In the winter of 1994 I was hosting the morning radio program on the Edmonton Christian radio station CJCA. The station was helping promote a new missions conference called Missions Fest Alberta. I interviewed the Executive Director of this new event on my program and after we were finished, she asked me if I would be interested in emceeing the event, soon afterward I agreed. This was my first real exposure to missions and all the ways in which God was working. I went from being curious about missions to wanting to go somewhere beyond the borders of Canada. In 1998 I would go on a medical mission to Brazil to document the work of the Flying Hospital. Two years later I would travel again, this time with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOM) to Ethiopia and South Sudan, again documenting on video what God was doing in the midst of persecution. The passion for missions that was ignited 25 years ago burns even brighter today. I have traveled to around 50 countries and have met hundreds of followers of Jesus who are paying a huge price for their faith.
I recently traveled to Nigeria and met with Victoria, she is one of the thousands of Christian widows whose husbands died due to the murderous activities of the militant Islamic groups. The Boko Haram and the Fulani Herdsmen have caused indescribable pain and suffering to families all over Nigeria, and often Christians are targeted for these violent and deadly attacks.
In the southern part of Kaduna State Victoria told me how she lost three family members in attacks that started in mid-September of 2016. “Southern Kaduna was invaded by the Fulani herdsmen and my village was one of the ones that was targeted and surrounded by the herdsmen. My husband, his father and my father told me and the children to leave the village and go to another village and find safety.”
Victoria and her 6 children would take their chances and flee. “As we were leaving the village the next day one of my sons was killed. On January 6, 2017 another son was shot and killed by the Fulani herdsmen, and then on February 23, 2017 I lost my husband who was also killed by Fulani herdsmen.”
Victoria says she and her 4 surviving children aged 10 to 22 live in constant fear that those who killed her loved ones and friends could return at any moment. “They are still surrounding our village and the security is not good, we don’t have a security unit there to protect us.”
Victoria has thought about leaving again, but it’s not that simple. “The problem I would have is that my livelihood is here. Every time I think about leaving I wonder if I will be able to do anything there. Every community in South Kaduna is afraid of the Fulani herdsmen.”
Christian organizations like The Voice of the Martyrs are helping widows like Victoria rebuild their lives with micro loan projects, for which she is very grateful to Christians in Canada for their support “I was trained in sewing and making purses that women can use, and they are selling. I can also sew clothes, I sew my own clothes as well. My livelihood has increased out of the vocational training I received. By the grace of God I was able to pay for my children’s school fees out of it. I was also able to put a roof on my house out of the proceeds. This really helped me.”
There are many Organizaitons that provide assistance to our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, let’s do our part by praying and supporting them however we can. You can connect with different Organizations at Missions Fest Alberta 2019.
Greg Musselman has been involved with Missions Fest Alberta over the past 25 years. We appreciate Greg’s servant heart and how he uses his gifts and talents to further the Kingdom; we are grateful for his continual support of this ministry.
Zeinabou, a young Muslim mother from the village of Dougounawa in Niger, was always worried about her children who never seemed as healthy and energetic as young children should. It was a burden the African woman carried from the moment she awoke until she laid her head down at night. “My children were quite sickly, and I didn’t know how to help them,” Zeinabou recalls. “My first child was malnourished, and my second child was always falling sick with something.”
The mortality rate was tragically high for newborns in her village, one of 10 in Niger where Samaritan’s Purse Canada is reaching out with projects that improve the medical health, economic independence, and spiritual well-being of vulnerable community members, especially women.
She says before Samaritan’s Purse Canada reached out to educate and empower leaders in her village, the mothers were in constant emotional turmoil and fear for their babies’ lives.
This project, funded by Canadian donors, teaches women to find and prepare affordable, locally-sourced food to feed their families. Samaritan’s Purse also drills deep water wells to provide safe water for drinking, irrigating crops, and more.
The organization selected the 10 participating villages based on their lack of access to safe water, their high child and maternal mortality rates, and their urgent need for sustainable access to food.
Addressing all of these needs would improve each community’s overall medical health.
Zeinabou believes Samaritan’s Purse’s donors brought hope and help to the mothers in her village.
“Samaritan’s Purse gave us the awareness we needed to understand how to care for our young children,” she says. “Our children are healthy and nourished and less prone to sickness.”
Zeinabou says her entire village has been transformed. That includes her own children. Today, they are well-fed, have achieved a healthy weight, and are active and growing.
“We are so thankful for the presence of this project in our village,” she adds. “This Christian project has helped us a lot. We did not believe Christians to be so neighborly, but now we know that Christians love people very much. It’s like the story in your Bible of the Good Samaritan. Thank you very much!”
You can equip families in developing nations to grow vitally-needed healthy food by donating to the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog. Go online at SamaritansPurse.ca/gifts or call 1.800.663.6500 to order over the phone or receive your copy in the mail. The catalog also offers many other many ways to help struggling people in Jesus’ name.
On a cold, wintery night just outside of Chicago, a young college student introduced his Sunday school class to Christian Service Brigade. He was worried that though his boys lived like Christians on Sunday, they were anything but during the week. That was in 1937. Things have gotten worse. Few boys show up at church on Sunday; men even less. Most churches don’t do much for the boys or men in their own congregations, let alone in their neighbourhoods. As a society, we lament the loss of Christian values in our schools and government institutions, but we do little to change it. We won’t volunteer to be part of a Christ-centred ministry. Very few people even encourage those who give up an evening each week to win and train boys and young men for Christ. It’s hard making a difference in people’s lives.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ entered this world and changed it. Generation after generation went and made disciples of Jesus. Those disciples reached us – this generation of Christians. Building Godly men of today and tomorrow is hard work. It takes time, money and dedication. Be part of the solution. Point boys to Jesus through Brigade: www.csbbc.org/alberta.
Break the cycle of poverty
God calls us to care for those in need, for the widowed and the orphaned, for the young and the old. Micah 6:8 speaks to this. “He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
We might not all be able to serve on the ground helping vulnerable children in less developed countries, but we can all have a part in the global ministry of spreading God’s love. Beyond making an impact in your community, you can participate in global missions. By sponsoring a child, you are supporting their spiritual development along with their academic and physical growth. Through sponsorship, you can make an eternal difference in the life of a child. A child is waiting for you to make that difference. Your sponsorship of $40 a month provides a child with:
- Faith-based education
- Nutritious meals
- Safe drinking water
- Medical care
Join us in breaking the cycle of poverty in the life of a child.
Aftercare Ministries (ACM) Society is a not-for-profit Christian outreach ministry that exists for the purpose of faithfully and prayerfully proclaiming the Good News of the cross of Jesus Christ to those incarcerated in prison. We are grateful when God allows us to witness as the seed of His Word bears the fruit of a transformed heart. We work in the prisons to share this message of hope and assist in transition from prison to society. Through involvement in the prison ministry following incarceration, ACM has become more familiar with the plight and special circumstances of offenders, ex-offenders, and their immediate and extended families. The aftercare needs are numerous and significant, and the opportunities for Christian service virtually unlimited. They include: pointing individuals to the transforming power of Christ; assisting the new believers in “one-on-one” ongoing, long term friendships; mentoring; connecting to a Biblical community; and providing discipling and guidance through incarceration and the transition to freedom. ACM works with other agencies and Christian ministries to access appropriate community resources for participants. This is the joy and privilege of this type of ministry and if you would like to volunteer or support our work, please contact us at 403-540-5736.
Plant-the-Word Bible Campaign: Help send 10,000 Bibles to the Philippines ($2/copy)
SeedCare envisions building partnerships between you and the church planters in the Philippines as we invest in Kingdom opportunities, primarily in Bible distribution and real-world support for daily necessary needs of local pastors. Our desire is that you – as seed planters – may partake in the joy of fulfilling the Great Commission.
The Bible is a basic tool for men and women of God. And yet, for many of the children, students, and elderly brethren in small villages in the Philippines, the Bible is rarely read. Many of them cannot afford a copy of their own. Most of the time, the word of God is preached only once a week during a Sunday service by a pastor who only has one copy of the Bible.
Would you help hand the Bible to our brethren in the Philippines at $2/copy only?
God’s Littlest Angels was founded by John and Dixie Bickel on Christmas Day, 1994, when a 1-pound 15-ounce baby was born at the local mission hospital in Fermathe. Because of her size, she was not given much of a chance for survival.
With the parents’ permission, Dixie took the baby home. John put his skills to work making an incubator out of a cardboard box and a heating pad. At the time, Dixie didn’t have access to IV supplies, so she kept the baby alive by feeding her with an eye dropper every two hours. Within four days, she was drinking from a doll bottle.
After four months, Angel Noël went home to her parents. We kept in contact with Angel Noël for many years.
God’s Littlest Angels (GLA) has ministered to the children of Haiti since 1994 through medical care, sponsorship programs, and has been involved in international adoptions since 1997.
Charlotte Dill loves the bustle of the holidays, from decorations to bell-ringers on the corner, it reminds her of many happy Christmases past. She always gets her shopping done by November and the baking done early so that she can really enjoy the season. Last year, even with all her careful preparation, she had one more gift to prepare for, but didn’t know where to begin.
It took Charlotte and her husband Matt a lot of careful planning to sell the farm and prepare themselves for the next adventure life had in store. When they sold their farm last fall, they wanted to make a sizeable gift to charity. However, they were unsure about the specific charities or the amounts they wanted to contribute to specific projects. And, they were well into the holiday season.
This made it hard for them to start giving. They didn’t know where to begin. However, after discussing their charitable giving options, Charlotte and Matt decided to open a flexible gifting account – like a savings account for your charitable giving – with Abundance Canada. This allowed them to address the years’ tax situation and to think about their charitable giving at a later date. In fact, after the holidays they enjoyed working out the exact details and plans for specific donations to various charities over time.
One of the most exciting parts of working with my Abundance Canada clients is helping them take those first steps in their planned giving. They’re often surprised to learn that they don’t need to have all the details worked out immediately. They don’t even need to know exactly where they will make their charitable donations over the long-term. It may seem disconcerting at first, but soon they realize that half the fun of their generosity journey is getting there. The most important thing is to get started. After that we can work together to develop a strategic plan to help guide their decisions and set goals, while leaving a lot of room for flexibility and to test things in the short term.
To learn more about planning your charitable giving this holiday season, visit abundance.ca or call us at 1-800-772-3257.