Moving where God is leading
How was your summer and fall? Were you able to rest and rejuvenate? The last time I wrote an article for The Recorder we had just finished our Gathering in June. Did you participate? Because of the travel restrictions, I was not able to go to Saskatoon, but I was able to participate online. What a fantastic experience. Being forced to be online in some ways allowed us to connect with more people and hear from more presenters than ever before. Unfortunately, just before The Gathering we heard the news that Benny Fehr, our Low German radio pastor in Bolivia, and Ruben Mercado, a leader in our Bolivian LIEAB churches had passed away from Covid. We were reminded once again that obeying Christ’s call can be costly. Let’s continue to pray for all who have lost loved ones during this time.
There are a few EMMC Home Office staff changes you need to be aware of. As was announced earlier, Kelly Lesser has taken on the role of Pastor of Care and Mission as of June 1 and Al Kehler, Conference Pastor stepped out of that role on June 30. We are so grateful that Al and Anita Kehler are willing to take on limited-term pastoral assignments as needed within our EMMC family. Another change was Peter Serger, Director of Youth and Social Media moving out of that assignment to pursue other employment. His responsibilities have been taken up by other staff or contracted out.
Yes, Warman Gospel Church in Saskatchewan has closed its doors, but a new ministry, Antioch Ministries, is rising out of the ashes! Antioch Ministries is focused on the skate board community in Warman and other young people who need Christ. It’s been very exciting to see how our other Region 1 churches have come along side with this ministry. The governing board is made up of representatives from our three Saskatchewan churches, Hague Gospel Church, Hepburn Gospel Church and Sutherland Evangelical Church. Part of the long-term vision is to see a new church eventually grow out of this ministry. Please pray that the required funding will come in and that this outreach will have profound impact on the community of Warman and surrounding area.
In the meantime, both Hepburn Gospel Church and the Mennonite Gospel Church in Vauxhall, AB, have just completed Leading With Vision workshops. Both are continuing to grow and expand their vision. Our Vauxhall church has also begun partnership discussions with regional churches on how to reach the large Low German population in Southern Alberta. Exciting times!
Our office staff are continuing to develop our EQUIP program. EQUIP is a discipleship pathway designed to equip, empower and encourage churches to make disciples who make disciples. The material is designed to be studied as part of a local study group. We have already received inquiries from outside EMMC and everyone who uses it loves the new, updated format.
On October 28 the pastors and other leaders of our churches met personally in regions and corporately via ZOOM for a Ministry Leaders Forum. We heard two short talks by Pastor Ike Unger from Deer Run Church in Leamington, ON and Pastor David Funk from Niverville Community Fellowship in Niverville, MB. What a blessing to again connect, be encouraged and challenged to integrity as leaders and self-sacrifice.
There continue to be many ways you could be involved in our shared ministry. In Bolivia we need an English teacher as well as a Low German teacher. Ongoing financial support for our schools is always welcome. We are looking for more Low German radio workers. We recently purchased another station and will now be able to reach 70% of the Colony Mennonites in Bolivia. We would also love to start a number of new outreaches, for this we need church-planting pastor couples.
In our established churches there are also staffing needs. We need a Pastor and Youth Pastor for Gospel Fellowship Chapel in Shipyard, Belize. Spanish Lookout EMMC in Belize needs an Associate Pastor and Hague Gospel Church in Saskatchewan is looking for a Senior Pastor.
What opportunities do you see in your neighbourhood? What does God see? Yes, the past 20 months have been challenging, but the Good News of Jesus has not changed, nor has the fact that many people, whether they know it or not, hunger for the love of God. I challenge you to ask God to show you how to love your world with the love of Jesus. I firmly believe that God will do “much more than we can ask or imagine” in 2022.
For more information on these opportunities, contact Lyn Dyck, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204.253.7929
This article was originally published in the EMMC Recorder, Vol 58 No 6