Is God Calling You?

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This short clip asks how you feel God’s call to ministry and outreach. We are firmly convinced that Christians are called to missions. We can’t tell you exactly what that looks like for you, but we are eager to walk that road together with you.

We invite you to investigate whether there’s a place for you to serve at the EFCCM!

BuzZ Online Episode 4

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I shamelessly call myself a communications geek. I love how communications interacts with culture, how it shapes it, and is shaped by it. I love its wide range of tools, and I love connecting with people who are wired the same way. And, that is where Carissa comes in. She is a fellow missions communicator, and agreed to join me for this episode of the BuzZ Online.

Do you want to be involved in getting people excited about missions? Do you have skills in any area of communication? Maybe even something you didn’t think of using for communication like art, drama, creative writing, etc.? I’m looking for people that can offer stories, photographs or even ideas from a pew perspective, or from those who give and go, maybe from someone you know closely. If you’re a part of a Canadian EFC congregation, even better!

If you want to get involved, drop me a line and let’s chat! I mean it!

Signs of Summer in Hungary

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Intense! That’s how it sounds to me. Signs of Summer (SOS) is an annual opportunity that enables a team of youth to engage in unique ministry that combines sign language and dance. Norm and Michelle in Hungary usually head this up together, but as Norm was recovering from a serious illness in Canada, he was unable to be there this year. The show went on under Michelle’s leadership. Molly, Mya, Cheri and Charlotte (two are EFCCM MKs from Ukraine!) were the four teenage participants in 2007’s SOS, and Trudy Ann, formerly of Okotoks Free Church, came from Virginia to cook and help wherever needed!

Dance can be compelling way to demonstrate the truth of the Gospel — add the intensity of Signing and you have music that goes straight to the heart. But to get it to the point where it clicks, it needs a lot of work. As soon as the team of four arrived in Hungary, they were met with full, ten-hour days of teaching and rehearsal. With diligence they were able to learn the movements and the accompanying sign language for the seven songs in their chosen repertoire. And then they took them to the streets and to camps in the region. They were able to use these gifts to share their dances with others, and gain meaningful interaction with local youth. Often their conversations went far beyond dance. Their long-term impact on their peers began in July, but will continue for some well into the future and, we pray, even into eternity!

Signs of Summer has a unique presence. The signing team took their work to the streets engaging with strangers where they were able to start conversations and answer questions. But a more meaningful interaction developed when SOS visited the camps. “Hands” were a recognisable theme of SOS, both in what they do and in the ways that they communicate, and each day the team focused on a different facet of sign or dance to pass on to the campers. Their plan to do manicures for one afternoon class fit in with the morning English classes “reality” games and they ended up providing TLC to almost all of the female campers! With the language barrier in such evidence, caring touch communicated so much more than limited words ever could. This was needed to break down the perceived differences, and build a strong bond between the girls and the campers.

Each member of the SOS team has talked about how stretching this experience was for them, and how fulfilled they are to have lived into it. A big thanks goes to Michelle and Norm for the sacrifices they made in making this year’s team feasible, and sticking with it against all odds. And thanks also to everyone on the team for their strong commitment despite some initial uncertainty, and for the effort they poured into this outreach event!

BuzZ Online Episode 3

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Thank you for joining us for Episode 3 of the EFCCM’s official podcast! This time around I have a conversation with someone who needs to be quite vague with his identity and location, but who is pretty specific about his calling.

Community development is a fascinating concept that looks at the community as a whole, and tries to develop strategies for them to improve in every way. From health to personal finance, this type of work has begun to have a deep impact in local communities.

If this urges a response in you, please add it to our comments section below.

The Missionary as Celebrity?

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“I feel like a celebrity!” It’s a comment that my wife and I have heard a number of times photographing weddings this summer. We both have cameras going, and there are untold numbers of other cameras clicking and flashes flashing, so I guess it’s understandable that the couple would feel as if they’re being hounded by paparazzi. Of course inevitably after saying it, the couple starts acting the part, mock-preening and pandering to the camera, if only for a moment.

One of the things I’ve been thinking recently is about how expectations thrust upon people are reflected in their own behaviour. Often expectations are formulated from preconceived ideas of what a person fulfilling a certain role would look or be like. It’s weird where that takes us. Tragically, at its furthest extent people feel like they can’t even come to church (or to God) unless they’ve “cleaned up their act”. That entirely misses the point of grace, and the freedom of the gift. And there’s this odd pressure for an authority figure to look like they have everything together, and that they should be throughly spit-shined. I have come to the realisation that that’s just not true. So what does the quintessential missionary look like? I assert that they look just like you!

Missionaries exist in every age, race and income level. They don’t get a unique tattoo, or share a secret handshake. They would be the first to tell you that they are normal people. (And at least most are… :-) ) What makes them different is their willingness to be sacrificially obedient. They are willing to assume certain risks and losses to follow the dream that God has given them. But then, shouldn’t we all be living that way? That’s where God’s deepest blessing is found. If living sold-out to God sounds like a dream worth living, why not contact us? Maybe there’s a way we can partner with you to make that happen in your life. Because after all, isn’t God’s opinion worth more than that of a bunch of people with cameras? :-)