MB Mission and C2C inspire local church to mission
“Is Jesus first in your life?” MB Mission general director Randy Friesen asked the 250 people gathered for AWAKE, a pilot team-based event held at Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church (WMB) in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., Sept. 20–22. Organized by MB Mission in partnership with the Canadian Conference of MB Churches’ church planting arm, C2C Network, AWAKE was designed to renew individuals and local churches in their love for God, love for their cities, and passion for global outreach.
On Friday night, the multigenerational adult crowd along with some teens and children assembled for worship. Friesen shared milestones of his gradual surrender to Christ. “As you surrender, it will impact your ability to bless your community and your world,” he said. Following the session, participants met in ministry teams organized by their churches.
Saturday morning Bill Hogg, C2C’s national missiologist, exhorted the crowd not to live “shallow, shabby, self-centred lives.” He told them, “God is crazy about lost people and he wants us to get in on the action.”
Leaders from MB Mission, C2C, and local ministries taught workshops about prayer, sharing the gospel, reaching out to neighbours, discerning your role in the church, working with refugees, and connecting with Muslims.
Spirit of outreach undampened by deluge
Churches organized their own outreach events on Saturday afternoon. Though pouring rain required adjustments to planned activities, spirits weren’t dampened.
One hundred and seventy participants from WMB connected with the community through holding a car wash, doing chores for single moms or others in need, visiting at a nursing home, going on prayer walks, and doing random acts of kindness at a local mall. Some from WMB also helped The Dwelling Place/Grace MB with an (indoor) community carnival that attracted more than 1,000 people.
At Glencairn MB, about a third of the congregation (35 people) held a soccer camp, spontaneous food drive, prayer walk, and helped people at a grocery store as their expression of God’s love.
Ministry teams debriefed over a barbeque supper at WMB. “God gave me a greater love for my community this weekend,” said one participant during a final testimony and worship time. The evening ended with focussed prayer for Muslims, children and youth, families, the local church and its leaders, and refugees.
Conference speakers motivated the wider congregations at The Dwelling Place/Grace MB, WMB, and Glencairn about global and local mission as they preached at the three churches on Sunday morning.
“Through the AWAKE event our church has begun to stir,” said Jan Adams, from Glencairn. Ministry teammate Matt Peters added during a debriefing session, “We have to make sure we don’t hit the snooze button.”
—Sandra Reimer is a member at Glencairn MB church and a freelance communications professional. She was also a participant at this event.
Read Sandra’s personal reflections on the event here: “Of risk and rain.”
Updated Sept. 24, 2013: photos and video (courtesy MB Mission) added.