The following leadership appointments were made at our Governing Board meeting in June. Prayer is appreciated for each in their new responsibilities.
The Bouchers continue at Big River Bible Camp while Jason additionally assists on the Executive Committee.
From their station at Whitehorse, they will involve other missionaries in ensuring member care for the Mission family.
(In our Spring 2017 issue, Walter was introduced as our General Director.)
Previously Central-Field Directors, the Sieberts’ role will be similar, but now over a larger geographical area.
Along with their ministry in Maskwacis (AB) area, Jonathan will facilitate ministries of NCEM-operated camps.
As announced last issue, ANDREW (Melissa) SIEBERT will serve as our Candidate Coordinator.
A highlight for Dennis & Amanda Anderson this past summer was a baptism service held at nearby Clearwater Lake. Two people shared their testimonies in a Sunday morning service at Riverside Bible Church (The Pas, MB) before heading out to the lake.
“ ‘I Have Decided to Follow Jesus’ was the clear statement made by both,” say the Andersons.
One told how Sunday school and visits to the Andersons’ home when he was young were special times for him. He said he considered these to be safe places during his troubled childhood.
The other was introduced to Riverside through her friends. She told how their clear testimonies and verbal encouragement to come to Christ resulted in her coming in her brokenness to the Saviour. “He changed my life,” she said.
Dennis & Amanda’s summer also included registering and arranging transportation for 63 children from The Pas area to attend Steeprock Bay Bible Camp.
What a shock it was to hear that, during this week, a young cabin leader drowned during a scheduled swim. Understandably, this brought deep sadness and stress to the Camp.
However, God was worshiped, and His loving hand was evident within the sorrow. Prayer for this young man’s family from northern Manitoba is appreciated.
Riverside Sunday services and Bible studies continued during the summer months. With the arrival of the fall season, these will pick up momentum, the Andersons say.
“One challenge we look forward to is the field-testing of lessons geared for First Nations participants with the video/book, ‘Stranger on the Road to Emmaus.’
“We anticipate excitement in class discussion as the students’ understanding of the Bible opens up in a new way,” they say. “The lessons start at the beginning of Genesis and go through the Old Testament and into the New with the focus of God’s revelation of Himself, and plan of salvation.
P R A Y : “God has blessed us with wonderful friends and co-workers in the church He is building here,” say Dennis & Amanda. “His presence is real in our midst, and such an encouragement in the challenges of life and ministry.
“We thank God for His people, and all who pray for us consistently. Everyone is so important, and together we will stand before our Father in Heaven someday and worship before His throne with the dear ones He has allowed us to minister to down here on earth. To Him be all the glory!”
Blaine & Rachel Witherow serve with NCEM’s Tribal Trails TV ministry, based in Prince Albert. Recording the testimonies of First Nations believers is regular work for Blaine. Each life and testimony is special, but one recent recording was unique, they say.
Blaine and a camera were invited to the home of one of our previous Tribal Trails guests, a lady who had just been told that she had only a few weeks left to live.
He recorded her words: “People need to know that they don’t need to be afraid to die if they have Jesus … that’s the message I would like to give people.”
Georgina passed away peacefully on August 30. Her wake service included several of her friends sharing how the confidence she displayed in her final days deeply impressed them.
Other video recordings this summer included songs from the Living Stone Band and the Rising Above Band. Both music groups are having impact in First Nations communities. Rising Above represents a ministry of reconciliation and healing, dealing with issues of abuse and addiction.
There have been challenges lately in Tribal Trails production, says Blaine. There has been failed computer equipment, and issues related to NCEM Headquarter’s poor cell phone reception, and work hampered by inadequate internet service.
There is also an ongoing staff shortage. “But God does provide!” say the Witherows. While they wait for full-time staff to join Tribal Trails, a number of volunteers are helping out on a part-time basis.
“Our goal is that the Good News of Christ will bring spiritual fruit through daily broadcasts and online productions,” they say.
P R A Y : Pray for program outlets and discernment as TV station contracts are re-evaluated. Recently a multi-cultural channel decided to cancel Tribal Trails and other faith based programs.
As calls from viewers come in, the Witherows are aware of the healing that is needed in many lives across Canada. “Pray for daily strength, wisdom and spiritual renewal as we serve with Tribal Trails.”
Each year a number of teen campers stay to serve in children’s camps as “Leaders in Training.” This time Timothy invested much of his summer with them. “It was both a challenging and rewarding experience,” he says. Timothy led daily devotions with the “LITs” and was encouraged by their participation and desire to learn about the Christian life.
For Laura, this past summer at Camp was also different, as they were expecting the arrival of their baby in August (see “Newest MK,” p. 11). Naturally, this limited her participation in group games and amount of time on her feet. However, she still managed to be a skills instructor, ran the “tuck hut,” and took care of their own two pre-school children.
“Overall, it was a full summer of fun and God’s magnificent work,” say the Blocks, “and we are so thankful for our newest addition who was born on the last weekend of camp!”
After living this past year in a rented house in the nearby town of Big River (SK), the Blocks are happy to be in a mobile home moved onto the BRBC property. It’s an answer to prayer, they say, but arranging for all the utilities to be hooked up has proven difficult.
At press-time they had been in the home for two months without completion of water well, septic and electrical systems.
P R A Y : The Blocks appreciate prayer for their fall/winter ministries. They are serving in AWANA outreaches on two nearby Reserves. “This is an incredible opportunity to continue discipling many of the kids who attended the camp over the summer,” they say.
They ask prayer for the kids and staff who attended Big River Bible Camp this past summer. They know it is hard for them to stay bright for Jesus without support and encouragement.
Timothy & Laura are thankful for the Camp’s new winterized building that facilitates weekend retreats and discipleship events. “Please pray for these weekends, one which will be happening at the end of October.”
“It’s meant to assist prison inmates upon their release,” they explain.
“There has been a large void at this stage, and we’ve begun seeking to fill it as we help these men reintegrate into their communities.”
The Sonnichsens assist with practical things such as resume writing, Adult Basic Education, and life skills like cooking.
“Weekly meetings provide opportunity to introduce them to Christ through various means,” they say.
Corrections Canada has been very supportive, reports Carl, and is now asking them to consider working with their Correctional Officers with some of the issues they face.
Also in corrections ministry, besides Happy Valley, the Sonnichsens are introducing CoSA (Circles of Support & Accountability) to communities on Labrador’s North Coast. CoSA is primarily for high risk sexual offenders.
P R A Y : “Pray for us as we focus on the spiritual needs of each individual, and also work with local government agencies,” request the Sonnichsens.
“Also, our radio outreach to most of Labrador has ramped up from bi-weekly to weekly broadcasts, for which we’re thankful.
“Our desire through all of these opportunities is to honour and glorify Christ in our actions and to lead others to do the same. As well, we seek to explore how we might better utilize our local church body in meeting some of the needs of ministry.”
Recently she received a phone call from a member of the Blackfoot First Nation in Alberta. Though it’s been available for a while, this lady only recently learned that there is a DVD available about the life of Jesus in her own Native tongue.
She excitedly told Lydia about her plans to distribute it in her area, and she ordered a quantity.
“It shows me again that God is using these resources to spread the Gospel,” says Lydia. (The JESUS Movie is available on a multi-language DVD with 12 Indigenous languages.)
Another First Nations believer has also been an encouragement to Lydia.
One day “L” stopped in at the Bookstore at the same time as an older Native gentleman happened to be there. This man had told Lydia on previous visits that, “I’m not so religious,” but had kept coming back for visits.
“I was so excited when ‘L’ shared with him what she had just read in the Bible about how God wants us to live!” reports Lydia. “You could tell that he hadn’t expected to hear about God’s Word from a Native person.”
P R A Y : Lydia appreciates prayer for grace and wisdom for those who stop in at the Bookstore, and for those who call or write. Pray for the effective ministry of these resources produced by and for First Nations.
Congratulations go to Timothy & Laura Block on the birth of their baby daughter “Zion Louise” born August 5th. The Blocks serve at Big River (SK) Bible Camp.
Congratulations to Dan Moulton & Valerie Weber who were married August 19th. Dan continues his aviation ministry with NCEM in Nipawin (SK), while Val is Food Services Manager at Nipawin Bible College.