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  • Celebrating Partnerships: Portugal | MB Mission
    s dream to connect better with our missionaries Ever since our family experience as missionaries in India I have realized the value and importance of showing up physically and encouraging those who are living on mission so far away Ross Road also made a commitment to send a member of the pastoral staff on each trip Merri Ellen Giesbrecht Children s Pastor was a part of the Portugal team along with her husband and two children For our church the trip brought a renewed connection and commitment to the Ekk s ministry in Portugal One team member remarked that his new relationship with Otto and Marjorie will change how he interacts with them when they visit North America From now on I will be excited to see them and I will seek them out Apparently the love and appreciation is mutual According to long term worker Otto Ekk There is a tremendous need for churches like Ross Road that are committed for the long term through the good days and the hard days Ross Road has been there for us Although only nine people went to Portugal the whole congregation participated through fundraising As well each member of the team

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/winter-2016/celebrating-partnerships-portugal (2016-02-16)
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  • Remember Who We Are | MB Mission
    sides to acknowledge the points that the other side was making You see in order for pardon to eventually be given and received after so much offense people were going to need to slow down and stop merely pointing out what they thought was wrong but deliberately forget any errors and then make a common plan of action for the future In Senufo society peace is understood as teamwork in the business of living together Healthy teamwork is never forced but is built around goals to be reached through communal effort Communities are unified and re unified in this process of discernment Finally the visiting pastor dropped his last truth bomb and abruptly left without saying goodbye As the Muslim delegation also began to leave Madou still seated applied the brakes by saying This is not the Senufo way We Senufo people ask for permission before leaving a meeting We say goodbye to each one who took the trouble to come and we share blessings before we part Let s remember who we are The Muslims looked stunned Then one by one agreeing with Madou they sat back down Madou seized the teaching moment What you just saw here today wasn t a picture of Christianity he explained It was the result of our visitor s culture He encouraged patience not only for then but in preparation for future meetings with this man In this way Madou was showing loyalty to a fellow Christian with whom he too obviously disagreed Nonetheless Madou was committed to remaining in community both with the visiting pastor and with the Muslim leaders whom he respected believing that they too were sincere in seeking to please God and follow God s advice Madou affirmed the common ground that existed between those who still remained in

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/winter-2016/remember-who-we-are (2016-02-16)
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  • No Other Way? | MB Mission
    variety of ailments Others visit witches for help in cursing people or advancing their business plans Others suffer from unemployment poverty alcoholism domestic abuse governmental oppression family pressures and on and on There s no other way our friends say to us As we talk to them and share our lives with them we continually face this hopelessness that seems endemic to their worldview Not only do our Muslim friends not know salvation in Jesus or the assurance of heaven through his atoning blood they simply have no understanding that God loves them They are without hope for the future and they are stuck believing that nothing will change With government policies on one side and Islamic extremism on the other our friends ask us sincerely What do we have to look forward to It s not easy to live in the midst of this hopelessness For missionaries in this part of the world sometimes the negativity is catching Although we feel privileged to have numerous co laborers from different agencies we have too often heard the lies of the enemy spoken from the discouragement that plagues even these workers This area is too tough to reach The Gospel just can t break through this hard ground Even when we don t hear these words the attitudes are there It s not uncommon for missionaries to give up on language learning and relationship building and to stop praying They begin to feel that nothing will change that God won t work in this place At times during the past three years we also fell into the trap of hopelessness believing that nothing would change or that we wouldn t see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we desire for these people At times we believed that our language ability

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/fall-2015/no-other-way (2016-02-16)
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  • Priya's Prayers | MB Mission
    representing Hindu deities along with candles incense and bells I asked Priya about the various gods and goddesses and she explained to me the daily rituals of worship including cleaning the idols changing their clothes and feeding them Priya s husband also regularly burns clarified butter or ghee at the shrine and recites traditional Hindu prayers As we stood before the glittering gods I went on to share about my own experience with knowing Jesus as the Living God As we continued to talk Priya shared with me that she had also been experimenting with Buddhism and various chanting rituals More recently however she had also begun to pray to Jesus As Priya told me this her eyes lit up and she exclaimed You wouldn t believe the results I m seeing I do believe it I replied immediately and then as we still stood before the glittering gods I went on to share about my own experience with knowing Jesus as the Living God a God who speaks to us gives us peace and interacts with us daily Priya nodded eagerly and shared about the peace that she feels when she prays to Jesus and how it far exceeds anything she has ever experienced She went on to tell me about a childhood friend who is a follower of Jesus but lives in Singapore This friend has been sharing her faith over the phone with Priya and encouraging her to read the Bible which Priya has been doing But she told me that she only wished she understood more Maybe we could read the Bible together I suggested to Priya Again her face lit up and she asked Can we start next week As we parted that day I shared with Priya that I thought God had brought us

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/fall-2015/priya-s-prayers (2016-02-16)
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  • On The Farm | MB Mission
    he realized that upon their release they had no support and were almost certain to return to a life of crime and abuse So Pat began inviting these young men into his own house to live with his family He fed them gave them work and taught them to follow Jesus Soon there were fourteen young men living and working on the farm which was totally self sustaining and received no outside funding Recently I spent a day on the farm with Pat and I met the young men who live with him Out in the fields I got to know a fourteen year old named Chok Dii Together we worked at planting some kind of tree that will one day be part of an edible fence that surrounds the farm property Chok Dii has a painful story that is all too familiar in Thailand He came to the farm not from the juvenile detention center like the others but from a government orphanage where he was abused Even at his young age his life has been characterized by so much fear and mistreatment I was surprised and encouraged that he was so willing to trust me to talk and even laugh about my haphazard farming skills Pat told me that he was shocked that a Buddhist government would be so willing to partner with him and his farming project But it seems that the government system is overloaded and unable to care for so many orphaned children But according to Pat the main reason why the farm is succeeding and drawing attention even from the government is that young lives are being transformed When I first started visiting the detention center Pat said the officials would not allow me to speak about my faith in Jesus But now the

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/fall-2015/on-the-farm (2016-02-16)
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  • Not In Control | MB Mission
    for you declares the LORD plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future Jeremiah 29 11 We believe that God has led us to this place and even though our plans have changed it seems that our ministry has not been hindered In fact if anything it seems that the change and instability of this season has facilitated more effective ministry and opened new doors for us For example our temporary move to Rwanda has put us in closer proximity to Congolese leaders and we ve been able to connect more closely with them as a result We ve also taken on a new role with our Burundian brothers and sisters by coming alongside them to provide urgent food This has served to strengthen relationships with our ministry partners In addition through this crisis we ve been exposed to an approach to discipleship and development that will inform how we minister in the years to come Our temporary home in Rwanda has also been a place of peace for our family As we ponder God s intentions we can identify with the words of Elihu in Job He is wooing you

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/fall-2015/not-in-control (2016-02-16)
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  • Imprisoned in her own Home | MB Mission
    these meetings It was a great encouragement for her to be a part of a regular fellowship of believers There was joy in her heart and she was considering the step of baptism At the time however some of Rani s co workers told her older brother that she had become a follower of Jesus Immediately her brother called and told her that she needed to come home because her mother was very sick Rani was unaware that her brother was lying to her but she left the city and traveled ten hours back to her home to be with her mother When she arrived home her brother took away her phone and her identity card and began to speak harshly to her and beat her Her whole family came together to oppose her and to scorn her faith in Jesus Only her mother took Rani s defense and tried to protect her However in the midst of the struggle her mother had a heart attack and died The family was in shock After burying their mother Rani s family blamed her for the mother s sudden death Her brother locked her in the house forbidding her to leave At one point however Rani was able to use the phone of a family member to call a sister in Christ and explain her predicament Rani told her friend that she had forgiven her brother and she had hope that Jesus would use this situation to bring her family to faith in him For two weeks Rani was a prisoner in her own home We prayed passionately for her that she would be encouraged in the Lord and that she would be able to recall Scriptures that spoke of God s blessing in the midst of persecution Then we received word

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/fall-2015/imprisoned-in-her-own-home (2016-02-16)
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  • Calgary to Istanbul | MB Mission
    God had an idea And so did Mark Burch Associate Director of C2C When Mark called me I knew God was up to something said Trevor who had developed a close friendship with Burch He invited me to consider a trip to Turkey with a group of North American church planters who would learn from Turkish church leaders You just don t say no to opportunities like that he says with a chuckle Despite his lack of experience in international travel Rysavy had Turkey at the very top of his list in terms of places he had dreamed of going to He longed to see where Paul travelled on his first missionary journeys and where the early church had first begun to spread Within a few weeks Trevor and Lesley were in Istanbul with the group sitting with Turkish Christians hearing their stories of perseverance and patience in the face of persecution Our minds were blown Trevor said with sobriety To hear their stories their suffering We were crying every day all day as we sat with these precious brothers and sisters Rysavy tells about one of the church leaders who was in his mind nothing short of a modern day apostle Paul His courage was so inspiring He had faced death so many times in his ministry And his dependency on the Holy Spirit We talk about that in North America but this guy lives it He needs the Holy Spirit every day to do what he does There s no other option no other way Rysavy was changed in Turkey I explain it like this he says as he puts his hand under his chin and raises up his head God let me see things from a totally different perspective Suddenly I could see my own culture in

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/fall-2015/calgary-to-istanbul (2016-02-16)
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