Menno Simons on the Assurance of Salvation - Chortitzer Mennonite ...

Menno Simons on the Assurance of Salvation - Chortitzer Mennonite ...



Chortitzer ong>Mennoong>nite Conference

July/August 2009

Vol. 29, No. 7

Counsel From an

Older Pastor

ong>Mennoong> ong>Simonsong> on the

Assurance of Salvation


Clinton Friesen

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

Managing Editor

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.

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Articles, letters, poems and photos are welcome, but we reserve the right to edit for length

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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

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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

Jesus Christ.

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,

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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.

Clinton Friesen

July/August Page 3

Page 4

Counsel from an

Older Pastor

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

struggling believer.

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

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what Christ intends

for us. And “since no

one under heaven has

perfectly fulfilled the

righteousness required

of God but Christ Jesus

alone, therefore none

can approach God,

obtain grace, and be

saved, except by the

perfect righteousness,

atonement, and

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

ong>Mennoong>nite Conference

national office. He joined

the EMC in 1979.

ong>Mennoong>’s letter is found

on pp.1050-1052 (Harold

Press ediiton)

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.

Page 6

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

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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

clogged artery.

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

fail you.

Hilda Schroeder

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

also provides.

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).

Tena Peters

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

Page 8

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

looks on.

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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).

Bertha Froese

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

Page 10

Large Group Transfers to Zion

Zion CMC, Schanzenfeld, Manitoba

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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”

(Proverbs 22:6a).

Anita Teichroeb

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


The Chronicle

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

Henry Redekopp

giving the


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.

Patrick Friesen

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

Barkman, Danielle

Penner, Cecilly

Hildebrand, Kimberly


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:

CMC Team

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


EFC Team

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

Page 12

Several Teams Helping in South America

Bolivia, South America

the center to prepare the ground work for the flooring.

Dental Team

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.

The Chronicle

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

Gladys Terichow

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

British Colombia.

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

50 individuals.

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

Page 14

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.

The Chronicle

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

own family.

“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

Stewardship Today

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>

Page 16 The Chronicle

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