Other Mission News
January 15th, 2020
There’s something so wrong about the pain inflicted on children. Witnessing it elicits such a strong “that’s not right!” response, that you can feel it like a sucker-punch to the stomach. This reaction seems like such a human response and it is hard to imagine how anyone could harm such vulnerable, innocent souls. But somehow it still happens.
Through FAIR’s partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), I had the opportunity to visit the Philippines. While there, I saw a small part of the work being done to rescue and rehabilitate children from cybersex trafficking. It was very difficult to learn about the depth of hurt that these survivors have been through. But my time in the Philippines showed me that it isn’t the hurt or the abusers that have the last word. God does.
He is working through IJM and the Filipino justice system to seek out and rescue victims.
He is helping survivors heal through the aftercare program that Fellowship churches and donors helped build.
He is bringing hope to the hopeless and light to the dark places.
This Winter, we at FAIR, have the mixed blessing of partnering with IJM in launching the Rescue Me! appeal to help rescue children from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines. The need it represents is ugly, but we’re proud to take part in the work to dismantle it. So I invite you to read the attached appeal letter or visit the website (fellowship.ca/RescueMe), and prayerfully consider how God wants you to respond.
Join with me and pray that the Lord would stir up generous hearts towards this appeal. Pray that cybersex trafficking would be eradicated within our lifetime and that no more children would suffer in this way.
In His name,
Dear praying friends,
We trust you had a great Christmas and that the Lord will prosper you in the new year. Attached is our latest prayer letter, thank you once again for your faithfulness in your prayers to God for us.
Curtis and Diane Steward
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As you may be aware, the Fellowship National Conference was held in Niagara Falls recently (November 11-13). It was a great time of reporting, learning, and encouragement for all those in attendance. Our FAIR team was encouraged by the opportunity to connect with pastors and representatives from Fellowship churches from across Canada. This year, we had a special display to celebrate and inform about the four child sponsorship ministries — Casa Hogar (Honduras), Cedar Home (Lebanon), Clementia Life Centre (Lebanon), and Love Trust (Sri Lanka).
On the Tuesday evening of the conference we were honoured to report some of the highlights of the past year, including the newest partnership with Pregnancy Care Canada (learn more about this exciting partnership HERE). We also shared the need represented in the Fall special appeal, Journey With a Child, which was the focus of our conference offering. We are pleased to report that through the generosity of those in attendance, an offering of $4,600 was collected. To date, we have received $21,500 towards the project goal of $80,000. Praise the Lord for His provision through His people!
Funds raised through the Journey With a Child appeal will help the four child sponsorship ministries through the transition to sponsorship as the primary avenue for support. Through the Fellowship’s child sponsorship program, children are given access to holistic care in Honduras, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. These ministries provide for the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of children, ensuring they have the opportunity to know Jesus.
We are very thankful for those who have already chosen to partner with FAIR through Journey With a Child. As we approach the Christmas season, would you consider making Journey With a Child the focus of your Christmas offering?
Please pray that the Lord will touch the hearts of many to provide financial security for the child sponsorship ministries through this time of transition.
Slavery still exists in Canada. It may look different than it did in 1807 when it was made illegal, but slavery, especially in the form of sexual exploitation, is just as present today. In fact, today's technology makes sexual exploitation even easier — as easy as buying used furniture.
The women and girls affected by human trafficking and sexual exploitation are effectively trapped, and must overcome significant hurdles if they want to exit the sex trade. These often include addiction (drugs are often used to lower inhibitions and make the victim more "biddable"), isolation, lack of family support, PTSD, mental illness, lack of education, lack of social skills, and the inability to respond to the needs of others in healthy ways.
The mission of BridgeNorth, FAIR's partner agency, is to restore the inherent dignity and value of sexually exploited women and girls by meeting their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. What makes BridgeNorth unique among many agencies is the spiritual component to the services offered.
How can you help?
On average it takes three to five years for a participant in the program to achieve a healthy, independent life. FAIR is seeking to raise $12,000 through the Unchained mini-appeal to help BridgeNorth empower women and girls seeking to leave the sex trade. Funds raised will help provide housing, food, medicine, transportation, education, counselling, legal support, and access to a peer mentor for participants.
Would you prayerfully consider supporting the recovery of these modern-day slaves?
Last FAIR mini-appeal, your generosity raised $1,550 towards
A Stitch In Time - Sri Lanka
Thank you for your support!
Dear Friends,"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step," wrote Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.
Worldwide there are an estimated 140 million orphaned children. It is also estimated that 100 million children live on the streets, vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Approximately 12 million of the world's refugees are children, and 385 million children around the world live in extreme poverty.
Our brains find it impossible to process such staggering figures. It’s hard enough to imagine what it’s like to be denied the things we consider to be human rights — and that we often forget to be thankful for!
It can be easy to brush off the glaring need and convince ourselves that we can't fix the problem, and that our little bit is too small to be significant. But if many contribute — even a small bit — together, we can accomplish a lot!
That’s why FAIR is excited for this fall's launch of the Fellowship’s Child Sponsorship program, focusing on child-centred ministries at four locations in three countries: Cedar Home residence (Lebanon), Casa Hogar residence (Honduras), Clementia Life Centre (Lebanon), and Love Trust (Sri Lanka). You can commit to supporting a child in one of these locations through the Fellowship’s child sponsorship program for just $35 a month.
Each site strives to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children and youth. They provide education, healthcare, food, and shelter (in the case of the residential programs). While meeting the physical and emotional needs of the children, opportunities for sharing the Gospel, discipleship, spiritual development, and prayer support are built-in.
In addition, FAIR is seeking to raise $80,000 through the Journey With a Child appeal to help ensure the success and longevity of the child sponsorship program. Funds raised will provide: bridge funding to maintain the current programs until sponsorship is in place, coverage for onsite staff expenses, and funding the promotion of the programs.
As you consider sponsoring a child in Lebanon, Honduras, or Sri Lanka, or a one-time Thanksgiving donation to Journey With a Child, consider the words of Christ in
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
In His name,
Dear Praying friends,
We want to thank you for your faithfulness in your prayers to God for us.
Curtis and Diane Steward
Online shopping is huge these days! From the comfort of our own homes, at any time of the day (or night), whether or not that particular item is available in local stores or only in some far corner of the world, we can shop “till we drop.” Well, not to be outdone by the merchandizers of our present age, FAIR offers the opportunity to find, and embrace, something online that is of more value than that pair of fashionable shoes, piece of furniture, or the latest phone or tablet.
The FAIR catalogue details ongoing and new projects from around the world, where you can invest not only in the physical and material journeys of those in need, but in their spiritual journeys as well. Check it out at www.fellowship.ca/FAIRCatalogue. You can also order printed copies of the “feature projects” brochure which includes some new smaller projects as well as highlighting some ongoing projects. This brochure is updated twice a year.
Thank you for your ongoing support of FAIR.
In the mountainous regions of Sri Lanka, tea plantation workers, originally brought to the island nation from India, continue to exist on the edge of society. When there is work, they work. But sometimes there is no work. The daily wage for a farm worker is 706.00 LKR (Sri Lankan rupees) which is equivalent to $5.37 in Canadian currency. As a result, families suffer.
In Lindula, Sri Lanka, most people work in some aspect of the tea industry. ‘Line houses,’ the homes where estate workers live, consist of single rooms linked together. Whole families live in those single rooms subject to conditions that are far less than sanitary. However, poverty results in serious consequences when it comes to health, nutrition, education, and social needs.
To the average woman living in Lindula, the opportunity to double her monthly wage (assuming she is able to work on the tea plantations) would literally be a godsend. Such a blessing is possible. Access to a sewing machine, the knowledge of how to use it to produce something marketable, and an adequate learning facility in which to develop those skills, can be a life-changing experience making it possible to move from poverty to productivity, and the possibility to provide for themselves and their families. A recent graduate of a sewing course in Valathapity encouraged everyone present at the graduation ceremony by sharing that she had earned LKR 20,000 ($152.23 CAD) in one month because of the skills she had learned during the program.
This is the focus of FAIR’s current mini-appeal, A Stitch in Time. Funds will be used to provide the facilities, training, and materials necessary to enable women to establish small businesses and improve their standard of living and make better provision for their families. It might only take a sewing machine to go from hopeless to hopeful.
With the oversight of Fellowship missionary Ronald Jeyaseelan, FAIR is seeking to raise $15,000 to assist with various aspects of the sewing program that will make a significant difference in the lives of the women of Lindula:
The program trains approximately 20 women each session, making it possible for between 60 and 80 women to benefit from this program in a year.
Local pastor Kalai, and his wife, Jenita, visit the line houses, ministering to the people of the community. The potential for Gospel is great, bolstered by the practical expression of Christ’s love shown through the programs and services offered to Lindula’s inhabitants.
The complete proverb: A stitch in time saves nine has obvious meaning to anyone who sews. But for those who might not know, its broader meaning is this: if a problem is dealt with immediately, it will save a lot of complications later. For the women of Lindula, being able to better support their families will have a huge, positive impact now, and will make a difference for the future of their children.
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In mid-March, Cyclone Idai struck southern Africa with a devastating blow. More than two million people have been affected in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawai. Early reports on death tolls number in excess of 700 but many are still missing and more fatalities are expected as the extent of the disaster unfolds. Many are still missing.
According to UN sources, Idai has been the worst weather-related disaster to ever hit the southern hemisphere. Close to a million people have been impacted in Malawi alone.
The heavy rains have resulted in massive flooding which has destroyed this year’s anticipated harvest. Homes and crops have been washed away and many areas are totally submerged. Food, water, and shelter were immediate concerns. But health officials fear outbreaks of cholera, typhoid, and malaria in the aftermath of the storm.
FAIR is partnering with Emmanuel International (EI) to respond to this crisis, specifically in Malawi where EI has people on the ground who can effectively administer the help that is needed.
Immediate relief will be brought to flood victims living in shelters. As well, preparations have begun to supply the basic household necessities as families return to rebuild once floodwaters recede. More than 30,000 people in Zomba, Malawi have been displaced, including over 120 pregnant/lactating women, and children under the age of five with whom EI has direct ministry in the shelters in Zomba.
FAIR is asking for your help to minister to these needy people. Will you join us in this effort to share Christ’s love and to be His hands and feet in Southern Africa
Attached is our latest prayer letter. Thank you for your continued prayers.
Curtis and Diane Steward
Click to Download and Print the File below: