Positive Health News On Two Fronts

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Occasionally we use our blog to keep you informed about missionaries’ lives directly. This is one such post.

Ernest and Effie serve with us in Venezuela. We were recently alerted that Effie needed eye surgery to correct a cataract. They recent report states that it went very well, with good comments from her Doctor during the 10-15 min surgery. There was great relief when she only had to have a transparent patch over the eye, (as there had been a possibility that it would be completely covered for 24 hrs) and it was great to walk out seeing! They removed the lens she no long needs from her glasses. While she can read (with only slight difficulty), she will still need them for reading and it is possible that she will be given the new prescription on Wednesday.

As only one eye needed immediate attention, she will continue to use her glasses. “The verse that keeps popping into her mind is 1 Corinthians 13:12: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” It is so wonderful to see the beautiful colours of God’s creation and to see things clearly again. Their prayer is that in our daily walk with Jesus we will see clearly the path that lays out for us.

Rudy and Erna serve with us in Bolivia. They recently celebrated the first event held at the new ministry centre, called the Bridge. Rudy has had some recent history with his heart. He had to undergo surgery a few months back, but seemed to have recovered fully. However he suddenly experienced rather significant symptoms again this week. He was taken to hospital and was examined. He has been assured my medical staff that his heart has not been damaged. That is very good news. However, they can’t tell what the problem is exactly, which must be unsettling. He will be monitored pretty carefully (especially by Erna, I’m sure!). One aside about this story: Rudy and Erna were scheduled to be in a remote area when his symptoms struck. It was fortunate that they were instead close to medical assistance!

I’ve mentioned this a few times recently, but our missionaries need your regular prayer. They face opposition, even sometimes from their own bodies, but God’s will continues to triumph in and through them. May he be glorified in all ways!

Site is Back Up!

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This morning I heard from one of our churches that our site was down. I don’t know for how long — it seems to have worked smoothly until at least yesterday. There was a change that needed to be made behind the scenes, and our hosting company fixed it in about 10 minutes. So everything is back on track and running fine again.

Time to Check Your Pulse!

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We’re pleased to announce the latest Pulse has been posted to the website.

Click here to see the online version. (You can also download your own copy from that link.)

I’m particularly proud of the cover — I think it connects perfectly with our theme and our treatment of it. But I hope you see the humour in it, and aren’t inspired to literally duke it out with those of a different opinion. That would be somewhat awkward…

There’s lots of good content to peruse in this edition. In here we address the different perspectives that inform the debate between Emergent vs Resurgent perspectives. That’s pretty hot-button stuff right now.

We are grateful to Ian and Marvin who took up the challenge of writing this piece. We hope you will enjoy their well-reasoned perspectives, and their back and forth. We are curious to hear your response to this. After you read the Pulse, please return to this post: Comments are open below!

A New Plan In Japan

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Japan is a thriving, bustling country, and Tokyo is its thriving, bustling core. At some intersections in Tokyo, every green light sees more than 3,000 pedestrians go by! Estimates put the population of Tokyo between 20-30 million people. (Keep in mind that the population of Canada is just higher than those estimates!) But in all of Japan, less than 1% of people are Christian.

Dale and Ann have reported that the church they work with, Musashino Chapel Centre (MCC), has voted unanimously to work toward another church plant in Tokyo. Called Tokyo Multi-Cultural Church (TMCC), it has a remarkably different concept behind it.

A great number of people have moved to Japan from a host of other countries, and they stay connected with their smaller subcultures within Tokyo. These groups are longing for a meaningful faith connection. The concept of the TMCC would connect with that goal. It will be a primarily English-speaking church, because that gives the greatest level of inclusiveness for the international community.

The church is Japan has its own unique flavour. There are a few specific advantages:

  • Strong vibrant, internal relationships
  • Generous time commitments both from pastors and lay people

But there are some specific disadvantages too:

  • Little commitment to personal evangelism
  • Pastor-centred leadership style, rather than individual empowerment
  • Little vision for impact and growth — the missional emphasis is missing
  • Lay involvement in ministry is low
  • Little engagement with external society

TMCC will seek to embrace the best of Japanese culture, as it embraces a push toward dynamic personal outreach and ministry.

Dale and Ann will be highlighting the vision and the potential of TMCC as they begin Home Assignment in the next couple of months. Please pray for them as they make preparations for this new church plant. It is a vision that will likely involve churches in several countries around the world, not just Japan, and it will take a concerted effort to get it to achieve its full potential.

If you’d like to keep up with their site directly, this is a good place to start.

That’s One Way to End a Drought!

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Wally and Esther just sent us in an update from Nicaragua. They’d been praying for their 5-month drought to end, and end it did! It rained for a week straight, totalling 15 inches! Not only is this a huge relief to the population, it’s a particular benefit to the agriculture component of the ministry that Wally and Esther are heading up.

There are two properties that they’re currently working on, and each has a very distinct purpose.

Property 1
This is an eight-acre piece where 2 Nicaraguan families will be working and producing self-sustainable farms of 2 acres each. Nicolas and Liliam, who just moved into their new house a few weeks ago, and Lester and Flor. Already they’ve planted 1400 plantains, yucca, tomatoes, quiquisque and fruit trees. Wally just met with a charitable organization that oversees produce export; there may be an opportunity for these families to grow chile peppers for export, what an answer to prayer this would be, bringing the hope of sustainability to a reality.

Property 2
A ten-acre piece, where the ministry La Semilla will be based. This is where we’ll facilitate events and teaching programs, do experimental planting and testing, and host teams. Wally and Esther and their family will live on-site at the facility.

As the plans and preparations go forward, they are grateful for their community, who are encouraging and supportive. There are many men willing to work on the construction — up to 10 at a time. They are amongst so many with so much need — there are always more willing to work than they have capacity to hire. We’re hoping that the goal of sustaining and productive farming is met in the area, and that the whole community will benefit.

Wally and Esther also expressed thanks for the local team that they’re a part of:
“Another way that God has blessed us is by the various ministries and missionaries working in the various fields here, so much advice, council, contacts and information that has been so helpful, people have been so generous and open, and even open to tell about mistakes they’ve made, so all can learn from them. We never feel that we are out here on our own.”