Thrive — Spring/Summer 2022

PLANT: Cultivate, Water, Harvest

PLANT: Cultivate, Water, Harvest


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<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />





PLANT:<br />



<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />




EFFORTS by Steve Jones<br />


During one of my tours<br />

visiting Fellowship<br />

churches and pastors, I<br />

drove out to Slack Cove,<br />

NB, to visit the monument<br />

commemorating the<br />

first landing of Baptists in<br />

Canada. On April 21, 1763,<br />

13 Baptists, including Pastor<br />

Nathan Mason, landed in<br />

the remote Slack Cove from<br />

Swansea, Massachusetts,<br />

and settled in the Sackville, NB, area. Two Fellowship Baptist<br />

churches, Wood Point Baptist and Main Street Baptist, are<br />

both just 20-40 minutes away from this landing site. Main<br />

Street celebrated its 259 th anniversary this past year. How<br />

many Fellowship churches continue to thrive after two-anda-half<br />

centuries?<br />

The Fellowship is Still Discovering New Territory<br />

The good news is that Fellowship Baptists have continued<br />

the adventure. Church planting is in our blood<br />

and we have quite the pedigree when it comes to planting<br />

new churches. The Fellowship started in 1953 with<br />

just over 200 churches. Our early church planting effort<br />

was significant, with pioneer church planters establishing<br />

local churches in every Region of our Fellowship.<br />

Church planters like Ian Bowie, Art Hoehne, Don Robins,<br />

Claire Hofstetter, Morley Hall, the Phillip brothers, W. H.<br />

MacBain, Stu Silvester, Jim Rendle, Godfrey Catanus, Steve<br />

Bell, Doug Blair, Jack Hannah, and others displayed amazing<br />

courage and forbearance in establishing many new<br />

churches in English-speaking Canada. Our Fellowship<br />

French Mission (1958-2014) established well over 100<br />

Fellowship francophone churches, starting with the early<br />

pioneers like Murray and Lorne Heron, Wilf Wellington,<br />

Yvon Hurtubise, Tom Carson, Bill Phillips, William Frey,

thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 3<br />

><br />




Canada for Christ. Start to pray with some church members and<br />

leaders about what your church’s response should be. There is a<br />

lot of support out there for church planting. Start by contacting<br />

your Regional church plant director for some information:<br />

• Fellowship Pacific: Todd Chapman, todd@febpacific.ca<br />

• Fellowship Prairies: Mark Breitkreuz,<br />

mark@fellowshipprairies.ca<br />





Elisée Beau, the Cotnoir brothers, Ernie Keefe, and others.<br />

Due in part to the Fellowship’s kinship with church planting,<br />

our association of churches grew from 225 churches in 1953<br />

to 496 churches in 2000. Our Fellowship Pacific Region grew<br />

from 50 churches in 1970 to 90 churches by 1986 due in large<br />

part to an agressive church planting strategic plan (11 plants<br />

in the 1960s, 16 in the 1970s, and 20 in the 1980s). During<br />

the lead up to the year 2000 and entrance into a new millennium,<br />

our Fellowship of churches banded together with other<br />

denominations in an effort to plant many new churches in<br />

Canada. During the 1990s, Fellowship churches, along with<br />

our Regions, planted 87 new churches. However, the first decade<br />

of the 21st century saw a less than fervent desire to see<br />

new churches planted.<br />

During my first presidential address, at our Fellowship National<br />

Conference in 2011, I declared: “the coffee break is over!” We<br />

needed to become a “church planting machine” once again. Our<br />

churches, Regions, and Regional church planting directors have<br />

been very busy over the past decade, and God has been gracious.<br />

Between 2010-2021 our movement of churches has planted 106<br />

new churches. God is good!<br />

Most of these church plants have survived, and many are thriving.<br />

A big thank-you to the team of Regional church plant directors<br />

who have served this past decade: Todd Chapman, Colin<br />

Van der Kuur, Mark Breitkreuz, Tom Haines, Terry Cuthbert,<br />

Steve Cloutier, and Brad Somers. Please join me in continuing to<br />

pray for our Regional church planting leaders.<br />

The Adventure Continues<br />

My hope and prayer is that many more of our local churches<br />

will prayerfully consider and commit to planting new churches<br />

in the coming decade. Church planting remains one of the best<br />

resources in our evangelistic arsenal to win the spiritually lost in<br />

• FEB Central: Tom Haines, tom@febcentral.ca<br />

• AEBEQ: Steve Cloutier, s.cloutier@aebeq.qc.ca<br />

• Fellowship Atlantic: Brad Somers, brad@paxnorth.ca<br />

If your church has an interest in supporting francophone<br />

church planting in Québec through a “7x7=1” partnership,<br />

please contact Fellowship National’s Francophone Coordinator,<br />

Sergei Li, at s.li@fellowship.ca. Quebéc remains one of the<br />

neediest spiritual places on earth with only 0.8% of French<br />

Canadians self-identifying as an evangelical Christian. Our<br />

brethren in Québec continue to need our partnership. I am<br />

grateful to many Fellowship churches from across our nation<br />

who are already involved in a seven-year partnership with<br />

French church plants in Québec <strong>—</strong> thank you to all of you. If<br />

you’re interested in starting a partnership, contact Sergei Li or<br />

myself.<br />

Enjoy this edition <strong>Thrive</strong>, “Plant: Cultivate, Water, Harvest”,<br />

and read stories of courage, faithfulness, and perseverance.<br />

Please prayerfully consider how you and your church might<br />

become a part of the future stories of Fellowship Baptist<br />

church planting.<br />

Steven Jones<br />

is President of<br />

The Fellowship<br />

of Evangelical<br />

Baptist Churches<br />

in Canada. Follow<br />

Steve on Twitter @<br />


4 / thrive <strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


DURING OUR 'YEAR OF JOY' IN <strong>2022</strong><br />









You can connect with us on FACEBOOK:<br />

www.facebook.com/FellowshipNatl,<br />

on INSTAGRAM: @FellowshipNatl,<br />

and on TWITTER: @FellowshipNatl.<br />

Come and join the conversation.<br />



EFFORTS / Steve Jones<br />




6 OUT THERE<br />


DISCIPLE-MAKING / Benjamin Porter<br />

THE WORD THAT RESONATES / Lynda Schultz<br />




HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE / Paul Hildebrand<br />

12 GROUND WORK<br />

HELP NEEDED! / Sergei Li<br />


THE CHURCH / Larry Freeman<br />


14 UP TO SPEED<br />



REGION / Todd Chapman<br />


REGION / Mark Breitkreuz<br />




REGION / Bradley Somers<br />

22 THE LAST WORD<br />


MISSION STATEMENT: <strong>Thrive</strong> is the official magazine of The Fellowship of Evangelical<br />

Baptist Churches in Canada. It is published to enhance the life and ministry of church leaders<br />

and members in Fellowship congregations by providing articles, resources, and news that<br />

reflect evangelical values, a common mission, and a shared sense of identity and vision.<br />

<strong>Thrive</strong> is published three times a year and is available in English and French.<br />

© The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada<br />

MINISTRY CENTRE: P.O. Box 457, Guelph ON N1H 6K9<br />

T: 519-821-4830 F: 519-821-9829<br />

EMAIL: president@fellowship.ca<br />

thrive-magazine.ca<br />

SENIOR EDITOR: Steven Jones MANAGING EDITOR: Valerie Heaton<br />

COPY EDITOR: Jesskah McCartney LAYOUT & DESIGN: Ampersand<br />

EMAIL: thrive@fellowship.ca<br />

POSTAGE: Return undeliverable Canadian address to Circulation<br />

Department, P.O. Box 457, Guelph ON N1H 6K9<br />


Is your church looking for new ways to serve the needs in your community? Does your congregation<br />

need a better way to feel connected with your church and one another? WayBase is a digital platform<br />

that brings churches and individuals together in meaningful ways, helping them to connect with other<br />

people, churches, and Christian organizations, all while enabling them to meet the immediate and most<br />

pressing needs within their communities. There are two ways to use WayBase: via their website or app.<br />

Through the Fellowship’s partnership with WayBase, all Fellowship churches will receive 20% off their<br />

subscription, along with demos, training, and helpful planning.<br />





by Gord Baptist<br />

When the word “investing”<br />

is mentioned, it brings up<br />

issues that informed investors<br />

consider, such as: What fees will I<br />

be paying? What are the risks involved,<br />

and do they fit within my<br />

level of tolerance and align with<br />

my goals? What are the tax implications,<br />

and are there any ways to<br />

reduce or avoid them?<br />

Many rely upon tax avoidance products like retirement<br />

savings plans such as RRSPs. Then there are tax-free savings<br />

accounts (TFSA), growth investments that produce capital<br />

gains, and investments that pay dividends to experience<br />

capital dividends credits.<br />

Another place of investing is in the building of God’s<br />

Kingdom ministries. Surprisingly most tax advisors say that<br />

the greatest untapped resource for tax avoidance, whether<br />

used now or after death, is giving to ministries. This type of<br />

investing produces results that are eternal. The issue is not<br />

only to deal with the legalities, but that the entire process<br />

needs to be surrounded in prayer <strong>—</strong> particularly when it<br />

comes to discerning how to draft your will and complete<br />

your estate plan.<br />

foundation<br />

Completing your will is extremely important. Inheritance is<br />

mentioned many times in the Bible and should be a blessing<br />

to those we love. As I have been helping individuals<br />

complete their estate plans, I have appreciated the blessing<br />

that they have expressed when they designate a portion to<br />

God’s Kingdom. I see the benefits of this not only in spiritual<br />

terms but also in monetary terms while working alongside<br />

our partner, Advisors with Purpose, in completing estate<br />

plans. Particularly in giving to Kingdom ministries, people<br />

see how their taxes are reduced, blessing both their family<br />

and chosen ministry. If you would like to have this opportunity<br />

for yourself, please contact me and I will gladly set up<br />

an appointment with an advisor for you.<br />

<strong>—</strong>Gord Baptist is Fellowship Advancement Director<br />

and can be reached at 519.821.4830, ext. 244;<br />

fax: 519.821.9829; gbaptist@fellowship.ca<br />


<strong>Spring</strong>/Sumer <strong>2022</strong><br />


DISCIPLE-MAKING by Benjamin Porter<br />

Fellowship International exists<br />

to catalyze disciple-making<br />

movements in strategic populations<br />

by empowering nationals. A<br />

proven and effective way to achieve<br />

this vision is through disciplemaking<br />

movements (DMMs). We<br />

see disciple-making as a significant<br />

part of the church planting multiplication<br />

formula. At Fellowship<br />

International, we catalyze disciple-making movements<br />

through training in our essential elements, which leads<br />

to movements which plant churches with the DNA of<br />

multiplication imbedded in them. If you are interested<br />

in more detail around this training and its potential on<br />

the mission field as well as through local churches across<br />

Canada, please see the resources available at fellowship.<br />

ca/ResourcesInternational.<br />

This is being implemented in different Regions of the world<br />

through the work of our Fellowship International missionaries.<br />

One of our key regions right now is Middle East and<br />

North Africa (MENA). Fellowship missionaries Bechara and<br />

Roula Karkafi are giving leadership to our ministry in this<br />

region of the world. Bechara writes:<br />

“Praise the Lord that He has blessed us abundantly by His<br />

grace to lay down our vision foundation all over the MENA<br />

area. Currently, 12 projects/ministries are running in five<br />

different countries; we are partnering with more than 75<br />

organizations and churches; we are impacting, supporting,<br />

and training more than 300 pastors and planters; add<br />

to that two seminary programs and four chaplaincies in<br />

Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan, and Lebanon. In Lebanon, the Lord<br />

blessed us to partner with and support a young converted<br />

planter from a Kurdish Islamic background through the<br />

Stronger Together Plus Project. Brother Philadelphios, along<br />

with his wife and family, are planting among the Kurdish<br />

Islamic refugees in Beirut, sharing the Gospel and making<br />

disciples who are discipling others for God’s glory.<br />

Philadelphios is witnessing the conversion of second and<br />

third generations of disciples. His heart’s desire is to reach<br />

out to every Kurdish refugee with the Gospel of Jesus<br />

Christ, despite the severe persecution that he is facing from<br />

his family and tribe.”<br />

<strong>—</strong> Benjamin Porter is Fellowship International Director.<br />


thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 7<br />


RESONATES by Lynda Schultz<br />

The first complete Bible in the Sindhi language was published<br />

in 1954. Changes in language and its use resulted in<br />

a common language New Testament published by the Pakistan<br />

Bible Society in 1985, followed later by the Old Testament published<br />

in 2009.<br />

But there was an issue<strong>—</strong>a big one. In 1990, Mark Naylor, who<br />

has been involved in this translation project for decades, discovered<br />

that the New Testament was not being used among the<br />

Hindu tribes. It had been distributed widely in the province<br />

of Sindh, which is mostly Muslim, and during this time many<br />

churches were planted, and Hindus were turning to Christ.<br />

Mark assumed that this newly published New Testament was<br />

playing an important role in that movement. He was surprised<br />

to find otherwise. When he asked why it wasn’t being used,<br />

the reply came back that the Hindus found the New Testament<br />

offensive, not because of the Gospel spoken of in its pages, but<br />

because it was full of Islamic words and phrases that resonated<br />

with Muslims but not with Hindus.<br />

What a difference a word can make to those who read it from<br />

their own unique perspectives and backgrounds.<br />

So began the huge task of preparing two translations, one that<br />

would resonate with Hindu Sindhis alongside a revised Muslim<br />

Sindhi New Testament.<br />

The team <strong>—</strong> a Muslim Sindhi, a Hindu Sindhi, and a<br />

Christian Sindhi, with Mark as “exegete” <strong>—</strong> combined with<br />

sophisticated Bible translation programs and access to international<br />

resources and scholars, began the painstaking<br />

process of ensuring that the Scriptures “speak” the language of<br />

their respective audiences.<br />

In August 2021, the task was completed. Mark comments, “We<br />

pray that God will use His Word powerfully among the people<br />

of Sindh, leading many to become followers of Jesus.”<br />

To which we say “Amen” and “Thank You!”<br />

Mark and Karen Naylor served in Pakistan<br />

with Fellowship International from 1984 to<br />

1999. Since then Mark has continued to be<br />

involved in the translation of the Bible into the<br />

Sindhi language, traveling twice a year back to<br />

Pakistan to work with his team of translators.<br />

Mark is Coordinator of International Leadership<br />

Development at Northwest Baptist Seminary in<br />

Langley, BC and our Fellowship International<br />

department. For more detailed information on this project, visit<br />

2015site.nbseminary.ca/cild_sindhibible.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Lynda Schultz is a former Fellowship International missionary,<br />

former editor of <strong>Thrive</strong> Magazine, Bible teacher, author,<br />

blogger, and currently Fellowship Archives Coordinator.<br />



<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />



CRISIS<br />

On February 24, <strong>2022</strong>, the Russian military launched<br />

attacks across Ukraine triggering a huge wave of<br />

civilians fleeing their homes. As of March 27, the United<br />

Nations had reported that 3.6 million refugees had fled<br />

Ukraine, with Poland taking in the largest number of refugees<br />

<strong>—</strong> more than all other countries combined.<br />

In early March, Fellowship International Associate<br />

Director, Luc Tétreault, traveled to Poland where he was<br />

able to see the situation first-hand and assist the team<br />

in establishing a plan for FAIR’s (Fellowship Aid and<br />

International Relief) involvement and how best to meet<br />

the critical needs. While on site, Luc wrote: “The refugees<br />

are traveling by rail: 2,000 people, mainly women and children,<br />

in trains designed to hold half that<br />

amount. The train’s first stop, after<br />

leaving Ukraine, is a railway station<br />

that usually serves as a Polish border<br />

checkpoint for cargo. In a scene<br />

reminiscent of World War II concentration<br />

camps, they spill out onto<br />

the station’s platform where Polish<br />

><br />

><br />




TAYLOR<br />

officials check their documents.<br />

They are greeted with the words,<br />

‘Welcome to Poland. You are safe<br />

now.’ The only people permitted on<br />

the platform, besides Polish officials,<br />

are pastor Szymon and his brother<br />

Gregor, and a select few volunteers.”<br />

Fellowship International missionaries<br />

Pierre Jutras and Ben<br />

Taylor were able to join Polish<br />

pastor Szymon and his brother<br />

Gregor to assist refugees.<br />

FAIR on the Frontlines<br />

Fellowship International missionaries, on behalf of FAIR,<br />

are working on the frontlines. Hanna Jutras, originally<br />

from Poland, and her husband, Pierre, have served as<br />

Fellowship missionaries in Poland for the past 17 years. Ben<br />

and Krista Taylor have served in the country for the past<br />

ten years. They, along with their network of partners in the<br />

country, have been able to gain strategic access to the border<br />

in order to meet the needs of refugees.<br />

Two emergency shelters have been set up at churches<br />

in the Polish towns of Hrubieszów and Zamość near the<br />

border with Ukraine. Each church is providing fresh food,<br />

clothing, a clean and warm place to rest, and travel assistance<br />

for 30+ refugees (mainly women and children) each<br />

day. Travel assistance includes pickup from the border, a<br />

drop-off in Warsaw, and bus/train tickets to Berlin. The<br />

church in Hrubieszów is also running a canteen at the train<br />

station providing food for 500+ refugees a day.<br />

The team has been able to purchase three vans and borrow<br />

three others in order to pick up and drive refugees to where<br />

they need to go.<br />

While Fellowship International missionary Ben Taylor<br />

is helping to coordinate volunteers in Hrubieszów and<br />

Zamość, Krista Taylor remains in western Poland caring for<br />

their five children. She writes, “…the number of refugees<br />

fleeing daily is down to about 30,000 from 120,000 when<br />

the war first began. To date almost four million Ukrainians<br />

have found refuge outside of the country; 2.3 million have<br />

travelled through Poland. Many do not want to travel<br />

further, as Poland’s language and culture are similar<br />

to that of Ukraine, and their husbands and fathers are<br />

still in Ukraine fighting. Many of them are waiting<br />

for the war to end and just want to go home.”

thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 9<br />

The Current Needs<br />

The most urgent need at this point is to<br />

provide food, shelter, transportation, and<br />

bus/train tickets for refugees. Our team<br />

estimates that $8,300 is needed each<br />

day in order to continue the work<br />

they have been doing.<br />

Another significant need is to assist<br />

refugees in finding a safer place within<br />

Europe where they can stay during<br />

the unrest. Our team, along with Polish<br />

churches, are seeking to facilitate this<br />

endeavor.<br />

FAIR anticipates that there will be need<br />

for long-term involvement as it relates<br />

to this crisis. While it is still too early<br />

to know exactly what that involvement<br />

will look like, one way being investigated<br />

is the potential of FAIR working<br />

through its partners to settle refugees<br />

within Canada.<br />

How You Can Help<br />

First and foremost, please pray:<br />

• Pray for peace in the Ukraine.<br />

• Pray that Ukrainians desiring to flee<br />

the country would be able to do so<br />

safely.<br />

• Pray for strength and wisdom for the<br />

Jutras and Taylor families as they<br />

care for refugees.<br />

Second, consider how the Lord would<br />

have you partner with FAIR financially,<br />

enabling our team in Poland to be the<br />

hands and feet of Jesus in the midst<br />

of this crisis. The needs are significant<br />

and will continue for some time<br />

to come. For more information or to<br />

donate online, visit: fellowship.ca/<br />

UkraineRefugeeCrisis.<br />


One of the refugees our team met was Vika. She was in the Crimea peninsula<br />

when Russia invaded it in 2014 but was able to escape with her young daughter.<br />

Eight years later and living in Lviv, Ukraine, she, her husband, and her nowteenaged<br />

daughter found themselves in a similar situation. She recounts, “It<br />

was 4:00 a.m. and I couldn’t sleep. I checked the internet and discovered that<br />

the war had begun. The next two weeks were very emotional.” Warning alarms<br />

sounded indicating when people needed to seek shelter. She and her family<br />

found refuge in a nearby church basement. “A man in the church was there to<br />

offer shelter and said, ‘Don’t panic, but let us pray.’ He started praying and 100<br />

or 200 people started praying with him which gave us strength… Gradually,<br />

we began to see more and more refugees coming to Lviv from the eastern regions…<br />

Shops began to run out of food. This sort of shortage made us work in<br />

solidarity because the refugees needed food and clothes. Every family brought<br />

clothes and shoes to share. But I knew that only God can give true security. I<br />

knew that no country can guarantee security. It will be all right in God’s will.”<br />

Over the next few weeks, the alarms became more frequent. Vika, who was<br />

concerned for her daughter who suffers epileptic seizures and was showing<br />

signs of stress, knew the only option would be to travel to safety. Although<br />

her husband struggled to let his wife and daughter leave, there was no other<br />

option.<br />

The bus ride to the Polish border was horrendous.<br />

Vika was ill during the trip where<br />

she and 100 other passengers<strong>—</strong>all packed<br />

into one bus<strong>—</strong>set out. The 80km trip took<br />

20 hours! Vika shares: “It was hard to be<br />

squeezed in with such a crowd in the bus with<br />

kids crying and dogs barking… All the women<br />

tried to support each other. At one point we<br />

ran out of water and food, but volunteers were<br />

waiting for us on the road, knocking on the<br />

bus door to pass tea, hot water, food, diapers,<br />

and baby food to us.”<br />

They waited hours at the border because of the thousands waiting to enter<br />

Poland. Vika writes, “I almost fell down when I got off the bus because my legs<br />

were so weak and I almost lost consciousness, like many others.” In spite of<br />

being offered hot food and water, she was too exhausted and sleep-deprived<br />

from the 20-hour trip to eat.<br />

Vika and her daughter were taken in for the night by Marichka, a Ukrainian<br />

woman living in Poland who was nine months pregnant and had been waiting<br />

at the border since 2:30 a.m. to offer assistance. Vika and her daughter slept<br />

almost the entire next day and were so thankful to have arrived safely.<br />

The following day they were put in contact with a local pastor and were taken<br />

to a FAIR-sponsored shelter in Zamość. A day later they attended the local<br />

church service. “It was my first time in a church outside of Ukraine. We were so<br />

close with the same hearts. I recognized all the hymns and some of the words…<br />

Some of these hymns were already precious to my heart and memory. I praise<br />

God that the Body of Christ is so universal with the same Spirit. I really saw<br />

them as family members. I was so grateful to God for His salvation.”<br />

Vika shares, “I am very worried and feel great guilt because I left my parents,<br />

my husband, and my church. I feel like a traitor. I left my husband in a very difficult<br />

time.” One of the volunteers gave Vika a SIM card for Poland which makes<br />

it possible for her to connect with her husband who has remained behind.

love extended<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


OF YOUR<br />


by Dan Shurr<br />

Thanks to the generous support of our faithful partners, our FAIR appeals have been<br />

able to help make real and lasting change in the lives of those involved. Read on to<br />

hear encouraging updates on some of our recent appeals, and how they have served<br />

the surrounding communities.<br />


Seeing, Hearing, and Believing; a report on the Hands of<br />

Faith Appeal<br />

Fellowship missionaries Diego and Claudia Cardona have<br />

invested their efforts into ministry with the deaf population<br />

living in Medellín, Colombia. Their objective is to<br />

have a thriving sign language ministry in their church.<br />

FAIR has partnered with<br />

this faithful couple to raise<br />

funds for the Hands of Faith<br />

appeal. To date, $17,406 has<br />

been raised, bringing us to<br />

approximately 70% of our<br />

goal of $25,000. Would you<br />

prayerfully consider helping<br />

us reach the remainder<br />

of this goal? Join me in praying<br />

that deaf people will<br />

see, hear, and believe in the<br />

Gospel. Visit fellowship.ca/<br />

HandsOfFaith to contribute<br />

to this important project.<br />

Healing x 2; a report on the Out of the Waiting Room<br />

Appeal<br />

FAIR partnered with Dr. Jeshiah Thiessen, a recently appointed<br />

Fellowship missionary to Madagascar’s Good News<br />

Hospital last fall. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity<br />

of God’s people to provide training for surgeons. Our<br />

goal was to raise $145,000 through the Out of the Waiting<br />

Room special appeal, but to date God has provided $210,693<br />

from people like you for this program. Dr. Jesh Thiessen left<br />

Canada with his family and in faith went to Madagascar,<br />

because in a country of 26 million there were only 100 surgeons!<br />

You can imagine the wait times for people to have<br />

surgeries. Praise God for His abundant, above-and-beyond<br />

provision of resources for<br />

this program.<br />

The Fellowship Child<br />

Sponsorship Program is<br />

Poised to Grow Again<br />

Please keep your eyes open<br />

and pray with us about the<br />

upcoming launch of a new<br />

location in our Fellowship<br />

Child Sponsorship<br />

Program. Newly appointed<br />

Fellowship missionary,<br />

Helene Hwang, has been<br />

serving in the Dominican<br />

Republic and caring for children there. Her organization<br />

called “Joy Foundation” will join the Fellowship Child<br />

Sponsorship Program in the coming days. Praise the Lord<br />

for this exciting opportunity to see young lives changed<br />

forever! Visit fellowship.ca/childsponsorship for more information.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Dan Shurr is FAIR Director.

thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 11<br />

HOW TO<br />

CHANGE<br />

A LIFE<br />

by Paul Hildebrand<br />

The Fellowships Child Sponsorship<br />

Program seeks to empower children, families,<br />

and their communities. Sponsoring a<br />

child makes a long-lasting, holistic impact<br />

in the life of a child, providing love<br />

for today and hope for tomorrow. In each<br />

location, oversight is given by Fellowship<br />

International missionaries to provide a<br />

place of healing and safety for at-risk children and youth.<br />

One of our Casa Hogar sponsors was telling us that when their<br />

first son was born, they decided to sponsor a boy at Casa Hogar<br />

of approximately the same age. Then when their next two boys<br />

were born, they sponsored two more children of approximately<br />

the same age again. They have loved seeing their boys grow<br />

up at the same time as their three Honduran boys! At the end<br />

of March, FAIR will be publishing an interview with them on<br />

FAIR’s blog, at fellowship.ca/FAIRBlog. We hope you will be as<br />

encouraged by their story as we are.<br />

Between September and January, 24 sponsors have begun to<br />

support 50 children. Praise the Lord! We are praying that by<br />

2026, the program would have 1,050 active sponsorships. As of<br />

January <strong>2022</strong>, there are 484 active sponsorships.<br />

One of the ways that God is helping to meet the needs of each<br />

sponsorship program is through church partnerships. A church<br />

partnership allows a Fellowship church to develop a close relationship<br />

with one or more of FAIR's projects in:<br />

><br />

><br />

><br />

Honduras: Casa Hogar children's home.<br />

Lebanon: Clementia Learning Centre for Syrian refugee<br />

children and Cedar Home for girls.<br />

Sri Lanka: Two Love Trust ministry centres providing<br />

education for children, vocational training for adults, and<br />

medical clinics.<br />

Formal partnerships allow local churches to have a special<br />

connection and access to the children they support through<br />

the child sponsorship program. This includes the potential<br />

for sending short-term mission teams to visit the sponsorship<br />

location and to meet the child, other children, and on-site staff.<br />

These partnerships also provide unique opportunities to connect<br />

with your children, gaining a clearer understanding of<br />

how best to pray for your child’s care and salvation.<br />

Multiple Fellowship church partnerships for each of FAIR's<br />

four projects will ensure the stable long-term support of these<br />

ministries.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Paul Hildebrand is a FAIR Projects and Promotion<br />

Coordinator.<br />




ground work<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

HELP<br />

NEEDED!<br />

by Sergei Li<br />

Over the past decade, our AEBEQ region has planted 16 new churches. This has been possible due to the<br />

partnership of Fellowship churches and individuals across Canada. More than 80 churches and individuals<br />

have entered into seven-year partnerships to pray, encourage, and financially support these new church<br />

plants. Please consider supporting these two new church re-plants with the same type of partnership.<br />

Verdun<br />


Église de Verdun is in replanting mode. The church is situated<br />

in the midst of Verdun, a growing neighbourhood of<br />

families and young professionals. Pasteur Josué arrived<br />

from Brazil in 2016 to learn the culture and language, and<br />

to serve as a pastor. In 2018, Josué Praça became the pastor<br />

of the church, replacing Claude Laverdière after 19 years<br />

of faithful ministry. It’s been a blessing to see Josué and<br />

his wife take part in the mission of God in Verdun. Since<br />

they’ve started to minister there, they decided to enter into<br />

a period of replanting, and building a healthy team. They’ve<br />

started to work with youth and kids’ ministry. Since the<br />

return of in-person church services in September, they have<br />

experienced, by the grace of God, an important increase<br />

in the number of people who are joining the church in<br />

Verdun. They had four<br />

baptisms over the<br />

summer of 2021 and<br />

it’s been a blessing to<br />

see them grow as a<br />

church, especially during<br />

a pandemic. They<br />

will be seeking new<br />

Fellowship churches<br />

to partner with in the<br />

next few months to<br />

support them in this<br />

new adventure.<br />

Laustsen and Murray<br />

We’ve been praying for new workers in Québec for a long<br />

time. At 10:02, we stop to pray that God would send new<br />

workers for the harvest. God answered by sending the<br />

Laustsen and Murray families to Montréal from Ontario.<br />

They arrived in 2020 in the midst of a serious lockdown<br />

in Montréal. They started to learn the language and develop<br />

their ministry in our Verdun church. For the past<br />

two years we’ve been seeking God’s Will for a deployment<br />

opportunity for them. This is what they wrote in their recent<br />

newsletter:<br />

“After several months of prayer, conversation, and<br />

spiritual guidance, our team now sees the next steps<br />

to take. Towards the end of November 2021, our<br />

team, in collaboration with the AEBEQ strategic<br />

team, unanimously agreed that we feel God leading<br />

us to serve Him in Chicoutimi, in the Saguenay<br />

region. We are very excited about this opportunity!”<br />

For more information on how to partner with<br />

either of these projects, please visit fellowship.ca/<br />

ReachingFrancophoneCanada. Also consider joining our<br />

next Québec Vision Tour, either virtually or in-person on<br />

May 30, June 1, or October 17-19, <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

We would like to invite you to pray for these two families,<br />

but also for God to send additional missionaries<br />

to Québec. If God is calling<br />

you into missions in Québec or if you<br />

would like more information, please<br />

contact me at sli@fellowship.ca.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Sergei Li is Fellowship<br />

Francophone Church Plant<br />

Partnership Coordinator.

thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 13<br />

THE<br />




AND THE<br />

CHURCH<br />

by Larry Freeman<br />

How do you plant a church, or grow a church, in a society<br />

that sees the Church as irrelevant or views it with<br />

suspicion? You have to find ways to connect with people<br />

outside the walls of the church building. Jérémie Julie<br />

and Quentin Bernard are seeking to plant a church in<br />

the Hochelaga area of Montréal, QC, an underprivileged<br />

area of the city. As AEBEQ church planters, they have<br />

also become volunteer Fellowship chaplains who seek<br />

to connect with people by offering to officiate weddings,<br />

funerals, provide individual counseling, etc. They also seek to hand<br />

out Bibles on the streets to those willing to take one. In just a short time,<br />

they have seen one individual begin to attend the church. They are just<br />

one example illustrating how chaplaincy can help grow a church.<br />

Rather than wait for people to come to the church, Fellowship chaplains<br />

go to where the people are, seek to build relationships, and<br />

then look for opportunities to begin a spiritual conversation with<br />

them. Whether it is at the place where they work or out in the<br />

community, Fellowship chaplains are looking for ways to connect<br />

with people and break down barriers that are keeping people<br />

from entering a church building <strong>—</strong> barriers such as disconnection,<br />

disinterest, disappointment, or distrust. How and where<br />

in your community could you be used of God to connect with<br />

people and seek to share the love of Christ with them? This is<br />

your invitation as a Fellowship church member to join the<br />

growing group of pastors and lay people who are becoming<br />

volunteer Fellowship chaplains serving their communities.<br />

For more information on Fellowship chaplaincy, please<br />

visit fellowship.ca/FellowshipChaplaincy.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Larry Freeman is Fellowship Chaplain Coordinator.<br />



Ross Helgeton has been a pastor<br />

for over 43 years and, officially, a<br />

Fellowship chaplain since 2015. Upon<br />

leaving the full-time pastorate role, Ross<br />

opened Hope Counselling in Stettler, AB,<br />

where he lives with his wife Colleen. He is<br />

currently a volunteer chaplain at the Stettler<br />

Hospital. We are excited to have Ross come<br />

on as our Western Chaplaincy Coordinator<br />

Assistant to help us care for our Western chaplains<br />

and also to help us grow the Fellowship<br />

chaplaincy ministry in<br />

Western Canada. We also<br />

welcome his skillset to our<br />

leadership team in as it will<br />

enhance our Fellowship chaplaincy<br />

ministry nationally.

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />



by Valerie Heaton<br />


The Fellowship has a rich history of multiplication and<br />

church planting, with periods of intense and fruitful<br />

growth across our great nation. There are many lessons<br />

that we can glean from these past efforts, but one always<br />

arrives at the question: are we planting churches across<br />

Canada today? The answer is a resounding YES! Each of our<br />

Regional church planting directors has weighed in on the<br />

topic, answering some of our burning questions surrounding<br />

church planting across our country.<br />

To get the ball rolling, we asked our directors why it is important<br />

to plant churches in Canada. Overwhelmingly the<br />

answer was, as Fellowship Prairies Regional Director Mark<br />

Breitkreuz put it: all Canadians need the Good News. The<br />

church provides the opportunity for them to find Christ,<br />

and to experience continued growth in their walk with the<br />

Lord once they come to know Him. By planting churches,<br />

our Regions are providing more opportunities for individuals<br />

to come to know the saving power of the Gospel, and to

thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 15<br />

enter into the disciple-making process. This is<br />

just as important today in our culture as it was<br />

when the great commission was given over two<br />

thousand years ago.<br />

To probe a little bit deeper into the process of<br />

planting churches in each of our Regions, we asked<br />

how our Regions support churches in establishing<br />

new church plants. The answers were variations<br />

on a similar theme: in the Fellowship Pacific<br />

Region, Church Planting Director Todd Chapman<br />

says that the Region helps with finances, leadership<br />

development, encouragement, accountability, prayer,<br />

mentoring, coaching, and church connections for any<br />

churches seeking to plant a new church. Churches in<br />

the Fellowship Prairies Region receive financial help for a<br />

three-year period, as well as a consultation through a partner<br />

church within the Region who will help them in other<br />

areas where support is needed.<br />

FEB Central’s Church Planting Director Tom Haines reported<br />

that they assist new church plants by meeting with local<br />

leadership to assist with visioning and to help congregations<br />

grasp the need. They offer planter assessment, Greenhouse<br />

training, modest start-up funds, and ongoing coaching for<br />

planters and mother churches. There are also regular gatherings<br />

of their church planters’ network, called Round Tables, to<br />

provide extra support. In the AEBEQ Region, Church Planting<br />

Director Steve Cloutier has many supports available to churches,<br />

including coaching for pastors and/or elders who wish to<br />

explore the idea of planting. Through their partnership with<br />

Acts29, they offer churches the opportunity to assess potential<br />

church planters before a plant is started. In collaboration<br />

with SEMBEQ, they have set up a program specific to church<br />

planting, to provide additional training. They have developed<br />

the “Base Camp” training program, which is inspired by the<br />

Greenhouse training for church planters within FEB Central.<br />

They also offer personalized coaching to planters, and the entire<br />

Region benefits from the 7 X 7 = 1 partnership program through<br />

Fellowship National, which allows new plants to be financially<br />

supported by partner churches. Fellowship Atlantic Regional<br />

Church Planting Director Brad Somers says that though they<br />

are relatively new to building these supports for churches,<br />

they have recently developed, launched, and successfully seen<br />

candidates work through one-year ministry internships or twoyear<br />

church planting residencies. These tools are available for<br />

churches to use, and they include information on how to best<br />

exegete your community as well as the best steps to plant the<br />

church that your target community may need.<br />

For those churches or individuals who are being called into<br />

church planting ministry, each of our Regions encourages<br />

both prayer and reaching out to surrounding churches and/<br />

or planters as they embark on their journey. Perhaps another<br />

church or planter shares their burden to reach a particular<br />

community and is willing to help, or has valuable guidance to<br />

provide. As a part of their next steps toward planting, they are<br />

encouraged to contact their Regional office directly for support<br />

and more information.<br />

Each of our Regions has seen different models of church planting<br />

produce more fruit. In the Pacific Region, churches seem<br />

to require diverse multiplication options. Currently they have<br />

most of their success in satellite and mother-daughter plants.<br />

The Region’s mission is to “leverage the collective strength of<br />

our churches to produce a God-honouring impact”, and their<br />

successful church plants reflect this mission. Together, God is<br />

working through their church plants to redeem communities<br />

and create safe places, showing Jesus’ kindness and care. In the<br />

Prairies Region, planting churches through a planting pastor<br />

with a core team, launching with small groups, then transitions<br />

into meeting regularly in a rented space when enough<br />

people establish a core group seems to work well in most cases.<br />

The FEB Central Region has seen success with various models<br />

of church planting. The common denominator is that each one<br />

consists of a planter and team who are on mission together to<br />

evangelize the lost and make new disciples who will do the same<br />

in obedience to the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20. The<br />

AEBEQ Region believes that the models that generally bear<br />

long-term fruit are those where the mother church plants by<br />

sending a seed from the start. Most of their projects prioritize<br />

a pre-church planting outreach time in the community, which<br />

aims to reach out before officially launching a Sunday celebration.<br />

They call this concept “shining in order to plant”. The<br />

fastest growing model currently is the approach of replanting a<br />

dying or critically ill church. Instead of starting a project from<br />

scratch, they are mobilizing remaining strength and injecting<br />

new human and financial resources to revive a dying church for<br />

growth. The Fellowship Atlantic Region sees that plants birthed<br />

out of healthy established churches have a jump start in their<br />

Region. Starting a church in the Atlantic Region most often<br />

means starting small by establishing a healthy Gospel DNA<br />

within a missional community or life group that has a shared<br />

burden for a Gospel-starved area. The overflowing beauty of<br />

Gospel relationships lived out is most often how the surrounding<br />

community is drawn into Christ and becomes the seeds that<br />

grow roots, vine, branches, and the fruit of a church planted and<br />

ready to reproduce.<br />

Among all of our Regions across Canada, our church planting<br />

directors agreed that we are better, stronger, and healthier as we<br />

partner together to plant new churches for the advancement of<br />

the Gospel in our country.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Valerie Heaton is Managing Editor of <strong>Thrive</strong> Magazine.<br />




16 / thrive <strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />



by Todd Chapman<br />

Since 2018, our churches have planted<br />

12 new plants. One of these plants,<br />

called Northern Collective, is seeking to<br />

reach every First Nation village in the Yukon <strong>—</strong> their journey<br />

has begun!<br />

Our Region’s vision to “innovatively develop relationships and<br />

resources which propel all our churches to be accountable to<br />

their Gospel mandate” has encouraged our churches to plant<br />

microchurches, satellites, churches online, and church replants.<br />

Microchurches are a new venture which fits well with our current<br />

pandemic-borne value of small community. Starting satellite<br />

churches has been a staple for us, but we are always looking<br />

to improve a satellite-friendly culture among our Fellowship<br />

Pacific churches, especially in rural areas where it’s difficult to<br />

sustain a local church. Online church allows us a new way to<br />

reach a community of people for Christ without the physical<br />

barriers of location and limited space. Finally, church replants<br />

are on our radar because churches which are in process of dying<br />

or closing down are reaching out to our Fellowship Pacific<br />

churches for help.<br />

Throughout this season God continues to be very kind to our<br />

church plants. Here are a few examples of His kindness in<br />

action.<br />

Live Free (Kelowna, BC) officially kicked off Easter 2020.<br />

Unfortunately, COVID-19 officially kicked off in early 2020<br />

too! The BC government shut all large gatherings down the<br />

month before church plant kickoff. For over a year and a half<br />

the church basically met online like so many other churches.<br />

As disappointing as this seemed, it worked out well in helping<br />

Live Free be creative in its approach to planting. This<br />

creativity led to the beach becoming a church venue for a few<br />

months, and forced more one-on-one relationships to grow.<br />

By God’s kindness, Live Free had its first in-person service on<br />

September 12, 2021!<br />

Village Church (satellites in<br />

Surrey, BC; Coquitlam, BC;<br />

Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB;<br />

Winnipeg, MB; and Toronto,<br />

ON) has had numerous stories of<br />

people coming to faith, followed<br />

by baptisms. A deep part of the<br />

core DNA of each new Village satellite<br />

involves reaching out to the<br />

helpless. This past year these new<br />

satellites were involved with organizations<br />

that both fight human<br />

trafficking and help women who<br />

have come out of the trafficking world. One of these satellites,<br />

in Abbotsford, BC, was also directly involved with local disaster<br />

flood relief preparing meals for families of Sumas prairie<br />

farmers who had been working around the clock to save their<br />

livestock and homes through the flooding.<br />

In October 2021, Abbotsford Village leaders visited the five<br />

bands in the Lillooet areas to build connections with our First<br />

Nation brothers and sisters as Lillooet, and similar communities,<br />

journey through life impacted by both the destructive fires<br />

of 2021 and the resurfacing of the tragic history of residential<br />

schools. Mission trips have been planned to these areas in the<br />

future.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Todd Chapman serves on the Fellowship Pacific Church<br />

Lifecycles Team, primarily in the areas of church planting and<br />

multi-ethnic ministry.<br />


thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 17<br />




by Mark Breitkreuz<br />

There is much to report on the matter of church planting in the Fellowship Prairies<br />

Region. We’ve just finished a three-year financial commitment with our Saskatoon plant,<br />

Grace Evergreen. Pastors Sam Whitehawk and Jeff Froese have done a fantastic job integrating<br />

into the community with an established core of believers. They meet in a new<br />

school gym in their neighbourhood, and have already established great relationships in<br />

the area. We are trusting God for continued progress!<br />

Here are some stories of how God is moving in our churches through baptisms and<br />

spreading of the Gospel.<br />




Harald Froise, Interim Pastor<br />

Exciting things are happening at Crossfield<br />

Baptist Church. Over the course of six<br />

months we’ve had four baptismal services,<br />

with a total of seven believers being baptized.<br />

Our church has been running freedom sessions<br />

for the past two years, and these have<br />

added to the conversions, baptisms, and<br />

a significant expansion in the counseling<br />

ministry the church offers. At our upcoming<br />

annual general meeting we are expecting the<br />

congregation to approve eight to ten applications<br />

for membership.<br />

In addition, our search committee has been<br />

hard at work seeking God’s guidance for a<br />

new shepherd for our flock, and that search<br />

may be close to a resolution. All in all, we<br />

are greatly encouraged. We are conscious<br />

of the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst<br />

as joy and peace is being enjoyed in the<br />

congregation.<br />



Dave Wiebe, Interim Associate Pastor<br />

We are thankful for how the Lord has been leading us throughout the pandemic<br />

and our pastoral search. God has been with us in many ways and we sense His<br />

presence among us. For example, He’s moved us to focus on outreach in this way:<br />

shortly after my arrival, the Lord nudged my heart about beginning an Alpha<br />

ministry for our church family. The hope was that during the pandemic we might<br />

prepare ourselves to run the program for our community once things opened up.<br />

As I poked about to see if the Holy Spirit was moving on other hearts, I soon discovered<br />

that both our associate pastor and a men’s prayer group leader had already<br />

been talking about the need for outreach. We felt confirmed in this direction and<br />

promoted the program to the church, created a team, and finally ran Alpha with<br />

just over a quarter of our congregation in attendance.<br />

Lastly, I would like to tell you about Murray. Murray was an older gentleman who<br />

worked locally as a farm hand. He carried a spiritual burden for the owners of the<br />

farm. They were not interested in church but Murray longed for their salvation.<br />

Recently, Murray was killed in a farm accident. We decided to centre our morning<br />

service around his memorial and invited the farm owners to attend. The Lord was<br />

very present in the service. The farm owners were visibly moved, and one of them<br />

expressed a desire to come again.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Mark Breitkreuz is Fellowship Prairies Regional Director.<br />



18 / thrive <strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


FEBCENTRAL REGION by Tom Haines<br />

At FEB Central our team is growing to meet needs and propel the mission forward. I am<br />

Director of Church Planting; Bechara Karkafi is Catalyst among New Canadians; Marc Soto<br />

is Catalyst in Southwestern Ontario; Graeme Melvin is Catalyst/Coaching Facilitator in the GTA;<br />

Aaron Ottaway is Catalyst in Southcentral Ontario, Tammy Haines serves as our Administrator,<br />

and Naomi Mills serves as our Communications Administrator.<br />

Today there are 38 church plants in FEB Central that are at various stages of working toward<br />

recognition as Fellowship churches, 13 of which were planted during the pandemic. We have<br />

six apprentice church planters placed across the Region, and right now there are eight more<br />

potential church plants on the horizon. Clearly God is at work!<br />

Here are a few stories to illustrate how He has been on the move through church planting:<br />


A few years ago, FEB Central partnered with <strong>Summer</strong>side<br />

Community Church in London, ON to see a new disciplemaking<br />

effort started in the Chelsea Green neighbourhood.<br />

From this, Chelsea Green Baptist Church was born.<br />

Today, Peter Barnaby is excited to talk about how Chelsea<br />

Green is encouraging a church plant among a different<br />

people group. Samuel and Kelley Kim, who are new to<br />

Canada from South Korea and have been a part of Chelsea<br />

Green, are planting a church to reach the Yazidi Kurdish<br />

people in London with the Gospel. Their initial efforts<br />

have seen five whole families commit their lives to following<br />

Jesus. The ongoing discipleship of these families<br />

is proving to be quite a challenge with all of the cultural<br />

and religious baggage from their past. Sam and Kelley are<br />

co-vocational, meaning that they have started a small business<br />

to support themselves as they work in the ministry.<br />

Please pray for Sam and Kelley and their team.

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thrive / 19<br />

In the summer of<br />

2018, while Armen<br />

and Zina Hakopian<br />

were still in the<br />

Middle East living<br />

as refugees, the<br />

Establishing New<br />

Roots appeal was<br />

happening here<br />

to help establish<br />

Arabic church plants<br />

in Oakville and<br />

Mississauga. They<br />

were the planters we<br />

had in mind. After<br />

arriving in Canada,<br />

their ministry<br />

started as a home<br />

church but soon launched into public worship at City Centre<br />

Baptist (Mississauga, ON) <strong>—</strong> then COVID-19 shut their doors.<br />

Visitation became key. They delivered meals and met wherever<br />

they could to build relationships. They prayed for eyes<br />

to see the unique needs of each family and asked God to use<br />

them to meet those needs. At Christmas that year, 15 people<br />

came to Christ. Armen asked each person, “Now that you<br />

know me and know Christ, who can you introduce me to who<br />

also needs Jesus?” This approach has opened doors, many have<br />

heard the Gospel, and 10 people were baptised in 2021.<br />

Fellowship Baptist Church (Port Hope, ON) planted out of<br />

Fellowship Baptist Church Cobourg in November 2020, is the<br />

first step in a broad vision to plant several churches across the<br />

area <strong>—</strong> all inter-related and with a central hub. Because of the<br />

pandemic they have met in six different facilities. Site Pastor<br />

Ben Mills writes, “Churches in our town are known by their<br />

buildings’ stained glass and steeples, but our desire is that we<br />

would be known by our love for our town and the people who<br />

live here. And this reputation has opened the doors for us to<br />

share the love of God and the hope of Jesus with the people<br />

of Port Hope.” Some of the ways God has opened the doors include:<br />

allowing them to paint lines in a schoolyard, and providing<br />

groceries for families in need. “We’ve handed out freezies<br />

during the summer, hot chocolate during the winter, and our<br />

band was asked by the town to lead in Christmas carols at the<br />

Candlelight Festival.” They’ve served their neighbours by organizing<br />

a river clean-up and have been involved in memorials for<br />

children from the community who have passed away.<br />

I hope these stories have encouraged you and given a glimpse of<br />

the wonderful things happening in our FEB Central Region.<br />

<strong>—</strong>Tom Haines is FEB Central Church Planting Director.

20 / thrive <strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />



by Steve Cloutier<br />


Establishing a church in the context<br />

of Québec is a colossal challenge.<br />

Planting a church in Québec<br />

during a pandemic is a mission that<br />

seems impossible. Even as life as we<br />

knew seemed to be on hold, God<br />

continued to move His work forward.<br />

Here is a small overview of what is<br />

currently happening on the church<br />

planting level in la belle province.<br />

We are excited about the establishment of our new means<br />

of action, Mission Québec, which aims to support all our<br />

missionary efforts <strong>—</strong> whether it be the integration of new<br />

missionaries, the planting of churches, outreach projects,<br />

or the replanting of churches. Currently, two of our projects<br />

are in the pre-launch phase (Hochelaga and Anjou).<br />

We have five active church planting projects (Beloeil,<br />

Laval, downtown Montréal, Plessisville, Vaudreuil) and<br />

two innovative projects targeting the Spanish-speaking<br />

(in Plessisville) and Arab (in Gatineau) communities. The<br />

replanting of churches is also one of our priorities and<br />

we have three projects in preparation (Chicoutimi, Sorel,<br />

Verdun).<br />

We are uplifted and encouraged to see the perseverance<br />

and resilience shown by our planters, to see them develop<br />

creative ways to reach people, and to see their efforts bear<br />

fruit by the grace of God. Many of them have seen people<br />

come to Christ and baptisms will be held soon.<br />

Jonathan Labelle, pastor/church planter<br />

La Cité Laval Church had the joy of launching on<br />

December 5, 2021. The vision meetings had started in<br />

February 2020, only three weeks before the first pandemic<br />

lockdown.<br />

Joanie, a young woman who was looking for a Christian<br />

community to join, came into contact with the church<br />

through her friend, a scuba instructor with whom I dive.<br />

Since that time, Joanie has grown in her relationship with<br />

Jesus, attending missional communities and Sunday gatherings.<br />

She asked to be baptized. The church will therefore<br />

have the joy of celebrating its third baptism in a few<br />

months!<br />

Stéphan Tessier,<br />

pastor/church<br />

planter<br />

In Beloeil, an<br />

intentional group<br />

from the congregation<br />

were<br />

burdened to invest<br />

in the lives of the<br />

teens of the church<br />

and their friends,<br />

an age group particularly affected by the pandemic. One<br />

of these young people, as well as a new convert, expressed<br />

the desire to be baptized. The church is therefore planning<br />

its first baptisms soon in the context of planting, which is a<br />

great joy.<br />

We keep repeating it: the needs are great in Québec! As<br />

the Lord says in Luke 10:2 (ESV): “And he said to them, ‘The<br />

harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray<br />

earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into<br />

his harvest’.” We persevere in this prayer and are grateful<br />

to God for the workers He sends.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Steve Cloutier is Church Planting Director for the<br />

AEBEQ Region.

thrive-magazine.ca<br />

thrive / 21<br />



REGION<br />

by Bradley Somers<br />

Here are two short stories highlighting both the method and need for church planting<br />

in Atlantic Canada.<br />

Along with his brother, Ryan decided to drop out of university to have more time to make, bottle, and sell<br />

Kombucha out of his apartment. As the business began to take off, he moved to Halifax as the home base for<br />

expansion. Ryan soon met a young group of believers who often had people over to their apartments for food<br />

and game nights. These believers were intentionally living on-mission as an extension of the church planting<br />

efforts of their church. Through these genuine relationships, Ryan began to hear about Christ. Not too long<br />

ago, Ryan told me the beautiful story of being overwhelmed with Christ’s forgiveness as he confessed his<br />

need for salvation.<br />

Andy and Kayla Ardern first felt a tug on their life for<br />

church planting when they were on a missions trip to<br />

Halifax, NS. Almost seven years later, Andy has completed<br />

a two-year church planting residency out of PAXnorth<br />

Church. They moved their family to Spryfield <strong>—</strong> a growing<br />

part of Halifax <strong>—</strong> built relationships, and formed a<br />

launch team by hosting missional communities. Each<br />

week Andy leads a prayer walk through his part of the<br />

city, asking God to open doors for Gospel life and proclamation.<br />

This fall, they hope to see this church plant<br />

dream take on a new shape as they mobilize the<br />

more than 20 people who have joined this effort.<br />

Over the last two years, the east coast has led Canada in population growth. According to a<br />

CBC article 1 , we have added more than 13,400 people to our population. The two contributing<br />

factors? Canadians are moving east, and newly arrived populations are making their homes<br />

in the Maritimes. What strikes me is that we would need 44 new churches of 300 people<br />

each (larger than average) to care for these new Maritimers. From my church planting<br />

network connections, I can safely say that we are nowhere near planting enough churches<br />

in our Region to see this need met. We need more churches that are willing to plant<br />

churches. We need more leaders and families willing to be trained,<br />

assessed, and released to do this good work. Finally, we need more<br />

prayer and financial supporters to come alongside these efforts.<br />

<strong>—</strong> Bradley Somers is a church planter and elder of PAXnorth<br />

Church in Halifax, NS. He serves his wife and seven kids and<br />

his home region as Church Planting Director for Fellowship<br />

Atlantic and ACTS29 Canada.<br />

1<br />

CBC: “Despite pandemic, Canada's population grows at fastest rate in G7: census”<br />

Zimonjic, Peter, CBC News, CBC Feb. 9, <strong>2022</strong>, https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/<br />


<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


PLANTING STORY by Richard Flemming<br />


was first introduced to these extraordinary<br />

movements of God in<br />

I<br />

2013. I learned that they had begun<br />

to surface in the 1990s and that it<br />

was the director of the International<br />

Mission Board of the Southern<br />

Baptist Convention, David Garrison,<br />

who first coined the term “church<br />

planting movements”. Today, “disciple-making<br />

movements” is another term used to describe<br />

them. These movements have been defined as “a process of<br />

disciples making disciples, forming multiplying churches<br />

to at least the fourth generation”. Often they are characterized<br />

as fast-growing, indigenous (to the local culture), multiplying<br />

groups/churches, and producing obedient followers<br />

of Jesus (i.e. disciples). In essence these movements refer<br />

to the rapid multiplication of Christ followers, who form<br />

churches that in turn multiply rapidly, often in areas of the<br />

world where traditionally the work has been slow. David<br />

Watson, one of the early practitioners of these movements,<br />

wrote that in 2014 there were 68 known movements<br />

around the world. Last year, the number was 1,371! Each<br />

of these represent a multiplication of churches to at least<br />

the fourth generation, and each movement averages 57,000<br />

believers 1 . Some believe these movements represent the<br />

single most significant shift in global missionary strategy<br />

in the past century. They contend that the data points to a<br />

change in missions 2 . Fellowship International agrees and,<br />

like so many others, is seeking to join God in these movements<br />

that He is generating so powerfully among the nations<br />

today.<br />

Consequently, last<br />

fall our Fellowship<br />

International<br />

Director Ben Porter<br />

called me to ask if I<br />

would be interested<br />

in participating in<br />

a Zoom call with<br />

Ying Kai. “Are you<br />

serious?” was my<br />

response. Ben knew<br />

that I had been teaching many of the Biblical principles<br />

that Ying and his wife Grace had implemented in their<br />

ground-breaking movement work in China beginning in<br />

2001. In a span of some 12 years they saw 150,000 churches<br />

planted and baptized over two million people. “Yes”, I replied.<br />

“I most definitely want to be part of that Zoom call!”<br />

We are trusting that in the fall of <strong>2022</strong> we’ll be able to host<br />

(in Ontario) a two-day training that Ying and Grace Kai will<br />

give in person. After all, why not here in Canada?<br />

1<br />

14, 24: “24:14 Movement Data Dashboard - 2414now.NET.” 24:14, Multiplying Movements Together, 24:14, Nov. 2020,<br />

https://2414now.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2414_Movement_Data_Dashboard_11-10-20.pdf.<br />

2<br />

Sergeant, Dr. Curtis, et al. “Can Kingdom Movement Strategies Work in North America?” Mission Frontiers. 1 Jan. 2021.<br />

https://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/can-kingdom-movement-strategies-work-in-north-america.<br />




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