Did You Know That We Have a Facebook Page?

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At this stage, we’re mostly using it to republish things from the site that we think are particularly important. If you are on Facebook, please take a look. Facebook gives a lot of potential that we’re not currently tapping, so as we dream about that, we’d like to hear from you:

  • How do you use Facebook primarily?
  • What would you find useful from our EFCC/EFCCM Facebook presence?

You can comment your response below, e-mail it to us, or even get in touch through Facebook too!

We’d love to hear from you on this!

The Latest Chinese Pulse

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Here is the latest version of the Pulse that has been translated into Chinese. This is provided for our large proportion of Chinese brothers and sisters living in Canada, and around the world.

You can click on the graphic above, or this link.

Update from Rwanda

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The following update was distilled from Eddie and Bonita’s recent update. In it they give a kind of summary snapshot of the work that they’ve been involved in over the last two years, and there are some exciting things here that we’d like you to be aware of.

Celebrating one year of ministry in Gahanga (just outside Kigali) and the opening of our largest gazebo. The city administrators have not allowed us to build a permanent structure, but this newest and largest gazebo brings the total number of gazebos to three. They are better than nothing. They allow us to stay out of the rain. But they are not conducive to ministering to the needs of people who have suffered trauma. We are shifting our attention to a smaller site in Kigali for construction of a Centre that will accommodate trauma counseling and training. Please pray for this project.

Next to the gazebos is the soccer pitch where practice happens for four teams. All four teams are doing a great job of representing their community. At first they faced hardship playing against teams with better equipment, shoes, and uniforms, but they persevered. A number of donors from Regina and Calgary have contributed to their uniforms, shoes, balls, and other equipment (thank you!). The younger boys’ team placed first in a friendly competition next to Kigali’s stadium, and the girls’ team came in second!

Bonita has begun a business called “Sugar and Spice Kigali”. The business was created to provide income for young Rwandans who have no other means of supporting themselves. It also provides them with valuable work experience, unique skills, and an opportunity to learn English.

Our employees have done an exceptional job learning to make fancy cookies. The new year will have them learning the art of cake design. Our employees are currently working part time. We hope to expand the business enough to employ them full time.

These are our three Rwandan “daughters” (in blue). We met them in the soccer ministry and they still enjoy playing. They come from very hard childhoods.

From top to bottom, their names are Uwera, Verena, and Agnes. It has been so rewarding to see them change right before our eyes. The oldest girl came with so much hurt she looked like she would just as soon hit you as greet you. I’m not sure she even knew how to react to kindness. Now she smiles often and skips around the house. You can hardly recognize that it’s the same girl.

We have been looking at schools and praying about where they can get the best education. We would like to send them to a school close to Gahanga, where they grew up. This school will cost about $220 per girl per term, and there are three terms per year. That means a total cost $660 for each girl for one year. We are looking for sponsors to assist us in providing for their future. Maybe it’s you!

Our ministry in Rwanda would not be possible without the generous support of our friends and faith family in Canada and the U.S. Thank you so much for investing in a brighter future for the people of this nation. If you would like to get in touch with Eddie and Bonita directly, the easiest way is by e-mail: eddie.bonita@gmail.com.

Christmas Wrap

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“And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed”.” (Luke 2:34-35)

Well, Christmas is over, as is 2010 and a new year is upon us.  Sometimes pastors have a difficult time finding something new to say about Christmas – but this year the incarnation of our Saviour struck me in a whole new way.  Perhaps I am a bit thick – but Simeon’s prophecy about Jesus impressed upon me afresh the absolute radical nature of God’s invasion of this earth 2000 years ago!

Our EFCC motto is: In essentials unity; in non-essentials charity; in all things Jesus Christ. I am increasingly cognizant of how inadequate our Christology is. We have neutered Jesus, domesticated Him into a cute baby and then wrapped Him up in our culture as a little upwardly mobile, protestant, white male.  OK, perhaps I am exaggerating a bit…

Yet consider what this world got 2000 years ago.  First, God reached down through all the social classes, to the very poorest.  The couple chosen to birth and raise the Son of God were so poor that when they presented the baby in the temple they qualified for the pair of turtle-doves or pigeons sacrifice (see Luke 2:24 and Leviticus 12:8).  The first witnesses were shepherds (not exactly the high-class nobility present at most royal births!).  The Son of God – God in flesh – was born with perhaps more animal witnesses to His arrival than human.  This is a humble king…a king that would grow up as an illegitimate child and work as a carpenter. God levels the classes in order to draw all people to Himself!

Second, this king challenged the religious authorities of the day.  Indeed, He was “appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel”; He was opposed and He did reveal what really was in the hearts of the “mighty” and the “orthodox”. Religious systems, race, nation – all these distinctions bow to this baby!  No wonder He elicits opposition!

And lastly, this baby reaches across social prejudices about gender in powerful ways.  Ancient Jewish culture held that women were morally inferior to men (temptresses to be avoided and controlled) and easily deceived (unworthy of receiving an education).  Simeon addresses this baby’s mother, not his father.  One of the first people to proclaim the hope found in this child is Anna, an elderly widow.  This child would grow up to interact with women in ways that were revolutionary, speaking to them as if they were intelligent, responsible humans to be taken as seriously as men!

Christmas reminds me that God invaded history and the phrase “In All Things Jesus Christ” is shown to be more radical than I might previously have thought.  The realities attached to the birth of this child are radical enough – He reaches beyond class, religion, race, nation and gender.  But the grown Jesus was perhaps even more challenging to all human cultures for He acted and spoke in ways that seem to call for a rejection of the kingdom of this world and the embracing of His radically different Kingdom.

Perhaps the only appropriate response is “Hallelujah, what a Saviour!” May we be faithful to make Him the centre of everything — not our tamed version of Him — but the more dangerous, more real version – the One that causes “the falling and rising of many”!

Happy New Year,

In Him,

Bill

Introducing the New EFCCM Area Directors

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Recently, the EFCCM Director Team began searching for new Area Directors to give leadership to our growing mission and direct care and oversight to our missionaries. We are now pleased to announce we have found some gifted and passionate people to fill these roles, effective January 1st, 2011. Both will be serving part-time.

Africa Area Director
Our new Africa Area Director is Petros Yergatian. Petros was born in Cyprus and later immigrated to England with his family. He attended Capernwray Bible School in England and made his first journey into missions in 1985 when he participated in a short-term trip to Israel.

After moving to British Columbia in 1988, Petros became a member of the Johnston Heights Free Church in Surrey, where he currently resides. He serves as the Missions’ Chair there and plays an active role in supporting and visiting missionaries, while at the same time running his own business. Petros also recently served two years on the EFCCM’s International Mission Committee. He has two adult sons and one daughter currently in high school.

Petros has felt the Lord consistently placing a call on his heart toward missions for the past 25 years and looks forward to serving Him in this capacity on the EFCCM team.

Asia Area Director
Our new Asia Area Director is Melvin Sayer. Melvin grew up on a dairy farm near Carstairs, Alberta and went on to receive his MDiv from Prairie Grad School and his ThM from TEDS in Deerfield, Illinois. He married Priscilla (PJ) in 1984 and they now have four wonderful adult children.

The Sayers previously served with the EFCCM in Ukraine from 1996-2008. During that time, Melvin and PJ served in many capacities including Director and teacher at DBI (Dnepropetrovsk Bible Institute), as Ukraine Country Leader, at various levels of involvement in the Summer English Language Institute, leading Bible studies and developing the Stewardship Development program, not to mention home schooling their four children. Beyond that, they were an important part of the Morning Star Church, helping in many areas of church life.

The Sayers currently reside in Milford, Delaware, but spend a number of months on their farm near Carstairs, AB in the summer. Because of their great love for the Lord and desire to serve Him in missions however possible, Melvin & PJ are excited to take on this new role with the EFCCM!