Merry Christmas!

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You will no doubt notice that the website will slow down over the next little while. Home Office will be mostly closed until January 3rd, although we will be processing year-end donations through the holidays.

May you all have a Blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

See you all back here in 2011!

Young Men Needed for Short-Term Team to Bolivia

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We currently have an opening for one or two young men to complete a team (based out of Alberta) teaching English in Tarija & Sucre, Bolivia from January 13th to 30th, 2011. No English language training necessary.

If you enjoy leading Bible-study discussions, have experience with youth or camp ministry, a heart for evangelism, enjoy leading games, activities, music, drama, sports and travel, contact us (or e-mail Lisa directly) for more information.

This could be the beginning of a great adventure for you!

Put This Event on Your Radar!

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EFCC Theological Summit

When:
From May 10th to May 12th, 2011

Location:
First Evangelical Free Church, Calgary

Subject:
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HERMENEUTICS

Speaker:
Dr. Grant Osborne (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

Cost:
$100 / person  (that does not cover accommodations)

Who For:
Pastoral Staff and interested lay leaders

What to Expect:
Opportunities for fellowship and networking along with times of corporate prayer and worship. There will also be presentations by Bill Taylor our Executive Director and reading of theological papers by our EFCC pastors.

More details will be coming to you shortly in the New Year. We will keep the blog updated with information about this, including the registration process at that time.

Challenges and Celebrations at Christmas (Part 1)

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Jake and Mary were blessed to host a work team from Okotoks Free Church at their ministry centre in Pailon, Bolivia. While they were there, the weather was suddenly chilly (by Bolivian standards, at least), dropping down to 10 degrees or so, but that didn’t hinder the team’s work. In a week, they accomplished what would take our missionaries months.

“The blessing a team can bring to the mission field and its workers is something no amount of money can buy.”

It’s not just about the physical work, but also feeling the team’s encouragement, prayer, laughter, listening and camaraderie. Thanks again Team Okotoks!

The team’s work centred on the church’s expanding facilities, as they are working on larger sanctuary building on the same site. Construction is progressing quickly, and the congregation is giving sacrificially toward its completion. The rafters that the team built are ready to be put in place as soon as the walls are high enough. The new bathrooms will be ready soon, another important addition to handle the growth.

Youth make up half the church. As the missionaries and pastor pray for new leaders, they are seeing a growing group of youth ready, willing and able to serve. These young people know the language and the lifestyle of the Mennonite colonies. We believe that God is raising them up to share the message of Christ to their broader communities, restoring perspective on hope and grace that have been lost in strict adherence to tradition. Plans are in place to share the church’s Christmas program in two other communities in December.

Quick Update on Casa Mariposa

One new 18 year-old girl joined the shelter this month. She comes from a very abusive situation, and initially it was tough to get close to her. But now if she’s asking for Mary, she’ll ask: “Where’s Mom?” They are learning together what works and what doesn’t. Jake and Mary are feeling the need for more workers: they wish that more more time could be spent with the mothers and youth that come so that they could be more effectively nurtured to restored health.

Jake and Mary are planning Christmas dinner for the shelter. They already have some gifts and the turkey. None of their guests have ever had turkey before, so they are all looking forward to the Christmas meal! They will play games and other fun activities together, and share the Reason for the season. It is sure to be fun day!

World of Hope is Here (with Video)! Updated

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The EFCCM is pleased to announce this year’s World of Hope! This is our annual invitation for you to partner with our missionaries serving internationally.

We’ve named November 21st as World of Hope Promotion Sunday. Please help us to make your church aware of this! Here is a brief video clip that you can show in your church service, or in a small group that helps to share the reason and the excitement behind the EFCCM’s World of Hope.

You can also download a copy of the brief (~90s) clip in either of the two following formats for later playback on your own computer (simply right click, and select “save as…”):
WorldofHope.wmv — for Windows (approx. 10MB)
WorldofHope.m4v — for Mac (approx. 16MB)

Our impact giving catalogue offers a variety of projects, but all are focussed on one over-arching goal: sharing the love of Christ to all people. Please tell your church, your family and your friends about this! There are plenty of ways to get involved. They are all outlined in the impact giving catalogue.

You can download your own copy of the catalogue by clicking the following link:
Impact Giving Catalogue — pdf file (approx. 2.3MB)

Thank you for your interest and your participation in this year’s World of Hope! Join us in trusting God to accomplish great things through this!

**Update** I just received input from the Finance team, and we’ve raised very close to $10,000 already. For being this early in December, that’s amazing! Donations are continuing to steadily come in! Thank you all for your generosity.