A Word From Steve Jones
December 4th, 2017
By now you should have received an email indicating FAIR’s involvement in light of the devastating earthquake which struck Nepal last Saturday.
The news following the deadly earthquake in Nepal are alarming:
• “At least 3,617 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday...
• “More than 6,500 people have been injured, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre.
• “More than 200 climbers have been rescued around Mount Everest, which was struck by deadly avalanches in the 7.8-magnitude quake.
• “Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continued. Thousands spent Sunday night - their second night - outside.
• “Officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as rescue teams reach remote mountainous areas of western Nepal.
• “Initial reports suggest that many communities, especially those close to mountainsides, suffered significant quake damage.
• "Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it's not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls…
—BBC, April 27, 2015
On Saturday, April 26, 2015, a 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and was felt in a number of surrounding countries as well. This quake, the first major seismic event since 1988, and dozens of strong aftershocks, have toppled thousands of buildings and the death toll, currently at 3,600, continues to rise as rescuers reach remote areas and begin the grueling task of clawing away at debris in search of survivors.
Because of the widespread devastation and the inability of rescuers to get to remote areas in order to assist those trapped, it is difficult to ascertain the specific needs at this time. Undoubtedly food, safe drinking water, medical supplies, and shelter will be in greatest demand initially. Long term needs, including rebuilding, will be determined with further assessment.
FAIR is partnering with SIM Canada (Serving in Mission) in Nepal to assist those impacted by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. SIM’s Nepal director is currently working in Kathmandu and writes, “It is very hard to get information and even harder to get reliable information.” SIM personnel on the ground working in two hospitals are able to provide medical care to those injured. Once needs have been assessed and a plan put together, relief will begin to be distributed to those in need.
Note that credit card donations can be made via our secure website CLICK HERE or can be mailed to our office (FAIR, P.O. Box 457, Guelph ON, N1H 6K9). If mailing your donation to our office please mark on the cheque: Nepal Earthquake is #3213.
You may be aware that the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) has indicated that they are establishing a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund that will match the dollars. FAIR will be reporting to the Canadian government the total of donations received for their matching funds program (for funds rec’d up until May 25, 2015).
Dan Shurr, FAIR Director
~ The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada ~
PO Box 457 Guelph ON N1H 6K9 www.fellowship.ca
Honduras Night of Sharing - May 21st at 7pm
We have all returned safe and sound. We all have jet leg but I am sure in a couple days we be as good as new. We had a great trip and will be sharing stories picture's and what God has done and showed each one of us while we were away. It is kind of interesting as we all some great things to share! You will have an opportunity to hear all about it on May 21 7pm at FBC More information to follow.
We also have coffee for sale to raise money for the concrete before the heavy rain hits. The coffee is a school project by one of the girls that has been at the home since she was 4, now 17. They had to create their own business, so she now has a coffee business. This will help her pay her way through university. We had no second thoughts as we knew we had to support her. You can let us know if you want a bag. It is $20 a bag we will have the coffee on Sunday morning. First come first serve! All profits will go directly to the soccer field project.
Thanks for your prayers
2015 Mission team.
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… Everyone loves TOP TEN lists! I recently spent some time analyzing four SURVEYS done by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and Angus Reid from 1993, 2003, 2013 and 2014.
Looking at these surveys gives us a snapshot into the church and faith trends of Canadians over a twenty-year period (1993 – 2014).
I found the study fascinating. This is by no means scientific, but I hope it’s helpful as we seek to remain missional in reaching Canadians for Christ in 2015:
TOP FAITH TRENDS in Canada over 20 YEARS
1. Drop in Attendance:
Weekly religious attendance has had a significant decline between 2003 and 2013.
· Dropped 28% between 1946-1976
· Dropped 30% between 1976-2014
· Dropped 1% between 1996-2003
· Dropped 10% between 2003-2013 — why?
2. Fastest growing category:
The categories “never attend a religious service” or “have no religion” are the fastest growing categories between 1996 and 2013. In fact, they are the only categories that are growing.
3. Growing drop in Affiliation:
Once affiliated evangelicals who have unaffiliated are largely dropping out (1996-2013). There is a crying need for discipleship and revival.
4. The Resurrection doubted:
In Canada, approximately one in four 40 to 60 year olds and one in three 20 to 30 year olds do not believe Jesus was resurrected (2013 survey).
5. All Religions are True:
There is a growing religious syncretism in Canada with one in three strongly agreeing that all religions are equally valid (2013 survey).
6. Drop in passion for Evangelism:
Among Canadian evangelicals, there has been a drop between 1996-2013 on whether it’s important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians. “Strongly agreeing” dropped from 62% (1996) to 52% (2013) and those who “moderately” agree with evangelism dropped from 37% (1996) to 29% (2013). Less and less people are committed to evangelism.
7. Support in Global Christian missions:
Commitment to financially support Christian missionaries among Canadian evangelicals is still generally strong (2013 survey). However, approximately one in five generally affiliated Christians do not support missionaries.
8. Less and less read the Bible daily:
Bible-reading has steadily decreased in Canada between 1996-2013. Among evangelicals, about 45 – 50% read a few times weekly and 40% read once a month or less.
9. Is the Bible Reliable:
Between 2003-2013 there has been a huge decline in Canada in the belief that the Bible is trustworthy/reliable. The evangelical percentages are less, however there is less confidence in the reliability of the Bible among evangelically aligned Canadians than there was 10 years ago.
10. The Euthanasia debate:
The vast difference in support for legalizing euthanasia between evangelicals (approximately 20%) and the Canadian general public (approximately 66%) makes this a potential “lightening rod” issue. It would seem we are going to eventually lose this battle.
11. Practicing homosexuality in the Church:
The vast difference between evangelical Christians and other Christian-affiliated Canadians, among young Canadians (18-34), in supporting practicing homosexuals fully involved in church life is staggeringly different. 53% of evangelicals strongly to moderately disagree with this, while only 18% of other Christian-affiliated Canadians strongly to moderately disagree.
Good News from Reginald Bibby ....
I attended the North American Baptist Conference in Vancouver a couple weeks back and listened to well-known sociologist and Canadian church-trend watcher Dr. Reg Bibby from the University of Lethbridge (to the left). Reg has Baptist roots and has been studying Canadian faith trends for 40 years. In his book Unknown Gods (1993) he predicted a massive decline in church attendance and faith interests by 2015. Recently, he completed a survey to see if his predictions were on the mark. What he discovered is that many in Canada are still engaged and even embracing faith. Some 30% said they embrace their faith. Half of these attend a religious service at least once a month. If you look exclusively among those born outside of Canada, 40% indicated they embrace religion. According to Bibby, this is where most of the growth in our churches is coming from… immigration!
One statistic that stood out in Bibby’s presentation is the recent increase in Canadian evangelical growth. He showed a graph of static evangelical growth from 1871 to 2000, with a mere 8% growth over those 130 years. Since 2000 it’s jumped to 11%. Not sure why? Increased immigration? Recent church-planting efforts? Missional emphasis in our churches? This is great news, encouraging news.
However, the overall twenty-year picture may still seem a bit discouraging. I see it as an opportunity. Light always seems brightest in the growing darkness.
Our Fellowship theme verse for 2015 is Luke 19:10,
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
May we and our churches remain vigilant as ambassadors for Christ in our neighbourhoods and the nations.
See the SURVEYS for yourself
If you would like to read and study the EFC’s “Church and Faith Trends in Canada”, (48 pages) authored by Rick Hiemstra, EFC’s Director of Research, you can find it attached to this page at the bottom. Enjoy! It’s an important tactic to know the landscape before doing battle. Let’s remember to send out the choir first (2 Chronicles 20:21).
Have a blessed week,
All projects are successful completed!! We said good bye to the Children tonight. It was a great learning experience for us. Mel and Tina are very pleased with the storage shed and are using it now. The soccer field looks great but will need the concrete done as soon as possible before the heavy rains. Saturday we start our long journey home. Thank you for your prayers this pass week we could not of done this without all you!
Love and blessing to you all
2015 Mission Team
Hi Just thought I would share some picture's with you all. My favorite is little Andres on the backhoe. Please continue to pray for health, safety and unity.
2015 Mission team
We had a great day today. It was a cooler today only 36c. We all left the Home feeling great. Storage room is all done except building the ladder. Backhoe was at work before we arrive this morning. We said it's a miracle!! All joking aside they are really doing a great job!!
The kids are really excited about the field!! Everything coming together!! Continue to pray for us because it is working!!
Honduras Mission 2015
Sorry I did not email yesterday as I was a little under the weather last night. I think it was from too much sun. It reach 40c here. The local people said it was the hottest they have seen in years. The projects are starting to move along good .
Yesterday we got the soccer field all scrub off but had some broken water pipes to the Home that had to be replaced. The first couple of days were slow as we really had to start from the beginning when we got here. But thanks to prayer everything is coming together.
The storage shed is coming along good. The kids are so so cute and really thankful we had the opportunity to meet them. We had some good laughs over the past few days also.
We are bringing back lots of coffee, to raise money for the next step of the soccer field. If you want coffee let us know. We will take some picture of both projects today and email them tonight. We can feel the prayers of our people Thank you!!
2015 Hondurad Mission Team.
Today was another good day. Today we gave out the letters to the children. The kids were really excited. The guys finally got started on the shed. The projects have been very slow going. But we have gave good faith it will be finished. But it will take everyday we are here to get it done including Sunday. Some of the things they do here we would never think of it at home. Thanks for your prayers continue to pray for the project and our safety.
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… We hear a lot of news about Pakistan and terrorism these days. Recent bomb blasts in Shikarpur and Lahore killed dozens of people.
I wanted to give you some good news about Pakistan.
We have several missionaries (on missionary visas) serving in different parts of this wonderful country. Recently our Fellowship International and FAIR Directors visited a small village in Pakistan that, with the help of funds received through FAIR (Fellowship Aid and International Relief), was able to drill a well. Providing clean drinking water is a great concern for the Pakistani government. According to a government report (2007), bacterial contamination of drinking water has been reported to be one of the most serious problems throughout the country in rural as well as urban areas.
Our humanitarian relief effort has borne fruit. Our Fellowship International Director, Dave Marttunen, reported the following:
“We went to see, first-hand, the follow-up to flood relief in four villages surrounding Shikarpur. Our national volunteer has of his own initiative carried on visits… we witnessed four villages and heard the thanks of those who have had new wells dug and installed (through the help of FAIR funds).”
Our FAIR Director, Dan Shurr, reported:
“The villagers expressed overwhelming gratitude for the work FAIR had done giving them food and providing wells when flooding devastated their villages.”
I’ll let our Thrive magazine Managing Editor, Lynda Schultz, take it from here:
“A hand pump financed through FAIR (Fellowship Aid and International Relief) blessed the receivers as well as the givers.
They are poor villagers who work the fields of local landowners in Pakistan. Unhappily, the ancient feudal system of vassal and lord still exists. Less than a year ago a hand water pump, provided by FAIR, was installed in one such village. Along with the pump, the villagers were given an SD memory card, which contained The Jesus Film, the New Testament in audio drama form, and other songs and movies.
The villagers are illiterate. To be able to watch and listen to the story of Jesus on a mobile phone was fascinating to them. But for one family, the experience went beyond simple enjoyment. They believed what they heard and saw! As a family they decided to leave their old way and to follow Jesus. The head of the family, his wife, son, and daughter-in-law were baptized shortly after.
Now the family members are being trained so that they are able to share their testimonies and tell several Bible stories, including the Gospel story. They are also able to have family worship services using a solar MP3 player that plays the New Testament drama. Two sons are now involved in the hand pump project. They are also sharing Bible stories and preventive health lessons with their neighbours and other villages.”
Pakistanis are coming to Christ, and the Fellowship’s humanitarian relief ministry is a tool to help save lives and alleviate suffering.
Why not take a peek at the FAIR catalogue of ongoing projects and prayerfully consider supporting one of the projects? With your help, these projects can continue to help people around the world in Christ’s name.
Have a blessed week,
Our 2015 Fellowship theme verse is:
“"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 (NLT
Well the good news is our suitcase was found. Our day started of kind of rough. No supplies for the shed. Praise God everything was delivered at 5pm tonight. So we can get started on the shed tomorrow.
The soccer field will be started on Monday. The greenhouse looks awesome!! The kids are very proud of it. Jose Ramon took me on a tour today and educated me on all the plants. Julie and Ally are enjoying being with kids.
Tomorrow they are going to teach them to make bracelets so the kids are excited about that. We have not given out the letters yet as we are waiting for tomorrow when everyone is home. This trip has been an eye opener to us all but for different reasons. Which we hope to have an opportunity to share with everyone when we get back. Please pray we will get a good start on the shed tomorrow and for team unity. Love you all. Kathy