Archive for November, 2010

Heading to Panama City

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Bruce and Gail Lee and Marianne and Jo Breckman will join with other CMA volunteers to spend two weeks in Panama City, helping with the construction of a Community Center for the Chinese Alliance Church.

This building will be available for family-oriented services and outreach programs in Panama City!

A word from Bruce and Gail:

We relish the opportunity to work alongside some of the same team members who went to Guatemala with us over the past 2 years.  We will be building a community centre which will house a multi-purpose gym and daycare that will serve children (especially ones who lack many benefits that we take for granted).

From past experience we know that work like this is rewarding and humbling at the same time. We enjoy the physical labour and appreciate the support from PAC through prayer, encouragement and financial donations for the purchase of building materials for the project. Way to go, PAC!!

A word from the Breckman’s:

After traveling to Mexico for vacation and taking part in a Mission trip to Guatemala, we feel a real draw to the Latin American people and countryside. This is why we are so looking forward to our adventure in Panama.

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Christmas Pudding

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s Christmas pudding time again!

$10 a jar

Proceeds used to buy building materials and supplies for the Panama Mission Trip

Makes a great gift for grandparents, friends, and neighbours

Place your order or pick up your pudding at the information desk at PAC  after the service

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Staying Emotionally/Spiritually Healthy

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

By Alison Lehman

As we head into winter, we are outdoors less and we don’t see as much of the sun. This can lead to the blues for some of us. I, myself, struggle with seasonal blues and find winter long and sometimes difficult. However, I bought a magazine from the library (Woman’s World, October 2010) that had six tips in it to help boost your mood. Boost Your Happy Hormones, by Brenda Kearns.  It’s not all that surprising that two of them were as follows:

1. Pray aloud to reverse a slump. Apparently this mood fix works by slowing breathing to the ideal six breaths per minute, which stimulates the brain to produce more of the calming, get-happy hormone oxytocin.  This helps women recover 70% faster from blue moods. Another option would be to spend 15 minutes daily singing your favourite inspirational songs (or worship songs).

2. Donate money to a charity. When you make a modest donation to charity, it raises your brain’s production of the depression-fighting hormone dopamine, a recent NIH study reveals. And, surprisingly, it’s folks who have the least chance of their good deed being noticed – like those who slip change into a donation box or make a quick drop-off at Good-will – who get the most uplifting dopamine boost!

It’s good to do these things as a follower of Christ because it keeps us close to God and we are called to help those in need. It’s also helpful for our emotional well-being. It keeps our minds healthy and helps keep depression or the blues at a distance.

If you’re curious as to what the other four things were, they were:

3. Taking 1000 mg of L-tyrosine

4. Sewing for 20 minutes (or some other fine motor skill like scrapbooking)

5. Dancing

6. Eating onions (good source of chromium which improves mood)

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Heading to Africa

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

From February 8-19th, a group of eight will be going to Conakry, Guinea (Africa). The Conakry team will join our international workers in the area, to serve alongside them by: reaching out to children, leading discipleship workshops with local men, bringing new skills to a women’s co-op, and visiting with AIDS victims. When asked why they wanted to go, this is what five of the team members said:

Jenny Schmidt – I’m so blessed to be able to go on this trip! I’m so excited to see what God’s going to do through our team and also in our own lives as we travel to Africa! I have no doubt that God is going to do some amazing things through this ministry.

Erin Brown -What excites me about this trip is EVERYTHING!!! Learning about a new way of living, a new country, meeting all the people and seeing the work that the International Workers have been doing over there…and getting the chance to visit people who are living with AIDS, visiting the orphanage, and being able to show God’s LOVE to all these people. I’m excited to see how God works in all of us as we prepare to leave and while we are there.

Ray Willms – One of the reasons I wish to go is to gather  perspective of the reality in which our international workers live.  What is their ‘reality’ day to day? What are their needs? How can we, in the future, service those needs? How can we help them be effective?

Personally, I want to encourage and pray for the missionaries as much as possible while there.  I have been given a speaking assignment for when we arrive.  I’m very challenged by the added difficulty of using a translator and speaking to men in an unfamiliar culture.

Barb Knott – I’m looking forward to going to Africa to see how God is working in other parts of the world. I’m also excited to see exactly how He is going to use me to serve Him there.

Evelyn  Braun – Going on this mission trip fulfills a life long dream which God placed in my heart about 40 years ago when I was at University.  Until now, God has always said “not yet” when the possibility of overseas trips came up.  Now, He has shown me that this is the time and the place for me to go and share His love and the gifts He has given me.

If you have a heart for missions but God has not released you to go yet, you can still serve by helping this team financially, with prayer support, or general encouragement.

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Backyard Love

November 6, 2010 Leave a comment

By Shanon Weselake

Awhile back, I was visiting with our 4 year old grandson and he mentioned that one of his friends didn’t like a certain animal.  He very proudly told me that he loves all animals.  Then he told me that he loves everybody in the world.  After a moments pause, he added, “Except Enna.”  Enna is his little sister. Having taught Kindergarten for many years I recall having heard similar statements from numerous children who ironically would a moment later be unable to share a toy with a classmate.

It struck me that we don’t necessarily grow out of this stage as we get older.  The concept of loving everybody in the world is usually far easier than the practice of loving the people whose eyes we can look into everyday.   We look at ethnic conflicts in far away places and wonder how people can treat each other so poorly but we don’t see as clearly our own neglect of the poor or marginalized people in our own neighbourhoods.  We are so accustomed to our own prejudices that we may not even be aware that they exist.

YFC has been a good example as an organization of how to care for the people in our own backyards.  Over the years I have appreciated the work they have done with youth in our community but I usually watched from a distance.  Last fall Jim came to talk with one of our PAC pastors about the possibility of connecting with YFC on a project out at Dakota Tipi.  As the director of the serving ministry, I was included  in the meeting.   In the course of the meeting,  Jim mentioned that YFC was renovating a housing unit in the North East end of Portage that they were hoping to use to help meet the needs of people who live in that area.  He had no idea at the time what kinds of things would materialize.  That got me pretty excited.

One of the aspects of my job at PAC is finding ways to help the people who attend church here to be connected to the people of our community.  It is our way of addressing the disparity between loving everybody in the whole world and loving the people in our back yards.  I had wanted to plan a Christmas party for the women at the jail, where we had some connections through other events but was unable to do so as they were not allowing any additional  initiatives at the time.  I was wondering if there was another place we could have a party for women who might enjoy an evening of fun together.  I visited Jim at the Door when he was still mudding walls and asked if we could host a Christmas party for women there.  He was very supportive of the idea.

Last December we held our first “Ladies at the Door” event!  Jim had said to expect maybe 6-15 people and we had 9 guests as well as 5 of us who hosted it. We had so much fun doing Christmas crafts, listening to music, and eating everything chocolate.  During dessert a young woman from PAC shared her life story with all of us.  Her life had changed radically from that of a desperate young woman to a purpose filled life when she decided to put her trust in Jesus to direct her life.  The guests listened responsively to her story.

Each month we followed the same pattern.  The women from PAC have enjoyed it so much that we quickly grew into two teams of ladies who take alternate months to plan and meet at the Door.  We try to focus on a certain activity or theme for each night.  Over the course of almost a year now we have had about 25-30 different woman attend. One night we waited and waited and waited and nobody came.  Finally our most faithful attender came across the street in her pajama pants and hoodie and told us that she couldn’t come because her family was sick.  We so appreciated her coming that we showered her with the chili and buns and pretty much everything else we had prepared for that night. Suddenly we felt it was okay that things hadn’t gone as we expected because we had contact with one person that night and that was significant to God and to us.  As a team we stayed for the evening and enjoyed each others company and prayed together (and ate a lot).  We could have decided that night that this was not working.  Thankfully the team said, “No way, we need to keep on going.” If they had been hesitant I think I wouldn’t have had the desire to try again so I am so thankful for these ladies.

And then came the night we baked pies and we hit our all time high of 15 guests and 6 PAC hosts.  The place was busting at the seams that night.  We have had every number in attendance from 0-15 but every night regardless of who comes has it’s own unique blessings.  When the group is small we have our most serious talks and the guests have let us into their lives as we have shared our lives with them.  When the group is mid-sized we have so much fun playing ridiculous games…to the point of bending some of the chairs in the room from landing on them too hard….. sorry Jim,  that is not the kids wrecking the is the moms and the grandmoms.

And speaking of moms and grandmoms… it is interesting that most of the women who come to the door are in their twenties and most of us who come from PAC are in 40’s and 50’s and yet we have developed good friendships with each other.  Last week I was talking with one of the young women who has helped us in many ways at the DOOR and she was mentioning that her grandma is getting pretty old and is not so well.  I asked how old her grandma is and she said an age that is not too far off from my age.  I chuckled in the inside but then realized that God is doing something special cross generationally and cross culturally. God is allowing us to learn to trust each other and to learn from each other. God is giving us opportunities to love the people in our back yard.  I feel very humbled and privileged that God trusts us to be a part of these dear women’s lives.  Several of the ladies are attending church or church programs now  and others are showing the desire to do the same.  Their interest in getting to know Jesus and understand the Bible is very encouraging to us.  We want them to have the same hope in life as we have and that is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Thank you YFC for allowing us to partner with you in serving and loving our community  and for leading the way in showing us how to “love everybody in our world”.

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