On January 14th, a team from Gateway Foursquare Church in Campbell, River travelled to the Dominican Republic to work with the Community Center in Loma de los Chivos. Here's a look at a couple of their experiences so far!
Team member Lena doing a devotional with the kids at the community centre, before the team teaches English lessons.
Tanya giving a devotional to the Pregnancy Resource Center staff and our team. Peter Hofer writes "It is such a blessing to see the difference that this center has made in the lives of many families and hear their powerful testimonies!"
Continue to pray for health, safety, and continued opportunities to encourage the people of Loma de Los Chivos for this team.
Happy New Year from Canadian Foursquare Missions!
We want to the push into the New Year with the best possible start! We are excited to have that opportunity by participating in a time of prayer and fasting that has been scheduled by president of the Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada, Steve Falkiner from January 8 to 14.
The main focus for this time is to pull back from the busyness of life and focus our hearts on God. Our posts over this designated time of prayer and fasting will align with this focus. As we embark on another exciting year in missions, we want to hear from God where He is directing the steps of this team. Would you join us as we pray and seek God?
A couple of months ago, we shared that after serving as the Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada's Missions Coordinator for five years, Lana Davidson has become an Associate Missionary to Costa Rica. On December 9th, Lana was married, which marked another exciting new beginning for her.
As we prepare for the start of another exciting year in Canadian Foursquare Missions, we are happy to announce that Elizabeth Jorgensen has been appointed as the new Missions Coordinator. Lizzy and her husband Tyler are PLBC grads who served as Foursquare missionaries in South Africa and Botswana. They are currently pastoring our Foursquare church in Kimberly, BC. Lizzy has also been a regular writer for our CFM Facebook page.
We are looking forward to the coming year and what God has in store. We are thankful that God is unchanging and so is our mission-to reach our world with the message of hope found through faith in Jesus.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of our followers! Thank you for your prayers, donations, and for following us over this past year on behalf of the Canadian Foursquare Missions Committee.
Holiday times can be challenging times for long-term missionaries in the field. Christmas time is a great reminder to reach out and encourage our missionaries when holidays seasons come. Let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them. Send a card in the mail, a care package, an e-card, an email, or see if they'd like to video chat.
You can also give a monetary gift at the following link:
https://www.foursquare.ca/missions.html. Click on "support missions" or "our missionaries" and make a note of who your gift is for.
This year, Canadian Foursquare Missions is happy to highlight recently married Lana Davidson, and the Brazee family as long-term missionaries currently in the field as a part of our Foursquare family.
To reach out, private message Canadian Foursquare Missions or check with your local church for contact information.
Jesus may have come to earth 2000+ years ago, but He's working today in amazing ways. This is just one little snippet from Elizabeth Jorgensen's blog. She spent a few years on the mission field in Botswana and shares an experience of God moving in maybe unexpected ways:
“There’s a hog-tied man in the boot of my car!” That is a sentence I never thought I would say as a missionary. In fact, I don’t think any missionary would ever think they would be uttering those words. But one sunny day, I ended up in that exact predicament, and it showed me once again, that as a missionary, we ought to expect the unexpected.
One day in the village of Mochudi, our friend, and fellow missionary, Jenna, offered to babysit our two babies so my husband and I could go out on a much-needed date. We kissed our babes goodbye, and went to the city for the day. Poor Jenna did not have a relaxing and peaceful day. As she was playing with our kids, she noticed a man walk onto our property. He was talking loudly to himself, and was clearly drunk and out of his mind. He made his way onto our verandah, sat down to make himself at home, and continued talking in drunken gibberish. Suddenly, this man jumped up and headed for the front door of our house. Jenna (full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom) ran to the door and latched the deadbolt as soon as he began to turn the door handle.
Jenna immediately went into full protective mode and called the police, some church members, and neighbours. The church members and neighbours came, but the police never made it. After some time, persuasion, and listening to a drunk man’s demands, our friends finally got him to vacate our property. As that day ended, we all thanked God for protection, and for Jenna’s wisdom in those scary moments. But our time with this man was not finished.
The next day, Tyler was away, Jenna was in her flat at the back of our property, and I heard our gate open. I looked out the window, and saw a strange man, stumbling across our yard, heading straight for the front door. I knew that we were not safe, but a sudden calmness came over me. I ran to all the doors in our house and made sure everything was locked, and the kids were safe in their rooms. I called Jenna, and told her not to panic, but to lock up and stay inside.
We began to call for help once more. We phoned the police; they didn’t come. But once again, our neighbours and our church friends came. This time, the man was much more agitated. He was violent, angry, drunk, and seemed quite out of his natural mind. Once help arrived, Jenna and I went outside to try to intervene on what was becoming a very tense situation. As we stepped outside, we saw this man on the ground as our neighbours were tying him up. I felt like this was quite an extreme way of dealing with the situation, and tried to intervene, but was told that this man was crazy and needed to be taken back to the mental ward, where he had recently been a patient.
To see a man helpless, on the ground, being bound with rope was more that I felt I could bear. Jenna and I felt helpless. What could we do? We did the only thing we knew how. We began to pray. I stepped between the man and some of our angry neighbours with such calmness, and I watched as the peace of God came over us. It was one of those moments where I knew God was with me. I felt fully protected, and was filled with such boldness, clear thinking, and a calm spirit. The consensus from our neighbours was that the police would not come, so we needed to transport him to the police station on our own. In that moment, I don’t recall even a hint of fear or nerves. There was a man, clearly in need of help, and that was why we were there. We were there to help the helpless.
I arranged for a church mother to watch my kids while our neighbours lifted this man into the back of my car. Jenna and I sat in the front, in complete disbelief, and one of our neighbours went with us in case of language issues or other unforeseen circumstances. As we drove away from my house, I looked at Jenna, and said, “There’s a hog-tied man in the boot of my car.” In that moment, I remember thinking, “I sure didn’t learn this in mission’s training.”
I don’t share this story to discuss mental health issues, demonic work, or alcoholism. I share this because over the years of missionary work, I have learned that we need to be able to deal with the unexpected things as they come. There’s no way that our mission’s trainers could have known this exact situation would happen. And if they are reading this, they might even say that we did almost everything wrong! But there is one thing I know that we did right; we prayed. I believe that sometimes we face the unexpected, odd, and sometimes frightening experiences so that we are brought to a place of desperation for God. He is the only one who knew exactly what was happening in that man’s mind and heart in that moment. And when we turned to God and prayed, He did His work. He brought peace, authority, clear thinking, and wisdom. That situation should have rattled us to our core. We shouldn’t have been able to sleep; we should have been filled with fear every time our gate squeaked open. But we weren’t. God covered us in ways we could never have expected.
If you go on the mission field, prepare to be surprised by situations. Prepare to encounter what you think is impossible. Prepare to be put in the midst of situations where you don’t know the way out. How do you prepare for such unexpected things? Your preparation begins now, as you work your 9-5 job, as you shop for groceries, as you pick up your kids from school. Position yourself now to encounter the unexpected things. Are you praying for God to direct you, guide your conversations, and prompt you to engage others? That’s where your training begins. Go!
“May he [God] equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”
Meet Pastor John Kamanzi, the national leader of Foursquare Uganda. Hear firsthand how Foursquare churches in Uganda are helping others overcome hardships with #ProjectNourish resources, and learn how your donations to #FoursquareRelief make real impact.
Canadians can donate to Project Nourish by going to https://www.foursquare.ca/missions.html. Click on "Support Missions" and mark your contribution "Project Nourish".
I love missions trips! Nothing fuels passion and inspires action like getting out of our daily routines and into the harvest fields. This November, from our Church in Kimberley, we took a team of six people to Costa Rica. For four of those, it was the very first mission trip they have been a part of.
For myself, this was my first opportunity to get back into missions since returning from Botswana. Also, this was the very first missions’ trip that our church has ever done. Earlier this year God had pressed on my heart that it was time to get back into missions and to take our church on a missions trip. So, instead of just talking about it as a church and discussing it we were immediately obedient and we set a date. Our church was inspired and soon we had people committed to go. We spoke with John Overholt about coming alongside him and blessing the work in Costa Rica that he had been a part of. He agreed to lead our team down to Costa Rica and we began preparations.
Our goal for this trip was to survey what the needs were and what opportunities there were for ongoing trips to Costa Rica. We wanted to have John introduce us to the people he had worked with so that we could build relationships as well. We did just that, we built wonderful relationships with the pastors and leaders in Costa Rica and discovered a love and a passion for the work there that will result in future trips.
Our team went to bless the churches. We were convinced that the best thing we could do was to shore up the leaders and churches and bless them the best we knew how. What we loved about our trip is that we never stole the show as the white missionaries. It was never about us or what we could do, it was about assisting the leaders that were there. All we did was to help enable the church to be a light in their community. We loved going to each church and watching the leaders shine in their callings and in their own context of ministry. We loved helping the members of the church do more ministry than they thought they could do on their own. At the end of this trip they were encouraged and strengthened and we were inspired to do more in our own community once we returned home.
There are a few things that were highlights to me. One highlight for me was how we all worked together for the Gospel. We were doing church as a team. Everyone played to their strengths, whether that was our Canadian team or the Costa Rican’s, we all encouraged each other and we did the mission together. I was inspired because that is what church is about and I loved how we could function as a unified team even cross-culturally, even with a language barrier.
Another highlight was walking around door-to-door in Martina Bustos sharing the Gospel. In total our team led seven people to Jesus. The team I was a part of saw four people give their lives to Jesus. What was amazing and life-changing for me was watching the Holy Spirit work. As we shared the gospel you could tangibly see on their face a change. From skepticism, to conviction, to a Holy Spirit awakened moment when they were ready to make that decision for Jesus. It was an amazing thing to watch. Our team was so inspired and asked, “Why can’t we do this in Canada?” That’s just the thing…we can. Our trouble is that we stop well short. We are content to share a little bit, maybe be brave enough to tell people we go to church. We are content to say a silent prayer for people and hope they will make a decision because they see our lifestyle is different. Yet, faith comes by hearing. I watched the Holy Spirit at work in each person and I saw that moment when the lights came on and I realized that in Canada we stop sharing way too soon. These four people: Nina, Hansel, Carlos and Fanny all made a decision that day and we were able to get them connected to the Foursquare Church in Martina Bustos and Pastor Juan.
The greatest thing that I took away from this trip was not that it is easier to lead people to Jesus in a foreign land as some people protest, but that in Canada we just don’t do it enough. We stop short. The reason we could lead people to Jesus when we didn’t speak the language was not because we had the right words, but because we were obedient to the Holy Spirit. I am convinced that when the Holy Spirit is at work, people will respond. It does not mater how we ramble or bumble our way through our presentation of the Gospel because it is not dependent on what we say but the inner work of Holy Spirit. What we need to do is get close to where the Holy Spirit is working and be obedient.
Another highlight was just how practical we got to be in ministering in Costa Rica. We were able to help the churches feed more than 650 people in community meals. We handed out clothes, glasses, and supplies to people who had been affected by the recent flooding. We were able to build on what another team did and to help finish a church building. We were able to help provide water filtration systems for people whose wells had been contaminated by the floods. One church family had lost their beds in the floods and we were able to go that day get them new beds and set them up for them. We were able to respond to the needs as they arose. It felt so good to be a practical help to people and to see and affect change in a practical way.
Lastly, I discovered that just like in Canada, Pastors of churches with modest attendance have a tendency to judge the effectiveness of their ministry by the size of their congregation. During our pastors training time, one Pastor said to me, “I have a small church.” I responded to them and said, “You do not have a small church; you have a big church. Your church is big in love, big in grace, big in faith, big in hospitality, big in generosity and God absolutely loves your church.” The churches where we were in Costa Rica may not have hundreds of members in each but they sure are “big” in God’s eyes. They are doing “big” work for the Kingdom. I am so glad to have had my eyes and my heart expanded by the wonderful work of God in Costa Rica. I love missions trips! Our Costa Rica trip has fueled a passion for the lost and inspired our church to do more outreach in our community.
by Tyler Jorgensen
Update from Chad Isenhart of Foursquare Disaster Relief: Following the 7.3 earthquake in Iran, Foursquare Disaster Relief is responding through local partners to provide relief aid to those suffering. Please pray as these leaders reach out in this very difficult nation. #foursquarerelief The Foursquare Church
I spoke a while ago about having a hard time getting over my concept of a missionary life as no toilets and the amenities I imagine “needing”. And then I got older and a little wiser (but that might be debatable ;)and got to realizing that the “go into all the world” wasn’t a mandate NECESSARILY to our comforts… or lack thereof! It is a mandate to preach, teach and share Christ with our words and actions.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Ephesians 6 –our battle is not against flesh and blood. Our mission is to tell everyone, whether they seem “in comfort” or not.
So as I’ve alluded to before, our Canadian/American family of missionaries to Deutschland (Germany), the Brazees, are maybe not in much different surroundings than they would be in Canada or the USA (not to skim over the fact they have had a lot of cultural differences to get used to and I’m not saying that has all been a piece of cake by any means!) –but they have running water, they have food, they have shelter, etc. But just because the “comforts” are not so much missing, they really do need our prayers. Not so much prayers not to contract or die of typhoid or diphtheria (Hudson, their nearly 2 year old son, though, has had several illness since arriving in DE so please pray for his health as well as the entire family’s). They need prayers to overcome with the overcomer –Jesus!
They need prayers for their family and for Brandon’s and Marcie’s marriage to thrive against every fiery dart the devil can and will throw (Ephesians 6:16). They need your prayers as they continue to learn the language (even though they have come leaps and bounds and, as Marcie said in their most recent update, most of the conferences they attend as missionaries are all in German and in the 5 months they’ve been in Bühl they find themselves understanding more and more).
Please pray they continue to become more and more comfortable with not only their church and direct ministry, but neighbors and those around them. And speaking of neighbors, who are your neighbors? Literally. You might not be in Bühl or somewhere equally far away, but Jesus said to focus on Judea before we go to the ends of the earth. Who is your Judea, not just the opposite end of the world?
And if you would like to support the our missionaries at “the end of the earth” monthly or one time basis, please click on the following link: http://www.foursquare.ca/our-missionaries.html . Thanks in advance and auf wiedersehen (“good-bye” in German!).
Are you looking for a Foursquare Missions Initiative to get behind this Christmas in your ministries? Check out Project Nourish. Project Nourish has touched countless lives so far, feeding more than 25,000 people to date in East Africa, where 20 million people live on the brink of starvation.
The situation prompted The Foursquare Church to form Project Nourish this summer, with Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) implementing and overseeing the project. In addition to distributing food, FDR has handled assessments, planning, oversight, accountability and partnerships with other organizations.
To get involved this Christmas season go to the following link for more information and downloadable resources to get started.