Around Town: Ends of the Earth, $250k for Ukraine, World Religions Unraveled

‘Around Town’ usually focuses on local news and events. But we are part of the worldwide body of Christ, so it is good to see that Christians in Metro Vancouver do gather intentionally to support and bring attention to our more distant neighbours.

Several churches and ministries are focusing on Christian missions, both abroad and next door, and the plight of people who have become Christians in difficult circumstances.

Here are some examples over the next week or so:

  • To the Ends of the Earth

Frontiers and CCCOWE Canada (Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism – Canada) will present To the Ends of the Earth at Fraser Lands Church June 22:

Discover how you and your church can be a part of God’s reign and glory in the least reached Muslim nations.

CCCOWE-Canada and Frontiers invite you to an evening of exploring:

    1. How the love of Christ is reaching the ‘ends of the earth’ and what challenges remain?
    2. What opportunities are there for individuals and churches to bring the Gospel to people and places of most need?

The keynote speaker will be Dr. L Mak, International Associate Director of Frontiers. He grew up in a Chinese church in Canada and has been serving in cross-cultural ministry for 33 years. Responding will be Rev. Dr. Francis Tam, Executive Director of CCCOWE Canada.

  • OM Ships 

OM ships have been plying the seas around the world since 1970. They will be holding three Partner Dinner Events, in Richmond (June 21), Victoria (June 22) and Abbotsford (June 23):

OM’s Ship Ministry is sharing knowledge, help and hope in and around the world’s port cities. More than 49 million visitors in more than 150 countries have come aboard our vessels to nearly 500 individual ports!

Join guest speaker Randy Grebe, (former Logos Hope Director), for a pleasant evening of ministry, vision and fellowship.

(I spent a week or two on Logos in Dar Es Salaam / Mombasa in the 1970s; the ministry deserves support.)

  • One With Them

Believers across Canada will set aside a day of prayer June 23: One With Them: A Day for Christian Captives:

According to the Open Doors 2024 World Watch List research, last year 4,125 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned because of their faith. Another 3,906 Christians were abducted. And these are just the cases we know about.

The One With Them Campaign from Open Doors Canada encourages us to pause, remember and pray for our brothers and sisters who are in captivity because they choose to follow Jesus. Join us, and add your voice to thousands of Canadians marking One With Them: A day for Christian captives.

During the month of June, Open Doors Canada will be sharing stories, prayer requests and hosting a special online event – all focused on Christian captives. All of this will culminate on One With Them Sunday when we will stand united in prayer for our brothers and sisters who share our faith but not our freedom.

  • Day of the Christian Martyr

Every year, The Voice of the Martyrs sets aside a Day of the Christian Martyr, this year focusing on Christians persecuted in the summer of 2014 in Mosul, Iraq:

According to church tradition, June 29 marks the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul.

This month, join Christians around the world to honor the faithful witness of those who, like Paul, have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the gospel. And be inspired to have that same boldness to share Christ in your community.

$250k for Ukraine

The Fraser Valley Festival of Praise took place at three churches.

The MB Herald highlighted the role of seniors in a June 16 report about three Fraser Valley Festival of Praise concerts which raised $250,000 for Ukraine.

Herb Neufeld is part of a group he calls “the retired ministry leaders and spouses gathering” that brings together 60 – 70 retirees to share in fellowship over a devotional, a meal and a musical performance.

It sounds like a pretty nice way to enjoy retirement but the more we talk with Neufeld, the less this group sounds like they are partaking in ‘retirement.’

Neufeld, along with John H. Redekop recently chaired the planning committee of the Fraser Valley Festival of Praise, which brought 2,000 people together over three performances to raise a quarter of a million dollars in support of Ukrainian refugees. Putting together an event of that size and impact is no walk in the park. . . .

The first concert took place in Chilliwack Alliance Church, with two more following in Central Heights Church in Abbotsford. Many members of those churches, and many others in the area, are from Mennonite families who emigrated from Russia under threat of losing their military exemption under the Imperial regime and under direct persecution following the Russian Revolution.

The three concerts themselves brought in over $100,000 in donations, bringing the grand total to $250,000. After covering the costs of the event, the funds will be divided roughly 50/50 between ministry efforts in the Fraser Valley and ministry efforts in Ukraine. MCC graciously volunteered to help administer the funds on the ground in Ukraine.

On top of the choir performances, the program included four powerful video testimonies from Ukrainians who had fled to Canada during the war in the 1940s.

“We have been blessed as a result of the hardships they went through when they came out of the revolution and war as immigrants. They learned a new language, were able to etch out a living on the prairies, and most of them started as farmers,” said Neufeld. “It’s amazing how Mennonites have prospered and are now involved in almost every profession in significant ways.”

Go here for the full article.

The concerts were also reported in The Abbotsford News, which described the concert participants:

The performances included a mass choir directed by Fred Ekkert, pastor of music ministries at Clearbrook MB Church; a male chorus directed by Professor Ben Ewert from Trinity Western University; and a Ukrainian ensemble directed by Andriy Zolotaryov, who left his home in Zaporizhzhia after the war began.

Also featured was internationally acclaimed Abbotsford songwriter, composer, recording artist and songwriting instructor Brian Doerksen, along with his father, Harry Doerksen.

Engaging Sikhs

Isaac Paul will address the topic Engaging Sikhs with the Gospel this Saturday (June 22) at Pacific Community Church in Surrey.

As an adjunct speaker with Apologetics Canada Ministries, he “will be speaking on evangelism to our Sikh family, friends and neighbours.”

Paul and Andrew Marcus of INDOUBT (based in Abbotsford) have begun a World Religions Unraveled series, with three podcasts thus far: Sikhism (June 17), preceded by Hinduism (June 10) and Islam (June 3).

Isaac Paul “holds a Masters Degree in Linguistics and Translation from the Canada Institute of Linguistics and has received training in Classical Arabic, Islamic law and Qur’anic interpretation from the Hedayet Institute for Arabic Studies in Cairo, Egypt. He has a passion for engaging Muslims in dialogue and has had the opportunity to do so in a wide range of contexts throughout Asia, the Middle East and North America.”

Jun 2024

Welcome Home: Dessert Night Fundraiser for New Hope – June 20, 2024 - June 21, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
FaithTech Vancouver | June online Meet Up: Andrew Denysov – June 20, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
OM Ships Partner Dinner & Dessert Evenings (Richmond, Victoria, Abbotsford) – June 21, 2024 - June 23, 2024 at 12:00 am
Engaging Sikhs with the Gospel – June 22, 2024 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Love Without Borders: Welcoming Refugee Claimants Orientation – June 22, 2024 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
17th Annual Teddy Bear Picnic – June 22, 2024 at 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Juneteenth – June 22, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
To the Ends of the Earth – June 22, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Very Very Improv – June 22, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Half-Marathon and 5K event in support of CoSA BC – June 23, 2024 at All Day
Catholic Pacific College Fundraiser Dinner – June 24, 2024 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Pacific Life Bible College Town Hall Meeting – June 24, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Cyndi Parker: The Story the Land Wants to Tell – June 24, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
One With Them: A Day for Christian Captives – June 25, 2024 at All Day
The Artists Project: Look! This is My Faith – June 25, 2024 - June 27, 2024 at All Day
Discerning & Wise Leadership: Walter Kim & David C. Wang – June 26, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Walter Kim: The Gospel in Tumultuous Times – June 26, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Patricia Faith & Miles Black – June 26, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Aiden Kirkegaard: Tracing Memory – June 27, 2024 - August 9, 2024 at All Day
MHM Books & Borscht: Janet E. Boldt – June 27, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Prayer & Fasting Gathering: Loving Muslims Together Network – June 28, 2024 at All Day
Day of the Christian Martyr – June 29, 2024 at 12:00 am
Worship Invasion Loves Langley – June 29, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Jazz Vespers featuring Wild Blue Herons – June 30, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Jul 2024

Israel & Palestine: Q&A with Yohanna Katanacho – July 3, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Han-luen Kantzer Komline: Innovation in Early Christianity – Creativity, History & the Christian Calling – July 3, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
BC Christian Ashram – July 5, 2024 - July 6, 2024 at All Day
Canadian Christian Meditation Community: National Conference Retreat – July 5, 2024 - July 7, 2024 at All Day
A Conference with Alisa Childers – July 5, 2024 - July 6, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm
A Night of Music & Worship featuring Cade Thompson & Alvin Slaughter – July 5, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Documentary film screening: Philadelphia Eleven – July 6, 2024 at 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Jehu Hanciles: Global Migrations and Christian Witness – July 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Will Willimon: Jesus: The Most Interesting Person in the World – July 9, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Missional Communities: Q&A with Minho Song – July 10, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Aiden Kirkegaard: Tracing Memory – Reception – July 10, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Andy Crouch: The Idolatry of Impact & the Quest for Deep Change – July 10, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Allen des Noyers in Concert – July 13, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
FLO Soccer Summer Camp – July 15, 2024 - July 19, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Isabelle Hamley: The Pursuit of Happiness in Biblical Perspective – July 15, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Anglicanism on Both Sides of the Pond – July 17, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Dennis R. Edwards: Might from the Margins – July 17, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
MHM Books & Borscht: Elma Schemenauer – July 18, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
David Ley: Postmodern Urban Spaces – a City Tour – July 20, 2024 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Fraser Lands Community Day – July 20, 2024 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tackling the Demand: Rethinking Deterrence and Protection Measures – July 22, 2024 at 10:00 am
MHM Books & Borscht: Loretta Willems – July 25, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Neighbourhood Block Party – July 27, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Jazz Vespers with Diane Lines & Friends – July 28, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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