VMC Stories

By Elizabeth Millar, September 21, 2021

Most of the stores I write here are about things that have already happened. But today – this is about something that could happen.   In the last few years, VMC has dreamed of making a way for meaningful and strategic connections between immigrant churches and Canadian congregations. In 2001, VMC connected with its first immigrant church and today we…

Change

By Elizabeth Millar, September 16, 2021

Sometimes we choose change. And sometimes change is thrust upon us.   These last couple of years have forced churches to rethink many things. Sunday morning services. Community as the body of Christ. Small groups. Community engagement.   Using Brian Sander’s talks (available through video) from VMC’s Thinking Shrewdly conference this past spring, a church in southern Ontario is sparking…

Peace amidst the storm

By Elizabeth Millar, September 13, 2021

A pastor caught by COVID restrictions and political turmoil remains trapped on the other side of the world. He asks his Canadian friends to pray. There is bombing and shooting every day and every night. People are terrified.   He risks using the internet for a few minutes to let us know that he is still alive. And he’s staying.…

Intentional Wondering

By Elizabeth Millar, September 9, 2021

As Grace Bible Chapel looks ahead to what church might look like in the near future they are not aimlessly wandering. Instead, they are intentionally entering a season of wondering.   Wondering how God’s kingdom can break through in new ways around them. Maybe a building expansion is no longer top of the list of priorities. Maybe expansion looks quite…

Love, as a verb

By Elizabeth Millar, August 27, 2021

A family from the local school was in trouble. There were doctors and medical appointments and anxiety – including uncertainty about the future of the life of a particular family member. Now over the years, the church had built relationships with the local schools. So it was natural that someone from church noticed this family. And not just noticed. But…

Cry out to God

By Elizabeth Millar, August 23, 2021

  You’ve seen the headlines this past week. You’ve watched the video footage.   Oh God, how long? How long?   As we cry out to God for justice and mercy, we can heed the advice of our VMC brother and friend, Obed. As an Afghani, former Taliban warrior, and then sought out by the Taliban for assassination, Obed can…

God’s Light

By Elizabeth Millar, August 19, 2021

Even in the darkest times. Or perhaps – especially in the darkest times – God’s light can shine bright.   Last month, when a young woman unexpectedly passed away in the night, God’s people from other churches were there. While her own church family were full of grief, brothers and sisters stepped in to help with funeral arrangements. Making phone…

Courage

By Elizabeth Millar, August 16, 2021

Maybe you’ve heard it said that limitations foster creativity. Well, during COVID, we’ve certainly had some limitations. For people like Madison, the extra time and space gave birth to something new. Madison purposefully reached out to the interesting and inspiring people around her: A new immigrant. A teacher. A mother to someone with special needs. These conversations gave birth to…

small things…

By Elizabeth Millar, August 12, 2021

Sometimes we can’t do big things. But we can usually do small things. Small things with great love. Which is exactly what the folks at North Park Community Church were thinking when they reached out to all the teachers at their local schools. 150 teachers. 150 hand written notes. 150 gift cards. A small but significant act of encouragement that…

a little act of mercy

By Elizabeth Millar, August 10, 2021

“It’s a Bob thing.”   That’s what she told me as we strolled the streets of downtown Windsor and stopped as Bob scooped up a homeless person’s scattered box of earthly possessions. Not exactly sure how or why this person’s belongings got thrown across the street, but it was with a certain respect and responsibility that Bob calmly and quickly…

God’s Sunshine

By Elizabeth Millar, July 15, 2021

It was seeing his wife become a Christian first. Then it was seeing the other people at her church – one incredible life after another – whose lives had been changed. For him, it seemed to shout the existence of a loving God – which seemed strange for someone growing up atheist to say!   But he spent time with…

This is our God

By Elizabeth Millar, July 12, 2021

  While her husband returned to China for work, Yan Wang remained in Toronto with their young daughter. Exhaustion, depression, and loneliness all contributed to a sad sort of heart ache pain. One day she walked into an English-speaking church and, long story short, she found the home of her soul there and met her heavenly Father.   Who would…

Benefits of belonging

By Elizabeth Millar, July 9, 2021

You know how people are connected in the Christian circles? If you meet someone who follows Jesus while you’re on holidays in Brazil or India or the UK, there’s a chance they might know someone you know. We have this connection with other believers – it’s one of the benefits of belonging to the big global family of God. For…

Part 2

By Elizabeth Millar, July 5, 2021

As far as administrative practices go, funding approval may seem pretty systematic and a checking off of all the right boxes.   But with VMC, the funding of new church plants includes some extras.   This Advisory Council meeting regarding the funding of a new church plant fulfilled all the necessary administrative requirements – but with so much more! This…

Canada Day

By Elizabeth Millar, July 1, 2021

In light of the discoveries of the unmarked graves of hundreds of indigenous children at the sites of residential schools across the country, some of the VMC leaders have been fasting and praying these last ten days leading up to Canada Day. We are encouraging churches to consider practical steps of reconciliation in our various contexts.   The VMC Indigenous…

By Elizabeth Millar, June 29, 2021

Funds + Blessing Story #1: I sat in on the National Advisory Council meeting this afternoon, wondering if there might be a story to tell. There is. There’s definitely a story about the new church plant that was being discussed – but that story will come later.   As I listened in on the discussion surrounding the possible funding of…

Eager for more…

By Elizabeth Millar, June 24, 2021

  Shannon and Lynne, leaders of women’s ministry at Wallenstein Bible Chapel, were eager for more. Specifically among the women at church, they wanted to encourage more connection with God and to foster deeper conversation with each other. Especially now – with the restrictions and not being able to meet in person in the usual ways. So these two women…

a Time to Reap

By Elizabeth Millar, June 21, 2021

Pastor Viji reminded me that as church leaders, we can learn something from the art of agriculture. Maybe it’s no coincidence that Jesus often used farming and gardening metaphors. So much patience is required. There is a time to plant. Sunshine. Water. Weeding. Pruning. Then finally there is a time to reap.   But none of it happens overnight. Though…

Betty

By Elizabeth Millar, June 15, 2021

Over 80 years ago, a sweet little baby girl was baptized in her church. She grew up and her faith also grew up and matured. As an adult, she wanted to be baptized again with a fresh understanding of the meaning of baptism. However, her childhood church was now closed.   So, with an obedient heart and a determined spirit,…

Virtual Bake-Off!

By Elizabeth Millar, June 10, 2021

How to connect with congregants when you’re in stay-at-home orders and lockdown?   Well, among all the characteristics needed in church leadership these days, creativity is certainly one of them. Sarah is one such leader who wanted to connect with kids and families in her congregation and yet zoom calls and phone calls just don’t always work so well with…

DIY BAPTISMS

By Elizabeth Millar, June 7, 2021

With restrictions and lockdown, lots of things have slowed down. First it was hard to access toilet paper and yeast. Then it was bike parts and lumber. Then, baptisms were added to that list!   Lots of churches had to postpone baptisms last spring due to COVID and so when this spring rolled around and it looked like a second…

On-line Care

By Elizabeth Millar, June 3, 2021

What a surprise to discover that online care groups work so well! When COVID hit last spring, the thought of moving from face-to-face to online  – especially for support groups – seemed second rate or maybe better than nothing. BUT … Grief Share, Divorce Care, and Cancer Care support groups at North Park Community Church have worked well during the…

Hope

By Elizabeth Millar, June 2, 2021

What gives Sarah, Pastor of Children’s Ministry at Forestview Church, hope in the midst of tough times is recognizing the thread of God’s care and leading throughout her life. Since high school days which were characterized by depression and anxiety and accompanying harmful ways of coping, to trying to get away from God during university, to a career switch from…

Restoration

By Elizabeth Millar, May 31, 2021

For one couple, divorce papers seemed like the only option. It felt hopeless – the bitterness, isolation, unwillingness to communicate, disinterest in God.   But their pastor faithfully, persistently called and texted. Every morning for 8 months. With no response.   And then miracle of miracles, there was a tiny light of hope. Which grew into the willingness to meet…

The Spirit…. gripped her heart!

By Elizabeth Millar, May 27, 2021

“I want to be baptized!” she said.   This coming from the woman who refused to speak about baptism. She would join zoom prayer groups and google meets with the church but would not talk about baptism.   When she got to talk to her pastor face to face for the first time last summer during one of the COVID…

The Prodigal Son

By Elizabeth Millar, May 25, 2021

We all know the story of the Prodigal Son. Perhaps one of Jesus’ most famous little stories. It grabbed Rembrandt’s attention 1500 years later. And almost 500 years after that, it inspired Henri Nouwen to write a book.   One particular congregation, though, actually saw, experienced, and participated in this sort of forgiveness and reconciliation right in their own context.…

pandemic music

By Elizabeth Millar, May 20, 2021

And this … a musical collective with a focus on pandemic music. Music that speaks to the harsh realities of our time and also intoxicatingly shaped by the gospel.   A small group of musicians on Vancouver Island have collaborated together on this project during COVID, with the desire to produce courageous and meaningful music in the midst of human…

AMAZING GRACE

By Elizabeth Millar, May 18, 2021

It’s easy for church leaders to get discouraged during COVID. There’s so many things to adjust to, while the future is unknown and unpredictable. Wouldn’t you like some reassurance that God is still working?   Then this story is for you.   There’s a few people in particular who just can’t wait to be face to face with other Christians.…

…relentless love.

By Elizabeth Millar, May 14, 2021

Lunches with Jared. What will Jared have for lunch today? Well, if you were a youth, you’d be logging into IG live every Tuesday to find out! Maybe you’d even get the chance to choose something from Jared’s fridge for his smoothie or help make his sandwich. If you were 13, doing online school in your bedroom during an Ontario…

The persistent love of Jesus

By Elizabeth Millar, May 14, 2021

Massoud was an angry, bitter, addicted man in prison. He met a friend – a fellow prisoner who was in jail for speaking about Jesus. Time passed and Massoud was released from jail.   Massoud remembered his prisoner friend and got connected with a church on social media. He joined biweekly zoom calls with other believers. He was totally changed…

8000!

By Elizabeth Millar, May 5, 2021

I was talking to Doug Loveday (Transitional Pastor for VMC) this past week and he told me a great little story from the Philippines. His brother-in-law and wife, who are missionaries there, help to disciple children through the Mailbox Bible Club. When COVID hit, schools all over Manila were closed and kids were sent home. Someone in the Ministry of…

The ‘Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting’ renewed!

By Elizabeth Millar, April 30, 2021

Even though some might say that Wednesday night prayer meetings have been generally on the decline in recent years, North Park Community Church in London, ON has seen a surge in attendance during COVID.   Consistently, a large group of people gather to pray together online.   Some fresh approaches to corporate prayer. The convenience of just opening a computer,…

With God Nothing is Impossible

By Elizabeth Millar, April 27, 2021

Over a year ago, our dear brother Indy went to Burma/Myanmar to advance ministry projects for the Chin people. To help them adopt some modern agricultural techniques that would move them beyond subsistence farming. But then the global pandemic. And the military coup. The political unrest, brutal violence, restrictions on personal freedom all make it virtually impossible for Indy to…

Shine a Little Light

By Elizabeth Millar, April 27, 2021

Laura had the idea to help the kids at church reach out to others. Jamie gathered up supplies and put card-making kits together. Mary helped put the plan into action.   They hosted a zoom call for the kids and showed them what to do. One card for a senior at church and one card for someone else.   And…

simply ask…

By Elizabeth Millar, April 14, 2021

  If you’re in the area and tune in to Rogers Community TV – Cable 65 – on Sunday mornings, you can catch the worship service from Pinewoods Chapel.   Who knew that cable TV would want to host a local church service free of charge?   But Pastor Chris took a chance and sent in a few of their…

Baptism Part 4

By Elizabeth Millar, April 14, 2021

When I went to church, there was love. Nothing else. And I wondered – what is the source of all this love? I met God. My heart changed. Completely changed. Church is like family – no division. You just have to be there.  -Mehdi  #visionministriescanada #vmcstoryteller # goodnewsstories #tellmeastory #godatwork #churchesonmission

Baptism Part 3

By Elizabeth Millar, April 14, 2021

Part 3:  I asked God for a sign if this was all true – God gave me several. My feet started burning when I was invited to church. I knew this was something I had to do. I asked God to show me that this was all real. So I could believe. God was generous and showed me in several…

Baptism, Part 2

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

Part 2:   I got to know the real God through church. Going to church was like entering a party. It wasn’t like what I thought it was going to be – not like how the media presents church. It wasn’t about politics. Church was about sharing the love – not hating people. I knew that me and my family…

Baptism, Part 1

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

Part 1: At my immigration hearing, I was just standing there and this Canadian family behind me slipped me a piece of paper with a Scripture reference. The verse was Romans 8:26: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us…

Bee Buzz

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

Amy loves being in the bee yard at Forestview Church in Burlington, ON! She says its calming and exhilarating at the same time. There’s a sense of awe at the sheer numbers of bees and how they so intricately work together.   This beekeeping experience has helped her to slow down, hurry less. God has opened a window for her…

Another Way to Love

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

A man was watching the local church service from Pinewoods Chapel online. He remembered his neighbour who had all this surplus from a bakery and wondered what could be done with all this extra food.   So he called Pastor Chris and soon the church was hosting Free Food Fridays . They networked with local food banks and connected people…

Welcome to Canada

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

“I miss my church. I miss my family. I miss my friends … I miss everything!”   Those are the words of a brave and faith-full woman named Deborah, who has just moved to Toronto, with her husband Peter. She desperately misses her home country of Nigeria. But … She has peace in her heart about living in Canada. There…

Open Door for Bus Drivers

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

Who could guess that a church’s washrooms would open the door to ministry? For Pinewoods Chapel in Angus, Ontario, their washrooms have been kept COVID-clean for the bus drivers in their town. With their big parking lot and clean washrooms, they’ve become a favourite stopping place. Pastor Chris Atkinson and others wave to the bus drivers, say hello, get to…

The Church Steps

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

In the town of Shawinigan, Quebec lives a man who wants people to know the good news of Jesus. Now people aren’t always comfortable talking about faith in public spaces, but on the front porch of the church – yes, for sure!   So every Tuesday evening, Guy invites friends and neighbours to Le Perron d’Église, translated “the church steps”.…

She’s a gift from God

By Elizabeth Millar, April 5, 2021

Sometimes God just sends a gift. For Lincoln Road Chapel, this gift came in the form of a newcomer to YouTube church. When everything went online, it actually made it more possible for this person to regularly attend church. She even joined a zoom Bible study group!   So when the church put out a need for tech help, this…

Church Conflict

By Elizabeth Millar, March 29, 2021

Church conflict often happens. Reconciliation perhaps less so.   As a transitional pastor, Doug and his wife, Ruth, get front seats to the Spirit of God at work in churches. Doug remembers a particularly powerful moment that included reconciliation between church leaders and staff. After repentant and forgiving words were spoken, there was prayer. As the “amen” sounded, the people…

From the couch to the… bathtub?

By Elizabeth Millar, March 19, 2021

From the couch to the bathtub. Strange conversion story? Perhaps.   But hear Brother Kevin’s story. Anxiety and depression kept him bedridden. Life seemed hopeless as he lay on the couch day after day.   Then through a series of connections involving old school friends, Kevin was introduced to online church. As he pursued spiritual health, his physical health was…

Rigorous Thinking

By Elizabeth Millar, March 12, 2021

“The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there really is not much of one.” -Mark Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind  Besides being a transitional pastor for VMC, Keith Shields also teaches a course at Alberta Bible College as a response to this challenge. Keith desires to foster intelligent, rigorous thinking among his students. His class (“Science, Technology,…

Imagine a Celebration

By Elizabeth Millar, March 12, 2021

Imagine a celebration of marriage renewal vows – not inspired by a rekindling of marital love necessarily – but a desire to be married before Christ.   This past September, on a weekend when many couples were getting married across Canada, 14 couples from Spirit of Truth Church were saying their marriage vows for a second time. These couples had…

A Pastor to Pastors

By Elizabeth Millar, February 11, 2021

Meet Doug and Ruth Loveday! Doug is a pastor to pastors in the VMC network. Not just a preacher to fill the pulpit. But someone to come alongside a leadership team and a congregation who are in the midst of change. As a Transitional Leadership Minister (TLM), Doug has four goals in mind when he is called to a new…

Church in Toronto

By Elizabeth Millar, February 8, 2021

Church in Toronto is a church that VMC has recently gotten to know! Church in Toronto is an independent congregation but realized they needed fellowship with other congregations. VMC was a perfect match – respectful of the local church, similar theological emphasis, and Canadian. So say hello and let’s pray alongside them as they seek to live up to their…

Part 2

By Elizabeth Millar, February 2, 2021

Part 2: Crossing the border was going to be a little tricky for Charlie and his family. For a number of reasons – COVID, being one of them. But the church had an immigration lawyer and the day before the anticipated border crossing, they prayed together. Lord, please give us a Christian border agent. God seemed to say – be…

PART 1

By Elizabeth Millar, January 29, 2021

Attending the prestigious McGill University. Hiking to the lookout on top of Mount Royal. Eating bagels in Old Montreal while strolling the waterfront. Or the Gothic Revival architecture like the Notre Dame Basilica. This is what draws most people to Montreal. But not pastor Charlie and his wife Erin. Nope. It was the statistic that Montreal is the most secular,…

70,000!

By Elizabeth Millar, January 27, 2021

Remember the beginning of the pandemic when we stood in line and there were empty shelves at the grocery stores? When toilet paper was such a hot item? Across the world at the same time, churches in China were buying masks and sending them to Canada. They were prepared and knew that we would be needing masks. Toronto China Bible…

The Spirit is at Work!

By Elizabeth Millar, January 27, 2021

Before COVID, women at the church gathered quarterly. Four times a year. During COVID, women at the church gather twice a week! On Tuesdays, the women pray together and share what God is doing in their lives. On Fridays, there’s teaching and “homework” – like, who can call this person? Who can pick up groceries for this person? Who can…

#203

By Elizabeth Millar, January 27, 2021

When I talked to Pastor Ming-Peng a few weeks ago, he was on #203 of a series of daily devotionals. Every day since COVID hit, he’s been sending messages through WeChat to his congregation – with Scripture to memorize and prayer prompts for family devotion time. He’s encouraging his congregation to strengthen relationship with the people that they are in…

“Peanut Community”

By Elizabeth Millar, January 27, 2021

The “peanut community” is home for Don Valley Bible Chapel. This neighbourhood gets its nickname from a major road that outlines their hood in the shape of a peanut. But how this church served its community this summer wasn’t peanuts at all! When the pandemic hit, social services were scrambling to look after the most vulnerable in the community. Lower…

Community despite isolation

By Elizabeth Millar, January 18, 2021

That’s what lockdown has meant for three immigrant families and a Canadian family. Even though they are far from their own extended family around the globe – Korea, Brazil, Malaysia – Even though there has been various COVID restrictions – they have enjoyed close church connection. Thanks to a small group initiative earlier this year by Don Valley Bible Chapel,…

Preaching training

By Elizabeth Millar, January 18, 2021

Preaching training for lay preachers. That’s the door that COVID has opened up for preachers in China. Every week, they preach their draft sermons over WeChat to their Canadian-Chinese mentors and receive feedback – so that they can preach again on Sunday to their own congregations! It’s been practical, efficient help for these preachers. And an opportunity for them to…

Adaptation

By Elizabeth Millar, January 18, 2021

Question: How do we do church when we can’t gather on Sundays, like we’ve always done? Answer: Ask our brothers and sisters who have lived under communist rule. I spoke to Yonatan this past week. He grew up in Ethiopia when Mengistu was ruling. Mengistu was infamous for his brutality and autocracy. Communist rule meant that churches were turned into…

Advent Stories

By Elizabeth Millar, December 4, 2020

Celebrate Christmas this year with VMC churches and leaders from across the country as they reflect on the presence of God in their lives and communities. Hear their stories of the goodness and faithfulness of God – all the way from Victoria to Calgary to Toronto to Montreal to Charlottetown. You will be encouraged! Use the Facebook or Instagram links…

Dementia Friendly

By Elizabeth Millar, December 2, 2020

Sometimes the love of God looks like coloured floor mats. Let me explain … Who would guess that coloured floor mats make shopping so much easier for those with dementia? Apparently, the black mats that most shops have at their front doors look like black holes for people who suffer from dementia. So in a small town in the UK,…

People Pockets

By Elizabeth Millar, December 1, 2020

So when church is closed and you’re got zoom fatigue … You meet together in a carport. And if you happen to live in Victoria – this can be an all-year-around solution! Together, face-to-face with your spiritual family. A gentle public demonstration that the church is still here. As pastor Randy Hein says, “The narrative of the Israelite exile can…

Supporting our Health Workers

By Elizabeth Millar, November 26, 2020

Pastor Randy checks in with some of the health workers in his church community, with a zoom call mid-week that is shared with the rest of the church. 15 minutes well spent. An act of listening, hearing from those on the front lines, and community building with the church as a whole. As these hospital porters and nurses and therapists…

ManUP

By Elizabeth Millar, November 25, 2020

So what makes an owner of a high-end renovation company sell his business and buy a demolition/disposal business? Well, that would be the Spirit of God at work. This way, David (the owner) can hire guys who are a little rough around the edges and want to make a new life. A chance to build a man up. A chance…

Apart, but Together

By Elizabeth Millar, November 24, 2020

Gord has been meeting 3-4 times a year with 5 immigrant pastors from 5 different countries for a few years now. Praying, encouraging, talking strategies. And then COVID. One of these pastors got caught in lockdown in south-east Asia. However, the same group continues to meet But now with a new sense of urgency. Together, they pray – for him…

The Green Door

By Elizabeth Millar, November 18, 2020

One summer afternoon this past July, a lively woman in her 70’s was out for a neighbourhood walk. With the recent stories of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor going through her mind, she prays. As she walks, she spots a young black man walking the opposite way on the other side of the street.  Hoodie, running shoes, airPods……

Eritrea Prayer / Mount Zion Worship Centre

By Elizabeth Millar, November 13, 2020

COVID restrictions means no Sunday morning gatherings in our sanctuaries, for lots of us – especially for our Toronto friends. So for those at Mount Zion Worship Centre, it means worshiping weekly on zoom. BUT… It also means remembering their brothers and sisters in Eritrea, who worship underground due to government regulations. They risk jail, persecution, seizure of property. So…

Norfolk Manor / Guelph Bible Chapel

By Elizabeth Millar, November 12, 2020

If you mix a bunch of teenagers with a heart for Jesus and their community and a couple pails of sidewalk chalk, and a warm summer day, you’ve got the makings of something good. A reminder that just as God’s eye is on the sparrow, God certainly has not forgotten any of us. Especially these seniors in isolation. As they look…

Donnie’s Story

By Elizabeth Millar, November 11, 2020

Donnie and his boss were driving back from a demolition job late one afternoon, as Donnie spilled out his story. Born drunk. Beat with an iron rod by his father. Foster home. Kicked out. Mental institution. Group home. And then … A church family called The Resting Place. And the words “We’re your family now. We’re not giving up on…

Next Door

By Elizabeth Millar, October 31, 2020

Next Door Social Space in Burlington, Ontario prefers to invite their neighbours in and celebrate together but with COVID regulations this Thanksgiving, they had to be creative. So a few weeks ago, individual turkey dinners, complete with a friendly note and a devotional book, were prepared and delivered to the doorsteps of single parents, elderly people living alone, new immigrants,…

Church board room or chiropractor office room?

By Elizabeth Millar, October 29, 2020

In a way – both. With Gord Martin, from VMC, as a sort of chiropractor to this church leadership board (maybe the first time he’s been likened to this!), vision and strategy were aligned. A few incremental shifts that allowed the team to move forward with fresh energy and some clear ideas for the future. A bit of an alignment…

Tour d’Aldershot

By Elizabeth Millar, October 14, 2020

Tour de France – sure! But have you heard about the Tour d’Aldershot? Riders, as young as preschool and as old as you like, come together (safely distanced this year, of course!) to collect sponsors and then ride 40 km, or, for the brave hearts and strong legs, 80 km! Through bikes and bike repairs, Rolling Horse, a storefront bike…

Church Planting During a Pandemic

By T. Jay Gurnett, written April 28, 2020 , June 4, 2020

I’ve stayed in pretty good touch with other “church plant catalyzers” across Canada over the past six weeks. These are people who come alongside church planters. Since March 15, I don’t think I’ve heard any stories like the one from Elmira ON, where Darcy and Liz Dueck and a group of about 35 adults (and 15 kids) have actually “launched”…

Stories from Around the World

By Gord Martin, written April 25, 2020, June 4, 2020

I have been in touch with leaders of national networks, somewhat like the VMC from around the world. This past week I was in touch with 15 of them, inquiring what were the challenges and opportunities they were observing related to Covid 19. Here is some of what they said: Social services personnel are exhausted; they are asking the churches…

Responding to Tragedy in Nova Scotia

By Ross Macdonald & Mike Stone, May 28, 2020

Over the past six weeks, churches have been seeking meaningful ways to be the people of God under the new Covid normal.  By the beginning of April, most VMC churches had moved their Sunday gatherings online and mid-week ministry was added in the weeks that followed. Leaders are thankful that technology is enabling congregations to stay connected but also admit…

The Good News for All Peoples

By Gord Martin, May 26, 2020

On May 15th we had a great meeting via zoom with 17 Farsi speaking leaders from around the world. Some were from Canada, some from the US, from Turkey, from Germany, Ukraine, and from Georgia. This was the first time we had been able to gather such a significant number of Persian leaders who were ready for fellowship, mutual respect…

Life Out of Kilter

By Jay Gurnett, May 26, 2020

We’re talking lots with church leaders across the country, all of whom have had wrenches thrown into their lives. Cory Lizotte who pastors at Pouce Coupe Community Church (BC), has had to cancel a long-planned family trip to ON. And of course his oldest son isn’t having a “real” grade 12 graduation. My brother Tim Gurnett, one of the pastors…

Our Time in Rwanda

By Gord Martin, July 21, 2017

Good evening to all of you! Our time in Rwanda went very well. A few people remembered a Canadian missionary from Hamilton, Ontario named Margaret Petrie. 32 years ago, she left a Canadian flag behind. It was used as part of the decor for the conference. It turns out that Heather met her numerous times. It’s a small world! The conference participants…

A Wonderful 24 Hours

By Gord Martin, July 17, 2017

Friends, This morning, we visited the Shelter of Hope school. They facilitate 157 children—from “nursery” to grade four—in a very small space. The school is made up of beautiful, well-behaved kids. Our team had an excellent, last, three hour meeting tonight with the VMK board. We left each other with unity and high hopes. Once again, thank you for all of…

Last Day of the Conference

By Gord Martin, July 15, 2017

Friends, Yesterday was the last day of our Nairobi conference. Here are a few reflections about our last moments together: In yesterday’s morning session, each region was invited to perform a song and dance for the whole group. Their songs and their dances were fantastic! One group just clapped in unity with such intensity and vigour that it made you…

Prayer, Gatherings, and Hospitality

By Gord Martin, July 14, 2017

Good afternoon!  We have had a couple of fantastic days here in Nairobi. We now have 150+ people here for training. Here are a few other updates: After I finished speaking on Wednesday morning, there was a spontaneous time of prayer. Everyone prayed out loud and at the same time. It was a very powerful moment. The daily meetings with the board have…

The Conference Continues

By Gord Martin, July 12, 2017

Good evening from Kenya, everyone! Just a few days have passed, but so much has happened. Will the Monday group of pastors be a group of 4? A group of 10-20? Will it be for 2 or 3 hours? It was a difficult gathering to prepare for! We had at least 25 from about 10 am till about 4:00 pm with…

Back in Kenya

By Gord Martin, July 11, 2017

Friends, We’ve only been here a short while, and there is already lots to share! We arrived safe and sound though our checked-in luggage got lost along the way. We are thankful that it arrived yesterday! On Saturday afternoon, we visited a prayer retreat centre in a remote area about an hour south of Nairobi. The extended family who started and…

Reflections On Our Time in Kenya

By Gord Martin, August 26, 2016

We are all home safe and sound! I want to say a special thank you to those of you who prayed for us. Here is a little summary of all that we are thankful for: We came home–healthy! We enjoyed safety–not something one can take for granted. We thoroughly enjoyed having Jean-Paul Tingityabo–of Uganda–on our team. The teaching team did very well. We…

VMC Trip to Kenya (Update #5)

By Gord Martin, August 22, 2016

Good evening, friends! The last two days have been jam-packed with good things. Here are a few hi-lights: Yesterday, we visited 5 VMK churches. Some of these churches are quite large while others are pretty small and humble. One of the interesting visits was to Ishmael’s home village. Their church is located on 4-5 acres of land and can hold…

VMC Trip to Kenya (Update #4)

By Gord Martin, August 20, 2016

Good afternoon! If I told you all that has happened since my last update, this would be an incredibly long blog post. Here are a few glimpses: Our audience has been full of energy and faith! Our “Power of Team” theme has been rooted in Ecclesiastes 4:12. We chose this theme because we knew that many of the conference attendees struggle…

VMC Trip to Kenya (Update #3)

By Gord Martin, August 17, 2016

Friends, Things have been going exceptionally well! Thank you for your prayers. We are all in good health, and I’m hearing good things from the participants about all of the conference workshops. The teaching and training sessions have been well-received, and our meetings with the board of Vision Ministries Kenya have been very positive. It’s been great to hear personal stories of victory from…

VMC Trip to Kenya (Update #2)

By , August 15, 2016

Good evening from Nairobi! A lot has happened since I wrote my last update. Yesterday, I preached at two churches in the infamous Kibera slum—the largest urban slum in all of Africa. While there is well over a million people living in the slum, nobody really knows the exact number. These two churches were beautiful expressions of God’s kingdom in the world. I…

VMC Trip to Kenya (Update #1)

By Gord Martin, August 15, 2016

Friends, Thanks for making your way over to our website for this update; your interest in this work means a lot to us. After 17 hours of airports and airplanes, we arrived in Kenya this past Friday. It’s always good to be in this beautiful country. (This picture is a great visual of the warm welcome that we received from the local…

My Time in Colombia

By Gord Martin, June 10, 2016

Good morning everyone! This past weekend we were involved in a leadership retreat with about 60 pastors, elders, and their spouses. All of these wonderful people were from the Aposento Alto (Upper Room) Church in Bogota. The sessions were very well received and—according to them—very timely. My Spanglish held up quite well. I spoke mostly in Spanish with some helps and prompts along…

45 years later

By Gord Martin, January 7, 2016

In 1970 Heather and I went to Guayaquil Ecuador as part of a team of eight people in their 20’s to start a church. After two years we left behind a church of about 30 new converts. Two team couples stayed on for an extended time. Last night Heather and I had dinner with Gerry and Sharon Martin of Woodside…

A Church Split, with a Difference

By Mark Harris, December 21, 2015

The following is a piece written by Mark Harris, Sr. Pastor of Grace Chapel in Halifax: In my day I have heard lots (too many) stories of Christian communities splitting apart. Stories that are inevitably full of pain and a residue of bitterness. Our own community of Grace Chapel has experienced a few such splits over the sixty years of its…

50,000 new baptized believers daily

By Vision Ministries, December 14, 2015

Lausanne Global Analysis https://www.lausanne.org/content/lga/2015-09/training-of-pastors#_edn1 The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Theological Commission estimates that 50,000 new believers are baptized daily. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher said that approximately 50,000 people are baptised each day in evangelical churches worldwide, that do not come from a Christian background and do not have any basic Bible knowledge. http://www.thomasschirrmacher.net/tag/theological-education/

Gorrie Bible Fellowship is making a difference!

By Vision Ministries, December 9, 2015

In the past three years at Gorrie Bible Fellowship we have added a modest expansion to our building and done some fairly extensive renovations.  The work was done debt free through the generosity of our church family and much of the work was done ourselves thanks to our handy farmers and carpenters.  Having completed the work by the beginning of…

3rd largest Chinese community outside of China?

By Vision Ministries, December 7, 2015

1st is Tokyo, 2nd is Los Angeles and 3rd in size is Toronto. I was surprised to hear this from Ming Peng Gong of Toronto China Bible Church (TCBC) in a recent conversation with him. There is every reason for us to be devoting lots of time to reach out to this important community with the Gospel of the Prince…

38 Baptisms; 4 generations represented: youth, young adults, ‘older’ too !

By Doug Loveday, October 29, 2015

…a report from Doug Loveday It was Saturday October 17th.  What an encouraging day!   I went with two friends to witness 38 baptisms on Saturday. We wondered how the 3,000 baptisms happened on the day of Pentecost, because just 38 baptisms takes quite a bit of time! These were new Christians from the Toronto Chinese Bible Church.  Probably 4 generations were represented,…