Vol. 43 No. 22 December 28, 2005



Vol. 43 No. 22 December 28, 2005
¿Dios Todopoderoso
en un Pesebre?
Almighty God
in a Manger?
‘Not any more’
art of this issue of The Messenger
is in Spanish. Surprised?
Years ago our German-language
Familienfruend (The Christian Family
Friend) included an English section. Now
The Messenger has a taste of Spanish.
Perhaps the reason is reflected in
comments by moderator Ron Penner at
the recent national EM conference council
meeting held in early December (the
moderator, however, did not know of the
magazine’s plans):
“But I think we best remember we
Mennonites is not any more a southern
Manitoba church or a minority of
Germanic-speaking Christians. To be
Mennonite today—whether it’s in our EMC
or whether it’s in the context of Mennonite
World Conference—is a network of
churches and believers that encompasses
over 60 different languages and involves
Christians in every major continent of the
“And in our circles—that’s EMC’s—I
dare say that we have many, many cultural
involved in our operations. So just a little
bit of an encouragement: Let’s remember
we are not just Low German-speaking
people anymore. We welcome the other
backgrounds that are part of our church.”
Delegates said “Amen!” and clapped in
Our conference has Spanish-language
churches, Spanish-speaking members in
many congregations, and connections
with Spanish-speaking countries.
In October the executive of the Board
of Church Ministries supported the
magazine’s basic action plan. Decisions
will be made as to where it leads. (Will
there be a French taste in the future?
That’s been talked about by BCM staff.) M
Terry M. Smith
The number is not in
service at this time
hurches and pastors are, like it
or not, in the communication
business. Why, then, do some
congregations and pastors make
interesting choices? Some examples:
• A phone number that turns out to
be a fax number with a high-pitched
whine. (It hurts people’s hearing and
encourages them to hang up.)
• An answering machine that gives a
mini-sermon before giving church
information. (Keep the good thought
for a special menu item.)
• An established church without a sign
listing its name, service times, and
contact points. The message? We
haven’t decided if you’re welcome. This
is a church for insiders.
• A church plant at Christmastime: No
sign outside identifying the church,
service time, or welcome. Inside, no
directions of where the church meets
within the building. The message? Seek
and ye shall find us—maybe.
• Churches that don’t advertise in the
local newspaper. (It costs money, but a
lack of it costs contacts.)
• An outdated answering machine (poor
sound or a beep that lasts far too
• Saying that real advertising happens
by word-of-mouth. (Advertisers try
to connect in various ways, but some
churches think one size fits all.)
• An outdated website.
Some churches might say they just go
where the Spirit leads. We can hope they
don’t drive their cars that way.
Congregations are communicating. It
might be the right message or the wrong
message and be done skillfully or poorly.
What is your church saying? It could be
different from what you think it is. M
Terry M. Smith
Terry M. Smith
Rebecca Buhler
THE MESSENGER is the publication
of the Evangelical Mennonite
Conference. It is available to the
general public. Its purpose is to
inform, instruct and inspire: inform
concerning events and activities
in the denomination; instruct in
godliness and victorious living;
inspire to earnestly contend for
the faith.
Letters, articles, photos and
poems are welcomed. Unpublished
material is not returned except by
request. The views and opinions
expressed by the writers are their
own and do not necessarily
represent the position of the
Conference or the editors.
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twice a month (once a month
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On-line edition available at
No. 02 – January 25
(copy due January 13)
Aboriginal leaders express deep concern
‘We affirm the dignity and personhood of every Aboriginal person’
The Aboriginal Ministries Council of
the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
issued the following statement in response
to the recent news reports of conditions
on Canadian Reserves:
The Council for Aboriginal Ministry
Leaders of the Evangelical Fellowship
of Canada stands in solidarity with all
those who are living in unacceptable
conditions on reserves and in urban
settings. We denounce all policies that
have contributed to Aboriginal people in
Canada feeling loss of identity and place in
our own lands--lands which have formed
this country called Canada.
We are deeply hurt by conditions on
reserves that force people to fear their
water will cause harm to themselves or
their families. We are saddened that people
have to be afraid to bathe for fear that it
will cause skin disease. We are frustrated
by the depletion of natural sources of food
and water--resources stewarded well for
millennia--whose loss now contributes to
As human beings, greatly valued by
the One who made us, we are deeply
distressed by the living conditions and
profound loss of identity that lead our
young people to take their own lives. We
lament that our once proud people, many
of whom have turned to drugs, alcohol,
sex and other addictions to forget the pain
of daily life, have been given such cursory
and disrespectful treatment.
As Aboriginal Christians, we affirm
the dignity and personhood of every
Aboriginal person. Our people are not
above others in this land, but are uniquely
different in this respect: This land has
been our home since long before the
nation of Canada came into existence.
Many have come to Canada in search of
justice and respect; we value and respect
all who have come to make Canada their
home. In return, we ask for understanding
of our unique relationship to this land,
and ask that the same justice and proper
respect be extended to all of Canada’s
Aboriginal people. Our first nations are
entitled to no less.
We recognize that there is a spiritual
element to the pain and despair that many
Aboriginal people suffer. Many years ago
now, Elijah Harper, one of our own, made
this clear. We pray that not only safe water,
but all social issues affecting our people
might be addressed in a holistic way by
Canadian governments and individuals
at all levels of society so that spiritual
and social renewal might result for our
people—that our people may walk with
dignity and pride once again.
The Aboriginal Ministries Council of the
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada brings together
Aboriginal Christian leaders from various
Aboriginal communities across Canada. The
Council acts as a bridge between the Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal Church, seeking to provide
resources that will enhance communications
and enrich the Church as a whole.
Latin American churches suffer loss and destruction
Mudslides left many without belongings, without homes, and without relatives
When hurricane winds and rain caused
mudslides in the mountains of Guatemala
on October 5, most of the 500 people
in the village of San Pedro San Marcos
Doña Eudelia lost almost all her
relatives in San Marcos. They were buried
by the mud. Other relatives who survived
were left without a house, without food.
“Today we witnessed and shared a
partner’s pain. Doña Eudelia is maybe one
of the humblest sisters in SEMILLA, but a
great champion of the faith,” wrote Mario
Higueros of Guatemala, a former dean at
SEMILLA, the Latin American Anabaptist
Many people in small villages, excluded
by society, built their houses in the only
places left for the poor. Their homes
were in areas of risk. The mudslides left
them without belongings, without homes.
But it was the irreparable loss of relatives
that left them heartbroken.
“You can replace everything little by
little, although that may take many years,
but what we will no longer have is the life
of our relatives,” said Doña Eudelia.
When the storm swept across Central
America, it devastated 319 communities
in the San Marcos region of Guatemala
December 28, 2005
leaving at least 284 dead, 133 disappeared
and 5,449 homes destroyed. Nearly 75,000
people lost their belongings. More than
15,000 were given refuge. Some survivors
in devastated areas received outside help
after the storm moved on as well as a visit
from Doña Sofía, Queen of Spain.
Higueros plans to offer courses to
help people deal with their traumatic
experience, but it will not be possible to
do so for some time as the highways are in
bad shape, he said.
Samuel Martínez Leal, president of the
Iglesia Evangélica Menonita de El Salvador,
wrote that members of the Mennonite
Church in El Salvador were not affected
directly by the hurricane although the
country suffered great damage.
Felix Rafael Curbelo, pastor of the
Brethren in Christ Mission Society in
Cuba, reported that the hurricane affected
scores of people located along many
kilometers of sea coast in La Habana, the
city’s capital. In general, Mennonite and
Brethren in Christ communities did not
experience direct damage, he said.
Javier Soler, president of the board of
the Organización Cristiana Amor Viviente
in Honduras, wrote that its churches in the
US gulf states suffered greatly. For some
time, he was unable to communicate with
three congregations in Florida. He did
learn that most of the people there lost
cars, houses and the material things they
left behind when they fled, but it appeared
no lives were lost.
The loss of material things and in
membership is hitting the economy
of Amor Viviente congregations hard.
Many members of an Amor Viviente
congregation of about 200 people in New
Orleans have settled in other states, but
about 50 people have begun to meet again.
In many places almost no restoration can
be done. Thousands of houses will have to
be demolished, said Soler.
Disasters also have had a positive
effect with kindness, sensitivity and the
visitation of God seen through men and
women of good will, observed Higueros.
God was present in Doña Chepita who
handed a glass of water to the suffering,
in the girl who lifted Santos from the mud,
in the moral support and encouragement
that Ubelezer received every day from
his aunt and from friends. God does not
prevent all catastrophes or illness, but
God is always present to encourage us.
ay muchas diferentes tradiciones
en cuanto al nacimiento de Jesús
y como se celebra. Los relatos
de los evangelios de Mateo y Lucas,
dan detalles que establecen que fue
un hecho histórico citando personas
y acontecimientos políticos. También
dan detalles que afirman que era
cumplimiento profético.
Diferentes tradiciones y culturas añaden detalles
que no tienen base Bíblica. Por ejemplo, San Lucas
no dice que José viajó a Belén con María montado
sobre un asno. San Mateo no dice que eran tres
magos que vinieron a buscar a Jesús y no llegaron
al pesebre junto con los pastores.
San Mateo 2:1 dice, “vinieron del oriente a
Jerusalén unos magos (no dice cuántos.)” Mateo
2:11 dice, “y al entrar en la casa, vieron al niño
er t
here are many different
traditions in the way the birth
of Christ is celebrated. The
accounts of Matthew and Luke give
details about individuals and political
events that establish the birth of
Jesus as a historical fact. They also
give facts that affirm the fulfillment of
Different traditions and cultures add some details
that are not found in the Biblical accounts. For
example, Luke does not say that Joseph traveled
to Bethlehem with Mary at his side on a donkey.
Matthew does not state that there were three Magi
that came looking for Jesus; neither did they come
to the manager together with the shepherds.
Matthew 2:1 says, “Magi came from the East” (it
does not state how many), and Matthew 2:11 says,
con su madre María, y postrándose, lo adoraron; y
abriendo sus tesoros, le ofrecieron presentes: oro,
incienso y mirra.”
Realmente estos detalles no son tan importantes
porque no cambian la esencia de la verdad. ¿Cuál es
la verdad esencial de este hecho histórico?
Jesús nació en cumplimiento de muchas profecías.
El profeta Isaías declaró unos 700 años antes que
“He aquí que una virgen concebirá, y dará a luz un
hijo, y llamará su nombre Emanuel (Isaías 7:14). San
Mateo cita esta profecía en su relato del nacimiento
de Jesús (Mateo 1:23). Emmanuel quiere decir, Dios
con nosotros.
Cuando Jesús, el eterno Hijo de Dios, nació como
un bebé, Dios vino a estar con nosotros. Como dice
San Juan, “Y aquel Verbo fue hecho carne, y habitó
entre nosotros (y vimos su gloria, gloria como del
unigénito del Padre), lleno de gracia y de verdad…A
Dios nadie lo vio jamás: el unigénito Hijo, que está
en el seno de su Padre, él le ha dado a conocer”
(Juan 1:14, 18).
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his
mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped
him. Then they opened their treasures and presented
him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”
These details are really not that important
because they do not change the essence of the
truth. What is the real essence of this historical
event? We will look at four aspects.
Jesus was born in fulfillment of prophecy. There
are many prophesies that predict different aspects
of the Messiah’s coming. The prophet Isaiah
declared 700 years earlier, “The virgin will be
with child and will give birth to a son, and call
his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Matthew cites
this prophecy in his account of the birth of Jesus
(Matthew 1:23). Immanuel means God with us.
When Jesus, the eternal Son of God was born,
Realmente no es tan importante cuantos magos vinieron a
adorar a Jesús o si los pastores y magos llegaron juntos a ver a
Jesús. Lo importante es por qué vino Jesús.
Really it is not that important how many Magi came to worship
Jesus or whether the shepherds and Magi arrived at the same
time. What is important is why Jesus came.
Jesús vino a revelar claramente a Dios con su
vida, enseñanzas y milagros. La narración de los
cuatro evangelios nos da a conocer como es Dios
a través de Jesús. Por ejemplo, vemos el amor y
la paciencia de Dios en el relato del hijo prodigo.
Nos revela la misericordia y la compasión cuando
resucita el hijo de la viuda de Naín.
Comprendemos la grandeza de la gracia de Dios
cuando Jesús rescata y perdona la mujer adúltera.
Entendemos algo de la justicia de Dios cuando Jesús
denuncia a los Fariseos. Vemos el poder de Dios
en los milagros de sanidad, multiplicación de los
panes, calmando la tempestad y echando fuera los
demonios del hombre Gadareno.
El nacimiento fue una humillación completa y una
identificación total con la humanidad. Este nacimiento
requirió una humillación completa no solo porque
nació en un pesebre, sino porque no fue limitado al
nacimiento. Incluyó la muerte en la cruz también.
Como declara San Pablo en Filipenses 2:6-8, “el
(Jesús) cual, siendo en forma de Dios, no estimó el
ser igual a Dios como cosa a que aferrarse, sino se
despojó a sí mismo, tomando forma de siervo, hecho
semejante a los hombres; y estando en la condición
de hombre, se humilló a sí mismo, haciéndose
God came to dwell with us. As John says, “The Word
became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and
Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and
truth…No one has ever seen God, but God the One
and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him
known” (John 1:14, 18).
Jesus came to clearly reveal God with his life,
his teachings and miracles. The account of the four
gospels helps us understand God through the life of
Jesus. For example, we see the love and patience of
God in the story of the prodigal son. His mercy and
compassion is revealed when Jesus raises the son of
the widow of Nain.
We get a glimpse of the unfathomable grace of
God when Jesus rescues and forgives the adulteress
woman. We begin to understand the justice of
God when Jesus denounces the hypocrisy of the
Pharisees. We see the power of God in the miracles
of healing, the multiplication of the bread, calming
the storm and casting out the demons from the
obediente hasta la muerte, y muerte de cruz.”
El nacimiento de Jesús era esencial para quitar
nuestro temor de la muerte. Es interesante notar que
la palabra del ángel Gabriel a Maria era, “Maria,
no temas.” También a los pastores el ángel dijo,
“No temáis.” La humanidad tiene temor ante lo
desconocido, y especialmente ante la muerte.
El escritor de Hebreos dice, “Así que, por cuanto
los hijos participaron de carne y sangre, él también
participó de lo mismo, para destruir por medio
de la muerte al que tenía el imperio de la muerte,
esto es, al diablo, y librar a todos los que por el
temor de la muerte estaban durante toda la vida
sujetos a servidumbre. … Por lo cual debía ser en
todo semejante a sus hermanos, para venir a ser
misericordioso y fiel sacerdote en cuanto a Dios
se refiere, para expiar los pecados del pueblo”
(Hebreos 2:14–15, 17).
Esta es la razón esencial porque Dios se tenía que
encarnar. La única manera que Dios podía librar a
la humanidad de la esclavitud del pecado, temor y
del diablo, era hacerse humano, vivir una vida sin
pecado y ofrecerse como sacrificio en la cruz. San
Pablo declara en Colosenses 2:15, “y despojando
a los principados y a las potestades, los exhibió
públicamente, triunfando sobre ellos en la cruz.”
Jesús cumplió todo esto, lo cual lo establece
como un intermediario entre la humanidad y Dios
Padre. El representa fielmente a ambos lados. Jesús
nos da una entrada abierta a la presencia de Dios
porque intercede por nosotros. No hay necesidad de
otro mediador.
Realmente no es tan importante cuantos magos
Gadarene man.
The birth was complete humiliation and
identification with humanity. The physical birth
required complete humiliation not just because
he was born in a stable, but because it was not
limited only to the birth. As the Apostle Paul
declares, “Who (Jesus) being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be
grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very
nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he
humbled himself and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
The birth of Jesus was essential to take away the
fear of death. It is interesting to note that the word
of the angel Gabriel to Mary was, “Do not be afraid,
Mary.” The shepherds received the same message,
“Do not be afraid.” Humanity has fear of the
unknown and especially of death.
The writer of Hebrews says, “Since the children
have flesh and blood, he too shared in their
humanity so that by his death he might destroy
him who holds the power of death—that is the
devil—and free those who all their lives were held
in slavery by their fear of death…For this reason
he had to be made like his brothers in every way,
in order that he might become a merciful and
faithful high priest in service to God, and that he
might make atonement for the sins of the people”
(Hebrews 2:14–15, 17).
This is the essential reason why God had to
take on human flesh. The only way that God could
liberate humanity from the slavery of sin, fear and
Jesús vino a revelar
claramente a Dios con su vida,
enseñanzas y milagros. Vemos
el amor y la paciencia de Dios
en el relato del hijo prodigo.
Nos revela la misericordia y la
compasión cuando resucita el
hijo de la viuda de Naín.
Jesus came to clearly reveal
God with his life, his teachings
and miracles. We see the love
and patience of God in the
story of the prodigal son.
His mercy and compassion is
revealed when Jesus raises
the son of the widow of Nain.
December 28, 2005
Aceptemos por fe el mejor regalo de Navidad, a
Jesús nacido en el pesebre y crucificado en la cruz. El
pesebre y la cruz son inseparables porque Jesús nació
para morir.
Let us by faith accept the indescribable gift of
Christmas, Jesus born in a manger and crucified on
the cross. The manger and the cross are inseparable
because Jesus was born to die!
vinieron a adorar a Jesús o si los pastores y magos
llegaron juntos a ver a Jesús. Lo importante es por
qué vino Jesús.
¿Dios eterno y todopoderoso en un pesebre?
Aunque no lo podemos entender, aceptamos por fe
que el omnipotente Dios se encarnó (se vistió de
carne humana) y nació como niño de la virgen María
y fue puesto en un pesebre.
Pero, no se quedó en el pesebre. Creció y llegó
a ser hombre conocido como Jesús de Nazaret.
Fue bautizado por Juan el Bautista y unido por
el Espíritu Santo para, dar buenas nuevas a los
pobres; sanar la los quebrantados de corazón,
pregonar libertad a los cautivos, vista a los ciegos,
poner en libertad a los oprimidos y a predicar
el año agradable del Señor (Lucas 4:18–19).
Últimamente fue crucificado en la cruz de Gólgota.
¡No podemos separar el pesebre de la cruz!
Muchos somos atraídos al pesebre, al misterio
y maravilla de un niño recién nacido. ¿Pero que
de la cruz? La cruz nos repulsa por su crueldad.
¡No veamos solo la crueldad de la cruz! Veamos el
sacrificio de amor por el pecado de la humanidad,
por nuestro pecado.
Aceptemos por fe el mejor regalo de Navidad, a
Jesús nacido en el pesebre y crucificado en la cruz.
El pesebre y la cruz son inseparables porque Jesús
nació para morir. M
the devil, was to become human, live a sinless
life and offer himself as a sacrifice on the cross.
The apostle Paul declares in Colossians 2:15, “And
having disarmed the powers and authorities, he
made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over
them on the cross.”
Jesus accomplished all this, which also makes
him a mediator between humanity and God the
Father. He faithfully represents both sides. Jesus
gives us an open access to the presence of God
and intercedes for us. There is no need for another
So really it is not that important how many Magi
came to worship Jesus or whether the shepherds
and Magi arrived at the same time. What is
important is why Jesus came.
The eternal and omnipotent God in a stable? Even
though we can not fully understand this, by faith
we accept that the Almighty God became incarnate
(took on human flesh) and was born of the virgin
Mary and was placed in a manager.
But he did not stay in the manger. He grew up
and became a man known as Jesus of Nazareth.
He was baptized by John the Baptist and anointed
by the Holy Spirit to give good news to the poor;
heal the broken-hearted; to proclaim freedom
to the prisoners; make the blind see, release the
oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s
favour (Luke 4:18–19). Ultimately he was crucified
on the cross of Golgotha. We cannot
separate the manger from the cross!
Lester Olfert ha servido en
Many are drawn to the manger, to the
México y Nicaragua como
misionario (1970–1989), como
mystery and marvel of a new-born baby.
pastor, y en la Oficina Nacional
But what about the cross? We find the cross
de la EMC como Secretario
repulsive because of the cruelty. Let’s not
Foráneo de misiones (1992–
just focus on the cruelty, but rather on the
2005). En Enero de 2006 él y su
love that motivated the sacrifice for the sin
esposa Darlene desempeñarán
of humanity, for our sin.
servicios en Nicaragua por
Let us by faith accept the indescribable
cuatro meses.
gift of Christmas, Jesus born in a manger
and crucified on the cross. The manger and
the cross are inseparable because Jesus was born
Lester Olfert has served in Mexico and Nicaragua as a missionary
to die! M
(1970–1989), as a pastor, and in the EMC national office as Foreign
Secretary to the EMC Board of Missions (1992–2005). In January 2006
he and his wife Darlene will serve in Nicaragua for four months.
with our missionaries
Mission-X helps lessons to sink home
After six weeks of lectures at Steinbach
Bible College, 21 students left campus
October 14 to November 3 for real-life
learning. For three weeks, SBC students
spent time in Central America, applying
lessons taught in the classrooms to the
less formal outdoor classrooms in Belize
and Nicaragua.
Sharing bedrooms with scorpions
and tarantulas may have been a new
experience for students, but few included
such stories in reports after returning to
SBC. Instead, students spoke of lessons
they learned from their national hosts.
They learned about unselfishness from
people living in simple shacks. They
learned what it means to trust God, away
from the luxuries of soap, water, and
flush toilets.
SBC mission professor Ernie Koop
took 11 third-year students to Nicaragua,
where he ministered for seven years in
the mid-80s. Students were involved
in various ministries, from preaching,
to carrying water for billets. They
performed mime in churches. Traveling
on foot to remote mountain communities
gave them an appreciation for the pastor
who regularly makes this trip to bring
hope to his people.
Ten students traveled with SBC
professor Gord Penner to Belize. While
there, students were paired off and
sent into villages to minister for three
Jody Barkman with a
Belizian child in Yo
weeks. Student Jody Barkman spent
her time teaching grade one students
in the small Spanish village of Yo Creek.
Barkman reflects, “I learned about
God’s faithfulness in a foreign culture
with different languages, foods, and
traditions…but the same God.”
Wayne and Audrey Friesen, who spent
time ministering to new Christians in
Shipyard, discovered that “their peace
is not found in things, but in the grace
of God.”
SBC began its Mission Exposure
program ten years ago. Since then
SBC students who traveled to Nicaragua were accompanied by Professor Ernie Koop and his family.
December 28, 2005
students have caught lessons in real-life
ministry opportunities that they were
taught in the classroom. This is the kind
of “just-in-time” teaching that Erwin
McManus, author of An Unstoppable
Force, says our churches need.
All first-year students are required
to spend a week in the core area of
Winnipeg during a three-week course
called Introduction to Church Ministries.
Second-year students take a six-week
Evangelism course followed by a threeweek Introduction to Mission course that
includes a week of living in a northern
Manitoba First Nation community. The
professors of these courses accompany
students on the trips.
Performing mime to the songs People Need the Lord
and Via Delorosa was part of the ministry of the MX
team that traveled to Nicaragua.
An airport terminal and
hearts language
I was sitting in another airport
terminal, this time on my way home from
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I had about five
hours to wait for my next flight.
After some time in Starbucks working
on my e-mails, I decided to find my
favorite spot in the lounge at departure
gate 16. From previous experience I
knew this was where I could find a wall
socket to plug in my laptop to recharge
the battery. I decided that while it was
charging I would take a break and play
a game of hearts. One of the young male
attendants at gate 10 came and looked
over my shoulder and coached me in
making the right moves (I lost to the
computer anyway).
After we had played for a while I
tried to make conversation with him
but found he didn’t speak English; talk
about communicating in the “hearts”
He went over to the counter at gate
11 and got his coworker to come and
watch me play the game. I noticed an old
textbook-like book in her hand. The title
was Twenty literature lessons from the
Bible. It was all in Chinese and she did
not speak English either. I felt so helpless.
I asked whether she was a Christian and
she didn’t seem to know what I meant.
I took my PDA and read some literature
to her from Psalm 23. She could not
It was frustrating. I so much wanted to
use this teachable moment, this window
of opportunity to share truth. Then I
remembered that before I left my hotel
room in Ulaanbaatar I had stuck the
booklet Steps to Peace with God into my
pocket, intending to give it to the cashier
at the desk as I paid up. I forgot. I still had
it in my pocket.
I stuck it into the book as a bookmark
and gave the book back to her. She took
it gratefully and went to sit with her
colleague, and together I heard them
going through the booklet. They can’t
read it, but I pray that they take it to
someone who can read English and will
be exposed to the truth. Amazing! Maybe
she will receive this amazing grace!
A Follower of Jesus
This EMCer serves in a country best not
with our churches
Ministerio hispano en Braeside
Spanish ministries at Braeside
Braeside (Winnipeg, Man.): Ya pasaron mas de seis meses,
desde que empecé a servir como pastor del Ministerio Hispano
en Braeside EMC. En este espacio de tiempo he podido
conocer a los diferentes miembros del ministerio hispano,
a los miembros de la Iglesia Braeside en general y a algunos
miembros de la comunidad de la EMC. Es muy bueno saber que
somos parte de una comunidad y que trabajamos juntos por
alcanzar las mismas metas.
Al inicio dedique este servicio a Dios porque sé que dependo
La instalación de Angel y Blanca Infantes, nuevos pastores del ministerio
hispano./The installation of Angel and Blanca Infantes, new pastors of the
hispanic ministry.
Braeside (Winnipeg, Man.): Six months have gone by since I
became pastor of Spanish ministries at Braeside EMC. During
this time I have been able to get acquainted with different
members of the Spanish ministry, members of Braeside in
general, and others of the EMC community. It is good to know
that we are part of a community and we work together to reach
the same goals.
At the beginning I dedicated this ministry to God because I
knew I depend on Him in everything and I knew that the work
belongs to Him.
My wife Blanca and I started a visitation program, visiting
every Spanish family with the purpose of getting to know them.
Even though we all speak the same language, Spanish, we are
very different because we come from different countries—
Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua,
and Peru.
I also worked to strengthen the Spanish activities that were
already going on: A monthly Bible service, a weekly Bible
study, devotionals, and Sunday school. With the help of Carlos
Pitta we are encouraging the worship team in their worship to
God and to make a Spanish songbook.
My wife is now in charge of the children’s program during
the service. Previously she trained a group of young girls
to form a teaching team, and now the older ones teach the
younger ones.
Every Friday we have Bible studies in the homes with an
average attendance of 17. At present we are studying the book
Estudio biblico hogareño./A home Bible study.
de Él en todo lo que haga y sé que la obra es del Señor. Así que
junto a mi esposa empecé a visitar a cada familia hispana, con
la finalidad de conocerlas, cada una muy diferente a pesar de
hablar el mismo idioma, el español, por ser de diferentes países:
Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua,
Perú. También trabajé en fortalecer todas las actividades en
español que ya se realizaban: Servicio hispano al mes, estudio
bíblico semanal, devocional y la escuela dominical.
El servicio hispano es el último sábado de cada mes, estamos
animando, junto con el líder Carlos Pitta, al grupo de alabanza
hispano en su servicio a Dios y a elaborar un cancionero en
español. Blanca mi esposa está a cargo del programa para los
niños durante el servicio, previamente ella entrenó a un grupo
de jovencitas y formó un equipo de enseñanza, ahora las más
grandes enseñan a los más pequeños.
Los estudios bíblicos son cada viernes en los hogares de
las familias hispanas. Tenemos una asistencia promedio de 17
personas por estudio. Estamos estudiando una serie del libro
de Colosenses, cada semana preparo un capítulo de la serie
y me da gusto ver a los hermanos participar en grupo en el
desarrollo de las preguntas asignadas una semana antes, y de
ahí seguir con el estudio de los versos para cada viernes.
Los miércoles por la noche nos reunimos en la Iglesia para
tener un devocional basado en la Palabra de Dios, que nos
inspire en nuestra vida espiritual.
Cada domingo por la mañana estoy preparando a
algunos creyentes en el conocimiento de los temas básicos
de cristianismo, después de evaluar a cada uno mediante
un ‘examen’ escrito (sin calificación), los otros miembros
asisten a la clase en ingles impartida por el Senior Pastor Carl
Heppner, donde tiene el apoyo de traductores para los que no
dominan el ingles.
Desde hace dos meses empecé con la ‘visita pastoral
formal’, es una visita a cada miembro individual (uno solo)
del ministerio, cuando se trata de una dama voy acompañado
de mi esposa. En cada visita me gozo en escuchar la forma en
cada uno conoció al Señor, hablamos de nuestra Fe y también
de las responsabilidades como miembro de la iglesia, una
pregunta que hago en estas visitas es: ¿En que área te gustaría
servir en la Iglesia? Me sorprendo al escuchar las respuestas
y saber que cada uno desea servir en la iglesia, ahora estoy
trabajando a fin de ayudar a cada uno a desarrollar su servicio
al Señor. Con algunos estamos trazando estudios futuros que
ayudaran a prepararse para su servicio.
Uno de los retos es la etapa de transición del ministerio
hispano, esto iba a generar algunos cambios que traté de
evitar. Es muy poco el tiempo para hacer cambios (seis
meses) y sé que los cambios generan distintas reacciones.
Por eso con la Junta Directiva del Ministerio Hispano tuvimos
un entrenamiento, a cargo del pastor Carl y mi persona, que
trató los siguientes puntos: El ministerio hispano dentro
de la iglesia Braeside EMC, los propósitos de la Iglesia y el
December 28, 2005
Blanca (México) y Angel Infantes (Perú) serviendo en Winnipeg./Blanca
(Mexico) and Angel Infantes (Peru) serve in Winnipeg.
Un culto de adoracion en Braeside./A worship service at Braeside.
of Colossians. Every week I prepare one chapter of the series,
and it pleases me to hear them participate in the discussion of
the previous week’s questions and then continue to study the
new portion for that day.
Wednesday nights we meet in the church for a devotional
based on the Word of God, which inspires us in our spiritual life.
Sunday mornings I’m teaching the basics of Christianity to
some believers after evaluating them by means of a written
exam (no grades). The others attend the English class taught
by Carl Heppner with the help of interpreters for those who
don’t understand English.
Two months ago I started with formal pastoral visits. It’s an
individual visit with every member, and, if it’s a woman, my
wife accompanies me. In these visits it has been good to listen
to them share how they came to know the Lord. We talk about
our faith and our responsibilities as members of the church.
One question I ask is, “In what area would you like to serve in
the church?” I’m surprised as I listen to the answer as I realize
that everyone desires to serve in the church. Now I am trying
to assist them in developing their service to the Lord.
With some I am planning future studies that would help
them prepare for service.
One of the challenges is the transition period, trying to
avoid negative reactions to changes. Six months is not enough
time to make these changes, for I know that change brings
different reactions. So we had a training course with the
desarrollo de una reunión. Esto nos ayudó tener en claro la
meta que esperamos alcanzar. Para ello se formó el Equipo
de Líderes que reemplaza a la anterior ‘junta directiva’, pero
incluye a los miembros que estuvieron en ella e invitamos a los
demás miembros a ser parte del Equipo de Líderes, y estará en
funcionamiento a partir del próximo año.
Uno de los momentos de gozo fue el “Retiro Espiritual” que
tuvimos el pasado mes de Septiembre, en Valley View Bible
Camp, trabajamos al lado de los organizadores Ivan y Yesenia
García. Los que asistimos recibimos la bendición de sentir la
presencia de Dios en el desarrollo de las actividades, en el
tiempo de las alabanzas todos sentimos ese toque del Espíritu
en nuestros corazones, por lo que regresamos muy contentos
y animados al saber que Dios esta obrando en nuestras vidas.
Uno de los frutos del retiro es la forma en que Dios trabajó
con la familia de Aldo y Miriam Rodríguez. Ahora ellos están
participando activamente en la Iglesia. Miriam y sus hijos
(Daniel y Dana) están sirviendo en el grupo de alabanza, por
board of Spanish ministries, directed by Pastor Carl and me.
We discussed the following points: Spanish ministries with
Braeside church, the purpose of the church, and the format
of a service. We formed a leadership team that replaces the
former board, but this includes the former board members
and we invite the other members to join this team. This team
will start to function in 2006.
One time of great joy was the spiritual retreat last
September at Valley View Bible Camp. We worked alongside
the organizers, Ivan and Yesenia Garcia. Feeling the presence
of God in all the activities and the touch of the Spirit in our
hearts during the worship time was a great blessing. We
returned to our homes content and encouraged, knowing that
God is working in our lives.
One of the fruits of the retreat was the way God worked
in the family of Aldo and Miriam Rodriguez. Now they are
actively participating in the church. Miriam and her children,
Daniel and Dana, are singing in the worship team. Also, Aldo
and Miriam are forming a group with the children who will
participate in the candlelight service, singing Christmas carols
in Spanish. They come from a Mennonite church in Guatemala
and have transferred their membership to Braeside.
Vilma Aldama is a big help. She and her daughter came to
Canada with help from Braeside. She is a psychologist and
now works as a Spanish Christian counselor available to the
whole Spanish community in Winnipeg.
We are enjoying our first winter here and are driving with
caution. It is good to go out and visit and feel the warmth of
the people. There are some who cannot attend our activities
because of family responsibilities or work at night, so we go
and share the Word of God in their homes.
My heart fills with joy to see families enjoying the study of
the Word and, returning home, we say, “Thank you, God, for
making us useful servants in your hands.”
Pastor Angel Infantes
Retiro Espiritual en Septiembre./Spiritual Retreat in September.
otro lado Aldo y Miriam están formando un grupo con los niños
hispanos que participarán en el “Candlelight Night” cantando
villancicos en español. Ellos vienen de Guatemala de una Iglesia
Menonita y han transferido su membresía a Braeside.
Una gran ayuda que tenemos es la hermana Vilma Aldana.
Ella y sus dos hijas vinieron a Canadá, en parte con el apoyo
de Braeside. Ella es Psicóloga, y ahora colabora con consejería
cristiana en español disponible para toda la comunidad
hispana de Winnipeg.
Este es nuestro primer invierno, lo estamos disfrutando y
manejando con cuidado. Disfrutamos el salir a visitar y sentir
el calor de la gente. Hay algunas personas que no pueden
asistir a algunas actividades, por carga de familia o trabajan
en la noche, así que vamos a sus hogares para compartir la
Palabra de Dios.
Al ver las familias disfrutar al compartir la Palabra, mi
corazón se llena de alegría y al llegar a casa, decimos con
mi esposa: “Gracias Dios por hacernos siervos útiles en tus
Pastor Ángel Infantes
Translation into English: Catherine Thiessen
Reunion de mujeres./A ladies meeting.
Entrenamiento de lideres./Leadership training.
Desafios y bendiciones en Brandon
Challenges and blessings at Brandon
Brandon, Man.: El verano pasado estuvo lleno desafíos. Fue
un tiempo donde experimentamos crecimiento en madurez
espiritual como Iglesia, y también en asistencia. Debido a esto
sufrimos el cambio de local, pues en nuestra antigua dirección
nos hallábamos muy apretados.
Entre otras pruebas y dificultades que tuvimos, estuvo la
espera que algunos miembros han pasado por sus familias. Han
pasado casi tres años y todavía no han podido tener su estado
migratorio de residente permanente arreglado para poder
traer a sus esposas (os) e hijos. Alguno hermanos hablaron
de esposas desesperadas y pasando por estados depresivos,
debido a la necesidad de estar al lado de sus esposos y poder
tener una vida normal, una vida en matrimonio.
Saludos de un grupo de creyentes en Brandon./Greetings from a
group of believers in Brandon.
En Ebenezer entendemos la necesidad de ir y predicar el
evangelio a las naciones y pensamos, “Estamos en Canadá y
podemos predicar el evangelio aquí.” Sólo hay un pequeño
problema; sólo unos cuantos podemos hablar Ingles, y el resto
ni siquiera entienden este idioma. Sólo queda una solución, ir
a predicar a todos lo de habla española.
Pudimos tomar parte en campañas evangelísticas en
Portage y Elie, Man., con los trabajadores temporales
mexicanos que trabajan en el campo. Este año hemos tenido
una magnífica respuesta de parte de ellos. Es un ministerio
que hacemos cada verano con nuestro hermano Jake Kroeker
de Rosenort, Man. El les da seguimiento y los visita varias
veces para continuar instruyendo y edificando durante todo
el verano.
Contamos con tres estudios bíblicos por semana y el
transporte ha sido uno de nuestros más grandes desafíos.
La mayor parte de las personas que viven aquí tienen poco
tiempo de haber llegado y no cuentan con vehículos y los
domingos no hay transporte público. En nuestras clases de
bautismo tenemos siete personas dispuestas a dar su paso de
obediencia, para ser bautizadas en 2006.
Y ocho están tomando clases de membresía y esperamos
tener aceptación de miembros para diciembre 18, 2005.
También estamos entrenando y discipulando a un grupo de
personas para que ellos nos ayuden conforme la obra sigue
creciendo. Para esto estamos llevando un curso de discipulado
del Seminario Bíblico Río Grande.
En el otoño en Ebenezer tuvimos el privilegio de participar
December 28, 2005
Brandon, Man.: Last summer was full of challenges. As a
church we experienced growth in maturity as well as growth
in attendance. This meant changing to a different location,
because we were getting to be much too crowded.
Among other trials and difficulties, there was the waiting
time that some of the members had for their families. Three
years had gone by and they still hadn’t been able to work out
their permanent residency papers, which they needed before
they could go for their spouses and children. Because of their
need to be with their husbands and live a normal married life,
some of the wives were getting desperate and going through
depressing times.
In the Ebenezer Church we understand the need to go and
preach the gospel to all nations, and we think, “We are in
Canada and here we can preach the gospel.” But there is one
small problem: Only a few of us speak English and the rest
don’t even understand it.
We were able to take part in evangelistic campaigns
in Portage and Elie with the Mexican workers who had
come temporarily to work on the fields. This year we had a
magnificent response from them. This is a ministry that we do
every summer with our brother Jake Kroeker from Rosenort,
Man. He does the follow-up, visiting them a number of times to
instruct and edify them.
With three Bible studies a week, transportation has been
one of our biggest challenges, because most of the people
living here have come recently and don’t have vehicles and on
Sunday there is no public transportation. Several are taking
baptismal classes, preparing to take this step of obedience
and be baptized in 2006.
Estudio biblico hogareño./Home Bible study.
Another eight are taking membership classes and we plan
to receive them as members on December 18, 2005. We are
also training and discipling a group so that they will be able
to help us as the work keeps on going. For this we are using a
discipling course from Rio Grande Bible Institute.
In fall we had the privilege of having joint meetings and
pulpit exchanges with some churches from Region 4: Sioux
Valley, Treesbank, and Kola. At these meetings we also share
food and they have enjoyed exquisite Latin American cooking.
Not only have we been having fellowship with English-speaking
churches, but also with the Spanish-speaking church at
Tiempo de alabanza
en un hogar./Worship
time in a home.
La familia pastoral: Janet, Jenifer y Stephanie junto con sus padres Antonio
y Esther./The pastor family: Janet, Jenifer and Stephanie with their parents
Antonio and Esther.
Braeside, who came to minister with worship and the Word.
Now we are planning meetings and pulpit exchanges with the
Love in Action church in Calgary, Alta.
The Mosaic Congress that we attended this fall in Toronto
was a big blessing. It encouraged us and, at the same time, it
refreshed us and gave us ideas for ministry in Brandon, as the
theme of the congress was church planting. The leaders here
in Brandon are planning interesting projects and we trust that
the Lord will direct us and help us to accomplish it.
Winter is coming, and as we tolerate the cold Manitoba
climate, inner warmth has come with our new immigrant
friends that arrived this month to work at the meat plant here
in Brandon. Also, after persevering in prayer for some time,
two families have arrived who finally got their permanent
resident papers. Many families are still waiting.
We are aware, as more and more come, that many of them
don’t know about the great salvation we have in our Lord
Jesus Christ. We realize that we need to persevere in prayer
and action, and would like to ask you to pray that the Lord
will do his work here in Brandon, as well as in other Hispanic
communities in Canada.
Pastor Luis Antonio Pitta
en reuniones de fraternidad e intercambio de pulpitos con
varias Iglesias del Área Cuatro—Sioux Valley, Treesbank y Kola.
En nuestras reuniones hemos intercambiado alimentos y ellos
se han deleitado con la exquisita comida latinoamericana. No
sólo nos hemos relacionado con hermanos de habla inglesa,
también hemos tenido reuniones con nuestros hermanos
hispanos de Braeside, en la que ellos nos vinieron a ministrar
con la Palabra y la alabanza. También estamos planeando
con nuestros hermanos de Love in Action en Calgary, Alta.
Proximas reuniones e intercambios de pulpito.
El Congreso Mosaico que tuvimos en este otoño en Toronto
ha sido una gran bendición. Nos ha animado y al mismo tiempo
nos ha refrescado y dado ideas para el ministerios en Brandon,
porque se trató de plantación de iglesias.
El liderazgo en Brandon estamos
planeando interesantes proyectos y
Register now for 2006
esperamos que el Señor nos vaya a dirigir
Evening & Weekend Courses @ SBC
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El invierno viene llegando y a la
misma vez que soportamos el frío clima
de Manitoba, una ola de calor viene con
Introduction to the OT Viewpoints
Psychology II
Prof Corey Herlevsen
Prof Gord Penner
Prof David Driedger
Youth Ministry
los nuevos amigos inmigrantes que han
Prof Garth Friesen
llegado este mes a trabajar a la empresa
Discover how the stories Read several recently
A continuation of Psyde carnes aquí en Brandon. Finalmente
published books and
of the Old Testament
chology I. Check to see
Discover how to lead
después de perseverar en oración
create one unified larger participate in a guided
if you have the preyouth in experiential
learning through the
hemos tenido la llegada de dos familias
use of cooperative
de hermanos que por fin han recibido
Steinbach: Jan 14;
Jan 13–14; Feb 3–4;
March 20 – April 28
games and problem
su residencia permanente. Aún quedan
Feb 11; Mar 11; Apr 8
24–25; Mar 17–18;
Mondays & Thursdays
solving initiatives.
muchas familias esperando.
Apr 7–8
7–10 pm
SBC Campus
Notamos que mientras que vienen más
Fridays 7–10 pm
March 30 – April 1
3 credit hours or audit
Winnipeg: Jan 16;
y más personas sabemos que muchas
Saturdays 9am–12 noon
Thurs & Fri 7–10 pm
de esas personas no conocen de la
Feb 13; Mar 13; Apr 10
3 credit hours or audit
Sat 9am –12 & 1–4 pm
Mondays 7–9:30 pm
salvación tan grande que hay en nuestro
Morrow Gospel Church
1 credit hour or audit
Señor Jesucristo. Nos damos cuenta
que debemos seguir perseverando en
1 credit hour or audit
oración y en acción. Queremos pedir de
sus oraciones para que el Señor lleve
a cabo su obra en Brandon, así como
Visit our website at www.sbcollege.ca for more information
el resto de la comunidad hispana en
To register contact Christal—
204-326-6451 ext 222 or [email protected]
Pastor Luís Antonio Pitta
Stony Brook growing in many ways
Stony Brook (Steinbach, Man.):
All praise and glory to God our
Father and Jesus Christ our Lord!
Because of Him, the feeling of
community in our congregation
continues to grow. We had a great
summer, a wonderful fall, and now
we look forward to the Christmas
season with great anticipation.
On June 12 we were thrilled
to pledge to join with four sets
of parents as they dedicated
themselves to teaching their
children to live for God.
In early fall at our church
camp retreat at Gimli Bible Camp,
we became closer as a group when
we heard about trials members of our
congregation have been through.
On October 23 we shared a potluck
Thanksgiving supper. It was refreshing
to have the opportunity to building
relationships in another way.
As our church’s purpose statement
says, we continue to strive to introduce
and to reintroduce people to a
relationship with Christ. We rejoice that
we have recently seen people entering
into such a relationship. We also rejoice
when we are able to welcome new
members to our congregation.
Judy and Pat Martens, Chuck and Miryam Bueckert,
and Sarah and Sheldon Neufeld dedicated their
children to the Lord on November 28, 2005.
On November 6 we were privileged
to receive five new members. Dean
Poirier was accepted as a member by
baptism, while Mark and Jamie Karr
and Richard and Sharon Peters entered
into membership by prior baptism. We
praise God for their commitment to our
Also on November 6, two elementaryaged children prayed a blessing over
the shoe boxes filled with gifts we were
gratefully able to send overseas with
Operation Christmas Child.
Our winter continues with another
Fellowship of Five surprise visit and
another parent-child dedication, where
three couples declared their commitment
to raising their children in the fear and
nurture of the Lord. Then quite soon
Christmas will be here and we’ll watch
our children do their annual Christmas
We praise God for the work He has
done and is doing in our congregation.
We pray also “that just as (we) have
received Christ Jesus as Lord, (that we
would) continue to live in him, rooted
and built up in him, strengthened in the
faith as (we) were taught, and (overflow)
with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6–7).
Miryam Bueckert
Mount Salem men’s retreat
Mount Salem, Ont.: Our church has had
many struggles over the past few years.
One in particular is the lack of a full-time
senior pastor. Our lay ministers have been
asked to do double duty and are burning
There was a sense that we, along
with the ministerial, needed a weekend
getaway where we could forget about our
struggles, spend some time getting to know
each other better, and be encouraged. We
decided to go away to Algonquin Park
from May 27–30—four days of roughing
it, German Mennonite style. We were well
fed with discos, barbecues, and bacon
and eggs. We barely managed, but all of
us made it home in one piece.
During our four days up north we had
a lot of time to reflect. Our goal for this
weekend was to make new friends, build
lasting friendships, and get excited about
building God’s church in Mount Salem.
We invited Bill Wiebe, senior pastor
of Leamington EMMC, to be our keynote
speaker for the weekend. He brought us
three evening sessions: Friday, Measuring
Our Past (Philippians 3:1–21); Saturday,
Measuring My Personality (1 Corinthians
12:1–31); Sunday, Measuring My Potential
(John 15:1–17).
During these sessions we looked
at, acknowledged, evaluated, and were
asked to come to terms with our past.
We then were asked to make a decision,
a commitment, a plan of action and a
goal for the future. We also learned our
continued next page
Men gathered at Algonquin Park for a retreat; another is being talked about for next year.
continued from page 15
personality strengths and weaknesses.
We also had testimonies and times of
sharing and singing—and, of course,
sunflower seeds—around the campfire
every night.
Two of the most memorable moments
happened at night. After we went to bed,
three guys in the tent next to us overdid
it with Coke and seeds. The laughter and
other sounds coming from their tent
were better than a Mark Lowry CD. Some
people were trying to sleep, but could
not because of the loud neighbours, so
they started thinking of ways to get even.
It took till Sunday night before the loud
guys’ tent came crashing down.
Over all, we had an awesome
time enjoying the great outdoors,
fellowshipping with our fellow brothers,
being encouraged and re-energized; we
are already talking about doing a retreat
again next year.
Many thanks to all who put so much
into making this retreat happen, and our
wives who let us go.
Hans Giebrecht
Reporter: Sara Peters
Mrs. Tena Brandt: ‘That’s
still true today’
Morris, Man.: What a privilege
and a blessing it is to be part
of a larger faith community, our
EM church family! May we make
every effort to “keep the unity of
the Spirit through the bond of
peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
On October 26 our Bible study
group celebrated the birthday
of our oldest church member:
Mrs. Tena Brandt turned 98!
What a blessing and challenge
she is to all who visit her. Even
though her eyesight is gone and
her body is weak and frail, she
has such a joyful spirit. “Eck ha
daut sou schen!” (“I have it so
good!”), she says. “My precious
daughter Elma takes such good
care of me.”
These young people were baptized at Morris Fellowship Chapel on October
9, 2005: Kyle Parkinson, Mark Siemens, Amy Siemens, Lance Baldwin,
and Andy Klassen. Pastor Ward Parkinson stands with them.
¿Quién será más importante
en esta Navidad?
¿Jesús o el personaje que en los
Estados Unidos llaman Santa
Santa vive en el Polo Norte.
Jesús está en todas partes.
Santa se pasea en trineo.
Jesús camina entre nosotros y
camina sobre las aguas.
Santa viene una vez al año.
Jesús siempre está a tu lado para
Santa tiene que preguntarte:
“¿cómo te llamas?”
Jesús sabe tu nombre desde antes
que nacieras, conoce tu pasado y
tu futuro.
Santa tiene una barriga llena de
Jesús es delgado, pero tiene su
corazón lleno de amor.
Santa se ríe “jo, jo, jo”
Jesús sabe que a veces las risas no
son lo que necesitas, sino ayuda y
Los ayudantes de Santa hacen
Jesús hace nuevas vidas, repara
corazones y arregla hogares
Santa te hace reír
Jesús te puede hacer volver a vivir.
Si te portas bien, Santa puede
dejar un regalo en el árbol.
Jesús, sin importar como te
comportes, hizo el regalo de su
vida, la que ofrendó por ti.
Mrs. Brandt has a smile on her face
and a chuckle on her lips. She joins us in
singing as much as her voice allows and
still appreciates those good old German
hymns from the past. I came across a
testimony that she wrote 28 years ago
for a local church paper. When I read it to
her, she said, “That’s still true today.”
I’ll share part of it: “I am continually
with Thee. Thou hast taken hold of my
right hand. With Thy counsel Thou will
guide me and afterwards receive me to
glory. It was good for me to draw near to
God. I have put my trust in the Lord God,
that I may declare all Thy good works”
(Psalm 73:23–24, 28).
“These verses express my feelings and
my testimony. I have a wonderful personal
God, whose nearness I feel every day.
Even though I have gone through many
tribulations and trials in life, I have the
joy of the Lord and am happy in Him. His
power and love are so much greater than
my troubles, and I know that He is leading
and guiding me.”
Betty Siemens
Por eso te pido que en vez de un
vacío saludo de “Feliz Navidad”;
me acompañes a decirle a todo el
“¡Felicidades, hoy Jesús nació for ti!”
Colaboración de Emily
República Dominicana
Usado con permiso del autor.
Mrs. Tena Brandt continues to be happy in the Lord
at 98.
focus on...
Len Barkman
Dr. Harold Fast
ord spread recently among our conference
churches that Dr. Harold Fast, 56, a
member of Blumenort EMC, died suddenly
of a heart attack in Pakistan on Thursday,
November 17. He and his wife Alfrieda had returned to
Pakistan for a month, on a medical trip in response to
the earthquake there.
Dr. Fast was both a Christian medical worker and a
member on one of our national boards. Harold’s life has
been an inspiration to me personally and also to many
within our conference.
From the time of Harold and Alfrieda’s acceptance in
1983 as EMC workers, serving with TEAM, Harold has
demonstrated the passionate and compassionate heart
of a disciple of Christ.
As a medical doctor he found much satisfaction in
helping bring physical healing to the people of Pakistan;
his greatest joy, though, seemed to be to teach and live
out his faith to his Muslim friends.
This desire to communicate Christ to Urdu speakers
continued even after returning to a medical practice in
Steinbach, Man., as the Fasts developed Bible studies
and friendship circles.
In 2003 Harold was elected to serve on the EMC Board
of Missions. Here his cross-cultural experience and
thoughtful wisdom was highly valued. His field visit to
Paraguay in 2004 was a highlight for him and our workers.
Harold’s exemplary life, his humble walk with God
and his ability to teach by word and deed have drawn
many to Christ. We are deeply saddened that his life of
service seemed to be cut short at a time when Pakistan
and his family needed him.
Dr. Arley Loewen, a cultural associate living in
Afghanistan, has written: “My friend and colleague,
Harold, whom I admire very much, died with his boots
on…He died in action of love. He breathed his last
breath in a country he had spent so much of his life, a
country and a people he loved. He literally gave his life
for Pakistan. And I know God will bring forth fruit.”
On behalf of the Board Missions and our conference,
we are grateful to Dr. Fast for a life well lived in the
service of Christ.
And to Alfrieda and children Jordan, Kara, Stephanie
and Mary Jane, we give you our sympathies. We want
to continue to keep you in our prayers as a conference
family. M
Dr. Harold Fast, together with Joanne Martens and Darlene and Lester Olfert, on a field visit to Paraguay in 2004.
Note: As a result of Conference Council discussion, this letter was sent recently to Al Jazeera, with copies
to The Right Honorable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada; The Honorable Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of
Foreign Affairs (Canada); Vic Toews, Member of Parliament (Provencher, Canada); Christian Peacemaker
Teams (Canada and International); and the Canadian Islamic Congress.
December 5, 2005
decide this. If they did, the
war in Iraq would not have
happened. But they did
decide to stand with Iraqi
people to protest the war,
the following occupation,
and the suffering to Iraqi
How will it help MuslimChristian relationships and
understanding when the lives
of non-violent peacemakers,
whether Muslim or Christian,
are treated in this way? Because
of this, we would ask those who have
taken them to reconsider their decision
and to allow these peacemakers to be released.
We would ask their captors to be compassionate and
We thank those who, in their wisdom, might consider
this small, humble request.
Ron Penner (Rev.)
Conference Moderator
Terry M. Smith (Rev.)
Executive Secretary
Dear Captors and Their
On behalf of the Evangelical
Mennonite Conference, graciously permit us to make a
gentle, humble appeal for the
safe release of four members
of Christian Peacemaker Teams
currently held in Iraq—James
Loney, Harmeet Sooden, Tom Fox,
and Norman Kember.
We are Christians appealing to
Muslims, who both esteem Jesus highly,
though somewhat differently. We say that the Prince
of Peace is opposed to the war in Iraq and concerned
about how we treat each other.
The Evangelical Mennonite Conference is a small
Christian denomination in Canada. We agreed at a
national gathering on Saturday, December 3, to make this
humble request.
The EMC is a historic pacifist church opposed to
all war. Deep, regrettable harm has come to MuslimChristian relations because of the Crusades of the past
and by recent and current wars in
Iraq. Being opposed to all wars, the
SBC Leadership Conference 2006
EMC opposes the war in Iraq.
Christian Peacemaker Teams,
which has Mennonite church roots,
was formed about 20 years ago when
Dr. Ron Sider stated that Christians
opposed to war should be prepared
to reveal their concern for peace by
going to politically tense locations
and show non-violent humanitarian
concern. CPT opposes war and
violence against the Iraqi people. To
Speaker: Ewald Unruh, Director of Leadership Development
our knowledge all four members of
and Evangelism Canada for the MB Conference
CPT support non-violence, not war.
March 24-25, 2006
CPT stands with the Iraqi people
and protests against the pain and
Friday, 1 pm to Saturday 3 pm
suffering that comes through war
SBC Chapel
and an outside military presence
$40 by March 15 / $50 after March 15
within the country.
The four men currently held
cannot decide whether all Iraqi
For more information or to register—
prisoners will be released. They
call Christal 204-326-6451 or 1-800-230-8478
do not have the power to control
visit our website www.sbcollege.ca
the political process that could
Pre-registration Preferred
Church Planting in Canada
We as a family certainly would not have
expected to bury both Mom and Dad within
one year, but when couples have been
married for such a long time (they were
married close to 56 years), they often do pass
away within a short time of each other.
and there they enjoyed the fellowship of
the tenants, having the opportunity to
participate in various get-togethers of the
tenants there.
In the summer of 2004 Margaret came
down with a rare lung infection and went
into the hospital on August 9. After much
testing and treatments with medication,
it became increasingly evident that she
was just weakening and her body began
to slowly shut down.
With her husband, daughter and
son-in-law by her side, Margaret went
peacefully to be with Jesus on His
birthday, December 25. Perhaps Margaret
hung on until Christmas Day so that she
could see the family that was in Manitoba
before she left this earth.
Margaret was predeceased by her
It pleased the Lord to take our dear
wife, mother and grandmother, Margaret
Dueck to help Jesus celebrate His birthday
in heaven on December 25, 2004.
Margaret Dueck was born on July 14,
1919, to her parents, the late John W. and
Maria Dueck in Rosenhof, Manitoba.
Margaret had a happy childhood and,
being the youngest in the family, she spent
a lot of time with her nieces and nephews.
Margaret would often have little parties
and picnics for them, and they still have
fond memories of that. She loved the Lord
and was baptized upon her confession of
faith and was received into membership
at Rosenort EMC.
Margaret and Peter were married on
January 2, 1949, and were blessed with
nearly 56 years of marriage.
Margaret was a wonderful homemaker
and also did some part-time babysitting.
She enjoyed cooking and baking and
would often bake a batch of coolies in the
evening after a busy day. Margaret also
made several quilts and always enjoyed
going to the Mission Sisters meetings. She
enjoyed fellowshipping with family and
friends and it was important to her to be
able to spend time with them. Margaret
was an encouragement to her husband
and children in their ventures. She loved
family and friends dearly.
Church and serving the Lord were
important to Margaret and Peter and
they attended faithfully. At times she and
Peter would sing in the choir or in a small
group. The John W. Dueck family, as well
as Peter’s family, always enjoyed singing.
Margaret and Peter moved to
Woodhaven Manor in January of 1995
After a brief illness, Peter U. Dueck of
Steinbach, Man., passed away to his home
in glory on October 9, 2005, at the age of
86 years.
Peter was born on October 22, 1918, in
Friedensfeld, Man., the oldest of the Peter
K. and Justina Dueck family.
Peter was very studious and enjoyed
reading, writing, and translating. Peter
wanted to be a teacher, but he was needed
on the family farm, so he took a year or
two to help and then completed his high
school. He went on to Normal School and
began to teach. Peter also did work as a
Conscientious Objector in Portage and
Clear Lake during the war years.
When teaching in Pleasant Valley,
he was encouraged by his mother to
correspond to a young lady that was
working in the Steinbach Bethesda
Hospital. The courtship between Peter
and Margaret was short and sweet and
they were married within three months
of corresponding with each other. During
their many years of marriage, Margaret
was always faithful, encouraging Peter as
best as she could. As a family, we enjoyed
mother Maria W. Dueck and her father John
W. Dueck, four sisters, six brothers; and
numerous nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
Margaret was survived by her husband
Peter, daughter Lorena and her husband
Otto Zacharias of Winnipeg, Man.; son
Richard and his wife Pam and their two
boys, Zackery and Nicholas, of Salmon
Arm, B.C.; and one sister Agnes Friesen
(who since passed away in May 2005).
Margaret will be missed very much,
but we know that she is in a better place
where there is no more sickness and
The funeral service was held at
Steinbach EMC on Friday, December
31, 2004. Interment was at Heritage
Her Family
traveling and have fond memories of the
many trips we took.
Peter took several interesting courses
in university, one being a course in Low
German; he entertained his family by
reading excerpts from Koop en Bua foare
no Toronto (Koop and Buhr travel to
Toronto), keeping them in stitches. Peter
taught in various places and had some
tough times, but he persevered through
adversity and kept on fighting his strong
fight of faith. Peter also took a course in
bookkeeping and worked several years
in that profession. He was also the editor
of the Christlicher Familienfreund and did
some translating of family diaries for
others. Peter enjoyed studying the Word
and taught his family of his faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter had some health problems and
was admitted to Bethesda Hospital on
September 27 with diabetic complications,
dehydration, high blood pressure, and side
effects of his medications. Within a couple
of days Peter also developed pneumonia,
and in spite of aggressive antibiotics, his
body began to shut down. On the morning
of October 9 he peacefully slipped into the
arms of his Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter was predeceased by his wife
Margaret in December 2004; his father and
mother, Peter K. and Justina Dueck; one
sister in infancy, one brother, numerous
in-laws and some nieces and nephews.
Peter is survived by his daughter
Lorena and her husband Otto Zacharias of
Winnipeg, Man.; son Rick and his wife Pam
and their two boys, Zackery and Nicholas,
of Salmon Arm, B.C.; eight brothers, four
sisters, in-laws and numerous nieces and
After his wife Margaret died, Peter was
hoping to be able to go to Rest Haven. He
will be missed very much, but we know he
is in the best care home ever.
His Family
The Messenger index
Where was God? Judy Schmidt
Jan. 12
The New City, Larry Miller
Jan. 26
The story behind the photograph,
Herman and Anne Fehr
Feb. 9
Spiritual retreats: How do we make
them work? Irma Janzen
Feb. 23
These churches are unstoppable!
Darlene Olfert
March 9
Mennonite conferences differ on
women in the pulpit, Paul Schrag
March 9
We are not forsaken in our
suffering! Tom Warner
March 23
The lack of deep community,
Dawson Kroeker
March 23
Living in community, walking with
people, sharing the precious gift
of love, Pam Driedger
April 6
Death and life for Christ and the
Christian, Jake Enns
April 20
Let a child be a child! Harvey Plett
May 4
Using excess money: the wealthy
in the land, Wally Kroeker
May 25
Three conversions needed,
Wally Kroeker
May 25
Ethiopian church grows and faces
challenges, Byron RempelBurkholder
June 15
After 60 years, would I do it again?
Dave K. Schellenberg
June 29
Beyond Integration: It’s not my
problem? Wally Doerksen
July 20
Finding calm in the chaos through
an exclusive allegiance,
Rod Masterson
Aug. 17
Back to School? Why? Dr. Al Hiebert
Aug. 17
Finding calm in the chaos through
an exclusive trust, Rod Masterson Sept. 7
What are the benefits of being part
of the EMC? Ron Penner
Sept. 7
AIDS has a face, Menno Plett
Sept. 7
Finding calm in the chaos through
an exclusive reverence,
Rod Masterson
Sept. 21
The future of the Anabaptist vision,
Walter Klaassen
Sept. 21
Finding calm in the chaos through an
exclusive holiness, Rod Masterson
Oct. 5
Welcome to the Church!
Layton Friesen
Oct. 19
A new radical remembers a child
of God, Bill McCaskell
Nov. 2
Bear one another’s burdens,
Layton Friesen
Nov. 2
Grieving losses other than death,
Irma Janzen
Nov. 16
Joy to the World! Ed Peters
Dec. 7
¿Dios Todopoderoso en us Pesebre?
Almighty God in a Manger?
Lester Olfert
Dec. 28
Jan. 12, Feb. 23, March 9, April 6, May 25, June
15, July 20, Sept. 7, Oct. 19, Dec. 14
Apologies and forgiveness
The family of God
Are we joyful as Christians?
Church planting and my family
Feb. 9
March 23
June 15
Aug. 17
Aug. 17, Sept. 7, Sept. 21, Nov. 2
Feb. 9, March 9
Feb. 23, Sept. 21
Aug. 17
Oct. 19, Dec. 28
Jan. 26, Dec. 28
Burns Lake
July 20
June 15
March 23, Oct. 5
Oct. 5
Fort Frances
April 6, Sept. 7, Oct. 5
Fort Garry
Oct. 5, Nov. 2 (correction)
Good News
Oct. 19
Grande Prairie
Feb. 23, March 9, May 25
High Level
Feb. 23, Nov. 2
April 20, July 20, Nov. 2
June 29
La Crete
March 9
June 15, July 20
June 15
July 20, Oct. 19
June 29, Dec. 7
Feb. 9, July 20
May 25, Dec. 28
March 9
Mount Salem
Dec. 28
Feb. 23, June 29, Sept. 21
Jan. 26, June 15, Oct. 19
Pleasant Valley
May 25, Dec. 14
Jan. 12, Feb. 23, May 25, Aug. 17,
Nov. 16, Dec. 14
Jan. 26
April 20, June 29, Dec. 14
April 20, June 15, June 29, Nov. 2
Jan. 26, April 20, July 20, Dec. 14
Rosenort Fellowship
Feb. 9, April 6, May 25
April 6, July 20, Sept. 7, Nov. 16
Steinbach EFC
May 4, Sept. 21
Stony Brook
March 23, Dec. 28
Jan. 12, March 23, Aug. 17,
Nov. 16
Swift Current
May 4, Sept. 7, Dec. 14
Jan. 12, Feb. 23, Oct. 19, Dec. 14
Sept. 7
Feb. 9, July 20, Oct. 19
Feb. 9, Feb. 23, May 25, Sept. 7
Aug. 17
March 9, Nov. 2
Tillsonburg, Ont.
Oct. 19
Remember those who suffer
Jan. 12
SCOs and the law
Jan. 12
The EMC two-step
Jan. 26
Suicide never affects only one person
Jan. 26
What is our practical answer?
Feb. 9
Discussions and related contexts
Feb. 9
What does my Bible say?
Feb. 23
French Canada and the EMC
Feb. 23
Tipping the balance
March 9
Exploring our theology
March 9
Mexico and Native ministry in
March 23
Another blow to the farming sector March 23
The Ascension of Christ
April 6
The gift of helps
April 6
Christ’s Spirit and an expanding world April 20
The question woven into Acts 12
April 20
Districts or presbyteries?
May 4
Our hope is in Christ
May 4
What about safe injection sites?
May 25
Rethinking the Church Year
May 25
Do we assume too much in our
June 8
I am indebted
June 8
Abundant Springs and tomorrow’s
June 22
No glib words about the weather
June 22
Rev. Ben D. Reimer was not my uncle
July 13
A future dark beyond our description July 13
Less than 72 hours
Aug. 17
Christ, Menno, and Luther
Aug. 17
Helping after Katrina
Sept. 7
Mutually enriching adjectives
Sept. 7
Suicide and church’s response
Sept. 21
One black sheep to another
Sept. 21
Thanksgiving for Corinth
Oct. 05
The Commission is Great
Oct. 05
Christ is our centre
Oct. 19
Lester Olfert isn’t retiring just yet
Oct. 19
An appreciation that goes
beyond agreement
Nov. 2
Peace and prosperity for all
Nov. 2
A long-term response
Nov. 16
Hurt by the church?
Nov. 16
Advent is a time of hope
Dec. 14
Advent can be a time of grief
Dec. 14
‘Not any more’
Dec. 28
The number is not in service
at this time
Dec. 28
Spiritual Retreats: How do we make
them work? Irma Janzen
Feb. 23
Beyond Integration: It’s not my
problem? Wally Doerksen
July 20
Fierce Goodbye: Living in the
Shadow of Suicide (review)
Sept. 21
Are Christians missing out?
Doris Penner
Nov. 16
A Pentecost Experience
June 15
EMC and Frontiers sign agreement June 29
Dr. Harold Fast
Dec. 28
Are we doing real discipleship?
Do Birds Need Boots?
‘Every good and perfect gift
comes from God’ Something small can be big!
The opening month
Are you balanced?
Listen to your nose!
What can the beach teach?
Do you like change?
Yellow Dog
Xin’s music
Christmas is for Kings
April 6
Jan. 26
Feb. 23
March 23
April 20
May 25
June 29
Aug. 17
Sept. 21
Oct. 19
Nov. 16
Dec. 28
What happens to the ‘untold’?
David Field
Jan. 12
A response to An Ode to Walking,
Laura Dueck
Jan. 12
Looking further at two questions,
Terry Tiessen
Jan. 26
Cannot be ‘agnostic’ about the
destiny of the unevangelized,
David Schmidt
Jan. 26
Scripture and truth lovers,
Joanna Budala
Jan. 26
New look involves money that is
well spent, Dave
March 9
People more important than
view or interpretation,
John Schlamp (corrected)
March 23
Barrier rooted in sin, not God’s
heart, Jack Heppner
April 6
What sort of Anabaptist?
Terry Tiessen
April 20
Not feelings, but reality,
Mary Doerksen
May 4
Jesus was forsaken for us!
Ivy Sawatzky
May 4
How could the Father gaze upon
sin? Darryl Klassen
May 4
Cross-life, true discipleship
needed, Dale Loewen
May 25
SBC concerned about native
ministry, Abe Bergen
May 25
Concerned about Let a Child be
a Child! Vern and Lana Knutson June 15
Perhaps in Pantheon, not in New
Testament, Jack Heppner
June 15
December 28, 2005
Jesus took our sins upon himself,
Jason E. Dueck
June 15
Theorizing about Christ’s death,
Arden Thiessen
June 15
A look at the derelict cry, Edwin Plett June 15
Jesus endured spiritual death
for us, Vange Lough
June 29
It is finished, Elizabeth Koop
July 20
His forsakenness was predicted,
John H. Knelsen
Aug. 17
Jesus was human and divine,
Ben Eidse
Sept. 7
God works in ways I don’t
understand, Henry Dyck
Sept. 21
Doreen Peters responds,
Doreen Peters
Sept. 21
An emphasis proper beyond
individualism, Matt Plett
Oct. 5
Truth stranger than fiction,
Dale Loewen
Oct. 5
A paradox to be accepted,
Archie Penner
Oct. 5
Prolonged discussion needs
summation, John Schlamp
Oct. 5
Fierce Goodbye, suicide, and mental
illness, Eckhard Goertz
Oct. 19
Our duty to evangelize children,
Albert Dean
Oct. 19
Concerned about Let a Child be a Child!
Cornie and Evangeline Thiessen Oct. 19
Spoonfuls of hope, Daniel Keith
Dec. 14
Northern Manitoba: Bill and Anna
Jan. 12
Rodney Hollinger-Janzen is new
AIMM coordinator
Jan. 26
SEMILLA graduates 16 church
Jan. 26
Mali: Evelyn Barkman
Feb. 9
SBC pizza night
Feb. 9
Zambia: Anthony Thiessen
March 9
Burkina Faso: Lillian Haas
March 9
Venezuela: Amanda Barkman
March 23
Uganda/Sudan: Gordon Skopnik March 23
Winnipeg: Kirsten Sandland
April 6
Winnipeg: Kent Dueck
April 6
Oaxaca, Mexico: Grace Thiessen April 20
Paraguay: Doris Friesen
May 4
Mexico: Alvira Friesen
May 4
Venezuela: Amanda Barkman
May 4
Ken Zacharias appointed as
foreign secretary
May 4
Nicaragua: Wilbert Friesen
May 25
Northern Manitoba: Bill and Anna
May 25
Northern Manitoba:
Andrew Coates
May 25
Ethiopia: Byron Rempel-Burkholder June 15
Ethiopia: Mennonite World
June 15
Ethiopia: Cherenet and Hussein
visit EMC
June 15
Papua New Guinea: Tim and Laurel
June 15
Region 1: churches focus on native
June 29
Russia: David Field
June 29
EMC and Frontiers sign agreement June 29
Peru: Verna Doerksen
July 20
Paraguay: Mary Ann Loewen
Aug. 17
Philippines: Evelyn Rodgers
Aug. 17
Canada: EMC Golf Tournament
Sept. 7
Mexico: Grace Thiessen
Sept. 7
Philippines: Carl Loewen
Sept. 7
Lesotho: Kari Peters
Sept. 21
Four missionaries recognized on
August 25, Terry Smith
Sept. 21
Tribute to Catherine Thiessen
Sept. 21
Tribute to Doris Friesen
Sept. 21
Tribute to Peter and Anne Wiebe Sept. 21
Burkina Faso/Canada: Terry Smith Sept. 21
Project Macedonia 2005: Dallas
and Tara Wiebe
Sept. 21
Colombia/Canada: Gordon Skopnik Sept. 21
Lesotho: Kari Peters
Sept. 21
Mexico: John Froese
Sept. 21
Mexico: Len Sawatzky and
Lester Olfert
Sept. 21
Special missions projects (list) Oct. 5, 19
Paraguay: Chris Kroeker
Nov. 2
Mexico: Peter and Martha
Nov. 16
Kenya: Joanna Plett
Nov. 16
Arabia: Folk Islam and freedom
in Christ
Dec. 14
China: Airport amazement
Dec. 14
Oasis, Mexico: names of members Dec. 14
SBC: Mission-X
Dec. 28
Asia: An airport terminal and
hearts language
Dec. 28
Looking at our theology and practice
of water baptism (ministerial) Jan. 12
CMU gathering sets modest record
Jan. 12
U. of M. student luncheon
Jan. 12
Conference Council
Jan. 26
MFC appoints consultant, reopens
Calgary office
Jan. 26
EFC sends letter to justice minister Jan. 26
MCC urges security through justice Jan. 26
Vietnamese leaders report being
abused in prison
Jan. 26
The church and the poor
(conference council)
Feb. 23
New general manager appointed
to MFC
March 23
Moderator’s letter to PM upholds
traditional marriage
April 6
Leaders ponder Behold your God!
(ministerial retreat)
April 6
FASD families need supportive faith
communities (MCC)
May 4
Abundant Springs 2005
June 29
Reflections on Abundant Springs
June 29
From Kleefeld to Kolkata (MCC)
July 20
Ministers explore stresses in
Aug. 17
Council hears reports and proposals Aug. 17
Clubs wielded for good causes
Sept. 7
EMC youth enjoy a great view!
Sept. 7
Convention offerings
Sept. 7
Conference council elections
Sept. 7
Convention ladies session
Sept. 7
Survey says, Sept 7, Oct. 5
MWC: Vietnamese Mennonite
pastor released
Sept. 21
Brandon church received into
Sept. 21
MDS responding after Katrina
and Rita
Oct. 19
A Canadian Evangelical Anabaptist
Oct. 19
MCC faces demand for school kits
Nov. 2
EMCers in Kabul, Afghanistan
Nov. 2
Canadian Volunteers (MDS Region V) Nov. 2
CFGB responds to southern African
food crisis
Nov. 2
Ambassador’s tribute to Soviet
Christians remembered
Nov. 2
Higher education amalgamation
under EFC
Nov. 16
MCC joins call to aid world’s poor
Nov. 16
Katrina clean up nets warm hugs
Nov. 16
Dialogue and joint action vital,
says CWC
Nov. 16
MCC Canada supports ecumenical
water campaign
Nov. 16
Christians most persecuted in world Dec. 14
EMCers and MDS
Dec. 14
Southern Manitoba post-secondary
supper held in Winnipeg
Dec. 14
Conference office staff photo
Dec. 14
Aboriginal leaders express deep
concern (EFC)
Dec. 28
Latin American churches suffer loss
and destruction (MWC)
Dec. 28
Letter re: CPTers held in Iraq
Dec. 28
Frank C.L. Friesen, 1917–2004
April 6
Frances Fast, 1955–2005
April 20
Irvin Peter Thiessen, Jan. 29, 2005
April 20
Gertrude Reimer, April 19, 2005
May 4
William Fehr, 1949–2004 (memorial)
May 4
Casey Daniel Penner, 1991–2005
May 25
John Dueck, 1946–2005
June 15
Jean (Penner) Reimer, 1974–2005
June 15
Jacob L. Kroeker, April 25, 2005
June 15
Martha (Kroeker) Loewen,
May 9, 2005
June 15
Justina Friesen Dueck, 1919–2005
June 29
David E. Plett, 1918–2005
June 29
Justina Eidse Siemens, May 21, 2005 June 29
Menno Richard Kroeker,
March 30, 2005
June 29
Agnes Dueck Friesen, 1914–2005
June 29
Elizabeth Friesen Dueck, June 26, 2005 July 20
Clara Penner, Aug. 7, 2005
Sept. 7
Mary (Rempel) Giesbrecht, June 4, 2005 Sept. 21
Annie (Anne) Klassen, 1925–2005
Sept. 21
Clayton Leroy Scharfenberg,
Aug.11, 2005
Oct. 5
John Richard Veer, 1951–2005
Oct. 19
Ken Loewen, Oct. 18, 2004 (memorial) Oct. 19
Otto Plett, 1934–2005
Nov. 16
Margaret R. Reimer, Nov. 16, 2005
Dec. 14
Margaret (Dueck) Dueck, Dec. 25, 2004 Dec. 28
Peter U. Dueck, Oct. 9, 2005
Dec. 28
Joshua Nathan Chad Kroeker,
Jan. 12
Mary Koop, Dec. 26, 2003 (memorial) Jan. 12
Helen Lena Kroeker, Dec. 4, 2004
Jan. 12
Margaret (Peggy) Kleinpeter,
Jan. 12
Lydia Awdiuk, Jan. 1, 2005
Jan. 26
Clarence Eric Grant, Dec. 12, 2004
Jan. 26
Margaret Friesen, Oct. 7, 2004
Jan. 26
Andrew Siemens,
1991–2003 (memorial)
Jan. 26
Mariah LaDawn Penner,
Jan. 28, 2003 (memorial)
Feb. 9
Arielle Jimena Penner,
Dec. 20, 2004 (memorial)
Feb. 9
Mary Eidse Aug. 11, 2004
Feb. 23
Jessie Reimer July 26, 2004
March 23
Magaretha Brandt, Jan. 5, 2005
April 6
Frank L. Friesen, Dec. 27, 2004
April 6
Do modern-day miracles surprise
me? Erna Dueck Jan. 12
Incredible providence, Archie Penner Feb. 9
Young families, go out and take the
gospel somewhere!
Margaret Dueck
March 9
The Impact, Delores Barkman
June 15
Why I wish I had known that my
husband was human,
Heather Plett
July 20
Henry Isaac: Dad had time for me,
Robyn Isaac
Nov. 2
Memories of the first Messenger
Change and leaders who watch
over our souls
Preserving our heritage
Martha Raas, MCC
Leon Janzen, MCC
Eva Esau, MCC
Judy and Dave Schmidt, BOM
Chris and Renita Kroeker, BOM
Peter and Anne Wiebe, BOM
Catherine Thiessen, BOM
Ken Zacharias, BOM
Amy Marie Epp, AMBS
Lois Unrau, AMBS
Larry Eidse, BOT
The Christian Marathon, L. Marie Enns
Guilty no more, Laura Plett Siemens
Children of my children,
Laura Plett Siemens
Where to Find Him, L. Marie Enns
May 4
Oct. 5
Nov. 2
Walk With Me, Laura Plett Siemens
I wonder, Betty K. Siemen
Child on the hay, L. Marie Enns
¿Quién será más importante en esta
Navidad? Emily
Region 7 youth retreat
Region 1 churches focus on
native ministries
Region 6 mission conference
SBC graduates 29
Higher education amalgamation
under EFC
Nov. 2
Dec. 14
Dec. 14
Dec. 28
Jan. 12
June 29
Dec. 14
May 4
Nov. 16
All issues
In lieu of flowers
Jan. 26
The blessing and the curse
Feb. 23
God’s Gift: The prince of peace
March 23
Stewardship: more than the harvest
April 20
When should pastors preach about
May 25
I was here!
July 20
On receiving graciously
Sept. 7
Is seeking wealth a proper Christian
Oct. 5
Who’s Right?
Oct. 19
For this water, may we be truly thankful Nov. 2
Berries, cold gravy and generosity
Nov. 16
Feb. 23, June 15, Sept. 7, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Dec. 14
March 23
March 23
March 23
April 20
April 20
April 20
April 20
May 4
June 29
June 29
Sept. 7
Feb. 23
April 20
May 25
Nov. 2
Dealing with retirement adjustments
Three influences toward missions
Sept. 21
Dec. 14
Jan. 12
Susie: A love that serves
Feb. 23
Viola: Worth is not determined
by doing March 23
First impressions
April 20
May 4
Edna: ‘Pray always…’
June 15
Helen—Called to Teach
Aug. 17
Hitomi: All people are precious
Sept. 7
Anne: Farther along we’ll
understand why
Oct. 5
Tunnels: Breaking through to the light
Nov. 2
Home for Christmas!
Dec. 14
Whiteman’s Gospel, Craig Stephen
Smith March 9
Nestor Machno and the Eichenfeld Massacre: A
civil war tragedy in a Ukrainian Mennonite
Harvey L. Dyck and others
March 9
Chortitzer history book
March 9
One Who Dared: Life story of Ben
D. Reimer, Doreen Reimer Peters
Sept. 7
Fierce Goodbye: Living in the shadow
of suicide, G.L. and G.C. Carr Sept. 21
shoulder tapping
Executive Position
A church planting director
is required for the Evangelical
position requires a passion for
church growth and development. The Director
will work closely with regional churches to
encourage and initiate new church plants. Strong
written and oral skills are essential. This is a .5
position. For a job description and information,
please contact the office at 204-326-6401 or
e-mail [email protected]
EMC Missions seeks missionaries for Mexico and
In both countries, church planters are needed
to work alongside national church leaders and
missionaries. The first year for new applicants would
involve Spanish language study at Rio Grande Bible
Institute in Edinburgh, Texas. This ministry would
include evangelism in both new and existing church
locations, discipleship of new believers, Christian
education, and church leadership training.
In Mexico, both English- and German-speaking
teachers are need for elementary schools in German
communities. A pastor-caregiver is needed for
Hillside Church in May 2006. German is required. In
Paraguay, a nurse is required for Lucero Clinic in East
Contact Ken Zacharias, EMC foreign secretary, at
204-326-6401 or [email protected]
Endeavour Fellowship Chapel in east-central
Saskatchewan, with a congregation of about 50,
is currently looking for a pastor. Contact Tom
Treen (Elders’ Chairman) at 306-547-3383 or
[email protected]
Morris Fellowship Chapel (EMC) in Morris, Man.,
seeks a part-time youth leader to give direction to
our senior high youth ministry. Time commitment
and remuneration will be based on experience and
availability. Contact Pastor Ward Parkinson at 204746-2424 for information, or email [email protected]
Crestview Fellowship (EMC) seeks a part-time
youth director with a strong personal spiritual
foundation who is able to build strong relationships
with youth. Must have the ability to work alongside
a team of youth sponsors in discipling youth, and
be creative and energetic in planning regular
Bible studies and organizing fundraisers. Contact
Pastor Vern Knutson at 204-837-9490. Resumes
can be forwarded by e-mail to [email protected]
or by mail to Crestview Fellowship, c/o Christine
Fink, 271 Hamilton Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2Y 0H3.
Christian Fellowship Church in Steinbach, Man., seeks
a full-time senior pastor for a spiritually growing
church of 450 people, with dual services. Our church
has one youth pastor, one congregational care pastor,
and runs Sunday school and the Awana program for
elementary students. The pastor is to be of a mature
nature, have a love for God and the Scriptures that is
evident in their leadership, teaching and speaking.
If your spiritual gifts fit and you feel God calling
you, apply by e-mail, [email protected]; or by mail,
Christian Fellowship Church, Search Committee, Box
1784, Steinbach, MB R5G 1N4. Check our website at
La Crete Christian Fellowship in La Crete,
Alberta, seeks a youth pastor for a new position
as part of our pastoral team. LCCF is a forwardlooking church of about 400 regular attendees.
The youth pastor will work with the senior pastor
to implement our ministry vision of helping
people establish and strengthen their personal
connection to Jesus Christ. The youth pastor will
have a primary role in developing programs and
working closely with youth and youth leaders.
LCCF’s service to God is based on the core values
of a commitment to teaching God’s Word and
outreach to the community.
The pastor will be people oriented and have
demonstrated abilities in various ministries,
including outreach, teaching, and visitation; and
be able to train and develop a support network of
lay ministers. This is a vibrant church with great
potential for spreading the Word through men’s
and women’s ministries, AWANA, youth ministry,
and small groups. Send a resume with references
to [email protected] or LCCFC, Box 385, La Crete,
AB T0H 2H0 Attention: Pastor Frank Winsor.
Kleefeld EMC, a church of about 300 members in
Kleefeld, Man., is seeking an associate pastor. The
primary focus would be to work with the youth
program in a discipling and mentoring capacity,
involving youth and youth workers. This position
would also include one other major involvement—
depending on the applicant’s giftedness—such as
Christian Education resource, music ministry, etc.
We are looking for a leader to join us in catching
the vision and excitement of a growing church
community. Send resumes to Ron Harder, Box 4,
Kleefeld, MB R0A 0V0; e-mail [email protected]; phone
Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship (EMC) in northcentral British Columbia seeks a half-time
associate pastor of youth with a love for God
and heart for youth. The leader will give mature
leadership, work with church in moulding youth,
guide them into becoming faithful followers of
Jesus Christ, and work within the EMC statement
of faith. Our Sunday morning attendance is 100.
Our youth group (without a youth pastor for some
time) is rebuilding, currently 12 to 20 people,
with an average age of 14. There is potential for
growth. Contact VCF, Box 377, Vanderhoof, BC
V0J 3A0; phone 250-567-9198; fax 250-5672064; [email protected]
Taber EMC in southern Alberta seeks a senior
pastoral couple to start September 2006, due to a
retirement. The church is bilingual in Low German
and English, and has an average attendance of 125
people. Applicants should contact Nick Enns, 403223-3386 (cell 634-0020); or Peter Wall, 403-3829184 (cell 382-9184).
A full-time teacher is needed for three elementary
school children of two families serving in Russia
(school to start September 2006). Contact Dave
and Kim Field at 204-482-6801 or dave-kim_
[email protected]; or Tim and Joy Watson at 541-4859888 or [email protected] Housing is paid
for and support raising is required for $1,500 US
per month.
Steinbach Evangelical Mennonite Church in
Steinbach, Man., is looking for a motivated, energetic
person with organizational skills to fill a half-time
position immediately as minister of music and
worship. The minister would primarily coordinate
and supervise all church music ministries. For a job
description or to forward a resume, contact search
committee chair Henry Klassen, 63 Donald Ave.,
Steinbach, MB R5G 2B5; phone 204-326-6068; or email [email protected]
Mennonite Foundation of Canada, a charitable
foundation serving seven Anabaptist conferences
across Canada, seeks a full-time stewardship
consultant for its Kitchener, Ont., office. This
person will provide charitable gift and estate
planning services and promote biblical fi nancial
stewardship in Ontario and Eastern Canada.
Needed: To communicate with viduals and
for presenting in group settings, understand
charitable gift and estate planning; be creative,
organized, and self-motivated; incorporate MFC’s
stewardship mission in personal life; be part of
an interdependent staff team; and be a member
of a participating conference. Submit applications
by January 15, 2006, to Erwin Warkentin, general
manager, 12-1325 Markham Rd, Winnipeg, MB
R3T 4J6; 1-800-772-3257; fax: 204-488-1986;
e-mail: [email protected]; www.
MCC Manitoba seeks a full-time administrative
assistant for March 2006. The assistant reports to
the management team and provides administrative
and logistical support to it and other administration
staff, assisting with special events coordination and
office management. Previous clerical experience is
required; preference is given to those skilled in wordprocessing, minute taking, data-base management
and knowledge of office procedures. Good PR skills
are essential, as are flexibility and organizational
abilities. Applicant screening begins in mid-January.
MCCM also seeks a half-time Winkler family
services program coordinator. The coordinator
takes direction from the program team leader and
a local committee. WFS mainly provides settlement
assistance to newcomers, primarily Low Germanspeaking immigrants who seek Canadian citizenship,
and works with volunteers to meet settlement
needs. Fluency in Low German and English and good
written English skills are essential. Candidates are
preferred with experience in program coordination
and/or knowledge of immigration documentation
work. Applicant screening begins immediately.
Qualifications for MCC positions include a
Christian faith, active membership in a Christian
church and a commitment to nonviolent
Contact Janelle Siemens at [email protected]
ca or Sol Janzen at [email protected] or 204-2616381. Written applications may be sent to them at
134 Plaza Dr., Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9.
First Mennonite Church, Burns Lake, BC, seeks
a lead pastor. This established congregation of
about 100 has been described by visitors as being
“healthy, welcoming, and feisty” and is located in
north central BC, just two and a half hours west of
Prince George. We are an excited family, looking
to discover what God wants to be doing through us
in the next 10 years and beyond. Candidates may
fax inquiries attention: pastor search at 250-6987363 or e-mail FMC Pastor Search at [email protected]
kids’ corner
Loreena Thiessen
Christmas is for Kings
hen Jesus was born in Bethlehem two
thousand years ago there was a problem.
The problem was that Jesus was a King.
Before Jesus was born as a baby to
Mary and Joseph, He was in heaven as God, the Son,
living with His Father and the Holy Spirit. But God the
Father sent His Son to earth to be born just like you
were born.
The ancestors of Jesus’ earthly family begins with
Abraham and ends with Joseph, Jesus’ father while He
was on earth. In the line of Jesus’ family were King Saul
and King David.
The children of Israel, God’s people, needed a king to
lead them. With a king they felt safer and more secure,
and yet they never felt completely safe and secure. All
their lives they hoped and waited for another king, a
super-king, one that would truly save them and keep
them safe and secure. They were waiting for a Saviour,
the Messiah.
God gave King David a promise that this would
happen in his family. God promised that the Messiah
would come and he would be more than the son of
David; He would be the Son of God. The Son of God
himself, Who had lived forever in heaven, would reign
from a throne that would last forever and ever. And that
was Jesus. Jesus was the true King of the Jews. The
problem was that at the time Jesus was born there was
another king on the Jewish throne, King Herod.
Before the birth of Jesus was known to the people,
only the Magi and the shepherds knew Jesus was a
King. The Magi brought gifts that honoured Him as King
and the shepherds came to worship Him.
The problem for King Herod was that he was afraid.
He was afraid that as the new King, Jesus would replace
him. The people were afraid too. They worried about
what kind of a king Jesus would be. But Jesus said He
would not set up His kingdom on earth; He was on earth
to teach the truth about God (John 18:36-37).
When Jesus returned to heaven to live with God
his Father, He said, “In my Father’s house are many
mansions…I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
This means that one day those who love him will live as
a King with Him in His house. Read John 14:1–6. M
Activity: Pipe Cleaner Christmas
Tree Ornament
You need:
Green pipe cleaners
Red and other colored beads
Star button, or star from gold or silver paper
What to do:
String the beads on a green pipe cleaner about one
inch apart.
When all beads are in place, bend the pipe cleaner
back and forth to form a tree shape, wide at the
bottom and getting narrower to the top. The tree
should be a triangle shape when complete.
String the wire through the star button's thread hole
or a hole in the paper star, and twist the wire around
the top of the pipe cleaner to form a secure loop.
Hang on your tree.
Evangelical Mennonite Conference
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5
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