Whether the Weather Warms or Withers…

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I’ve often thought about the weather as I fly above it in a climate-controlled jetliner. The sun always shines at 30,000 feet. (Provided it’s not a night-flight…) Generally things are pretty calm, stable and predictable. It’s only when you get outside on the ground that you’re really affected by the weather. Hmmm….I bet there’s a sermon illustration in there somewhere. :-)

I recently returned from a week-long vacation on the USA’s East Coast. (My absence is why this blog has been so slow recently, but I’m about to fix that!) It struck me how significant the weather’s impact is on us. Myrtle Beach is a typical ‘snowbird’ destination for eastern Canadians, but to be honest, the temperatures there weren’t much different than seasonal expectations than here in the Lower Mainland. That is to say unpredictable, and often chilly. And yet there were several Canadians down on the beach, building sandcastles, playing sports, and even swimming in the ocean! The water temp was easily lower than our cold water tap at home…maybe people were confused by the Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion? Well, uh, not me! :-)

There are two stories that arrived in my inbox while I was gone that related to weather.

John and Naomi are missionary associates closely connected to Christian education in Panama. Their e-mail made it clear that it is hard not to gloat about their weather. It has been consistently hot, with very little rain, and there’s a cool enough breeze reaching their apartment to keep it comfortable. That’s a nice break for them, because I’ve heard often enough how mercilessly hot and humid Panama is. During the summer, you never dry. Even right out of the shower, you always sweat.

On the other hand, Norm and Michelle in Hungary, have been facing cold temperatures, and their house’s heating system isn’t working properly — they have to pick between heating the house, or the hot-water tank. And even if it was working properly, their gas prices prices have spiked to prohibitive levels. So in their words they “continue to layer”.

I’m grateful for all of our missionaries serving diligently and faithfully in whatever weather they’re facing. John and Naomi are working with school administration and teachers to improve their capacity and ability. Norm and Michelle liaise with a number of missionaries, and will be hosting a big conference in Hungary in August. As well, Michelle is fostering ministry among deaf people in Hungary which will participate in an upcoming drama club to sign a song. It’s humbling and uplifting to be working shoulder-to-shoulder with so many of such strong faith. Please remember to pray for their strength and stamina no matter what season they find themselves in.

Announcing PulseTV

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Here’s something newsworthy. We’ve just put the final touches on the first ever episode of PulseTV. Named after our denomination’s publication (the Pulse), PulseTV will share news stories that are happening in Canada and around the world under the banner of the EFCC. We will be distributing these to all of our churches, and we’ll be publishing the episodes online.

Roughly six episodes a year are planned. Because each episode is less than 4 minutes long, it should fit well in even the most compressed church service. We hope that it will prove to be informational and inspirational. And provide a healthy dose of fun, too!

PulseTV: coming soon to an EFCC “theatre” near you! :-)

Good News! CAC Project Proceeding Strongly

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By now, you may have seen the video of our EFCC Women’s Ministries annual project. This has been a challenging project to promote because it concerns work done in a Creative Access Country, or CAC. (A CAC is a nation that is officially closed to the Gospel.) Any ministry work in these regions must be handled delicately, and discretion must be used at all times when sharing about it. However, I’m happy to report that these challenges are not imposing a drastic setback!

To date, our Women’s Ministries arm has raised over $10,000 for this project, and anticipates raising another substantial amount this spring. We’re humbled and encouraged by this, especially considering the financial reality that our country (planet?) is going through. This is certainly praise-worthy, and will have a strong, lasting impact on furthering the important work that is being projected there.

Join us in rejoicing over this!

It’s Official — Heading to Bolivia!

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I’m pretty stoked to announce that it’s all set for me (Brad) to go to Bolivia in April. I’ve had my needles (I hate needles!), we’ve got the plan solidifying, and I now have the tickets booked.

I will be joining Steve (Latin America Area Director), his wife Myra and a whole work team there. My role will be to document all of the ministries that EFCCM missionaries are engaged with in Bolivia, and in case you’re wondering, it’s a lot! There are construction projects, compassion ministry and various types of evangelistic outreach targeted to several people/language groups.

I’m really excited about meeting all of the missionaries ‘in situ’, and will do all I can to make their stories real to each of you, dear readers, and our churches across Canada. Please pray for all the travel details, and for our time together to be fruitful in more ways than we even anticipate. That’s what I’m hoping for!