A Chance to Be The Church and Say Yes

by contributing writer, Kristina Dyck

If you haven’t heard about ISIS and the Syrian refugee crisis (on top of all the millions of refugees there already where from more than just Syria) then you are in the minority. Almost all of us have heard, we all wept over Aylan’s body and the news of so many others who have either perished trying to escape, been caught and sent back to the war zones, or made it to what they thought was safety only to be mistreated in those places. It is heartbreaking and although it is nothing new many of us didn’t really wake up to the problem until recently. We have a chance now to either ignore the problem, pretend it isn’t happening, or be the church, show love and say yes we will obey.

On Wednesday night our church held a meeting for us, the other churches in the area and anyone who was interested in coming to talk about bringing a family over. I have been desperately hoping that we would sponsor at least one family as a church so this was very encouraging. I worried that this would just be more talk when what is really needed now (and was long before this new crisis) is action but left feeling encouraged that this isn’t just talk, it is a plan. It is amounts of money written down on pieces of paper promising how much each person is able to give so we know how many families we can bring over. It was information from someone who has already gone through this whole process and can answer our questions even the ones we didn’t know we had. It was people promising to help teach ESL, to help with all the little things that are necessary to live in a climate like ours.

As I drove home I thought about how God already has a family (or multiple families) chosen for us, He knows what country they will come from and what language they will speak. We can imagine and speculate but He already has them picked out. I thought about how cool it is that I can already be praying not only for the logistics of sponsoring a family but I can pray specifically for the people that we will one day meet. It doesn’t matter to God that I haven’t learned their names yet because HE already knows them.

So as our community embarks on this new adventure that will, I am sure, be difficult and amazing and trying and leave us all changed, will you pray with me for the family God will bring into our lives? Will you pray for us as we prepare to show the love of Christ to a family who has been through unimaginable pain. Will you pray for patience and wisdom and lots of grace for everyone who will be involved in this process. Thanks.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.          (John 13:35)

Kristina Dyck currently lives in Durham with her family. She is a missionary kid who married another missionary kid and wants to serve the Lord wherever He leads which is in Grey Bruce right now.  She has been an active part of HMC for 3 years. She is a photographer, birth doula, and art enthusiast. You can find her over on her own blog, Unashamed Grace.

Visit our HMC website for more information on how you can
get involved and help through the current refugee crisis.

83 Ideas For Packing Your Shoebox

With the early snowfall it’s hard not to hear the distant jingle of a Christmas bell.  We live in a society of privilege and even now may already be storing away gifts to give our family and friends come that jolly day in December.  So often we take our blessings for granted and forget that much of the world is struggling just to survive.  Operation Christmas Child makes it their mission to see that we don’t forget – that we take a step back from our selfish natures and think of someone else.  This is a great opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child who isn’t so lucky as our own children.
The boxes arrived this week and we are encouraging you to take up the challenge.  Stuff a shoebox full with little joys that will bring hope to a child in a desperate situation.  And to help you face this challenge with confidence we’ve pulled together a list of 83 ideas to get you on your way.

    1. Notepads/post its
    2. Coloring books
    3. Markers/crayons
    4. Pencils/pencil crayons
    5. Pencil sharpener
    6. Erasers
    7. Pens
    8. Pencil case
    9. Safety scissors
    10. Glue stick
    11. Ruler
    12. Solar calculator
    13. Stickers
    14. Self-inking stamp
    15. Water color set & paint brush
    16. Little crafting kit – beads
    17. Travel sewing kit 
    18. Dry erase board & markers
    19. Duct tape
    20. Tape measure
    21. Comb
    22. Brush
    23. Dental Floss
    24. Soap (put in plastic baggie)
    25. Toothbrush
    26. Small hand mirror – unbreakable
    27. Colorful bandages
    28. Baby wipes
    29. Wash cloth
    30. Hand towel
    31. Tissues
    32. Chapstick
    33. Emery boards
    34. Nail clippers
    35. Hair ribbons
    36. Ponytail holders
    37. Barrettes
    38. Hairbands
    39. Bracelets
    40. Necklace
    41. Clip-on earrings
    42. Hat
    43. Ball cap
    44. Gloves
    45. Bandanas
    46. Scarf
    47. Shoelaces
    48. Sunglasses
    49. Socks
    50. T-shirt
    51. Flip flops
    52. Watch
    53. Plastic poncho in packet
    54. Individual sealed play-doughs
    55. Silly putty
    56. Small stuffed animals or dolls
    57. Inflatable beach balls
    58. Bouncy balls
    59. Slinkies
    60. Finger puppets
    61. Legos
    62. Jigsaw puzzle
    63. Mini magnetic checker board & checkers
    64. Flash cards
    65. Picture books
    66. Bean bag
    67. Hacky sack
    68. Balloons
    69. Toy binoculars
    70. Jump rope
    71. Paddle ball
    72. Yo yo’s
    73. Harmonica
    74. Recorder
    75. Tambourine
    76. Kazoo
    77. Toy cars/trucks
    78. Compass
    79. Solar-powered flashlight
    80. Glow sticks
    81. Hard candy
    82. Plastic eating utensils
    83. Toy pots & pans

    And to finish it off why not include a personal letter and a photo!

    Be sure to bring your boxes back to the church by November 10.

    Happy packing! 

    Samaritans’ Purse

    submitted by Gloria Burrow on behalf of the six people who were privileged to go their year

    Again this year, our day at the Kitchener warehouse checking and sealing up hundreds of Samaritans’ Purse Christmas boxes was well spent.  On November 26th, we arrived at about 9:30 a.m. and stayed until 4:00 p.m.  The operation there is very well organized and the warehouse and leadership were most accommodating with many people working together.  God is obviously honored, making the system run smoothly.  Training time, break times and lunchtime gave us a chance to sit down about every two hours.

    We had a productive, interesting and enjoyable day!  It is an experience well worth anyone’s time and effort.  Each time we go to help out it amazes us that God has taken a simple idea such as a shoebox and made it into this huge world-wide ministry.  The feeling of being a small part of it is very heart-warming.