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Refugees & Churches - July 2022
Photo Credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel (Unspash)
Chinese Church Association Sponsors Afghan Refugees:
In the past months, Chinese Church Association (CCA) and Toronto China Bible Church (TCBC) invited pastor Obed of Afghan Church Toronto to come and share with us. He brought the needs of Afghan Christians to us, so that we could have the opportunity to help out the Afghan believers in different regions, locally and around the world. Currently, working together with pastor Obed’s church, TCBC churches are sponsoring two Afghan Christian families to immigrate to Canada through Canada’s Refugee Sponsorship program. The Lord willing, they may be able to arrive late this year, or early next year. May the Lord lead this process, so that these families, being tossed and displaced by the war and persecuted because of their faith in Christ, can come to Canada safely and smoothly. 
-Ming-Peng Gong
Brian Jose - Radstock

Brian Jose (from Radstock) just recently returned from visiting Eastern Europe. He saw Polish churches open their hearts and doors to the flood of Ukrainian refugees. Some even renovated their churches to meet housing needs. These churches listened. Any Christians who knew the Ukrainian language were in high demand as they listened to stories of war and escape. Brian saw Ukrainian churches who had their eyes wide open to the needs of those around them. The churches set up apartments and one even built a bakery to meet the demand for bread.
All kinds of help are needed, but according to Brian, churches are in an unique position to act quickly and nimbly. Churches can make fast decisions. Besides physical care, churches also provide pastoral and spiritual care. To the Canadian church, Brian encourages the Canadian church to find partnership with Ukrainian and/or Polish churches, to give strategically, and to be be ready to open your doors to Ukrainian refugees.
They need a sense of home. And we need them.
Obed Rod - Jesus Network

Obed Rod (from Jesus Network) continues to advocate for Afghan refugees. Jesus Network has the goal of raising $500,000 to sponsor 20 Afghan families. Two families have already arrived in Canada! Please find more information at Jesus Network - Afghan Refugees and find out other ways to help, such as household goods.

As you can read on their website, God prompted them in the summer of 2020 to set up a committee and a separate charity to help Afghan Christians comes to Canada. When conflict and chaos broke out the following summer, the Jesus Network had the necessary structures in place to move ahead.

Please pray together with us for our brothers and sisters:
  • To find safe shelter
  • Their practical needs and provisions such as food and clothing
  • The application process and approval for refugee status
  • Families to be reconciled together
VBC & Walid's Story
For a beautiful testimony of God's persistent and patient love, read this story of how a family from Aleppo, Syria were able to escape the horrors of war and find a church family at Varsity Bible Church in Calgary, Alberta Walid & Kafaya's Story
MCC & Youth Summer Book Club
Montague Christian Church in Prince Edward Island is hosting a youth book club this week to instigate thoughtful conversation about refugees. This book, "A Long Walk to Water," that tells the stories of two youth living through the Sudan civil war in the 1990's will kickstart the conversation . Then a panel discussion will follow, featuring two people who wrote their master thesis' on churches and refugees. Common myths and current situations will be part of the discussion. Given the current situation in the Ukraine and ongoing conflict around the world, this is an issue that we want our youth to think about critically and compassionately, remembering what God's heart for the foreigner and those in trouble.
Next Gen Leaders Cohort 

Starting this October, Vision Ministries is looking to host a Next Generation Leaders Cohort. We are looking for young leaders (under 35) who want to grow in their discipleship to Jesus and be trained in leadership. We are looking for people who are “pioneering” in nature and ideally those who are already leading in their own context. The cohort will consist of weekly teaching, reflection, prayer and learning from experienced leaders. 

This cohort will be led by Matt Pamplin and John Bowen who have co-facilitated a young leaders cohort for the past 5 years in Hamilton. If you or someone in your church is interested in attending please contact Matt at Matt Pamplin
Photo credit: Dawson Lovell (Unsplash)
Photo credit: Jacob Meissner (Unsplash)
Regional Networks: Toronto & London
Toronto & GTA:
14 pastors met at Don Valley Bible Chapel on July 2nd for breakfast and dialogue. Together we approved a funding application from Peter Johnson for the new church plant he is establishing in Mississauga among Nigerians and other West Africans. Everyone shared a recent encouragement which spilled over into a lively conversation about best practices related racial and cultural diversity in our churches. Most of the participants in this group are newer Canadians. We also did an informal survey of a list of the top 17 concerns of 1000 American pastors how are your concerns similar or different? This is something that we like to discuss in the future.
-Gord Martin

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Ottawa:
In mid-June, 10 people gathered (representing 6 Ottawa churches) for mutual support and encouragement. We talked about facilitating church planting, asked what the Canadian church is missing, and explored their own racial experiences. Together they decided to begin meeting together monthly for prayer and Joseph, a Ugandan church leader, will facilitate the group while Xander, pastor at Pine Grove Bible Church, act as host. Their desire is to get to know each other and to establish a supportive VMC pastors fellowship in the Ottawa area.
-Gord Martin

Good News: VMC Storytelling
Every week, we share stories from across our network of churches - on Facebook, Instagram and our website - that show how God is at work in and through His people.

Here are a few recent stories: Vision Ministries Canada - Stories
Refugee Sponsorship (Varsity Bible Church)
The Week That Was (Hollydene Church)
Getting Ready! (Don Valley Bible Chapel)
Baptisms (Woodside Bible Fellowship)
Unexpected Connection (Curve Lake Christian Assembly)

Watch for more stories by following us on Facebook or Instagram or visit Vision Ministries Canada: Stories

Monthly VMC Prayer Meetings - Resuming September 1st!
Did you know that a prayer team gathers online monthly to praise God for the work he is doing among VMC churches and leaders and to intercede for the personal and ministry challenges they face. If you have prayer requests, please send them - we would be happy to pray for you!

Would you like to minister to others in prayer?  Send us your name and email and we’ll invite you to join us on Zoom for an hour of prayer, the first Thursday of each month.  Worried you won’t be able to make it every time?  Most of us can’t—just connect those months that you’re available.
  
To sign up or request further information contact Mike Stone at mike.stone@vision-ministries.org

The VMC prayer team gathers on the first Thursday of the month at the following times across the country:  1:00-2:00pm (Atlantic), Noon-1:00pm (Eastern), 11:00-Noon (Central), 10:00-11:00am (Mountain)
and 9:00-10:00am (Pacific).
Click the link below for the full poster:

WayBase is a digital platform that helps churches and people connect and work together for good. It has two components: a website and a mobile app. The WayBase website helps Christian leaders connect and work together to serve the greatest needs in their area. Engage is a new discipleship app that helps church communities connect in meaningful ways and engage spiritual life in a new way.

All VMC churches have access to a pre-paid subscription, along with training, resources, and workshops from the Waybase team. Sign up today at www.waybase.com/vmc