Those fortunate enough to be at the Apologetics Canada Conference last week heard Reaksa Himm tell a powerful story of death, loss and reconciliation from the killing fields of Cambodia. If you missed his talk, you have another chance to hear him this Friday morning (March 14).
This brief biography from his website barely scratches the surface of his story:
“Reaksa Himm was a young member of a large middle class family when his country fell to the communist regime on April 17, 1975. His family, like many other city people, was forced to live in the surrounding jungle villages and was one of the innocent families executed by Khmer Rouge soldiers. Reaksa lost 13 members of his family in one day – no, one hour. He survived that day and eventually escaped to a Thai refugee camp. Years later, he immigrated to Canada.
“Reaksa wrote two books detailing his journey. The Tears of My Soul describes his journey of forgiveness and reconciliation to the people who killed his family. After the Heavy Rain picks up the story as he searched for those responsible.
“Reaksa, his wife Phaly, and their two children serve as missionaries in Cambodia, incarnating the loving forgiveness of Jesus Christ to those who destroyed his family. He has planted six churches so far; one of which is in the village where his family was killed. He also built a school there, standing as a symbol of forgiveness to his family’s killers.
“His mission message is very simple: ‘Cambodians have suffered so much emotional and psychological pain, nothing will ever make them whole again. Nothing except the healing message of hope, love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.’”
Come to the City in Focus breakfast at the Vancouver Club Friday morning to hear more. It will be an inspiring start to your day.
Worship Central at Christ City
Metro Vancouver Alliance
Metro Vancouver Alliance describes itself this way: “We believe that by working together we have the power to change our communities for the better. We do more than sign petitions and protest. We organize and take action. We find common ground for the common good.”
They have been organizing for several years now, but are finally ready to launch the movement, supported by more than 35 member and sponsoring organizations. These organizations are broken down into three main streams: faith groups, labour and community groups.
The largest number fit into faith groups category, and most of them are Christian, including several Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and Baptist churches, along with a couple of ecumenical groups and the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada.
Labour groups include the Vancouver and District Labour Council, the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union and the BC Teachers Federation.
Among the community groups are the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC, Carnegie Community Centre Association and Reach Community Health Centre.
The three sponsoring organizations are the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, IBEW Local 258 and Vancity Saving Credit Union.
Following is the rest of Metro Vancouver Alliance’s one-page description of itself.
* A broad-based alliance of community groups, labour, faith and educational organizations, all working together for the common good. There are currently 36 member organizations within MVA, representing over 200,000 people from across the Lower Mainland.
* Based on the Industrial Areas Foundation model of community organizing. The IAF model has over 60 active community alliances across the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia and has a proven track record around the world: most notably in England, where Citizens UK persuaded the London Olympic Games Committee to become a living wage employer.
* Different from other organizations in that we start by listening to our members and building relationships, we identify our common ground and then take collective action.
* Building an organization that is powerful enough to enable people to act collectively on the issues that affect them the most.
* Building on the long, proud history of collaborative social action in British Columbia.
“We are not:
A new political party. MVA is political, yet non-partisan. We are committed to working with politicians – at every level and from every party – to make our cities better places for everyone.
That engaged citizens are the cornerstones of healthy communities and vibrant democratic societies. We teach our members active citizenship and give them the skills and confidence needed to become leaders in our communities.
“Over the past two years we have been organizing for action. Now we’re taking action. On March 19, 2014, representatives of our 36 member organizations, representing 200,000 citizens, will gather at Metro Vancouver Alliance’s founding meeting. We will celebrate the launch of an exciting and powerful new organization, and begin working together to bring real change to our city.”
March 10, 2014Language set on Fire: An evening of Richard Austin's theatrical recitation of Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poetry – March 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
March 12, 2014Iain Provan: Two Myths that Drive Culture: The Axial Age and Dark Green – March 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Janet Epp Buckingham - "Fighting over God: How Religious Freedom Developed in Canada" – March 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
March 14, 2014Understanding Abuse in Relationships – March 14, 2014 - March 15, 2014 at All Day
A Journey from Tragedy to Forgiveness with Reaksa Himm – March 14, 2014 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Listening to Your Life: A Life Review Workshop – March 14, 2014 - March 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Beyond the Glitter: The Bitter Sweet Truth – March 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm