tuesday. Now, I will leave the exams for others to officiate in my absence. Miss Natasha Brown is in the same general boat as she hopes to return quickly to the US. I believe thatI have long waits between flights to Dubai and Toronto. DV, I’ll be back in Montreal at 2:15 p. m. this Friday. Along with some of our students, we are somewhat in shock, but we are grateful that tomorrow, a big farewell feast is being planned to send us off giving us a chance to say goodbye to everyone at the school. Please pray that the government not close all the colleges in the country today, as it has the primary and secondary schools, too, I believe.

Mobirise

Ann Chow

MNarch 17

The BAM Congress has postponed for a year, from April 2020 to April 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand. 2-3 other projects have approached me, thanks be to God! This will help fill the employment gap until we begin planning again late this fall.

I am now the project coordinator for Indigitous, Cru International’s digital ministry. I’m recruiting and training the leads from 40-50 cities around the world as they host hackathons on the same weekend this October.

A hackathon is when people from the tech industry come together over a weekend to develop brand new solutions to issues that are faced around the world, in the church and on the mission field.

There are other projects lining up, I’m just waiting for contracts to come together more officially before saying anything.  

Mobirise

KWM Workers

Plese remember the challenges and opportunities of KWM workers during this time of unprecidented turmoil

Mobirise

Desert Valleys

Knox's Desert Valley trip has been postponed due to the COVID19 issue by the host site.

Rosemary Walker

March 13

Yes, despite rumours that Miss Walker had mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth, she has been spotted by an expert detective from Knox Church, Toronto, in and around the village of Bulima, on the shores of Lake Victoria. It turns out that, since returning from a wonderful month of December in South Africa and Kenya, Rosemary has usually been more or less shut up in two classrooms at NTC (Nassa Theological College) from around eight a. m. to eight p. m., emerging for chapel at ten in the morning and twice a week to teach her typing class of four students or to get photocopies - both in the library. For the last five Fridays, she and her small morning class of four have been seen off the school property, visiting the homes of other students, going to the one and only restaurant in the village, or (twice) venturing off on a motorcycle taxi (boda-boda - "border to border") to catch a bus at the highway - once to the city of Musoma and (last Friday) to the village of Kabita, where she had attended church the previous Lord's Day. For the last few Sundays, Rose has been visiting different Africa Inland Churches where some of students have been assigned to minister this term.

When confronted by the detective, Miss Walker gave a few more reasons for her mysterious lack of communication during the months of January and February. They included:
from

- giving so much homework that she has had a backlog of papers to correct.

- attending a sports competition between NTC and the other Africa Inland Churches at Majahida Bible College.

- working with two others to keep the Bible Class on the Book of Genesis going from 4 - 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.
Receiving a flow of people at the door, many of whom were needing medical or dental care or asking help with school fees.

She continues: With the assistance of my work funds (provided by my supporters), I have been able to help out several people -a sick baby and a small child with ringworm. Two of our students have needed an emergency trip to Mwanza to see the dentist, and another one received treatment for allergies that were affecting his ability to read. Two of our students are now sporting new eyeglasses, and one of our school families was provided with chicken wire after two of their chickens were stolen. About twenty people have been enabled to attend school at different levels this year - primary and secondary school, NTC, a medical college and university.

Sincere thanks to all who are supporting me in prayer and financially through this enjoyable, but somewhat demanding assignment. I have been so blessed, and trust that I have been of encouragement to some. (I have often told people that my supporters have sent me here to help them, that I am part of a team.)

This past Monday, I tumbled over a bench in the school dining room and crashed to the floor. DV, I'll get checked out by a doctor in Mwanza on Friday or Saturday. Yesterday morning, it was my turn to speak at chapel, and the topic of the day was the Christian life.Firstly, accompanied by five of my students, I sang a lovely hymn that I think I learned years ago in the Congo, Father, I place Into Thy Hands the Things that I Can't Do. Then I drew people's attention to four Scripture passages that have been fundamental to my understanding of the Christian walk - the Ten Commandments (which I managed to recite by memory), the Beatitudes, Ephesians 6:10-17 (on the Christian's spiritual armour) and Galatians 22-25 (on the fruit of the Spirit). I made a few remarks about each of these passages, and that was that. A number of people gave me positive feedback, and I was truly grateful to the Lord for His help, especially as it was the day after my tumble in the dining room.

My Cup of Cold Water Project
If you'd like to help me continue to be of practical assistance to people here in Africa, please send your contribution to Africa Inland Mission, 1641 Victoria Park Avenue, Scarborough, ON M1R 1P8, and include note that it is for my Cup of Cold Water Project.

My first-ever video - Rosemary's NTC Adventure My neighbour, Enoch, has graciously made a video of my life here in Bulima. If you'd like to see it, please click the link below.

Mobirise
Mobirise

Scott and Beth Hurd

March 11

Please click below for our prayer update for March 2020. As always, we are deeply grateful for your partnership with us in the gospel and your regular, prayerful support of us and our family!

John Hong

March 9

 John is starting to feel a bit better from the acute illness that brought him into the hospital, but he continues to grow a very aggressive bacteria in his blood. He has an abscess in his shoulder which seems to be seeding the blood. Please pray for the interventions and antibiotics to completely remove the bacteria from his system and for a quick and complete recovery. He will remain in hospital for at least a few weeks.

You can send John Dal-Ju Hong best wishes through the link below

Mary Jane Fandrich

March 8

Greetings this bright cool quiet Thursday, here in Beirut.

Last week was more tumultuous but more interesting.

Getting fees to a refugee family via taxi, and finding the school, took three days of trips out to Dabaya a suburb of Beirut slightly north on the Dog River, if you want to Google it.
The father, a Syrian refugee from the conflict there, who represented himself as a Syrian catholic, agreed to enroll his darling five year old daughter at Ecole Sainte Rita, a large well run Catholic school, grades JK-12. She went and came by the school bus.
Then she was withdrawn, and there was a desperate call from the aunt who had requested that she be provided for. The school principal, Lebanese, who by this time I knew well and who was fluent in the usual three languages, tried to find out why the child had been withdrawn, and convince the father to send the child, but to no avail. The fees were then transferred to a Palestinian boy, one of three children in a family. There was nothing I could do. My Arabic is totally inadequate for that kind of challenge, and the father knows only Arabic.
But a needy child is being schooled.
Next, as agreed, I arrived to get the ride from Beit el Hanane to the school where they have placed three little girls.The woman in charge of Beit el Hanane demanded to see the money, (it was a large pile of small bills received when US$ were exchanged on the street for LL (Lebanese Lira) That's another little adventure. I demurred not wanting to unpack and handle the notes with someone who is illiterate and unfamiliar with managing money. She then said that they could not afford the time and the trouble to get me to the school. Fortunately, with the address, and a taxi the two month payment was delivered.
Monday, my pastor's wife, and her husband, Rev. Habib Badr, and I had a meeting to discuss the dire needs of children connected to the church for help with schooling.
The Political Situation: Demonstrations on the street in downtown Beirut near government buildings, banks and businesses damaged. One return trip from Dabaya through the city meant threading past six tanks and ranks of militia guarding the downtown. The driver greeted the soldier at each check point and viewing an old lady with white hair, waved us through. My great regret is that I didn't dare take pictures.
The Economic Situation: US $ may not be withdrawn from the banks. Hotels, malls and small businesses are closing, Cost of food has risen 35 to 100 % with inflation, and pizza can no longer have pepperoni, as it has to be imported and paid forth US$ The LL has gone from 1500 to 2200 to the US$. (Fortunately in my favor)
Demonstrations: It is noticeable how many women both covered and modern are participating in the demonstrations. Their men are out of work. The crowds swell with young and old, university students and professors, Dr. Patricia Nabti, a friend of mine, and of course, sometimes the hoodlums (presumed to be sent by the corrupt government to make the protests look bad).
Meanwhile, we come and go, cover our scheduled activity, church, clubs, schools, visiting of relatives and attending funerals.
Something that happens occasionally, a scrawny boy tucked in a corner offered me chicklets to buy. He accepted an invitation to come to the corner sandwich shop, and went off with a lahmi bi 'ageen. (A slab of lebanese bread covered with hamburger meat and onions, spiced), a favorite.
The trouble with doing that is it's easy to attract others. Fortunately, my destination wasn't far.
Because you pray so much:
For the hearts of the people, that they will begin to turn to the Prince of Peace, Who is their only solution.
Safe keeping of heart and purpose for God's people, that we not be distracted by these momentary troubles! That's very hard to do while constantly peppered with news of the next exciting event.

How does God put up with us? By grace, the gift of God we lay hold of by faith. Keep focused. 

Mobirise

Beth Huddleston

March 8

Beth Huddleston passed away last night at 8 pm, (Wednesday, February 12). Her faithful friend Helen and others were by her side in Meaford Long Term Care.

Beth was sent to Ecuador.as a missionary from Knox Church in 1958 under World Radio Missionary Fellowship along with her co-worker Eleanor Boyes. Beth served as a nurse in the Hospital Vozandes Quito for 12 years and then in the Hospital Vozandes Shell for 15 years. Her responsibilities included many aspects of the nursing profession, including being Director of Nursing in Quito and nurse anesthetist in Shell. During the years spent in Shell, a new hospital was built in which Beth was heavily involved. After serving 27 years in missionary service, Beth returned to Canada in 1986 at which time she and Eleanor assumed the roles of WRMF representatives across Canada for four years. 

Beth and Eleanor also helped set up a hospital in Malawi with Glenn and Fern Byerly.

Xerggyo and Hil

March 5

By the way, please pray for Hil. She is with a lots of pain in her legs, two days now. She is resting at home for the rest of the week. Today I will call to the school where she is work for permission.

Mobirise

Ann Chow

March 2

Here we are in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

Four members of the Core Team planning the upcoming Business as Mission Congress traveled to Bangkok to visit our conference venue and meet with the hotel staff. The entire planning team is now recruited, thanks be to God! We’re a talented bunch from South Africa, Australia, USA, Japan, Brazil, Thailand and Canada. We’re ramping up towards the end of April for the Business as Mission Congress, to welcome 800+ people from around the world.

At the BAM Global Congress (https://bamglobal.org/congress) we will celebrate what God is doing through business as mission around the world, connect leaders and initiatives, and create momentum to scale the movement for greater impact.

Global Summit
Immediately after our planning meetings, I shifted gears to provide operational support for a Global Summit of church planters from four global networks at a beautiful resort in Chiang Mai. It was gratifying to be part of bringing people together to collaborate especially across different regions of the world, for the purpose of reaching the least reached in the world.


Knox Presbyterian Church is celebrating 200 years this year!

When Toronto was a small gathering place with a population of 1200 people, there were only 3 churches. Knox built their sanctuary to hold 400 people, exactly a third of the population of Toronto! Our identity has always been to follow Jesus, love the city (Toronto) and serve the world.

We have a rich history of serving the marginalised in Toronto, sending missionaries and supporting global missions. Did you know that the first Urbana student missions conference in 1946 held seminars at Knox in our ‘new building’? Our location was a potato field in the suburbs in the early 1900s, which is now across the street from the University of Toronto and smack in the centre of this vibrant city.

We’re planning great things this year, including 200 acts of kindness to bless the city, a summer lecture series, an orchestral composition by a member of our congregation, a visual history installation, a celebratory gala and so much more!

** (NOT) Going out with a Bang-ladesh
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I've just wrapped my role as a member of the board of directors for Food for the Hungry Canada for the past six years! It’s been a huge honour to support the Food for the Hungry Canada staff as they levelled up their game and strengthened this organisation for the benefit of our 8 partnering countries and communities. Bangladesh was to be my last board meeting, but while I was in Thailand, we were informed that the trip was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Stranded! I was disappointed to not visit the FH Bangladesh team and communities, to hear their stories of how they overcome poverty in this South Asian country.


** Through His Eyes: the Philip Yancey Book Tour
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The coolest thing, I just met and hung out with Philip Yancey in Vancouver & Abbotsford last week for a few days! I recently joined the effect:hope team to plan a book tour across Canada for 2020. Effect:hope is partnering with acclaimed writer Philip Yancey to raise awareness for people suffering from neglected tropical diseases like leprosy and highlighting his latest book, Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image. Yancey's stories spoke of our identity as image-bearers of God. Keep your eyes peeled for Yancey coming to Alberta and Ontario this fall!


** 10 Year Anniversary!
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Can you believe it's been 10 years?! God challenged me to take a risk and launch this chapter of my life, and it has been amazing to work with wonderful organisations from around the world who are doing great things for God.

"We like what you do." These are the words my organisation, MissionGo said when I applied to be a missionary. I'm grateful for the freedom to work with a number of organizations as an independent contractor with an INCREDIBLE team of personal supporters (hi you!!!!) who make what I do financially possible. 

Mobirise

Hanneke Cost Budde

February 29

This morning I spoke with my worker/friend Naomi who us taking care of our home and family while I am in Toronto on furlough.

Jacky has once more lost all feeling in her lower legs and is back in the wheelchair. Baraka was brought home as he had a bad infection in one of his fingers and needed minor surgery. He is recovering well.

Mahona is a bit discouraged as he has applied for several jobs and has been rejected several times due to concern for his safety; since albinos are still in danger in our country.

I am so thankful for the support of friends in Tanzania and for the many people praying and sending financial support especially for Jacky who needs to be taken to Dar as Salaam or Moshi by plane to see some specialist who may be able to find the cause of her symptoms.
In the meantime, I feel sad and frustrated to be so far away at this time and wish I could be home for them. In times like this, the thing for me to do is pray and I know that you will pray with me for Jacky and our family in Tanzania. Pray for Naomi, who is taking care of my kids and home while she also has some health problems.

Soon it will be Easter and its a reminder that we have an Almighty Savior who is also the great Physician. He is the way, the truth, and the life!

So I trust that our great God will put His loving, healing hand on her and that she will be walking again.
Thanks again for all your care and support! 

Mobirise
Mobirise

Jim Mason

February 28

Pleas click below for my March prayer sheet.

Mobirise

Prudence Owen Memorial

Cathy, the youngest grandchild of the late Prudence Owen gave this memorial at Mrs. Owen's funeral.


Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

"Hello, I am Cathy, the youngest grandchild of the late Prudence Owen. I was surprised and very pleased to discover that my Uncle Trevor and I had thought of the same Bible passage when we thought of a reading for Nana today. I remember once after reading with Nana about how there will be no more suffering in heaven and trumpets will sound asking her in my silly way "Nana, do you like trumpets?" You see, Nana, humble and continually focused on others, never liked to answer questions about herself, so I would often teasingly pry. She, after respectfully pondering this trumpet sounding as if it I'd posed a reasonable question, nodded, half-smiled and answered with the understated enthusiasm and cautious glee which was so truly Prudence, "I don't mind them in that setting." It was the closest I'd ever seen to her having a wild moment, and for me, it was delightful!

"Of course, I haven't known for Nana all of her long life - from her formative years in Wales, to her early days in medical school, to her life as a young wife and mother - but I do know that it was certainly full. It's hard to think of Nana without thinking of her late husband, that is my grandfather, the Reverend Jonathan Glyn Owen, or affectionately, Glyn. They were so much in love, they were inseparable. Indeed, as they aged they managed to possess only a single set of 5 senses between the two of them, what with Nana losing her hearing and Grandpa losing his sight. Their lives became an interwoven fabric of love cantered upon family, each other, church and God. In thinking of Nana and Grandpa being reunited in Heaven, it is like the return to home for them. In Welsh, Hirith, is the nostalgic feeling encompassing a yearning to return home, and I am sure that this is how they have longed for each other. Prue will be welcomed so warmly by Glyn in Heaven with his lilting Welsh song voice and a jolly lift of his cane as he smiles, laughs and invites her home in his arms again to begin their daily promenade.

"Stop to think of it for a second. 69 years. Many of us haven't even lived that long. But they had 69 of marriage. 69 years of mornings, afternoons, nights. 69 years of her pouring his tea, filling his belly, her lovely fussing ensuring his care and well-being. This unending devotion is one of the greatest teachings of Nana's life: how to love long. AND, how to love by doing. Quite simply, Love until the end of time. Indeed, the learning of such loyalty and love in action she has clearly passed on to her three children, each of whom is here celebrating and grieving her today. Love and loyalty they have each returned. Carys, who has made arrangements and sacrifices over the years to visit as often as possible with Trevor, from overseas in Ireland. Every inconvenient trip, every lengthy plane ride - love in action. Marilyn, with her tasty plethora of dinners and desserts served. With her dedication to continuously brightening the corner she's in and sharing, even through her own persistent health challenges - love in action. Andrew, with his ongoing commitment and concern for Nana, involved and attentive to her daily care, year upon year. With all the drives, time and effort he spent - love in action. For all of this love received, Prudence was no doubt was humbled and grateful.

"Well, not only did Nana love God, her husband and her family, but truly - and almost equally - she loved and adored food! Now, no one could possibly say she wasn't understanding and catering toward her husband. However, there were many dinners where Nana gently reminded Glyn to come on now and wrap up grace time before the meals got cold. You could see when she sort of experienced a light-hearted decision-making turmoil between respectfully letting the pastor pray, and sensibly urging we get on with enjoying a hot meal. Sweets were a daily necessity. Turtles, toffees, cookies. I know I miss her Anzac biscuits already and only hope to be able to re-create those glorious oat slices one day. Prue never liked to be the centre of attention, so one could almost miss the fact that she was actually exceedingly intelligent, even in her old age. My cousin Ceri remembers her being able to give you 27 ways to get to Macy's, and to be able to inform you about the politics and weather in countries many of us had never even heard of. Even still in her 90s, she would remember to ask me very specific questions pertaining to my odd and unusual life such as what precisely did I do during my job on chicken farms, or how was driving in the winter snow, or what exactly was my dog doing during an ordinary day. As a blind and deaf elder, she still cleverly knew the words to many hymns and songs, she could recognize my mother by the touch of her hands, and even with very little hearing, identified the individual organist at her husband's funeral service.

"In zooming out and looking on the fullness of Prudence and her life journey, it is a lot to fully comprehend. I was thinking of how we view what comprises a strong woman in today's modern culture. Visions of independence, charm, multi-tasking, extroversion and workaholism come to mind. Prudence, however, has lived a far greater and truer strength than this. Devoted to God and to a purpose-driven life, her strength takes fruition in her servitude. She was faithful to God and her husband. She was present and attentive, and focused mindfully on one task or conversation at a time. She was not perfect, and was at times matter of fact and non-emotional, but you always knew she cared. She showed up, she prayed for you, and if you had anything going on at all to be concerned about, she would never forget to worry about you, bite her lip and voice an empathetic 'Oh dear dear dear dear.' She had a deep beauty that was not fleeting, but came from a caring heart full of concern. She would converse, yes, but she would also listen, and take time to understand what you had said to the best of her ability. Consistent to who she was and steadfast to what she loved, her morals and integrity didn't change with time. Being many things to many people, she was daughter, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife, neighbour, Christian, friend. It is not Miss Modern Independent, but this understated Welsh wonder, aging patiently with her thin frame and bruised legs, and with the faith to surrender to another's care, who is truly one of the strongest women I know. Personally, I am very grateful to Nana for all she has been to so many people, and most especially, for the incredible children she has raised.

"I hope you all have at least as many warm memories of Prudence as have I, and I welcome you to share them with me or with each other, as we honour her earthly journey and go through this period of grief and transition. Please continue to cherish her warmly in all your hearts. One last thing is that I wanted to remind everyone of is how very much Prudence had always liked having visitors. She may never quite say it outright, but you could tell she was most pleased whenever you came by as she never wanted a visit to end. And so on behalf of Prue, and all her family, we thank you kindly for being here to both celebrate and share our love with each other today and we ask that just as Prudence would and as she would delight in you doing, please do stay and thoroughly enjoy some tea and sweeties after the service. Finally, I'd just like to take a moment to recognize and think of the family members overseas who are not with us in person today, but who are closely with us in spirit. Please take comfort today knowing that Prue is suffering no more, and is finally able to hear -yes to HEAR with her ears- and even cautiously delight in the resounding blare of the trumpets as she is welcomed to her heavenly home with Glyn."


Mobirise

Edith Patterson

Edith Patterson was one of the earliest missionaries to live in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, arriving in November 1962. By this time in her mission work she had lived in Egypt and Lebanon, usually in urban areas. Her focus was teaching, first English to Muslim girls, and later, reading and writing in Arabic to her female students. Thirty-four years later, in retirement, Edith returned to Al Ain...

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