Update from Mexico

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GSTChristmasHighlight

It’s always amazing to think about how many different places Christmas is celebrated, and in how many ways. It’s a complicated moment in the history of the church, as it tried to navigate through the excesses and overreactions on all sides.

Perhaps no reflection on Christmas is more complicated than Greg and Shelli’s, missionaries serving with the EFCCM.

Take a look as they celebrate their 15th Christmas in Mexico!

On the Brink of the Next World of Hope

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WorldofHope

I so appreciate what World of Hope has accomplished in the last 6 years or so. But one of the challenges I’ve been faced with is to share its story.

Most of us are aware of the pitfalls of so-called prosperity-gospel teaching. There are many nuances to this, but basically it boils down to the belief that God will provide us with what we want to be happy. The reason it’s wrong is because it’s oversimplistic — God doesn’t work how we wish or expect all the time, or give us what we think we want, particularly when it’s not aligned with his will.

The same sort of thing works in communicating, too.

What’s going on in the world is tough to package into small, predictable bursts of story that we can tie off with a flourish. Real life is messier and less linear than that.

We’re in the final stretches of preparation for the next World of Hope, getting ready to launch it again once more this fall.

In Galatians, Paul encourages his readers:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10

Working with those who suffer from unimaginable poverty and hardship is a heavy load to carry. If it’s a heavy load for us to carry from here, it’s a huge burden for the people who are living in it day to day. As excited as I am about we as a movement are involved with and accomplishing around the world, it’s important to me that we never lose sight of the need which outstrips our ability. And in that, we also acknowledge that ultimately solving the world’s problems is not a human responsibility.

We are called to offer what we have, and we pray that God will use it to accomplish his purposes in the lives of individuals and communities. While it’s encouraging and even gratifying to be involved in effective, generative ministry around the world, and we should celebrate well what God is doing through our consecrated efforts, let us also remember humility.

Intervention in Nepal

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WRCNepal
The level of disruption the earthquake in Nepal has caused is both horrible and sad.

Our partner humanitarian organisation, World Relief Canada, has already begun mobilising to intervene with emergency relief operations and supplies.

Click Here to Donate!

We invite you to direct your giving to this worthy organisation, assisting its personnel to ministry grace and comfort to the survivors of the devastation.

We also request you to pray for the country as its continues its rescue and salvage operation, and contemplates the massive tasks of clean-up and rebuilding.

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”What Do You Need Most?”

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LaPresa
An update from MEMO Ministry’s work in El Salvador.

“Jerome, this is the most important meeting you have had this trip!”

Eduardo was referring to the brief tour given by an elderly, spritely town counsellor who showed Jerome the conditions of La Presa. La Presa is a village close to the larger town of Texacuangos, but is separated from it by a steep, often treacherous pathway. The people have great needs and we have the ability to help physically, socially and spiritually.

Dutchaks scrap metal in Thunder Bay, ON is setting aside 1,000ft of hand rail over the next little while to help make this pathway safer. MEMO volunteers will pick it up from time to time and MEMO will start shipping it to the region.

Of course that is the easy part. With the help of the community and town workers the pipe has to be cut and welded and then installed. But what an opportunity to show care in a practical way!

We want to collect child’s and adolescent size shoes so kids can go to school. The Shalom clinic is a 20-minute walk away for serious medical problems. MEMO will supply a “sitting” stretcher to carry patients down the mountain.

Finally, it is possible for us to provide a pre-fabricated first-aid post and church building, with 2 rooms, galvanized walls and a concrete floor, if we receive $3,000 in donations.

There are no churches or significant help from churches in La Presa. The town with its limited resources brings in food once a month.

MEMO wants to be involved in a supportive role in this community in this time and for Eternity. This is its vision and with your help this community can learn that God loves them!

For lots more about MEMO, visit the ministry’s website by clicking here.

Do Your Christmas Shopping In Japan

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In November 2014 the Onagawa Megumi Project opened an online store. Their unique products can be purchased online from Canada or the USA, and made great Christmas presents—especially for ladies. And all proceeds go toward helping rebuild the lives of some people in Onagawa.

The Onagawa Megumi Project is an income generating social enterprise that transforms vintage kimonos into beautiful products. The Megumi Project shares the love of Jesus Christ in a tangible way in the town of Onagawa, Miyagi-ken that was devastated by tsunami generated by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011.

The Project is a ReachGlobal and EFC of Germany initiative that the EFC of Canada Mission (EFCCM) is partnering with. The Project received over $30,000 from the EFCCM disaster fund for the construction of their working trailer where they make all their crafts.

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The EFCCM church planting ministry at Tokyo Multicultural Church (TMC), led by Dale and Ann Little, is closely connected with the Onagawa Megumi Project. Throughout 2014 TMC ladies have prepared kimono fabric for the Project by seam ripping many donated kimonos so the ladies in Onagawa do not have to do that time consuming work.

Several times in 2014 Dale and Ann delivered the prepared kimono fabric to Onagawa, and offered encouragement to the missionaries and workers there. They will continue to do this in 2015.