Winnipeg Evangelical Free Church

Tim Ryan stepped into the role of Lead Pastor at WEFC on September 22.  This was not the first time that Tim has served at WEFC.  Tim concluded his ministry as Youth Pastor in Winnipeg in 1996,  Following that Tim and Judy moved to Steinbach.  Here, Tim taught at Steinbach Bible College for a number of years and then joined the staff at Southland Church for just shy of two decades.  Tim stepped into his current role in July of this year.

Heartland Christian Church

The Heartland Christian Church family gathers weekly and has no fulltime pastor.  Pastor Arnold Mercado works at as educational assistant and serves as the congregation’s lead pastor.  On September 8 the church added three pastors, Ian Abad, Edgar Mirador and Jeffrie Valencia, each employed in other jobs, but now also serving as pastors to the church family.  This congregation of 100 plus people is aggressively focused on reaching the Flipino community of Winnipeg.  The three new pastors are pictured at a lighter moment.

2019 Manitoba Pastors’ Gathering

Church leaders, pastors, retirees, prospective pastors, those moving to new assignments. Central District board members and spouses gathered for the 2nd Annual Gathering on Monday, August 19.  The informal time of 30 plus sang, ate, prayed and talked.  This group would appreciate your support in prayer as the new 2019 fall ministry year kicks off.

God is good, even when …

Below is an update from one of our E Free-ers dealing with cancer.

 

Hey everyone,

I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I honestly didn’t really have anything new to report.  After my meeting at the end of June with the oncologist, we needed to go home and let my head heal and think through the info we got from the oncologist and figure out what questions we needed answered and what exactly we were dealing with.  Also, the oncologist needed to consult with the neurosurgeon and also a radiation oncologist about whether I needed radiation on my skull so we were waiting for answers on that as well.

So, there are still some things we don’t totally understand, but it sounds like there are also some things that doctors don’t understand either about this disease, so I’ll just go with what we and they know.

First, in terms of radiation on my skull, they were a bit concerned because the cancer had spread to my dura (the lining between my brain and my skull) but after consulting the other doctors, they all agree that radiation currently may cause damage to my brain and the neurosurgeon thinks he got it all, so for this moment, they are not going to radiate my skull.   They are going to do MRIs of my head every 3 months to keep an eye on that spot in case something does reoccur in that area and then they would look at radiating at that point in time.

My headaches and nausea are totally gone and I really feel back to normal.  For those of you who haven’t seen me lately, it’s amazing but because my hair covers it, you can not at all see where they cut.  It’s really incredible actually.

I am starting on bisphosphonate treatments on Thursday. These are a bone strengthener to help my bones in fighting the cancer and in not breaking as easily etc.  Generally, those are well tolerated, effective and work fairly quickly, and I only have to have an IV dose once every 3 months so that’s very manageable.

They will also be doing CT scans to check on how things are going with how the treatments are working to keep the cancer from spreading to other locations.  They will start by doing them every 3 months and then we will see if they do them every 3 or 6 months.  I think one of the things we learned today is that even the doctors aren’t completely sure how the cancer spreads and when and where it will move next, so they try and keep it from spreading as much as they can by using medications the fight against it, but eventually the various medications become ineffective and they have to change them, or the cancer spreads to a new spot like liver, lungs etc and they have to change the treatment so that it works on the new tumor.

We discussed other medications that are out there but they are either not covered by the Canadian medical system, or they are not something that has proven beneficial enough for the stage that my cancer is at now.

It looks like it may be a slow moving cancer based on the fact that although I had a large tumor in my skull, it was only in two other little spots in my body, so that looks promising.

We also discussed getting a second opinion from somewhere else, like going to a major cancer hospital in the US, and we haven’t totally ruled that out, but we also aren’t sure that it is something beneficial either.  It is really tough to decide so that is something that we have to look at further.

This looks like it is going to be a long haul, but we will just take it day by day, and right now the days are great!  I’m feeling super healthy, no pain at all, super energetic,  So, I’ll enjoy that while it lasts!  I’m planning to carry on with normal life right now, enjoying summer and going back to work in the fall.  The doctor feels that there is no reason why I shouldn’t.  I feel God with us and I know he can heal me if he chooses to, in whatever way he chooses to.  But whether he heals me or not, he is a good God, he loves me and I know he is there with us through this whole thing.

Thanks for your prayers.  We will most likely be in this battle for years, hopefully many years, so please add me to your regular prayer list.  I will send updates when I have something new to share, but please keep praying for us in the ‘in between’ times.

An Excellent Missions Read

A bit longer than usual, but excellent news from Eduardo and Martha       

During our early days of ministry, here in Metapan, El Salvador, I heard a knock on my door very late at night and so I quickly got Martha, Eddy and Nataly locked into one of the bedrooms with a cell phone to call 911 in case any kind of trouble had arrived at our doorstep.  In the meantime, I opened the door to a couple of strangers that had found their way into our home after hearing me preach for the last six months… it sure was one of our scariest moments in our early ministry here.  Glory to God for in the last couple of years or so, I have witnessed the transformation of many people as they turn back to the foundations of our faith.  This has been evident in whole families and individuals in how they parent, in their marriages and in their work places. I would like to tell you the story of just one of those families…

His name is Benjamin, a welder by trade.  The night he knocked on my door he felt unsafe so he took a friend along.  It was evident the Word of God had been confronting him for some time so I invited him in and made some coffee for us.  That night, he told me his life story and his financial debt of about $30,000.  He felt there was no way out but needed to hear the truth and so I told him he was living beyond his earnings; hence, he was living an immoral life style and that came with consequences.  He then proceeded to tell me that he did not understand how he had ended up where he was because he was faithful to God, had attended church for 20 years and tithed every week.  I told him he was tithing money that belonged to Cesar (the bank).  I told him he had been faithful to the institution of the church but not to Christ.  That night, we read the Sermon on the Mount with its commentary by Martin Lloyd John and so we have been reading the Bible together since that night.

 

Benjamin had tried his best but could not make ends meet.  Finally, he tried to convince his wife and children of the immoral life style they were living (taking out loans to pay other loans) but her answer was, “that is life”.  His answer to her was, “It is not the life according to Jesus”.  A year later, with many tears, they sold their only home for $12,000 (about a 3 year income for the average Salvadorian).  Everyone around him, his wife, friends, family and even his church, encouraged him to run to the US with that money.  By this time, however, the money may have been in his hand but Jesus was in his heart.  He later told me he had spent many nights screaming for Jesus’ help in his own backyard begging God to close the mouths of all that were tempting him. Therefore, he made his way to the bank and gave all the money to them.  The bank manager was in shock, it was unheard of for them.  This meant, however, renting a place where he had to build a little tin shack with his bare hands… still the bills for the remaining $16,000.00 debt kept coming and the interest kept building up.  His need was so great; he would sometimes bring his children to the bible studies so Martha would feed them while we studied the Word of God.  Truly, God is able!

 

The bank manager was so moved by his manhood in Christ, that she and other bank employees would call him every time the bank collectors were sent to his house to repossess his furniture and other belongings such as fridge, stove, and the most painful of all, his motorcycle. But, by this time Benjamin had learned that even those material things were not his but the banks and so, “how can I hide it from them?” he would say to them on the phone.  The collectors became so familiar with this man that saw no need to take weapons with them to collect the goods.  The manager interceded for him with head office three times to refinance his debt so he could get his motorcycle back.  She finally got through to them and got his motorcycle back, but two days later, he sold it and took the money to the bank… “$1,000 less on his debt” he thought.

 

This man’s transformation was no small news at the bank… so much that they held a thanksgiving meeting to God for this faithful man of God. The manager of the bank said to Benjamin, “I believed I was a Christian, until I met you!”

 

In the meantime, temptations kept coming his way…cement cargo trucks would stop in front of his house to offer him cement bags for $5.00 knowing he needed to lay down a concrete floor on his little tin shack.  “Why are they so cheap?” he would say to them.  “We will tell our boss they fell off the truck during the transportation process” they would respond.  Benjamin’s wife says he would just turn his back on them as tears would rolled down his eyes and prayed for God to take away the temptations.  Meanwhile, his wife would turn to the truckers and say to them, “My husband is a follower of Christ and has no part in stolen goods”.

 

Benjamin has reflected the light of Christ through honesty to the point he has regained the respect of his family and neighbors. He has so many welding jobs work that he cannot keep up with it. Some churches’ Board of Directors keep track of his debt on a monthly basis and are in awe as to all that the Lord has and continues to do in this man’s life.

I have seen this kind of transformation in about 14 men and women in this town.  I am thankful to the Lord for all I have done is preach His Word and have translated from English into Spanish many books written by the defenders of the faith.  Unfortunately, many of our Canadian and American modern churches have long forgotten these great fathers of the faith.  Teachings from Agustín de Hipona, Martin Luther, John Foxe, John Calvin, John Owen, Mathew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, William Carry,  J.P. Boyce,  Charles Spugeron,  R.C. Rayle,  Francis Schaeffer, C.S Lewis,  A.W. Tozer, Martin Lloyd Jones,  J.I Packer,  James Kennedy,  R.C. Sproul,  John Piper,  John MacArthur,  Steve J. Lawson, and others.  These teachings were never translated into Spanish because the Reforms never made it to Latin America.  Nevertheless, these are the teachings that are becoming more and more familiar to these dear followers of Christ.

 

We believe that Jesus glorified God on earth, by having accomplished the work that He gave Him to do. John 17:4 Emphasis added. How He did it? I have manifested your name (your nature, holly attributes, and your will) to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. John 17:6. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth… John 17:6.  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. John 17:14.

Hosanna EFC Church Retreat

The theme of “One Mind One Voice in Christ” was the focal point for Hosanna EFC during their church retreat at Heritage College and Seminary (Cambridge, ON). Some 55 folks gathered to plan for the future of HEFC and be encouraged in God’s Word during the Canada Day long weekend (June 29-July 1). Workshops, panel session, worship service as well as times around the meal table filled the weekend. The food crew came from within the church itself and they are to be commended for a superb job. Reverend Enoch Kwan addressed the Chinese congregation and Ron Koleba (District Superintendent) the English.

 


Barwick Community Church

Barwick Community Church is situated on the banks of the Rainy River in the southwest section of Ontario (near Fort Frances). It is literally just on the north side of the Canadian-USA border. This July 1 the Barwick Church family hosted their community to a pancake breakfast and also placed a float in the parade promoting their VBS ministry (July 8-11). The float, besides receiving compliments, won first place. This community of believers continues to represent Christ in their locale. Drop by on a Sunday morning if you happen to be in the area.

“Act Your Age”

Winnipeg Evangelical Free Church completed its third year of “Act Your Age”, a two-day Seniors event, July 3-4. Pastor Grant Morrison, Pastor of Congregational Care, directs the event. A group of 55 Seniors gathered on Wednesday to hear Pastor Joel Cormie speak on the value of seniors. Two invited presenters addressed the topics of “housing opportunities” and “decluttering” as it applied to this age group

Pastor Joel Cormie
. Wednesday was aimed more towards relaxation as the group of 35 headed to West Hawk Lake to enjoy a boat ride courtesy of a church family (water skiing was strictly prohibited).