BY STUART REMPEL
FREED UP for MINISTRY
The Great Commission Media Ministries (GCM ministries) came to us when they were being challenged by CRA. GCM has always been a friend of mine going back to before I even started the foundation. One day, they were sharing the struggle they were going through and how they might lose their CRA registration. I listened further. “There’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing,” I said, “May I bring my lawyer into the room?” They agreed and we survived the CRA audit. GCM realized right then that they didn’t have the expertise or experience we did. It wasn’t their specialty. They had one guy who did everything—bookkeeping, etc—and he did a really good job—but he was spread too thin. So I said, “Can I offer you guys my service? I’ll take and do it for you.” So they joined us and since then they’ve seen their revenues increase at least five times. They’re just so busy involved in their ministry, they don’t want the hassle of keeping up with CRA and all their rules and guidelines. They’re ministry people. They want to do ministry. We free them up for that.
I have a fellow from Alberta that sold his business and took his family to Costa Rica. While he was in business one of his favorite projects to support was the Jesus Film project. He was going to take a year’s sabbatical with his family and after a short while he got restless with nothing to do, so he rounded up the Jesus film and started showing it there. Well last year, (by the way, it’s mom and dad and two girls), they had 180,000 kids in Sunday School every week. They got a program going throughout Costa Rica and Panama and they’re moving into Nicaragua and Honduras. They’ve put together incredible curriculum based on the Jesus film for school teachers who teach children religion classes. It’s one hour a week and it’s all based on the Jesus film and the values that are in the Bible like kindness, forgiveness, and don’t lie, steal or cheat. It’s amazing the life changing stories that come out Central America because of this project. So here’s a case where they’re living down there, but their friends and donors are all in Canada. So for them it’s just such a relief that they don’t have to worry about receipting and CRA. They can focus totally on their ministry and growing their ministry. That’s Bill and Sandy Davidson with Project Jesus for Children.
IT’S JUST that SIMPLE
I have another situation where I have three camps that we actually serve and none of them has a CRA registration. Two of those camps have applied repeatedly for registration and there’s always some delay. They can never get it. It’s been years and years but there are three children’s camps that are excellent ministries—one in Saskatchewan, two in Alberta—and they wouldn’t be able to receipt donors if it wasn’t for us. It’s just that simple.
BURN CAMPS INTRODUCE EVERLASTING HEALING IN MEXICO
We were inspired today during our meeting with Great Commission Foundation partners at El Camino in Guaymas, Mexico.
El Camino’s presence in the state of Sonoma has been an important one for many years. Through the Saturday morning children’s ministry, El Camino has seen the Lord’s healing hand both physically and socially. Through the teaching of the Gospel, they have inspired children to believe in what God has planned for their lives, inspiring mothers and fathers to reject lives that can be filled with hurt and violence and embrace Christ’s desire for healthy families.
In 2009 the region was affected deeply by a tragic fire at a local daycare. Over 40 children lost their lives and about 75 others suffered severe burns and injuries. El Camino responded wonderfully to that tragedy and has also invited the Holy Spirit into that community to heal the social and spiritual wounds that tragic event left in its wake.
The Burn Camps welcome any child in the area who has suffered physical burns. The theme of the weekend retreats is that many people have scars on the outside, but all of us have scars on the inside. Christ, whose human body was also scarred, has provided eternal healing to everyone from their internal scars and freedom from the sin that produces those scars.
What a beautiful message of hope. May the Holy Spirit continue to find open hearts to hear about the healing power of Jesus Christ.
Great Commission Foundation (GCF) is honoured to partner with El Camino in Guaymas, Mexico.
SPIRITUAL and FAMILY CARE
Roots and Wings International Ministries is a GCF project based in Mexico that provides support for families in need. They provide support in three key ways:
- Offering parents and care-givers affordable childcare while they work to provide for their families.
- Empowering families by helping each parent or caregiver develop the skills and resources they need to better care for their children and keep their families together.
- Sharing the Gospel with the surrounding community.
Roots and Wings has 48 children they are currently serving at the Centre but their influence stretches beyond those kids. Our staff was able to hear them share today, and while they could go on and on about ways that Christ is impacting the families in their community, one story that stood out was of an 8 year old boy who came to Roots and Wings with many challenges. He is a sweet boy with many behavioural problems that stretched the staff to their limits.
Committed to reflecting the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, the staff would patiently correct and redirect this boy’s behaviour. At one point, the boy questioned how far he would have to go before they would kick him out of the Centre. They told him they wouldn’t… and they told him they loved him.
Given the task of drawing a picture for one of the teachers, the boy decided to draw an epic battle between Satan and God. What was interesting was that the boy’s depiction of Satan was very detailed and powerful, while his understanding of God was of a small, old man. In this boy’s life, he was sure that Satan had control and that he was bad because Satan made him bad. Over time the staff has been able to teach the boy about God’s character and his strength, and that God’s love doesn’t come from anything that you can earn and isn’t something you can lose.
Today the boy is excited about God and can’t understand why others aren’t as excited. He wants everyone to hear about God’s love, especially the other kids at his school. He and his mom, a single, working student, have witnessed God’s provision through the attention and love that Roots and Wings have given them. They know the importance and reality of God’s provision and love in their lives.
Learn more at: http://www.rootsandwingsim.org/
MAKING CLEAR GOD’S SACRIFICIAL GRACE
This week the GCF team was able to spend time with Dave and Janna McPhee of Restoration Gateway, a disciple-making ministry in Uganda. Among the many things Dave and Janna do, ministering to the local churches in Uganda plays a significant role.
Dave shared of a recent time when God’s provision over their ministry was very evident. Sometimes they will travel with a large group to different villages and meet and worship with other churches. On one such occasion, they met with a church of 400 people and what they experienced was a blending of biblical doctrine, witchcraft, and animistic tradition that resulted in a very unhealthy situation and failed to make clear God’s sacrificial grace, love, and desire to bless His people.
Thankfully, Dave was able to share with the church and bring the truth of the Gospel to the people of that church community. Of course, when you are in the position of following another speaker whose message is quite different, it is difficult to know how your words will be received. God not only provided an opportunity for Dave to share, but God also provided support in the form of a Northern Ugandan Elder who spoke up and affirmed Dave’s words.
Join us as we pray for the work being done in the church in Uganda. The Light of Christ shines into the darkest places through organizations like Restoration Gateway. As it is with each of us, discipleship is necessary to guide us in our learning and understanding of God’s Word and how we apply it to our families, our communities and our world.
Learn more at: http://restorationgateway.org/
HELPING FREE LIVES FROM CHAOS, ADDICTION & CRISIS
Narrow Road Home is a Faith-based Recovery Centre and Rehab Home for Women, based in High River, Alberta. The Great Commission Foundation has been given the opportunity to manage the benevolent side of this ministry, handling the donations given by individuals who want to ensure that women who cannot afford this service are able to receive the necessary support needed. What a privilege to hear how God is using the team at Narrow Road Home to bring transformation to lives in need of love.
This week Executive Director Kim and Coordinator Sherri shared with the GCF team about how they’ve seen God working in the lives of those who have spent time in their Centre. Following the terrible floods in 2013, the community of High River had a very difficult road to recovery and many lives were put into turmoil. Walking alongside the community through that hardship and providing rehabilitation has opened their eyes to the reality that they’ve not been asked just to touch these lives in a short-term capacity, but that the relationships they are building are lifelong.
As the team at Narrow Road Home has been given an opportunity to lend a hand up to someone in need, it’s provided ways for family members to get involved, not only in the healing and restoration process, but also in serving others in need. Bringing the family into the treatment program has opened doors to deeper healing and even mothers and daughters in treatment together.
Narrow Road Home is on mission and lives are being touched. New opportunities here in Canada as well as Belize are projects that we were able to pray about together. While rehabilitation and recovery are needed in so many lives both here and abroad, the team at Narrow Road Home knows clearly that true transformation is limited without Christ as the cornerstone of that healing.
Learn more at: http://www.narrowroadhome.com/
Watch a documentary by the Calgary Journal called “Narrow is the Gate”.https://www.calgaryjournal.ca/index.php/calgaryvoices/3281-narrow-is-the-gate-to-life