A Word From Steve Jones
January 15th, 2018
Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here….I thought I’d give you a brief update on the Fellowship’s partnership in Haiti, post-earthquake. You’ll recall the massive earthquake through struck Haiti back in January 2010 which devastated the country. The word went out to our churches and our Fellowship family quickly raised over $625,000. In a partnership with Emmanuel International (a Canadian mission) we have been involved in relief efforts and now in reconstruction projects. In a separate project, our Fellowship Baptist church in Pierrefonds, QC, (Eglise Baptiste Emmanuel de l’Ouest de I’lle) has also collaborated with FAIR to feed hungry Haitian school children.
Earlier this year, Norman Nielsen, the coordinator of FAIR, the Fellowship Agency for International Relief, visited these projects on our behalf. Here is a brief update from Norman:
Three years after the earthquake in Haiti there are encouraging signs in the rebuilding and development where FAIR has been involved. Unfortunately in an environment of extensive poverty progress is often slow and frustrating. In visiting the Port-au-Prince area there was evidence of new structures and restored “life” in the streets. The central church building in Cabaret has been restored and once again is a center of worship and preaching (see photos). The school in Marbiel is rebuilt with more extensive and developed facilities than before to quake serving Grades 1-12. FAIR participated in the relief work in this location and a German organization principally funded the rebuilding of the school.
In north Haiti, in Dondon (one hour outside of Cap-Haïtien), I observed the school, and associated church, where FAIR partners in feeding 570 children one meal each school day. Grace in Action through this nutrition program enhances their ability to learn within an excellent Christian school setting. The meal program has totally changed the educational experience as well as the physical well-being of these children. Smiles on faces tell the whole story and give witness to the community of the “love of Christ expressed in a tangible way”. There is potential in two branch school locations to duplicate this program when funding becomes available.
Haiti, once again, impressed on my heart the spiritual and material impact our Canadian churches and FAIR supporters can have in the midst of tremendous need.
This spring we are appealing on behalf of the children in not only Haiti, but also in Honduras where thousands of street children are at risk, many being forced into prostitution and other dangerous situations. Please consider once again, “speaking for the children” through a personal gift, or promoting our present FAIR appeal in the ministry where you are involved with your church family. The children of Haiti and Honduras urgently deserve a further “helping hand”. For more information, visit: Who Speaks for the Children on our website.
Thank you for your commitment to sharing “a cup of cold water” with the people of Haiti. Our efforts together are making a huge difference.
Have a blessed week,
Our 2013 Fellowship theme verse is:
“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here…The humanitarian needs in our world are overwhelming. We cannot individually meet all of these needs, but we can pray and support a few. Our Fellowship annual project is seeking to meet practical needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Project 2013--“Back to the Future” actually has five focuses in five countries involving five of our Fellowship International missions’ personnel. The following are the focuses:
· Humanitarian relief and missions in the D.R. Congo
· Leadership development in India
· A new missionary movement in Colombia
· Creating evangelistic media tools in France
· Church planting in Japan
Our Fellowship family and friends have raised $115,000 of the $300,000 goal so far.
The Congo Project:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of our newest mission fields. Fellowship International missionaries, Richard and Brenda Flemming, during their travel as mission’s trainers, have been impacted by the poverty gripping this nation. Years of war and political unrest have ravished the country and its people.
The Congolese, for the most part, make their living off the land–a land that is generous during rainy season and stingy the rest of the time. Most farmers work at a subsistence level and have few tools, next to no equipment, and no resources to change that reality.
Through FAIR, Project 2013 will provide funding with which to purchase cattle, land and a farm vehicle. This will provide an opportunity for the Baptist Church Association to partner with their churches in improving the livelihoods of those within their congregations. Strengthening congregations economically will increase their potential to do missions and to reach their Francophone Africa with the gospel.
Currently, $22,000 of the $35,000 project has been raised. Please prayerfully consider giving to this focus or any of the other four foci. If you’ve not already watched the Project 2013 video, may I encourage you to watch it today? [CLICK HERE]
Details about the components of the project can be found on our website as well [CLICK HERE].
Take a moment and learn about these worthy causes. Give today and perhaps host a Project 2013 Sunday in your church. Thank you for considering this need.
Have a blessed week,
The following files below will direct you on the appropriate steps in sponsoring a child at the Honduras Home - VIDA Y LEBERTAD.
You are invited to take on a child sponsorship at the Home for only $30.00 a month. Our support plus personal prayer for individual children and their needs and the Missionaries at the Home will make a difference in the Kingdom of God. Click on "any one" of the files below to download the procedures to follow in order to enable you to be a part of this ministry!
Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here…I wanted to inform you of an interesting thing the Federal government added to the recent Federal Budget. It is an incentive introduced as a very generous tax credit for individuals donating to a qualifying charity for the first time (i.e. your church, national, regional or international Fellowship ministry). The government inferred that this is also an attempt to encourage young adults to begin donating to charities. Here is the information for your consideration:
Federal Government Introduces First-Time Donor Super Credit
The Federal Government has introduced a new temporary tax incentive to encourage young Canadians to make charitable donations. First-time donors who make charitable gifts prior to 2018 will receive an additional 25% tax credit, over and above the tax credit that is normally available for charitable gifts.
The Tax Act provides that an individual who makes a gift to a qualified donee can claim a non-refundable tax credit calculated as follows:
· 15% for the first $200 of total charitable donations made in the
· 29% for all donations in the year in excess of $200
As an administrative practice, CRA permits an individual to claim donations made by either the individual or the individual’s spouse.
The Budget proposes to introduce a temporary “First-time Donor’s Super Credit” (“FDSC”). As noted, the FDSC will supplement the standard tax credit with an additional 25% tax credit for a first-time donor on up to $1,000 of donations. Under the new rules, the combined federal tax credits available in respect of the first $1,000 given by a first-time donor will be as follows:
· 40% for donations of $200 or less; and
· 54% for all donations over $200 but not exceeding $1,000.
Only donations of money will qualify for the FDSC. Gifts of property will not qualify. The FDSC is also available only to individuals. Corporations making charitable donations for the first time will not be eligible for the FDSC, and will be limited to the tax deduction normally available for charitable donations by corporations.
In order to qualify as a “first-time donor”, neither the donor nor the donor’s spouse (as of December 31 of the year of the gift) can have claimed a donation tax credit or FDSC in any taxation year after 2007. First-time donor couples may share the FDSC in a taxation year. However, the rules provide that the total tax credit that can be claimed by both spouses cannot exceed the amount that would be permitted if only one spouse were permitted to claim the FDSC.
The FDSC is a time-limited measure. It will only be available for donations made on or after March 21, 2013 and may be claimed only once in the 2013 year or in subsequent years ending prior to 2018. Donations made after December 31, 2017 will not be eligible for the FDSC.
It should be noted that while the FDSC has been introduced with the primary goal of motivating young Canadians to give, there is no age limit on eligibility for the FDSC. The FDSC is available to anyone who has not claimed a charitable donation tax credit since 2007.
The Federal Government notes that the FDSC is being proposed in response to the recent recommendations of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance that were set out in a report released February 11, 2013. It is hoped that the new FDSC will encourage young Canadians (and Canadians who have not previously made charitable gifts) to begin making charitable donations, which would provide both an immediate boost to the charitable sector as well as potential long-term support by expanding the current donor base. We do note that case law permits parents to make gifts to children with the understanding that the children are likely to use the gift to make charitable donations.
For more information see www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2013
I trust the Kingdom might benefit in the years to come because of this new incentive.
Have a blessed week,
Steve here….Something many of you might not know about me is my interest in following the plight of the persecuted church around our world. I remember reading the book Their Blood Cries Out in the 1990s and having my eyes open to the justice issues occurring to Christians simply because of their faith. I sought to inform two churches that I pastored from 1996-2011 concerning persecuted Christians with weekly prayer updates and invitations for “The Voice of the Martyr” and “International Justice Mission” to visit. We all need to find ways to speak up as well as pray.
Recently, the Harper government announced the start of its long awaited “Office of Religious Freedom” hosted at a Mosque in Toronto the end of February. The government had made this promise two years ago but struggled to find a commissioner to take the post. The Prime Minister said that the seed of the idea came after he met with Pakistan Minister for Minorities, Shabhaz Bhatti, who was soon after assassinated by extremists in 2011. The extremists accused Bhatti, a professing Christian, of violating Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law.
Ottawa has been a buzz about the down side of such a new office saying that any religious persecution should be cared for by human rights commissioners in the Foreign Affairs Office. Also mentioning that the small $5 million budget will do little to change anything.
I want to go on record that I applaud the recent effort to get religious persecution in the public square so that it can be discussed and debated. Most believers are completely unaware that about 180,000 Christians are murdered each year for no other reason than they call Jesus, Lord.
Each November, churches are encouraged to make the second Sunday an IDOP (International Day Of the Persecuted Church) Sunday. I hope many churches and missions personnel will seek to shine light on this dark issue. We must become better informed so we can pray and better lobby as advocates for the incredible injustices our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering daily.
During a visit to Indonesia in 2011, I met the son of an Indonesian pastor named James. In 1999 Islamic extremists terrorized Christians in his region. Churches were burned down and bounties were put on the “heads” of area pastors. James’ family escaped from the area with no loss of life. James has continued to email me and recently graduated from the Indonesian Theological Seminary in Manade, Indonesia. Fellowship International missionaries, Edwin and Helmi Karwur minister there. James mentioned in a recent email he has decided to go back to the region his family escaped from and minister there. Such amazing faith and courage! Let’s pray for the persecuted church worldwide and applaud this small effort to open the “Office of Religious Freedom” in Ottawa.
Have a blessed week,
Dear Pastor, Missionary, Chaplain and friend,
Who wants to be blessed by God? I see that hand.
Jesus claims in John 10:10 that His purpose “is to give life in all its fullness.” Our lives are supposed to be “full” of God’s blessing. So, what does it take to be blessed by God? Why does it seem that some people seem to be blessed by God more than others?
Jesus shares three secrets about receiving God’s blessing in Matthew 6:13 (KJV), “For thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.” Note three words or three keys to unlocking the abundance of God’s blessing in our lives.
We must first seek God’s “Kingdom”. God blesses those who seek His kingdom and God’s Kingdom is found wherever Jesus is allowed to act as King. When I make Jesus sovereign over my heart, life, agenda, values, priorities and plans...then God’s will becomes my will and I receive this blessing. When I finally figure out it’s not about God blessing what I do, but God helping me to do what He blesses…then I’ll know His abundant blessing. God blesses whenever I put Him first.
Secondly, Matthew 6:13 talks of depending on God’s “power” if we’re ever to experience His blessing. Our 2013 theme verse says, “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). We depend on God’s power, not our own, and God blesses. God doesn’t bless self-sufficient, self-reliant people—people who live like God doesn’t exist. God blesses those who recognize they need God’s power (help). That takes faith—and Jesus loves to respond to our faith. Paul writes, “Those who have faith are blessed…” (Gal. 3:9). So, the more I depend on God, the more God blesses.
Lastly, Matthew 6:13 talks of living for God’s “glory”. All of us need to decide whose going to get the credit in life, you or God? The Psalmist reminds us that, “He will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and small.” (Ps 115:13 NLT). God blesses those who fear Him and seek to bring Him glory.
So if you want to be blessed by God, you have to become “Bless-able” by seeking first His Kingdom, depending on His power and making sure He gets the credit.
My wife, Marilyn and I have moved more times than I care to remember. On five of those occasions we needed to sell and purchase homes. We made money on our first home and it set us up for a false sense of “equity envy”. The next few house sales, we lost money; lost equity. The Real-estate market didn’t cooperate much in a few of our moves. I remember asking the Lord, “Why?” I asked, “Lord, what happened to your blessing as we sought to obey your calling?” I remember the Spirit of God telling me after our first equity loss, “Hey dummy, (that’s God’s “pet-name” for me) did you ever think I wanted you and Marilyn in the neighbourhood to serve and share Christ, rather than, increase your equity?” Tom and Cindy were our new neighbours. We loved them and shared Jesus. We planted the seed and several years after we moved away, we heard that they both came to Christ and were attending a strong evangelical church in London. We lost equity during our move to the Belleville area, but our neighbor came to Christ.
I thought of blaming God for our financial loss, but unknown to Marilyn and “dummy”, God was making our moves spiritually profitable. God’s blessing is not always clear or obvious, but God promises to bless. Are you looking for God’s blessing? You may not be looking in the right place. Does my obedience obligate God to bless me? Jesus does promise “life to the full” (John 10:10), but is that “fullness” always to be understood as the “fullness of joy” or is there such a thing as the “fullness” found in suffering. So much blessing in life can be found in trials, difficulties and problems. Can my obedience be a call to sacrifice? Can we view sacrifice as a blessing? Before you answer those questions, think about the Cross.
Trust you had a wonderful Easter this past weekend. God’s blessing is unbelievable.
Have a blessed week.
P.S. Attached you'll find my quarterly President's Newsletter. I'm sending you this copy in the event you may wish to receive this four times a year, sharing news of the Fellowship and prayer requests for our ministry and my family and me. If you desire having it emailed to you contact my Assistant, Ruth at Rheaton@fellowship.ca. Thanks.