Chortitzer ong>Mennoong>nite Conference
Vol. 29, No. 7
Counsel From an
ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong> on the
Assurance of Salvation
From the Bishop’s Desk
Over the last eight months the
CMC Ministerial in Manitoba has had
the opportunity to complete a course at
Steinbach Bible College on Anabaptist
history. Though I missed the last session,
I was greatly encouraged by where we
come from, our Anabaptist history, and
what classifies us as ong>Mennoong>nites.
Having said that, I want to note
that the terms “Anabaptist” and
“ong>Mennoong>nite” are not hang-ups of mine,
but would prefer that above all I am
recognized as a Christian, a Christfollower.
The other two terms are simply
a reference to that. I am not ashamed of
my spiritual heritage, but I do not place
my salvation on that heritage.
So then those who were scattered
because of the persecution that
occurred in connection with Stephen
made their way to Phoenicia and
Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word
to no one except to Jews alone. But
there were some of them, men of Cyprus
and Cyrene, who came to Antioch
and began speaking to the Greeks
Bishop Frank Unrau
I am a Christian
also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And
the hand of the Lord was with them,
and a large number who believed
turned to the Lord. The news about
them reached the ears of the church
at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas
off to Antioch. Then when he arrived
and witnessed the grace of God, he
rejoiced and began to encourage them
all with resolute heart to remain true to
the Lord; for he was a good man, and
full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And
considerable numbers were brought to
the Lord. And he left for Tarsus to look
for Saul; and when he had found him,
he brought him to Antioch. And for an
entire year they met with the church and
taught considerable numbers; and the
disciples were first called Christians in
Antioch (Acts 11:19-26).
In this passage, followers of Christ
were first called Christians, and it
appears the message of Christ was
being spoken not only to Jews, but also
to Gentiles. The message had crossed
ethnic, cultural, and geographical
The Good News of Jesus was brought to a certain group of
people, of which my forefathers came from, and I do not want
to forget the cost they made in leaving me a spiritual heritage.
But I do not place my Salvation on that, but rather on the One
that we began following in the first place.
The Chronicle is published monthly by the Board of Publication and Education of the
Chortitzer ong>Mennoong>nite Conference.
Articles, letters, poems and photos are welcome, but we reserve the right to edit for length
and appropriateness. Original writing and photos will not be returned except by request.
The views and opinions expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent the views and
opinions of the Chortitzer ong>Mennoong>nite Conference and its editors.
Our hope is that you would enjoy reading The Chronicle as you are informed, encouraged
and challenged. God Bless.
Next Deadline: Aug 10, 2009
boundaries. We see persecution for
their faith, as we have seen at many
points in the history of the church;
Anabaptists and ong>Mennoong>nites included
amongst others. For that reason being
referred to as a follower of Jesus Christ
encompasses other heritages than
The Good News of Jesus was
brought to a certain group of people,
of which my forebears came from, and
I do not want to forget the cost they
made in leaving me a spiritual heritage.
But I do not place my salvation on that,
but rather on the One that we began
following in the first place. We follow
Jesus, leaning on His teaching, and the
teaching of the ones His hand was on.
Though I value the stand the past
patriarchs have made, it is the Word
on which they stood that I want to be
known for, and not their label. There in
is our struggle to keep the past heritage
alive, not while building on any label
as one’s faith, but rather on the faith in
Christ that created these movements
and labels in the first place!. For, it is
not by any label that we live, but by
As Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
And I, brethren, could not speak to
you as to spiritual men, but as to men of
flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you
milk to drink, not solid food; for you
were not yet able to receive it. Indeed,
478 Henry St.
Steinbach, MB R5G 0J1
Ph:204-346-6320 Fax: 204-346-6325
Page 2 The Chronicle
even now you are not yet able, for
you are still fleshly. For since there is
jealousy and strife among you, are you
not fleshly, and are you not walking like
mere men? For when one says, “I am of
Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,”
are you not mere men?
What then is Apollos? And what
is Paul? Servants through whom
you believed, even as the Lord
gave opportunity to each one. I
I’m a Man… I can Change…
If I have to…Maybe.
Several months ago my wife
and I celebrated our fifth wedding
anniversary. Not twenty-five years, but
the first number of note in our married
lives, and I wanted to make it special.
When you are dating, and looking
forward to getting married to the one
you love, you often imagine all the
fancy dinners you will take her to, the
flowers you will buy, and limo rides
you will take. In reality it’s more like
McDonald’s, dandelions, and a ride in
the minivan. But you wouldn’t trade it
for the world.
Still, I did want to get away with her
for a weekend, and spend quality time
together that would be remembered
for a long time (that’s a guy’s way of
saying, “So I don’t have to make any
effort for the next five years!”). Well, I
made my plans, got my mother to babysit,
and we were set.
What were those great plans, well,
namely, I had tickets to the opera at the
Pantages Playhouse. The opera. That’s
right, I said it. Now, some of you are
thinking, “What’s the big deal about the
opera?” but I also know some of you
are thinking, “You don’t admit those
kinds of things aloud.” But I knew my
wife had often talked about going, and
now was the time.
I need to stop to mention what a
monumental decision this was for me.
I have often mocked the opera, made
planted, Apollos watered, but God was
causing the growth. So then neither the
one who plants nor the one who waters
is anything, but God who causes the
growth. Now he who plants and he who
waters are one; but each will receive
his own reward according to his own
labor. For we are God’s fellow workers;
you are God’s field, God’s building (1
Corinthians 3: 1-9).
Bishop Frank Unrau
fun of anybody who went, many times
saying the words, “I will never go the
opera”. I let it slip to my brother and
brother-in-law and got snickered at.
This only increased my resolve.
I bought tickets to Pirates of
Penzance (featuring the song, I am the
very model of a modern major general),
and decided I wouldn’t tell her about it
until we were on the way. I even bought
her a dress for the event, which is not
easy to do when you don’t have a clue
about sizing, let alone maternity sizing.
I probably shouldn’t admit that I tried
the dress on to get a sense of whether it
would fit, and tore it in a bit of a panic
when it would not come off! Still, the
plan was rolling.
Then, as we were heading to our
hotel in Winnipeg, I couldn’t hold it in
anymore and I told her of our tickets
to the opera. I imagined her excited
squeals of, “You’re the best husband
ever!” Not exactly. Her response was
more like, “The opera…Okay. Sounds
good.” I nearly panicked then. Had
she not said she wanted to go? Was
it something else she talked about?
What was I thinking? Why would I
buy tickets to opera? This was going
to be terrible, a disaster, our suffering
would be immeasurable. How could I
have made such a catastrophe of this
weekend before it even got started?
We spent an enjoyable Saturday
No Conference Ministerial
Meeting in July. Next meeting
will be August 27.
October 16-18, 2009 will be
the annual CMC Mission’s
To post an upcoming event in
the next Chronicle, call the office
at 204-346-6320 or email cmc@
together, but the upcoming opera of
that evening weighed large in my mind.
I had resolved that I would suffer in
silence, and at least gain credit for my
ability to endure in the face of tragedy.
I would take whatever the Opera had
to throw my way and would not let a
complaint out of my mouth.
That evening, we got dressed up for
the event. My wife tried on the dress I
bought for her, and looked particularly
beautiful. We drove to the opera,
wandered into the grand old theatre,
and settled in for the show.
Long story short, from the first note
of the first song, we absolutely loved
it. The play was great, the singing
amazing and fun, and the live orchestra
was sensational. I would go again in a
I am reminded of a line from a
movie I enjoy, “change, for the sake of
change, must be discouraged”. I don’t
change easy, and we as churches often
don’t find it easy either. Change, for
the sake of change may not accomplish
anything, but sometimes a willingness to
make a change in the way we do things
will create experiences and growth that
far exceed our expectations.
July/August Page 3
Counsel from an
Rev. Terry M. Smith
Where is our focus? Is it on Christ and what He has
done for us?
ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong>, the Dutch leader from whom we
members of the ong>Mennoong>nite Church get our church name,
was greatly concerned about genuine faith.
“There is nothing that can dismay it,” he wrote of
genuine faith, “neither judgement, nor wrath, nor hell,
nor devil, nor sin, nor eternal death. For it knows that
it has Christ as its Intercessor, Mediator, and Atoner. It
acknowledges with holy Paul, There is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk
not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
The spirit of the Lord assures it of being a child of
God and a joint heir of Christ; therefore it also takes itself
to be the property of its Lord and Saviour, Christ, who
called it by His grace, drew it by His Spirit, enlightened it
by His Word, and purchased it with His blood” (Complete
Writings, p. 396). Such bold, confident words for 1556!
But how did ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong> respond when he was
approached about a person who lacked such confidence?
Fortunately, we know.
In 1557 a worried husband wrote ong>Mennoong>. The man’s
wife was physically ill, and ong>Mennoong> touches on the matter
of her physical health briefly. He did not know if she would
live with pain, if she would recover with joy (a gracious
restoration), or if she would die.
The pastor’s major response is to another concern of the
husband: How unhappy the woman was in her relationship
with Christ. She had a “distressed conscience and soul.” It
seems that she felt her sins keenly, and she was not living
the life she wanted to. She did not have confidence she
would enter heaven if she died.
What does ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong> write to her? He might
have said, “My sister, you must try harder. You must work
harder. You must hope that you are a Christian and do
good, and hope that when you stand before God that he will
receive you into his heavenly kingdom.” But it’s important
to know that ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong> did not expect this of a
Instead, ong>Mennoong> says to her: “Be comforted in Christ
Jesus…sister, rejoice that you are a true daughter of
your beloved Father. Soon the inheritance of his glorious
promise will be due.” He reminds her that she is a child of
the Father, that she is safe in Jesus Christ.
Why can ong>Mennoong> say that? Well, he points to many
Scriptures that say we are all sinners: we all fall short of
what Christ intends
for us. And “since no
one under heaven has
perfectly fulfilled the
of God but Christ Jesus
alone, therefore none
can approach God,
obtain grace, and be
saved, except by the
intercession of Jesus
Christ…we are sinners
in thought, word, and
deed. Yes, if we did
not have before us the
righteous Jesus Christ,
no prophet or apostle
could be saved.”
“Therefore,” ong>Mennoong> tells the woman, “be of good
cheer and comforted in the Lord…In and by yourself you
are a poor sinner and by eternal righteousness banished,
accursed, and condemned to eternal death. But in and
through Christ you are justified and pleasing unto God, and
adopted by him in eternal grace as a daughter and child.”
ong>Mennoong> refers to Romans 5:6: “You see, at just the
right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for
the ungodly.” Then he refers to Romans 5:10, “For if,
when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him
through the death of his Son, how much more, having been
reconciled, shall we be saved through his life.”
ong>Simonsong> points the woman to “Christ Jesus and his
merits, believing and confessing that His precious blood
alone is your cleansing; His righteousness you piety; His
death your life; and His resurrection your justification; for
He is the forgiveness of all your sins; his bloody wounds
are your reconciliation; and his victorious strength is the…
consolation of your weakness.”
How can ong>Mennoong> say this? He says it on the basis of
God’s Word. Scripture was given that we might be drawn to
Christ so that we might be comforted, not insecure.
But what if we struggle? In this instance, ong>Mennoong>
A women, facing the possibility of death due to disease,
became increasingly aware of her sinful nature, to the point
of questioning her own standing before God. ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong>
told her, “Be Comforted in Christ Jesus...Soon the inheritance
of his glorious promise will be due.”
points to her struggle as proof that she is a child of Christ.
“Dearest child and sister,” he says, seeing that she wants
to do what is good and hates what is evil, “therefore you
may rest assured that you are a child of God, and that you
will inherit the kingdom of grace in eternal joy with all the
We know we dwell in Christ, and He in us, ong>Mennoong> says,
because “he has given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).
This woman cares about following the Lord. She
isn’t careless or rebellious or proud. She agonizes over
her weakness. Remember what God has said: He will not
despise a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). He will
not turn away anyone who comes to Him (John 6:37).
Together our desire to do what is right and our sadness
over what we do wrong is a sign that we have faith in Jesus
At the end of this short letter, ong>Mennoong> prays a blessing
upon this woman. Notice where the blessing is focused:
“The saving power of the most holy blood of Christ be with
my beloved child and sister, now and forever. Amen.” The
focus is on Christ and his saving blood now and forever,
not on our weakness.
Where is our focus? Is it on our weakness, on our
insecurity? If so, then turn to look at our gracious Lord
Jesus Christ. Without Him, no matter how good we are,
we aren’t going anywhere. But because of Christ and His
Cross, we can have a confidence that is based on His kind,
willing, and free acceptance of us.
Bold or insecure we might be, Christ’s grace is the only
focus on which our rest has its proper foundation. This
was ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong>’ counsel 452 years ago; and that is his
counsel, based on God’s Word, for us today. ~
Terry M. Smith is an
ordained minister who
serves as an Executive
within the Evangelical
national office. He joined
the EMC in 1979.
ong>Mennoong>’s letter is found
on pp.1050-1052 (Harold
July/August Page 5
Within Our Churches
Jake and Helen Krahn were
commissioned as pastoral couple
during the morning service on
June 7, 2009. Below, the entire
ministerial team of the Christian
Faith Church: (Front - Pastor
Couples) Cornie and Mary
Martens, and Jake and Helen
Krahn. (Back - Deacon Couples)
Cornie and Margaret Penner,
and Jake and Margaret Wall.
Adding to the Ministerial Team
Christian Faith Church, Winkler, Manitoba
Greetings to all from the
Christian Faith Church.
Time just seems to slip by
so quickly. It has been a
while since my last article.
I would like to extend
condolences to Isaac and
Mary Goertzen on the
passing of Mary’s brother,
Dave Doerksen and also their
granddaughter Jody. Let us
continue to remember them
in our prayers.
Signs of spring, and
maybe summer, remind us
of new life. New life also
comes in little pink bundles.
Congratulations go out to
Albert and Anna Hildebrand
on the birth of a baby girl,
Bristol, on April 28, weighing
in at 6 1 / 2 lbs. Bristo is a sister to Sophia and Santi.
With a new church also comes the need for more deacons.
On May 11 we had a deacon election. John and Agatha
Redekop have been chosen by God to serve. May the Lord
grant them peace and give them strength.
Condolences go out to Peter and Anna Thiessen on the
passing of Peter’s half-brother Jake Bergen.
Pray also for John Thiessen on his upcoming surgery on a
Pray also for Margaret Penner who had surgery on June
11. May the Lord give you peace and grant you a speedy
A commissioning service was held for Jake and Helen
Krahn, pastor-elect, on June 7. Many friends and family came
to support them. This was followed by a fellowship meal at
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days
of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will
never leave you or forsake you (Joshua 1:5).
What wonderful promises we find in scripture! It makes
me wonder, if we took more time to dig and study in God’s
word, how many more people would be wouldn’t be living
with hope instead of despair? That is a real challenge to
myself, and to you. Let’s find out what treasures God has
left in the Bible just waiting to be discovered.
The Sunday School teachers and children put on a
beautiful Easter Program on April 12. There is something
special about seeing true faith in the eyes of a child. We
have so much to learn from them. A special thanks to the
teachers for all the hard work they do each week.
The Ladies’ Fellowship hosted a Spring Tea on April 27.
Stacey Dueck was the guest of honour this year. Stacey and
Tyrone Martens were married on May 29, 2009. May God
bless your marriage with many happy years together.
On May 8 the senior youth hosted a bake sale and
auction at Mitchell Middle School. This was one of several
fundraisers the youth are doing in preparation for their
missions trip to Mexico later this summer. I’m sure the Lord
will do mighty things through your willingness to serve.
Since the middle of April, we have been studying the
end-times here at Rosengard. I think I can safely speak on
everyone’s behalf when I say that we have been stretched
and that we have learned so much. Christ is returning for us.
Another wonderful promise!
Until next time, keep digging in God’s word. He will not
Easter Through a Child’s Eyes
Rosengard CMC, Rosengard, Manitoba
the Senior Center. May the Lord guide and direct your path,
and give you joy as you serve Him. Where God guides, God
The Winkler Bible Camp is celebrating 60 years of camp
this year. We are once again reminded that children’s camp
season is at hand and the importance of presenting the Gospel
to children at an early age. Pray that the camps will be
provided with sufficient staff and councilors and many will be
lead to the Lord.
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while
He is near (Isaiah 55:6).
Stacey Martens (Dueck) was the guest of honour
at the annual Ladies’ Fellowship Spring Tea. Stacy
married married Tyrone Martens on May 29, 2009.
July/August Page 7
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who
takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8).
Tasting involves action on our part; it does not happen
without effort. When we taste something, we make a point of
putting it in our mouth and relishing the flavour. We analyze
the different textures, we are aware of how we respond to
what we are tasting. In the same way, we need to make a
conscious effort to know God, to let Him into every area of
our lives, allowing Him to fill us with His essence and being
aware of how we are responding to His presence in us. Then
we will experience God’s goodness in a new way.
God’s goodness at Osler Mission Chapel is evident every
week as our sanctuary fills with men, women and children
hungry for God’s word; As our Sunday School classes fill
with children willing to hear how God will speak to them,
teachers, pastors, and worship leaders obey God’s calling on
their lives by serving us in the areas God has gifted them in.
We feel incredibly blessed - and we give all the glory to our
Heavenly Father through whom all this is accomplished.
On May 17 we were inspired by Caleb Doerksen as he
shared with us during the morning service. Caleb had spent
Construction Surges Ahead
Osler Mission Chapel, Osler, Saskatchewan
time in India on a mission’s trip recently. Caleb is a young
man who has allowed God to work in his life in a powerful
way. Immediately after the morning service, the congregation
of Osler Mission made their way into the sanctuary of the
new church building for a prayer of dedication. We bowed
our heads in acknowledgement of the great blessing this new
building would be, and in knowing that this too was evidence
of God’s goodness to us.
A congregational meeting was held on Monday, May
25, to discuss the new building project. A detailed financial
report was presented, and plenty of time was allowed for
questions. We need more funds to come in so we can make
some changes to the existing church building and have it
meet all the standards required. The new building was open
for us to wander through and marvel at all that had been
done. It was exciting to see the walls painted on the upper
level, and know that the day is drawing nearer when we
will be able to move in. The turnout for this meeting was
overwhelming. It was an indication of the unity and support
present in our midst.
Pastor Bill Thiessen blessed us with having the message
Contruction on the the new Osler Mission Chapel continues to move ahead, to the point that a dedication service in
the new chapel took place on May 17. Pastor Bill Janzen speaks to the excited congregation as Pastor Simon Wiebe
on Sunday, May 31, and Ken Guenther challenged us on
June 7 with his message.
With the approach of summer holidays, bringing new
schedules and hopefully some time to relax and enjoy
family and friends, my prayer is that you would make the
effort to taste and see that the Lord is good. You will not be
Mary Anne Peters
On May 17, during the morning service, Caleb Doerksen
shared of the work God had done through him on his
recent mission’s trip to India.
Greetings from Weidenfeld!
On April 4 Pastor George Froese had the privilege of
performing the wedding ceremony of Wes Doerksen and
Josie Prise in the Steinbach CMC church. May you always
look to our Heavenly Father for guidance and may you be
blessed with an abundance of joy together.
The following weekend, Weidenfeld celebrated Easter by
having our Sunday School present us with a program of songs
and verses depicting Jesus’ trial, death, and resurrection. It
was very well done.
Deacon couple Gary and Cindy Braun have left the
Weidenfeld church at this time. We pray that as they wait on
the Lord, His will may become clear.
On Saturday, May 2, a number of ladies came out for
breakfast to St. Malo Chicken Chef. We had a precious time
of fellowship over a tasty meal.
Pastor George Froese baptized Diane Friesen
and Corey Maynard, and had the special
honour of baptizing his own son, Joseph
Three Baptized at Weidenfeld
Weidenfeld CMC, Weidenfeld, Manitoba
Sunday, May 31, was a very special day for Weidenfeld.
Cory Maynard, Joseph Froese, and Diane Friesen were
baptized upon their confessions of faith in Jesus Christ our
Saviour. Many friends and relatives came out to witness this
memorable occasion. May the Lord richly bless you as you
walk in His ways!
Our church retreat is coming up, and many great things
are being planned for our weekend at Camp Cedarwood. The
retreat planning committee has also done several fundraiser
for this event, including baking cookies and selling them at
Clearspring Mall, and putting on a delicious Soup and Pie
Lunch after church on a Sunday in March.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of
love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Wes Doerksen and Josie Pries were married on
April 4. Pastor George Froese officated.
July/August Page 9
Greetings from Zion!
An evening program was held on April 19 which, was
brought by the Teichroeb Family as well as Peter and
Margaret Klassen. Peter showed pictures of his trip to
Israel and the many places where Jesus had walked. The
following month another program was held and performed
by Prairieland Gospel and the Bruno Funk Family. Both
evenings were eventful followed by a snack in the church
On May 3 we had quite the large group of people that
transferred their membership to Zion. We heard a lot of
testimonies of how they came to know the Lord personally.
It’s amazing how the Lord speaks to every different
individual, and how they feel the nudge to accept him as
their personal Saviour.
About 60 women attended the Mother’s Day Tea on
May 9. Their guest speaker was Nancy Sullivan. She shared
a bit about the women in Thailand, and how they met the
requirements of Proverbs 31. It talks about the virtuous and
godly women – a woman of strong character, great wisdom,
many skills, and great compassion. However, the most
important thing they were lacking was that Jesus was not a
part of their life.
In the last while there’s been a great need to pray for
members of the congregation. John and Neta Wiens have
had their share of battles. He has been in the hospital for quite
some time fighting leukemia. He is undergoing treatments at
this time. Pray that he will regain his health and that they
will be strengthened through this. Also pray for the members
that have lost their spouse, that they will feel the presence of
Large Group Transfers to Zion
Zion CMC, Schanzenfeld, Manitoba
Visit the CMC on the Web
God even when it seems like they’ve lost everything.
Congratulations go out to Pastor Darcy and Mary Freund
on the birth of their son, Paul Darcy Freund. May God bless
them so they can “train up a child in the way he should go”
Zion welcomed a large group of new members by
transfership on May 3. New members are: Frank and
Margaret Wiebe, Frank and Margaret Krahn, Henry
and Frieda Penner, David and Bev Elias, Jesse Funk,
Henry and Judit Wieler, John and Susie Heinrichs,
John and Maria Wall, John and Susie Krahn, Bruno
and Elfriede Funk, John and Tina Klassen, Abe and
Helena Peters and Jake and Betty Friesen.
on the CMC
Graduation weekend culminated with the ceremony
celebrating the 71 st class to graduate from the college.
Seventeen students were awarded a Bachelor of Arts
degree with majors in Christian Studies, Pastoral, Bible/
Theology, Global Mission, Youth, and Peer Counseling.
The Diploma of Biblical Studies was awarded to two
students. Rev. David Funk, pastor of the Abbedale
Christian Fellowship in Calgary, Alberta and a Steinbach
Bible College grad of 1999 gave the commencement
18 Graduate From Steinbach Bible College
address challenging the graduates to beware of pride when
seeking to work in God’s kingdom as servant leaders.
Henry Redekopp, graduating with a BA in Bible/
Theology, delivered the valedictory in which he challenged
the undergraduates to take up the calling of God to be
ministers of reconciliation. Armando Reyes, a second-year
student, gave the undergraduate response.
A number of awards were given to students at the
grad banquet on Saturday evening. Deborah Thiessen
received the Delta Epsilon Chi Honor Society given by the
Association of Biblical Higher Education. The Harvey Plett
Scholarship was awarded to Matthew Dueck and the Betty
Reimer scholarship went to Karen Fehr. Benjamin Kroeker
received the ong>Mennoong>nite Foundation of Canada Spirit of
Generosity Award. The Timothy Award is given to a student
each year who demonstrates leadership in spiritual, social,
and academic aspects of student life. Armando Reyes was
the recipient of the Timothy Award this year.
It is exciting to see our graduates engaging in ministry.
Scott Penner is currently ministry at a drop-in centre in
Thunder Bay, ON. Blaine Dueck has accepted the call to
serving as the youth pastor in Blue Creek, Belize. Lyliane
Harder will be teaching at the Mount Salem Christian
School. Others are waiting on God to direct them into the
ministry that God has prepared for them. We send our grads
to work as servant leaders in church ministries with a prayer
that God will guide them to the place he has prepared for
them to serve in Kingdom work.
Steinbach Bible College’s
Class of 2009:
(Back Row) Scott
Penner, Trenton Penner,
Henry Redekopp, James
Peters, Blaine Dueck,
Matthew Plett, Russell
(Front Row) Lyliane
Harder, Anne Braun,
Karen Fehr, Erin
Missing: Gordon Daman
and Charles Plett
July/August Page 11
News From Our Missionaries
Rudy and Erna Friesen
Melissa, Kelsey, and Jared
Home Church: Steinbach CMC
Dear family and friends,
The last few months we’ve had the privilege of hosting a
variety of teams:
This team was made up of men and women from
Manitoba. With this group we focused mostly on getting the
rough-in electrical and plumbing done for the community
center. We also spent some time in visiting a few ong>Mennoong>nite
colonies and doing some street evangelism in downtown
Santa Cruz. We were involved in bringing a program in
German to an area of the city where many of the ong>Mennoong>nites
come to do their shopping. We handed out the recording of
the Low German New Testament, produced by Family Life
This team was made up of men and women from Western
Canada. Our director Steve Neufeld headed up this team.
As the team worked on numerous projects that the EFC is
involved with in Bolivia, it gave us a chance to introduce
them to the exciting things that God is doing in Bolivia.
The team worked hard at drilling a well on the community
center property, and also in digging and hauling dirt out of
Several Teams Helping in South America
Bolivia, South America
the center to prepare the ground work for the flooring.
This team was made up of two couples from Ontario.
We set up a makeshift clinic in an old school on the outskirts
of the colonies. What a huge blessing this team was to the
ong>Mennoong>nite people who often suffer terrible pain because
they can’t afford to go to the dentist.
This also gave us an opportunity to help them with their
spiritual suffering as well. While waiting at the clinic they
had the chance to watch the Jesus film in their own language
and if they wanted they also got a recording of the Low
German New Testament in Plautdietsch.
The Bridge Ministry Center
We have officially given the community center/multipurpose
building a name. There have been a few different
names for this project floating around and we are excited to
have finally named it. So, in future reference we will refer to
it as the Bridge Ministry Center.
On the Home Front
Rudy serving as dental assistant to a dental team
that came to Bolivia to set up a small clinic on the
outskirts of the colonies. It was a unique opportunity
to reach out to the people.
We would very much appreciate your prayers for our
family right now. We are thankful for the help of other
family members to help cover the financial issues involved
in having family living across the world. Without help it
would be one crisis added to another.
Summer holidays have begun for Jared and he has
become my official sidekick in ministry as I continue in
the construction of the Bridge Ministry Center, as well as
overseeing the women’s shelter, as our co-workers are now
on furlough. Jared is also excited to have become an official
dog trainer, as he was able to keep one of the puppies that
our dog Sherpa had.
We once again thank you for your love and support as we
continue to serve in Bolivia.
Rudy and Erna Friesen
Canadians set to sponsor Palestinian refugees
WINNIPEG, Man. —Some of the 336 Palestinian refugees
stranded in an isolated refugee camp on the Iraq-Syria
border will soon have new homes in Canada.
Through its private sponsorship program the Canadian
government is making it possible for churches and other
private sponsors to sponsor some of the residents living in
the Al Hol refugee camp, one of three make-shift refugee
camps along the border between Syria and Iraq, said Gloria
Nafziger of Amnesty International-Canada.
Nafziger represented the Canadian Council for
Refugees on a visit to the three camps in November 2008
Gloria Nafziger (centre) visits the Al Tanf refugee camp, one of three makeshift
refugee camps along the border between Syria and Iraq for Palestinians from
and highlighted the need for immediate action during a
speaking tour hosted by ong>Mennoong>nite Central Committee
(MCC) refugee programs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and
About 10 ong>Mennoong>nite churches in Canada have expressed
interest in sponsoring families from the Al Hol camp, said Ed
Wiebe, national coordinator for MCC’s refugee programs.
He anticipates ong>Mennoong>nite churches will sponsor more than
About 3,000 people are trapped in the border camps, said
Nafziger during her Manitoba visit. They fled killings,
kidnappings, torture and death threats in Iraq, but unlike
other Iraqi refugees they do have
Iraqi citizenship and not allowed
to enter Syria to seek asylum.
Denied asylum and refugee
rights, they are extremely
vulnerable in poorly situated
camps. Living conditions in
the camps are difficult and
unsafe. There is little security or
access to medical services. The
camps are in the desert where
there are extreme temperatures
and regular sandstorms.
“They live in extremely
harsh conditions and safe
resettlement cannot come quickly
enough,” said Nafziger.
The families that will
resettle in Canada are mostly
second generation descendants
of Palestinians who fled to
Kuwait in 1948 following the
establishment of the State of
Israel. They fled to Baghdad in
1993 during the Gulf War and in
July/August Page 13
2003 tried to find safety in Syria when Palestinians in Iraq
became targets for violence in the aftermath of the overthrow
of Saddam Hussein.
“They are looking for a country that will give them full
rights as citizens—they have not had that since 1948,” said
Nafziger, explaining that many of the refugees are educated
middle-class people seeking a better life for their families.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees
has issued an urgent appeal for the resettlement of refugees
living in the three border camps. The Syrian government and
the Palestine Liberation Organization are in agreement that
resettlement is a practical option for Palestinian refugees
living in the three camps.
Canada is responding to this appeal through its private
sponsorship program—a program that started 30 years ago
when MCC Canada, on behalf of ong>Mennoong>nite churches in
Canada, negotiated a private sponsorship agreement with the
By Scott Sundberg
NEW IBERIA, La.—On April 28, ong>Mennoong>nite Disaster
Service volunteers from northern New York arrived in New
Iberia, La., and started work the next day building a new
house in Baldwin, La., for Marie L. Brown. The Brown
government to sponsor refugees from Southeast Asia.
Canada is the only country in the world that has a
private sponsorship program to assist the government in
resettlement of refugees and displaced people, said Wiebe.
Each year, the Canadian government resettles
approximately 7,500 refugees through government
programs and an additional 3,500 through private
sponsorships. ong>Mennoong>nite churches in Canada, through
MCC, have helped more than 50,000 refugees resettle
in Canada under this private sponsorship program.
Gladys Terichow is a writer for MCC
MDS Work in New Iberia Mends Houses and Relationships
house was destroyed by Hurricane Gustav when an oak tree
fell along the length of the home.
In just a matter of four weeks the new house was
completely built, with only minor tasks left to do at the
request of the home owner.
Different crews worked on the house every week, but all
came from the MDS New York unit, and from northern New
York. Most of them came from Lewis County ong>Mennoong>nite
The homeowner did have some finances for material, but
did not have anything for labour; MDS provided free labour
ong>Mennoong>nite Disaster Service is active in helping people recover from losses due to disaster, and fueled by poverty.
Above left, Gil Friesen turns over the keys to a new home to proud homeowner Marie L. Braun. Braun was able
to pay for some materials, but MDS provided all the labour for free by volunteers. Above right, Mel Roes helps
the project come to completion with the tedious task of painting.
to build the house.
“This is a great program,” Brown said during the build.
“This is just like family.”
The Brown home is just one of four houses built this year
by MDS as part of its Partnership Home Program (PHP),
where church groups can essentially adopt a family in need
of a house, and then either build the house on site, or built
much of it away from the site, perhaps in a church parking
lot, and take it down in parts to complete the build on site.
MDS Project Director and New York Unit Chair, Melvin
Roes added that this new build “went so fast because most
of the people we had down there are in construction. I’d say
it was basically ‘Get down there, get it done, and get out!’”
Even so, in the weeks the teams worked in New Iberia strong
relationships were built, as well as a house. Roes tells many
stories about how their work helped to mend long-time rifts
and strained relationship with neighbors, and within Brown’s
“There was a next door neighbor who had a history with
Marie.” So it was a stretch when Roes needed power to work
on Brown’s house, as the temporary power they had planned
on didn’t pan out. Roes offered to fix the neighbor’s carport,
CMC Patriarch Passes Away at 70
which had been damaged by Hurricane Rita, in exchange
for power. The neighbor somehow still expected to pay for
the fixing of her carport, but Roes insisted the repairs be for
free, and Carl Zehr, construction manager for the New Iberia
project, later even gave her money for power they used.
“Well, after a break one day, this neighbor came to me
and asked me, ‘Would you pray for me?’ I said sure. And we
prayed for her son” who was in trouble with the law. “And I
said we’ll continue to pray.”
“There were lots of mending of relations,” as well as
mending of houses and carports.
Zehr said, “You don’t know where God is leading in all of t
ong>Mennoong>nite Disaster Service is a volunteer network through
which various constituencies of the Anabaptist church can respond
to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States.
While our main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding
homes, this activity becomes a means of touching lives and helping
people regain faith and wholeness.
Pastor Dick Wiebe, former bishop of the CMC (1999-2006), passed away
June 13 at the age of 70. Dick served as pastor of the Silberfeld CMC for
many years before moving on to the bishop’s position and then as pastor of
the Callsbeck Fellowship Chapel the last two years. He was a pastor, friend,
mentor, and counselor to many whose lives were touched in a special way.
Remember to pray for the family as they grieve.
When I am Gone
When I am gone, remember I am with Jesus
Then do not mourn because I’ve passed away
Life holds so many griefs and disappointments
And will you cry because I did not stay
’Tis only for a spell we must be parted
Not many years on earth to us are given
And when our Saviour tells me you are coming
I’ll go with Him and welcome you to Heaven
Grieve not because the eyes that looked upon you
Shall never see your face on earth again
Rejoice, because I walk no longer with you
Remember, I am walking streets of gold
Weep for yourself that you awhile must tarry
Before the blessed Lord you may behold
July/August Page 15
By Darren Pries-Klassen
I choose, not I can’t
My friends were nearing completion of a small renovation project
in the entryway of their home and wanted to replace the old light
fixture. After a few fruitless trips to various lighting stores they found one
they felt was perfect. The problem was the $1,500 price tag. “We can’t
afford that.” they said to the salesman. “Yes, you can,” was his response.
Surprised at hearing this, they restated that, although the fixture was
beautiful it was well beyond their price range. The salesman paused
briefly, smiled and said, “If it is a priority, you will find a way to afford it.”
Regardless of income, all of us have limits when it comes to money. For some, those
limitations are such that they are denied even the basic needs of human existence. For
others – and probably the vast majority of us reading this – that financial limitation may feel
constrictive. But upon closer look we realize we have more choice than we care to admit.
The issue is not price tags as much as priorities.
Later, my friends concluded that the salesman was right. They did have the cash to
purchase the $1,500 light fixture, but it would have meant scaling back other parts of
the renovation in order to stay within budget. Something they were not prepared to do.
Furthermore, my friends were not comfortable with owning a $1,500 light fixture, regardless of
their renovation budget and income level. What at first appeared to be a case of “We can’t
afford this” was actually a case of “We choose to spend money differently.”
When we say things like, “I choose to spend money this or that way” and “buying that
product would violate my values”, it empowers us. It affirms the choice we have in how we
spend or whether to spend. It also recognizes the potential that money has for either the
betterment or destruction of our world and the life in it.
Talking about what we can and cannot afford often makes a bigger statement about
our values than the size of our wallets. Saying, “I can’t afford . . .” is good if it keeps you from
foolish spending, but when the same language is used to keep us from being generous and
investing in the lives of others and the work of God’s Kingdom, it is problematic.
Most of us have far more financial choice than we are willing to recognize. We may not
always like the choices we have or they may feel minimal, but having financial choice is a
lot more than many people have. If the way we use money reflects our values and choices,
what are we saying each time we spend or choose not to spend money?
Darren Pries-Klassen is a consultant at the St. Catharines, Ontario office of ong>Mennoong>nite Foundation of Canada. For stewardship
education and estate and charitable gift planning, contact your nearest MFC office or visit ong>Mennoong>foundation.ca
Page 16 The Chronicle