THRIVE Winter 2021 digital

wpiette

The Fellowship's Thrive magazine.
Winter 2021 edition on Collaboration

Winter 2021

THE FRUITFULNESS OF COLLABORATION

HEART OF THE VILLAGE

IS THREE BETTER THAN ONE?

COLLABORATE

FRUITFUL PARTNERSHIPS


Winter 2021

THE FRUITFULNESS OF

by Steve Jones

COLLABORAT

The Bible tells us two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9). The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: in other

words, we should expect more from a combined collaborative effort than from each individual part alone. The synergy

of intentional collaborative partnership has the exponential possibility of combining and adding greater capacity to

our own effort — we are stronger together.

Each year I ask the Lord for a Scripture verse for our Fellowship. Last year, during our “Year of Renewal”, our theme

verse was Hosea 12:6 (NIV):

“But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.”

How could any of us have known we would experience a pandemic and opportunity to look deep into our souls and

discover if we truly trust God in times of acute uncertainty. I am looking forward to hearing in the years to come testimonies

of COVID conversions and transformation of lives during these pandemic days.

In 2021 our theme verse is I Corinthians 1:10 (NIV):

THE FIRST WORD

“I APPEAL TO YOU, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD

JESUS CHRIST, THAT ALL OF YOU AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN WHAT

YOU SAY AND THAT THERE BE NO DIVISIONS AMONG YOU, BUT THAT YOU

BE PERFECTLY UNITED IN MIND AND THOUGHT.”


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thrive / 3

I would like to call on all our churches and missions personnel to make 2021 our

“Year of Collaboration” — a time to:

• Agree with one another as we continue discussing deeper collaboration

with two other Canadian Baptist families, the Baptist General Conference

(BGC)” and Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC).

• Experience no division within our churches, Regions, and National ministries

as we complete the process of developing our next Fellowship National

Strategic Plan (2021-2026).

• Witness perfect unity among our churches as we navigate the realities of

creative ministry in these days of pandemic restrictions.

In this edition of Thrive, Collaborate: Fruitful Partnerships, we will be sharing and

celebrating what God has done in our movement over the past five years during

our Fellowship National Strategic Plan: 2015-2020 (20/20 by 2020). God has been

good! Fellowship National has partnered with our churches and experienced the

“more fruit” Jesus alludes to in John 15. Let’s thank the Lord and celebrate the

Kingdom fruit: 70 missionaries and 84 chaplains being appointed, the creation of

36 Francophone church plant partnerships, and 74 new churches planted across

the five Regions of our Fellowship in Canada between 2015-2020. This is good

news!

ION

We will mention some other highlights of the past five years while also looking

ahead. I’ll be sharing some news on discussions about possible deeper collaboration

with the Baptist General Conference and the Canadian National Baptist

Convention. Our three Baptist families are in conversation about how we might

better collaborate to ensure a greater missional impact on Canada for the Gospel. I

will also share about our upcoming Fellowship National Strategic Plan for 2021-

2026, “Catalyze: Disciples making Disciples Everywhere”.

My hope and prayer is that the news shared in this edition of Thrive magazine will

encourage you and embolden you to join the team, because together everyone accomplishes

more.

Steven Jones is President of The

Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist

Churches in Canada. Follow Steve on

Twitter @FellowshipSteve.


4 / thrive Winter 2021

THE FELLOWSHIP’S THEME VERSE FOR 2021 IS:

“I APPEAL TO YOU, BROTHERS AND SISTERS,

IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,

THAT ALL OF YOU AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER

IN WHAT YOU SAY AND THAT THERE BE NO

DIVISIONS AMONG YOU, BUT THAT YOU BE

PERFECTLY UNITED IN MIND AND THOUGHT.”

I CORINTHIANS 1:10 (NIV)

6 WHATSAPP

You can connect with us on FACEBOOK:

www.facebook.com/FellowshipNatl,

on INSTAGRAM: @FellowshipNatl,

and on TWITTER: @FellowshipNatl.

Come and join the conversation.

2 THE FIRST WORD

THE FRUITFULNESS OF COLLABORATION / Steve Jones

5 BAPTIST BUILDERS: VILLE D’ANJOU, QC / Rob Cole

CHANGE A LIFE, SPONSOR A CHILD

6 OUT THERE

WHATSAPP / Lynda Schultz

DISCIPLESHIP MATTERS / Luc Tétreault

AND AS IT HAPPENED… / Dave Marttunen

THANK YOU DAVID MARTTUNEN / Steve Jones

10 LOVE EXTENDED

MEASURING FAIR’S IMPACT / Val Heaton

HEART OF THE VILLAGE / Denise Wicks

20 TRUTH TALK

IS THREE BETTER THAN ONE? / Steve Jones

22 THE LAST WORD

ON THE HORIZON / Steve Jones

ground work

truth talk

14 GROUND WORK

FRUITFUL YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP

REFLECTING ON GOD’S BLESSINGS / Bethany Anderson

18 FOUNDATION

HOW FIRM THIS FOUNDATION / Lynda Schultz

MISSION STATEMENT: Thrive is the official magazine of The Fellowship of

Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. It is published to enhance the life and ministry

of church leaders and members in Fellowship congregations by providing articles,

resources and news that reflect evangelical values, a common mission as well as a shared

sense of identity and vision. Thrive is published three times a year and is available in

English and French.

© The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada

MINISTRY CENTRE: P.O. Box 457, Guelph ON N1H 6K9

T: 519-821-4830 F: 519-821-9829 EMAIL: president@fellowship.ca

thrive-magazine.ca

SENIOR EDITOR: Steven Jones MANAGING EDITOR: Valerie Heaton COPY EDITOR: Jesskah McCartney LAYOUT & DESIGN: Ampersand

EMAIL: thrive@fellowship.ca POSTAGE: Return undeliverable Canadian address to Circulation Department, P.O. Box 457, Guelph ON N1H 6K9


BAPTIST BUILDERS:

VILLE D’ANJOU, QC by Rob Cole

The Baptist Builders program, established over 40 years ago,

assists churches with the first-time purchase of land, with

an existing building, or with construction of a building. Each

new appeal provides an opportunity for committed Baptist

Builder partners to support a new project, helping to expand

the reach of the Kingdom. This winter, Baptist Builder seeks to

support a church plant in Ville d’Anjou, QC, in their efforts to

create a permanent meeting space. Approximately 20 people

are currently meeting every Sunday afternoon either outside,

when weather permits, or on Zoom, and once each month in

the Rivière-des-Prairies church building.

With the help of AÉBÉQ Regional Church Planting

Commission they have acquired a small house in Anjou, intending

to use the basement as a meeting space once pandemic

restrictions allow. Their goal is to start having small meetings

of people (young people, discipleship, prayer, etc.). In order to

meet this goal, the basement must first be renovated. Would

you prayerfully consider becoming a Baptist Builder? By partnering

together, we can help a small church reach out to this

new community.

For more information on our Baptist Builders program, please visit fellowship.ca/BaptistBuilders.

CHANGE A LIFE,

SPONSOR A CHILD

Across the globe there are countless children who are in need,

living in impoverished conditions without access to the education,

nutrition, and emotional and physical support they need

in order to thrive. The Fellowship Child Sponsorship Program

provides Fellowship churches and individuals with a way to directly

support a child in need through sponsorship. By partnering

with Fellowship missionaries working in one of four areas

of ministry — Casa Hogar (Honduras), Cedar Home (Lebanon),

Clementia Life Centre (Lebanon), and Love Trust (Sri Lanka)

— we can enable them to do the hard work of ministering to

children who have been left behind, displaced, unappreciated,

and under-resourced. Using a holistic approach, they provide

for the educational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs

of each child. Through sponsorship, these children are being

given access to so much more than they would have otherwise,

and we in turn are given the opportunity to be generous in a

way that has huge potential impact. Would you prayerfully

consider sponsoring a child? In doing so, you can bring meaningful

change to a child’s life today.

For more information about the Fellowship Child Sponsorship

Program, please visit fellowship.ca/ChildSponsorship.


Winter 2021

WHATSAPP

by Lynda Schultz

Bugs Bunny, of Looney Tunes fame, used to tap his companion characters on the shoulder and ask:

“What’s up, Doc?” Today we have Whatsapp, an online communications tool asking that same question.

But whichever model works best for you, Dave Marttunen, recently retired Director of Fellowship

International, Luc Tétreault, Fellowship International Associate Director, and Ben Porter, Fellowship

International Candidate Coordinator have the answers.

OUT THERE: FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL

>

DAVE

MARTTUNEN

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAST

FIVE YEARS

Dave: In 2018 the Poland Summit for

Fellowship International missionaries

and staff provided a framework

for building groups that could, in

time, become churches. Fast forward

to Colombia 2020, which now has 80

trained leaders and 100 groups with

500 participants, of which twentyfive

percent are not yet believers.

There are a number of small groups among people of

Muslim background. Twenty full-time missionaries have

been added over the last six years, and four new fields, including

two closed countries.

Luc: Recently, the tendency has been towards smaller

groups of missionaries, and individuals working without

the benefit of the care that a larger group provides. Much

of that responsibility has been gladly taken on by our

Fellowship International staff and the Services department

of Fellowship National. We are grateful for the creativity of

our staff and the new technologies at our disposal permitting

us to easily remain in contact with our missionaries

scattered across the globe.

Ben: Over the last year there has been an influx of individuals

and couples exploring mid-term and long-term missions

with Fellowship International. Currently there are about 30

people who are in various stages of the process.


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WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE CREATIVITY OF OUR STAFF AND THE NEW

TECHNOLOGIES AT OUR DISPOSAL PERMITTING US TO EASILY REMAIN

IN CONTACT WITH OUR MISSIONARIES SCATTERED ACROSS THE GLOBE.

>

PARTNERSHIPS

Dave: Fellowship pastors and missions committees

have increased their referrals to our department as we

have widened our scope to include disciple-making, training

national leaders, and FAIR projects or humanitarian

ministries.

LUC TÉTREAULT

Luc: The work of reaching the world

is much too vast for us to do alone.

Formal and informal partnerships benefit

us and our partners. For example,

one Fellowship missionary is working

in Ethiopia with a group of churches —

over 10 million members combined —

helping them to prepare, mobilize, and

better support an army of Ethiopian

missionaries.

Ben: We have seen the need for partnership development in

supporting our recruitment and communication. Power to

Change, Onside Athletics, Tyndale University and Seminary,

a variety of Fellowship churches, and a mission meeting hub

in Toronto are just some examples.

INNOVATIONS

Dave: In 2019 we were able to connect with a missionary

leader in Asia who has published two excellent ebooks describing

how a movement among Muslims was initiated and

developed. Currently this movement has spread to seven nations

with 300,000 followers and 78,000 trained leaders.

Luc: We needed to refocus on making disciples who would

make other disciples. We did research on disciple-making

movements (DMMs) and collected resources to share with

our missionaries. We learned about the Discover App

(discoverapp.org), a simple tool to help participants through

a series of discovery Bible studies. The founder, an experienced

DMM practitioner, also provides DMM training. About

half of our missionaries have benefitted, or will soon benefit,

from his experience.

>

BEN PORTER

Ben: Our Launch program has met a need

for local churches exploring long-term

missions. Another initiative has been

more emphasis on increased video communication,

which helps drive our social

media presence, share what God has been

doing through Fellowship International,

and showcases opportunities for

involvement.

NEW AREAS OF MINISTRY AND OLDER FIELDS

Dave: Latin American churches have advanced missions in

their own regions and sent their first missionaries to Spain and

the Canary Islands. The Japan team is being revitalized with

the addition of three new missionaries who will be working

through the Disciple-Making Movement strategy alongside our

two veteran couples. Inroads are being made in the D.R. Congo

as the Disciple-Making Movement Strategy takes hold among

Congolese leaders.

Luc: Lebanon suffered greatly in 2020, and I am grateful that

our team has chosen to remain there. This has required flexibility,

creativity, and perseverance. There is a forward-looking

vision to see the Gospel spread to the rest of the Middle East

and North Africa, as well as among Arabic-speaking people in

Ontario and Quebec. We are grateful for AÉBÉQ’s invitation to

send missionaries to Quebec with the focus on disciple-making

and recruiting new workers to reach francophones — the largest

underreached people group in North America. We are also

encouraged to know that, despite huge obstacles, the Gospel is

spreading through Pakistan, one of our oldest fields of service.

Ben: It is exciting to have an experienced couple appointed to

Madagascar, along with two new missionaries who are connecting

with international students and helping churches reach the

increasing ethnic population in the GTA.

WHATSAPP? A LOT—WITH MUCH MORE TO BE

SAID.

— Lynda Schultz is a former Fellowship missionary, former

editor of Thrive magazine, Bible teacher, author, blogger,

and currently Fellowship Archives Co-ordinator.

FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR

Fellowship National is currently searching for interested candidates for the position of Fellowship International Director. The

job description is available at: fellowship.ca/FellowshipInternationalDirectordescription. Those wishing to be considered

for this position should forward their resume, by February 28, 2021, to the President at: sjones@fellowship.ca. Only those

applicants being considered for the position will be contacted (by March 2021).


8 / thrive Winter 2021

DISCIPLESHIP

MATTERS

by Luc Tétreault

“AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW, MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS THAT

EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME HERE HAS HELPED TO SPREAD

THE GOOD NEWS.” PHILIPPIANS 1 :12 (NLT)

Fellowship International exists to

catalyze disciple-making movements

by empowering nationals. Our desire is

for those we disciple to become makers of

disciples who will make other disciples.

We pray, we investigate, we strategize,

and we implement, all with this goal in

mind.

Like many of you, we have had to face the reality that 2020

didn’t quite work out the way we had planned. The words of the

apostle Paul quoted above remind us that the hardships we suffer

can help the progress of the Gospel.

During these difficult times many of our missionaries reported

an increased willingness to speak about spiritual things from

people who normally would not be open to such conversations.

Because of the difficulty of gathering together physically, most

have turned to virtual conversations with the people they are

ministering to, inviting them to discover what God’s Word says

for themselves.

Fellowship missionaries Diego and Claudia Cardona have

trained 80 discovery Bible study (DBS) facilitators in Colombia

since the beginning of 2020. These DBS facilitators have started

100 groups, totaling 500 people, 25% of whom are being

exposed to God’s Word and His Good News for the first time.

Ken and Cathy Yinger are reporting that a DBS they facilitate

has expanded from their city in Spain to South America because

one of the participants shared what she was learning in

God’s Word with a friend, who is now part of the DBS.

Brenda and Richard Flemming are based in Canada. Brenda

has started a network of discovery Bible studies in Guelph, ON,

virtually, with a friend and new believer who realized she needs

to help others discover who God really is through His Word.

Richard is working with church denomination leaders in the

D. R. Congo who are excited about using DBS to make disciples

who will become disciple-makers themselves.

In Lebanon, Indonesia, and Spain our missionaries are training

national disciple-makers.

Many of our missionaries and staff are now being coached

by individuals who have seen God establish disciple-making

movements around the world.

We are seeing God’s Hand at work in magnificent ways during

this pandemic. We, too, can say that everything that has happened

to us has helped the spread of the Good News!

—Luc Tétreault is Fellowship International Associate Director.


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AND AS IT

HAPPENED…

by Dave Marttunen

Most of my life has been governed by the phrase “and as it

happened…” (Ruth 2:3 NRSV), not as a nod to coincidence,

but rather an expressed belief that God is providentially guiding

my wife Donna and me.

My role with Fellowship International is changing on January

1, 2021: I will formally retire and become a volunteer ministry

and member care coach. Donna and I have been caring for our

missionaries since 1992, and this new opportunity allows us to

stay involved, serve our missionary family, and use our gifts to

advance the mission and values of the department.

There have been many highlights for me as the Director of

Fellowship International, the introduction of the disciple-making

movement (DMM) strategy being high on that list. Recently

Diego Cardona, a Fellowship missionary in Colombia, shared

that he has trained 80 leaders using the discovery Bible study

model — one of the key methods in the DMM strategy. These

leaders have gone on to found many new discover Bible study

groups, bringing the Gospel to an exponential number of individuals.

This is but one example of the fruit coming from our

mission fields!

I am deeply grateful to God for the pleasure of leading the

Fellowship International department for the last six years, and

to the Fellowship for their prayers and generous support for our

new missionaries. The Lord has added 20 full-time missionaries

to our Fellowship International family, and others in mid-term

and short-term ministry.

Thanks be to God for the forming and deepening of lasting relationships

across Canada and around the world with those who

work to bring people to Jesus!

— Dave Marttunen served as Fellowship International

Director until January 2021. Dave now serves as Fellowship

International Ministry and Member Care Coach.

THANK YOU, DAVE MARTTUNEN!

by Steve Jones

After six years as our Fellowship International Director, Dave Marttunen is stepping down, but not out. He will be

transitioning into a part-time role as our ministry and member care coach in January 2021.

On behalf of our local churches and National Council, I want to thank both Dave and Donna for their compassionate

care of our missionary family, International staff, and churches. Dave has served us with distinction. We have

experienced a recruitment boom in these six years with the appointment of 20 long-term, 25 mid-term, and 26 shortterm

Fellowship missionaries. We acquired and further developed an indigenous leadership development ministry,

LeadersFormation, along with many other initiatives. Possibly the most impactful contribution that Dave made with the

department was training our missionaries in the disciple-making movement strategy. The critical work of our mission

personnel focusses on making disciples who then go on to start Discovery Bible studies (making new disciples) and coach

nationals to plant churches.

Thank you, Dave and Donna, for six fruitful years as Fellowship International director. We are grateful to still have you on the

team!

Please be in prayer as the search for our next Fellowship International Director continues.


love extended

Winter 2021

MEASURING

FAIR’S IMPACT

by Valerie Heaton

As the first five years of FAIR’s ministry come to a close, FAIR Director, Dan Shurr, and FAIR Projects and

Promotion Coordinator, Denise Wicks update us on what’s been happening in the humanitarian relief

department over the last five years, recounting the enormous impact of the various projects funded by our

Fellowship churches and individuals.

LOVE EXTENDED: FAIR

FAIR’s mission is to alleviate human suffering and social injustice in

our world. How has this mission directed FAIR’s ministry over the

past five years, since the department’s official launch?

Dan: It has propelled us to seek out partnerships

with like-minded faith-based

organizations, and has led us to not only

make wonderful progress in alleviating

human suffering and social injustice, but

to be able to offer education about our

causes to our Fellowship churches as well.

Denise: This mission has acted

as the lens through which we

view each potential project as

we decide whether to promote

it to Fellowship churches and

FAIR donors. This means that

every need that is presented

through an appeal or in our

catalogue represents some

form of human suffering or social injustice that FAIR

is seeking to address.


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*FULL DESCRIPTIONS OF FAIR’S FORMAL PARTNERSHIPS

CAN BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE:

WWW.FELLOWSHIP.CA/FAIRPARTNERSHIPS

dif-

Partnership plays a significant role in

FAIR’s ministry. Can you describe these

ferent types of partnerships, and elaborate on

how they help to accomplish FAIR’s ministry

goals?

Denise: When FAIR partners with an organization,

the purpose is to provide Fellowship

churches access to that organization’s expertise.

Partners are carefully selected based

on whether they are a like-minded organization

and the kind of work they are doing. The

major benefit to this is that FAIR doesn’t have to

“recreate the wheel”. For example, because FAIR

has partnered with International Justice Mission

(IJM), there is no need to build a Fellowship justicefocused

ministry to be able to help Fellowship

churches engage in freeing the exploited. FAIR also

partners with different organizations on a case-bycase

basis to respond to emergency needs when there

are no Fellowship International missionaries present in

that country. In these cases, organizations are selected

based on their current presence in the affected country

and ability to respond to the need. This greatly expands

the number of countries that Fellowship churches and

donors can extend the love of Christ to through their giving

in a time of crisis.

Dan: This was the motivating factor for FAIR to enter into

a myriad of important partnerships, including: our partnership

with International Justice Mission Canada, to fight the

online sexual exploitation of young children in the Philippines;

our partnership with BridgeNorth seeking to rescue women

trapped in Canada’s sex trade; our partnership with Operation

Mobilization Canada, enabling us to quickly respond to disasters

with emergency relief; our partnership with Pregnancy

Care Canada; our partnership with Christian and Missionary

Alliance to help refugees seeking safe haven in Canada; and

finally, our membership in the Canadian Council of Relief

and Development organizations, which allows us access to

relevant, wise, and practical teaching for our staff and missionary

partners. However, our greatest partnership is with our

local churches. We have many church partners who choose to

support FAIR projects, sometimes going as far as to send work

teams to provide practical help!

What are some other highlights from the last five years of ministry

in FAIR?

Dan: In 2019 FAIR stepped out in faith to administer the

Fellowship Child Sponsorship program, operating in four ministries

across Honduras, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. We also experienced

some notable staffing changes, such as Norman Nielsen

retiring from his position as FAIR associate director and transitioning

to serving as volunteer supervisor of Latin America

project managers. Also, Denise Wicks, former FAIR administrative

assistant, was promoted to the position of project and

promotions coordinator.

Denise: It has been such a blessing to see how generously

churches, businesses and individuals respond to the needs that

are presented through FAIR. God has been providing abundantly

for each of the projects that have been launched in the last five

years, and we have received close to $3.6 million towards these

needs, with over $2,180,500 flowing from Fellowship churches.

We know that there are many worthy causes and crises that

are competing for attention, and it’s humbling to witness the

financial goals of FAIR appeals being met so frequently. Some

highlights for me have been seeing the response to appeals like

Rebuilding Innocence (which established aftercare for children

rescued from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines) and Labour’s

Refuge (which is funding the construction of a birthing clinic

in D.R. Congo). Not only does it mean that these projects can do

more than originally planned, but it shows the heart of those

who are giving. It’s an honour to be part of the FAIR department

and to help your generous giving make Kingdom impact in all

corners of the world.

Looking forward another five years, what are some of the department’s

goals for the future? What direction would you like to see

FAIR move toward?

Dan: We would love to see the Fellowship Child Sponsorship

program fully funded, so that the maximum number of children

could be reached by the Gospel. We also hope to see more

church partnerships with leading Fellowship churches across

Canada and the recruitment of new Fellowship missionaries

who are called to partner with FAIR on relief and development

projects.

Denise: In the next five years, FAIR is seeking to continue to

build on the good work that we have been doing for the past

five years. We aim to continue to present needs brought forward

by Fellowship missionaries and partner organizations,

and to increase engagement in immediate and ongoing needs.

Overall, FAIR’s goal for the next five years is to provide new

ways for Fellowship churches and donors to engage in alleviating

human suffering and social injustice.

— Valerie Heaton is Managing Editor of Thrive magazine.


12 / thrive Winter 2021


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thrive / 13

HEART OF THE

VILLAGE

by Denise Wicks

PRESCHOOL-AGED

CHILDREN OF

TEA PLANTATION

WORKERS ARE NOT

ONLY GIVEN ACCESS

TO EDUCATION

THEY COULDN’T GET

OTHERWISE, BUT THEY

ALSO HEAR THE GOSPEL

AND LEARN THEIR VALUE

AS CHILDREN OF GOD.

The familiar saying

“it takes a village

to raise a child”

rings particularly true

when a child is born

into difficult circumstances.

In the rural

Sri Lankan village of

Lindula, the reality is that unmarried young

women who find themselves pregnant are

often cast out from society. This effectively

cuts them off from any support they

might get from their family or the village

community.

The people living in Lindula are among

the most marginalized in Sri Lanka, since

the majority are of Indian descent and are

daily workers at tea plantations. If they

don’t work, they don’t get paid. What little

they make at the tea plantations is barely

enough to provide basic necessities for

themselves and their families. Because of

the remote location of the village, access to

social services like education and medical

care is either limited or non-existent.

Through the work of Fellowship missionary

Ronald Jeyaseelan and his team

of local church members and pastors, a

preschool was established in Lindula called

Hannah Montessori. The Lindula preschool,

along with two other preschool locations,

make up Love Trust, our Fellowship

Child Sponsorship ministry in Sri Lanka.

Preschool-aged children of tea plantation

workers are not only given access to education

they couldn’t get otherwise, but they

also hear the Gospel and learn their value

as children of God.

In many ways, the building where Hannah

Montessori operates is the heart of the village.

It’s here that the local church meets,

provides vocational sewing training to

women, and has been distributing basic

food supplies to those most affected by

COVID-19 restrictions. For such a well-used

building, it is in desperate need of repairs

and expansion. Making this happen would

also allow the local church to provide additional

supports, services, and community

outreach events.

Through the Heart of the Village special

appeal, FAIR is partnering with Ronald

Jeyaseelan and his team on the ground in Sri

Lanka. The goal is to raise $85,000 to expand

the holistic nature of the Love Trust ministry

to care for the children’s mothers as well.

Funds raised through the Heart of the Village

will be used toward three areas of expansion

designed to improve the building, maximizing

the impact on both mother and child.

Area one of Heart of the Village appeal is

the planned renovations to the existing

building, which includes the addition and

outfitting of a large recreational/church

space, prenatal care room and vocational

training room, as well as improvements to

the preschool facilities. Area two of Heart of

the Village appeal is acquiring the resources

and labour needed to launch a prenatal

education and food support program for

pregnant women and vocational training

to empower the women of Lindula to support

themselves and their families. Area

three of Heart of the Village is the provision

of support to the Love Trust Fellowship Child

Sponsorship program at all three Sri Lanka

locations as it transitions to being funded

by sponsors.

FAIR believes that by supporting and empowering

the pregnant women of Lindula,

we are investing in two lives. Through the

Heart of the Village, we are inviting you to

be the global “village” that helps raise up

marginalized mothers and their children.

You can also commit to being a Love Trust

child sponsor at $35 per month. Would you

prayerfully consider how the Lord is calling

you to respond to this appeal?

— Denise Wicks is FAIR Projects and

Promotion Coordinator.


ground work

Winter 2021

FRUITFUL YEARS OF

GROUND LEVEL: FRANCOPHONE

PARTNERSHIP by Valerie Heaton

The Fellowship French Mission was established in 1958, planting over 100 French churches in

Quebec during its lifetime. However, a desire to enable AÉBÉQ, our French Region, to take over

francophone church planting initiatives led to the mission’s retirement. In December 2014, after a

five-year transition period, a new agreement was formed between Fellowship National and AÉBÉQ:

the “7x7=1” model was born, in which seven church partners would commit to support one new

francophone church plant for seven years. Steve Jones, Fellowship President/Francophone Director,

Terry Cuthbert, former National Francophone Coordinator, and Dave Dobson, former Fellowship French

Mission Director, fill us in on what’s been happening in this growing ministry since January 2015.


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thrive / 15

Six years ago, the Fellowship French Mission came to an end. What

has been happening in francophone ministry since then?

Steve: Since January 2015, when this

new partnership model was adopted,

Fellowship National has facilitated

75 support relationships between

Fellowship churches and donors and

12 new francophone churches have

been planted in Quebec. In 2018-19 the

AÉBÉQ Region launched Mission Quebec,

the church planting arm of their ministry, while Fellowship

National’s francophone ministry department refreshed its

Direction Document and manual in order to accommodate new

mission Quebec realities. Terry Cuthbert retired as Fellowship

Francophone Coordinator in 2019 and Sergei Li started as our

new coordinator in 2020.

Terry: Over the past five years, our French

Region has assumed greater responsibility

for the recruiting and integration

of missionaries not only from English

Canada, but also from other parts of the

world such as Brazil, France, and the

United States. Another significant development

of this period was Fellowship

International’s decision to include

Quebec as a mission field. Currently, three Fellowship missionary

couples are serving in francophone Quebec.

Dave: I had the privilege of leading the

Fellowship French Mission for the final

16 years of its existence, when we saw

many new churches planted across

Quebec. Between April and December

2014, the last months before the mission

ended, I was forced to step away from

my position due to illness. How grateful

I am that God provided our National

President, Steve Jones, with the vision for the “7x7=1” model so

that our work in francophone Canada could continue unabated.

A significant number of Fellowship churches and individuals

have engaged in this partnership model, and new francophone

church plants have been well supported.

A large part of francophone ministry involves planting new churches.

How are these churches being supported in order to thrive?

Steve: Over the past five years, Fellowship National has sought

to establish six local church partnerships and several individual

donor partnerships per year to help

support new francophone church plants

in Quebec through prayer and financial

giving. Praise God we have exceeded this

goal! Partnerships are established through

Fellowship National but managed by our

National Francophone Coordinator, Sergei

Li, and AÉBÉQ Regional Church Planting

Director, Steve Cloutier. The AÉBÉQ Region

then provides church plants with training,

financial grants, coaching, and member care.

>

SERGEI LI

What is a Quebec Vision Tour, and what purpose does it serve?

Steve: Quebec Vision Tours (QVTs) are organized trips that allow

Fellowship leaders to see the realities of church planting in

Quebec. Fellowship pastors, leaders, or local church missions

committee members are able to travel to Montreal, hosted for

two days by Fellowship President Steve Jones. Participants meet

key AÉBÉQ leaders, visit the Region’s seminary, SÉMBÉQ, and

various church plants. Our prayer is that these encounters will

result in a partnership commitment. Due to pandemic restrictions

we are now offering virtual QVTs, consisting of a twohour

Zoom meeting where participants can encounter church

planting opportunities in Quebec. Enroute QVTs, which will

provide an opportunity for Fellowship leaders to gather in their

own Regions with AÉBÉQ leaders and church planters to learn

about church planting in Quebec, will soon be offered as well.

For more information on QVTs please contact Sergei Li at

s.li@fellowship.ca.

What are the greatest issues facing those ministering to francophone

Canadians right now? What will the next five years of francophone

ministry look like?

OUR CHURCHES ARE

PIVOTING TO BECOME

MORE MISSIONAL IN

THEIR COMMUNITIES

IN ORDER TO GAIN A

VOICE AMONG THOSE

HOSTILE TOWARD

RELIGION.

Steve: It has never been

easy to plant churches in

Quebec. The current climate

seems to have moved from

indifference to hostility.

Our churches are pivoting

to become more missional

in their communities in

order to gain a voice among

those hostile toward religion.

Another concern is the need for developing future leaders,

as many pastors in Quebec are now nearing retirement. There is

a critical need for new leaders to replace these faithful retirees.

And lastly, with only 0.8% of French Canadians self-identifying

as evangelical Christians, Quebec remains one of the least

reached people groups in the world. Our Fellowship must

remain committed to reaching French Canadians for Christ. We

pray that over the next five years at least 30 more francophone

church planting partnerships and many more individual donor

partnerships will be established.

Dave: Quebec is much further down the road towards being a

post-modern society than the other Canadian provinces. This

is evidenced by the proliferation of common-law marriages,

the sexual revolution among young adults, and the frequency

of suicide, especially among young males. The need for leaders

stems from the fact that many of our Quebec leaders are

approaching retirement, and there is a scarcity of well-trained

young leaders that are ready to pick up the torch and carry the

Gospel to future generations. It is very difficult to predict what

the future will look like, but I trust that in five years there will

be many more partner churches that will respond to the challenge

of working with new Quebec church plants, that a new

generation of church planters will be raised up, and that our

Fellowship’s church planting efforts will continue to be blessed

by God Almighty.

— Valerie Heaton is Managing Editor of Thrive magazine.


Winter 2021

REFLECTING ON GO

GROUND LEVEL: CHAPLAINCY MINISTRY

>

Fellowship Chaplaincy is an important

ministry that has worked hard to bring the

presence of Christ to people in their workplaces

and communities for the last three decades.

However, in the last five years we have seen

explosive growth in our chaplaincy ministry —

an increase of 84 men and women for a total of

107 Fellowship chaplains. Fellowship Chaplain

member-care Coordinator Richard Flemming

notes that this growth is occurring as “the Lord

is raising up individuals from our churches

who have a passion for the lost. He is bringing

these individuals to us more

than we are looking for them.”

Furthermore, this ministry is

being more widely recognized

as a way for ordinary men and

women to serve in their everyday

lives in a variety of contexts that

do not require years of experience

or qualifications. This means that

RICHARD FLEMMING

our volunteer chaplain role, in particular, have

expanded greatly over the last few years as people

chose to serve in this way. For example, to be a

part of Fellowship Chaplaincy one must undergo

training, but is not required to have previous experience.

Instead, applicants are able to use their

personal life and work knowledge to help equip

them for serving in a ministry role.

Individual experiences, personalized serving, and

engaging in the “ministry of presence” can also

make chaplains more easily accepted by communities

that may be more resistant to the engagement

of pastors or churches. Richard noted that

this is especially true in Quebec, where we have

seen many churches embrace the reach of chaplaincy

into new demographics that is allowing

for a greater reach of the local church when partnered

together.

Many stories of conversion and accounts of how

the Lord is moving have been celebrated by the


thrive-magazine.ca

thrive / 17

SHINING WHERE YOU ARE SO

THAT OTHERS WILL BE ATTRACTED TO

THE LIGHT THAT SHINES THROUGH YOU.

D’S BLESSINGS

by Bethany Anderson

ministry’s leaders — Richard, Fellowship Chaplain Coordinator

Larry Freeman, and Fellowship Chaplaincy Director Steve

Jones. Director Steve Jones shares one story:

“One day as Fellowship chaplain Nat Scobie was

asking God whom he should visit, the phone

rang. Whispering, a woman asked if he was the

one who did visits at the nursing home in town.

When he answered that he was, the individual

identified herself as a believer and an employee

of the nursing home and briefly explained

that an elderly man was asking about Christ

as he waited by the side of his dying wife. She

asked if he could come and meet with him.

Nat’s explanation of the Gospel resulted in the

man giving his heart to Christ. For the following

two years, he was part of many Bible studies

with Nat, until his death.”

>

LARRY FREEMAN

As we continue to dedicate ourselves to

the growth and expansion of Fellowship

Chaplaincy through further training

of our chaplains and growth in our

churches, there is a hope, as Larry notes,

to see “pastors challenging their people

to become chaplains in the places in

which they work, becoming partners

with Fellowship Chaplaincy just as our

churches partner with our missionaries.”

During these particularly uncertain times, being a part of the

“ministry of presence” wherever you are is principally important.

As Larry himself says, “that is what chaplaincy is: shining

where you are so that others will be attracted to the light that

shines through you. You have the relationships, you have the

access — now we need you to make yourself available to come

alongside and enter into the lives of those you work with, showing

them God’s love.”

— Bethany Anderson is Fellowship Administrative Assistant/

Social Media Coordinator, and is currently on maternity leave.


foundation

Winter 2021

HOW

FIRM THIS

FOUNDATION

by Lynda Schultz

FOUNDATION


thrive-magazine.ca

thrive / 19

The Fellowship Foundation, as a “new kid on the block”

in the Fellowship’s family of ministries, was established

in March of 2015 and has grown up to be a very significant

“kid.” Three key participants have been President Steve

Jones, Fellowship Advancement Director Gord Baptist, and

Foundation Secretary/Treasurer Rob Cole.

Establishing a Foundation was a topic of discussion within

National Council when Steve Jones became President in 2011.

Since then Steve has guided the process. By 2012 a legal audit

and plan was presented to Council. In 2013 both a policy

and procedures manual and a direction document were

written. By 2014, the hunt for a director began. Early in 2015

the Foundation was officially launched and the Foundation

directors, currently chaired by Doug Blair, approved the fund

manager, governance, and investment policies. The following

year, Gord Baptist became Fellowship Advancement Director,

responsible for the oversight of the Foundation and for promoting,

educating, and facilitating generosity among our

Fellowship constituency.

Steve comments: “The primary role of

the Foundation is to support Fellowship

people and churches in their generous

stewardship of God’s resources. Just as

critically, the Foundation is designed to

financially support Fellowship churches

and ministries into the future.” And

he adds: “…in the first five years of the

Fellowship Foundation, our constituency

gave over $7.1 million dollars in direct revenue, legacies, and

investments — exceeding our five-year goal by $1 million…

I’m excited by the missional opportunities that won’t be lost

because of lack of resources.”

Gord’s task has grown: “…my focus has

been to discover innovative ways, means,

and support materials to help connect

God’s people and their financial resources

to Fellowship ministries using

our Foundation. This includes handling

major gifts, legacy gifts through estate

planning, and helping our churches and

affiliates invest their dollars to generate

growth to fund their missions. More recently I have been speaking

to churches and groups on the blessings of giving, different

ways of giving, and helping people to understand the joy and

benefits of generosity.”

Rob Cole, who was in on the discussion

before the beginning, became Secretary/

Treasurer and is now also the main liaison

between the Foundation and C.I.

Institutional Asset Management, where

the funds are invested. He maintains the

books and records and communicates

regularly with the Foundation’s participants.

“The most exciting thing for me,”

says Rob, “has been the generosity of our church members in

including the Foundation in their Wills and providing over $4

million in legacies to support Kingdom-related ministries and

organizations. This initial response will put the Foundation in

a strong position in the future to provide financial support to

God’s work in Canada and around the world.”

God has been good, and there is more to come. As Director,

Gord’s dream is this: “Imagine... funds allocated to missions

would grow on a regular basis to provide support for newly appointed

missionaries. When a disaster comes or need arises, the

growth from a specific pocket of capital would be readily available

for relief purposes, to help provide loans to build churches,

or to support a chaplain ministry in jails, hospitals and nursing

homes through our chaplaincy ministry. My prayer is that

by the end of 2025, there would be $16 million earmarked for

ministries such as these… All of this would be done with one

specific goal in mind: to glorify God and advance all ministries

in His Kingdom.”

— Lynda is a former Fellowship missionary, former editor of

Thrive Magazine, Bible teacher, author, blogger, and currently

Fellowship Archives Co-ordinator.

GOD HAS

BEEN GOOD,

AND THERE IS

MORE TO COME

IF YOU HAVE INQUIRIES ABOUT INCLUDING THE FELLOWSHIP

FOUNDATION IN A WILL OR CONDUCTING SEMINARS ON

ESTATE PLANNING OR DEBT RETIREMENT IN YOUR CHURCH

OR MINISTRY, PLEASE CONTACT GORD BAPTIST AT

GBAPTIST@FELLOWSHIP.CA, OR 519.821.4830, EXT. 244.


truth talk Winter 2021

IS THREE BETTER

THAN ONE? by Steve Jones

Since the 1990s, the executive leaders of five Baptist

groups in Canada have gathered periodically for prayer,

study, fellowship, and conversation about mission. In 2016

the presidents of the Fellowship and the Baptist General

Conference started a conversation about the possibility

of collaboration to better engage and impact our nation

with the Gospel. Soon the national councils of both groups

began to discuss this possibility. In 2019, a third Baptist

family, the Canadian National Baptist Convention, was

invited to join the conversation. Several meetings followed,

resulting in agreement that the mission is too great and the

scope too large for anything less then a unified voice for the

Gospel in our country.

The dialogue has been about deeper collaboration, not a

merger. Our hope is that our combined collaborative effort

could make a big impact for the Gospel in our country

in the years to come. However, the courtship must come

before any talk of marriage. Let’s learn to crawl before we

consider learning to walk or run together.

WHY WOULD WE CONSIDER DEEPER

COLLABORATION?

Bigger is not always better; large size can make you sluggish.

However, when all are pointed in the same direction,

a larger force of missional churches has the capacity to

make a significant impact. Our three Baptist families share

a conservative theology and commitment to an adaptive

missional approach to ministry. Some of our executive

leadership have met to consider if there is merit in joining

together in the training of our leaders, caring for people

through our humanitarian relief appeals, the possible

planting of churches in the future and other initiatives.

We live in a time when the evangelical community is

shrinking in Canada. The EFCs recent survey (2019) indicated

6.4% of Canadians self-identified as evangelical — a

drop from 7.7% five years ago and double-digit percentages

only 30 years ago. There are more evangelical churches

deciding to adopt progressive theological positions, capitulating

to the current culture.

Evangelism rates are alarmingly

low. Political correctness,

group-think, and new theories

make the future landscape for

Biblical worldview thinking both

difficult to navigate and possibly

TRUTH TALK:

THEOLOGY AND TRENDS

>

THE BAPTIST COLLABORATION NETWORK TEAM.


thrive-magazine.ca

thrive / 21

illegal. And the next generation has little stomach for institutional

self-preservation rather than putting all our effort into

Kingdom advancement.

Could we imagine the synergy of three combined forces seeking

to accomplish a single mission — whether that be feeding the

hungry, planting more churches, training pastors, or speaking

with a single voice into our current culture and to government

authorities? Could we be stronger together?

OUR RESPONSE

The evangelical church in Canada is decreasing. Our

Fellowship’s own incremental growth (102 churches were

planted from 2010-2020, but we remain approximately 500

churches total), is not going to provide the Gospel engagement

that needs to happen among all Canadians. None of our three

Baptist groups are meaningfully adding to the total Gospel ratio

gains that we long for in our country on our own. But what if

we worked together to lower a few of our walls, leverage our

strengths, and level our weaknesses? What might await us for

God’s glory?

The Executive leaders of the Fellowship, Baptist General

Conference, and Canadian National Baptist Convention have

agreed to continue the journey to discover the right questions

and discuss them with our leaders and larger constituencies; to

discover what being on mission together might mean; to investigate

what deeper collaboration looks like. We are in the early

days of this conversation, and we’re in no rush. There are many

questions and few answers so far. We will seek the answers by

faith, and they will determine what our future collaboration

will look like. Please join with me in prayer as we seek the Lord

for direction.”


Winter 2021

ON THE HORIZON

Fellowship National exists to support our churches in making passionate

disciples of Christ while ensuring they experience an unforgettable

impact in their communities and beyond. Fellowship National seeks to support

our Regions as they help our local churches in church health, church planting,

and church leadership development. Fellowship National directly supports our

churches in ministry areas that include international missions, humanitarian

relief, francophone ministry, chaplaincy ministry, and special services such as

healthcare and pension plans, church mortgages, and others.

THE LAST WORD

FELLOWSHIP

NATIONAL

STRATEGIC

PLAN:

2021-2026

by Steve Jones

In this edition of Thrive, “Collaborate: Fruitful Partnerships”, we have read about

the fruit of five years of partnership together as a Fellowship of more than 500 local

churches. Our Fellowship National Strategic Plan for 2015-2020, “20/20 by 2020”, has

resulted in some very encouraging signs of growth and Kingdom advancement. God

has been good!

WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

Our national team is in the final stages of preparing our next Fellowship National

Strategic Plan for 2021-2026, “Catalyze: Disciples Making Disciples Everywhere”, to present

to national council for their consideration and approval. My hope and prayer is that

this plan will encourage and inspire our churches to engage in greater depths of partnership

with one another in order to advance the Gospel at home and beyond.

We desire to come alongside our churches and Regions, offering support and helping to realize

their missional dreams and initiatives: to help send out missionaries overseas and within

Canada; to support chaplains with training, accountability, and credentialing; to ensure the

marginalized, abused, and hungry receive relief and justice through our FAIR department; to

support our Regions in church planting in Quebec and other parts of our country; to make sure

our pastors, missionaries, chaplains, and staff are properly cared for with world class healthcare

and pension plans; and to help grow the Fellowship Foundation in order to support Fellowship

local churches and international missions work far into the future. We seek to serve our movement

as a voice in our current culture, amidst the desperate need for Christ.

IT’S BEEN A GOOD FIVE YEARS, BUT THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

GLORY BE TO GOD!


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