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LEARNING TOUR '09

Get Involved, Get Informed!
In January of 2009, members of The Gathering Church will be travelling to Haiti to promote awareness of conditions experienced by those living in this 3rd world country.

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NEWSLETTERS

Keep up to date on what's going on in the ministries we support around the world by reading or downloading the various newsletters, straight from the mission field!

From Haiti
Steckley Yo! - July '07
Steckley Yo! - October '07

From Kenya
News Release - January 03 '08

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Mennonite Church Of Eastern Canada JOBS

Employment opportunities with the Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada

St. Catherines
Thift Shop

Chatham
Employment Services

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Join us this sunday @ 10:30.
WT Townshend School
245 Activa Avenue
Kitchener, Ontario, N2E 4A3
[MAP]


.: Stories from The Frontlines :::.
WHEN GOD CALLS AND GUIDES YOU
 
The following story from Leigh and Lois Steckley reflects a mission project ongoing in the slums of Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya.

God loves calling ordinary people.


Three years ago, my wife Lois and I travelled with a group to Kenya, Africa to work on a church building project in Thika. While there an incredible thing happened. On one of our last days there, we travelled to Nairobi, the capital city and we were introduced to the slums. Eastleigh Slums, one of the biggest and worst slums in existence. Super bad roads, garbage all over, beggars, stench, drugs were everywhere, you could get a Canadian passport forged in an hour, etc. You kept the windows closed in your vehicle for fear someone would rip the glasses off your face. It was intense and scary.

In this setting, We met up with a mission centre or a type of community centre where Muslims and Christians played and had a library under construction, Bible study groups, job postings, English classes and ......Sonny - the small but mighty Basketball coach. Everyone knew Sonny. His Mike "Pin Ball" Clemons (Toronto Argonauts Football Team coach) type smile and enthusiasm was overflowing. His love for Jesus shone through his body language. He introduced me to his sports ministry of which I'm quite interested. The Nairobi Mennonite Knights were a big part of his ministry. This team played in the top division of play in Kenya. They were different than many other teams in that the players were both Christian and Muslim. Unbelievable.... playing together rather than fighting and killing each other.


Sonny and some children after recieving their clothes from Canada

This rag tag group of outstanding athletes played with ragged uniforms and tattered shoes or bare feet. Then God spoke to me and said "If these guys can show excellence with hope and smiles on their faces, what can you do, Leigh?" Wow, God I'm listening. How can I use my contacts back in Canada to help this ministry. I told Sonny, I want to help his basketball ministry. Without thinking, I said I'll get you new uniforms so the kids can be proud of who they are while playing. He was so appreciative giving God the glory.

On return to Canada after speaking at a number of churches about this little project. Three people gave me $1000 for the uniforms. Wow! I had red and white reversible uniforms (NBA) style made and a little Canadian flag on the backs. They looked fantastic. Now, How do they get there? -buy a airline ticket and take them myself, the Canadian Air Force, a group from Global Youth Network were going in Feb. - would they be willing? Yes, they delivered them and played games and stayed with the ministry before going onto other projects. Sonny, would always say that God is great.


Sonny and the Mennonite Knights with their new uniforms

After up-dates from Sonny throughout the year, He let me know that running shoes were needed. What can you do, Leigh through God's connection and guidance. I prayed about it. Wow, a running shoe company gave me 15 pairs of basketball shoes for Sonny, no strings attached. Remarkable! How do they get there? I prayed and found a young man serving in Kenya. When asked , he was more than willing to take shoes to Sonny. They met at airport and the exchange was made. Once again, God had blessed Sonny. but also God had blessed me with His awesome guiding light.

Yes, God loves guiding ordinary folks like you and me. Just take the chance and step out of your comfort zone. You'll be glad you did!

 


.: Noteworthy :::.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Mennite Central Committee Ontario Update from Rick Cober-Bauman

Dear friends

"Yes, our assistance can reach the devastated regions of Burma and make a real difference."

We feel like you in the churches have awaited this word from us. And last week, after confirming working arrangements with four partners inside Burma, we knew we were ready to ask for your strong and generous support. We have raised our initial plan to a $500 000.00 response!

We do not have to be blocked by visa issues at the Burmese border - our partners' staff are already inside the country. We do not have to be hampered by borders closed to rice, shelter materials, and medical supplies - all these are available inside Burma, and can be purchased and delivered to hard hit regions.

Last week I met with the small, local Burmese refugee community in Kitchener, and they expressed their thanks to the Mennonite Central Committee community for our response to their homeland. Our invitation to you our churches now is to show the same generosity to Burma as you have shown in times past when called upon to respond to our suffering brothers and sisters.

Our thanks to you now as you consider your capacity to respond.

Perhaps you have other questions. Here are several we have heard:

Is The Mennonite Central Committee also responding to communities harmed by the earthquake in China?

MCC has a long history in China. We want to honour that history and the scale of the earthquake disaster, and we have planned a modest initial response of $20 000.00. We believe the Chinese capacity to respond, as well as its openness to receive international assistance leads Mennonite Central Committee to an overall stronger focus on Myanmar [Burma].

Is the government of Canada [through CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency] matching MCC's contributions for China or Myanmar [Burma]?

At this point there are no plans for CIDA to match Mennonite Central Committee contributions.

We thought Mennonite Central Committee was more than a disaster response agency. Why such a large appeal for Myanmar [Burma]?

Some of our best work in response to the 2004 Tsunami occurred 12-18 months after the disaster. This long term reconstruction and development work was made possible in part through the generous early contributions of donors. We are committed to being present in Myanmar [Burma] through partners, well after the disaster, contributing to the long term health of communities.


.: Information :::.
Myanmar/Burma Disaster Relief

MCC assistance is reaching devastated regions of Myanmar [Burma] and is urgently requesting your support for relief and recovery work happening through four partner organizations on the ground.

A local relief and development organization called Metta is providing rice, medicine and other emergency items to 68,000 people (many of them orphans) gathered in camps; Hope International is distributing medical treatment through mobile health teams and have already treated 2,000 people; Church World Service is providing water containers and purification equipment in 1,000 locations, and as of May 13 had reached 13 villages with supplies purchased in Northwestern Myanmar. International Development Enterprise is distributing water containers, water pumps and plastic sheeting.

These are all organizations that are on the ground, in Myanmar [Burma] thus avoidinig aid worker visa issues, as well as emergency aid border-crossing issues.

MCC Ontario is committed to raising $125,000 and expects to be involved in Myanmar for a number of years. As long term recovery work begins your donations are needed. Donations can be sent to MCC Ontario by mail, or made in person at 50 Kent Ave., Kitchener, ON N2G 3R1 and should be designated "Myanmar (Burma) relief and recovery" or may also be made online at mcc.org/donate, or by calling the MCC Ontario office at 519-745-8458 (1-800-313-6226).


China Earthquake

MCC is committed to a $20 000.00 response to earthquake victims in the Chengdu region. Our partners include The Amity Foundation and local churches, with a focus on emergency shelter needs.


.: Get Involved :::.
Learning Tour to Haiti
January, 2009

Learning Tour To Haiti! In January of 2009, Leigh and Lois Steckley will be leading a Learning (Study) Tour to Haiti. A team of 4 to 8 adults( over the age of 18) will be travelling to Haiti for 7-10 days. "Learning and experiencing poverty at the grassroots level. Listening to Haitians and their stories. Living and eating with a Haitian family.(Called a Homestay). Learning some Creole, the language of communication." The cost of the trip will be between $1500 and $2000. This trip will be a life changing experience.

If you are interested in finding out more, contact Leigh or Lois at 519-662-2066.


Enlace 2008


Are you 16-19 and looking for an opportunity to be challenged this summer? Consider applying for Enlace, a 5-week service and learning program in Guatemala. MCCO is also seeking a responsible adult to provide leadership.

Information can be found online at MCC.org



.: Sites of Interest :::.
Hungry Planet: A Resource for All Ages
I had 10 minutes to fill with a group of energetic preschoolers at a food seminar. Fortunately, I had the Resource Centre's copy of the book Hungry Planet. The children were fascinated to flip through the full colour pictures of families around the world surrounded by the groceries they consume in a typical week. Now Hungry Planet is available to borrow from the Resource Centre as a kit, including a dozen posters, Powerpoint presentation, information and handouts. Although geared to grades 7-12, it can be adapted for all ages - even adults!

Laureen Harder-Gissing,
Mennonite & BIC Resource Centre
librarian@mbicresources.org
www.mbicresources.org

Make Poverty History
A child dies every 3 seconds as a result of extreme poverty. Poverty is not inevitable. If we have the will to act - we can make povery history.
www.makepovertyhistory.ca

The Micah Challenge
Why Micah? "To do justice , and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
www.micahchallenge.ca

The Mennonite Central Committee - MCC Haiti
The MCC promotes human rights, provides food and basic supplies and sponsors reforestation and environmental education in Haiti. Check it out!
www.mcc.org