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Called to be a Healing Community

How can a church adapt to a fast-changing secular culture and still remain faithful to its biblical mandate to be a healing community in the midst of a broken world? Many churches are finding it difficult, says Dr. Paul Wong, chair of social sciences for Tyndale University College. But when a local church is what it ought to be, it is a centre for ministry of God’s grace and love.

From churches to individuals, Christians across Canada are answering God’s call to express His grace and love to our world in unique ways. Some churches have joined forces and are spending countless hours filling out paperwork to sponsor refugees immigrating to Canada. It takes commitment and perseverance, not just to help Christians who are in danger in their country of origin, but also to help families of other faiths. Rev. Paul Kang of St. Andrew's Humber Heights says, "We [see] people, not religion.”

Volunteers for the Mennonite Central Committee saw an opportunity to minister to their local Winnipeg community in an unusual way. They opened Sam’s Place – a bookstore with a restaurant, a stage and Sam the dragon as the centrepiece. “We want this to be a destination…– a meeting place with a heart,” says manager Tim Collins.

Also of Winnipeg, missionary Flo Friesen has “set her sights on the unreached people of Central Asia.” Flo felt called “to minister to women who would equip others to follow the Lord, do spiritual warfare in their countries and make a difference on issues such as abuse, multiple marriages, HIVAIDS, prostitution and trafficking.” Flo’s efforts have contributed to the increase of the number of Christians in Central Asia from 150 to 10,000 since 1989, reports Faith Today.

“Our hearts need to be broken by what breaks God's heart,” says Dr. Wong. “God has created us for community-building and grace-sharing with all hurting people.”

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Daina Doucet, Online Editor





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