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SPRING 2018 

"Connecting our team of supporters to what God is doing through Connect City Ministries."

CONNECT IN BRAZIL

Above: The streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Colin and Judith sharing prayers for young people who are to be sent out as missionaries.  

MEETING JESUS IN CRACK ADDICTS

This past Spring, Judith and I were asked to go to Brazil & help train leaders through a great mission organization called YWAM with their base in Belo Horizonte (check this mission out for more information). It was an incredible time for us as we made new friends, did some training & were impacted greatly through the energy & passion of the incredible young missionaries we worked with who love Jesus. One of the greatest memories I have of this trip was the privilege to serve "crack" addicts in a nearby favela (slum) where we lived while in Brazil. As we walked the streets & gave out bread, coffee, water & juice to these suffering children of God I couldn't help but ask myself what has led them to such a horrible life of destitution. Oh, how their Father God's heart must break for his children surviving great danger while living high on crack cocaine.  As we walked the streets the crack addicts would come out of the shadows, hungry, emaciated & dirty. At one time they were healthy people but now addiction has withered their bodies into skeletal facades of hunger & disease. Yet, are they not children of God?  Do they not have the "Imago Dei" -  the very "image of God" within?  Are they not fearfully & wonderfully made with the very breath of God inside of them? Through the haze of crack & the weaknesses of sickness I saw Jesus looking back at me saying; "I was hungry. I was thirsty"! Then I heard Jesus speak to me in the depths of my soul; "As you have done to the least of these you have done to me". It was then I realized I was in the very presence of Jesus. Christ was right there with us as bread, juice & coffee were served. He was there with the poor & with us. Our Father God was present among us. Then it dawned on me - we were all participating in the "Lord's Supper"!  The bread we served was the body of Christ. The juice we handed out was the blood of Jesus - what an awesome privilege it was to offer the body of Christ broken for all of us. For through our team providing bread, juice & coffee we were actually performing "The Lord's Supper" with these beloved children - my brothers & sisters. Yes, the presence of Jesus with us as the bread & juice we served became a form of the Lord's Supper in this hard scrabble street in one of the poorest areas of the world. 

TRAINING YOUNG MISSIONARIES IN BRAZIL

Young Missionaries preparing to be sent to India & Uruguay. Colin & Jude in middle back row.
While training the established missionaries in the large city of Belo Horizonte we also had the honour & privilege of working with young people who felt called by God to be sent out from Brazil to serve in India & Uruguay. It was a humbling, wonderful experience to be able to share lessons on leadership based on our experience in ministry. As I get older I have discovered a hidden wisdom that has been forged into my life through hard lessons learned from both the trials & mistakes of life. It is good to look back & see God's grace shaping me each step of the way no matter what I did or what was done to me. All of this allows me to share wisdom acquired in the fire with young, upcoming ministry leaders. Thanks for your prayers as we grow in Christ & experience his grace in all we do. Please pray for our new friends in Brazil as they serve the poor in Belo Horizonte & also for those that are sent out to serve in India & Uruguay. God is moving throughout the world through young leaders that make up his church - the body of Christ.

Thank - you to all of our friends in Belo!!!!
Colin & Judith teaching leadership lessons in Brazil based on the theme; "If we could do it all over again".

WARDEN UNDERGROUND CHURCH REPORT  

Some of us from the Warden Underground Church at "Black Panther" movie in Scarborough. 
The Warden Under Ground Church continues to grow in numbers & in ministry under the wise leadership of Pastor Jordan Thoms. There is a solid sense of community within this very young church. I love visiting with them & have gotten to know many of the congregants well. It’s so encouraging to be able to see God at work in young lives & watch him develop these young people into leaders. We celebrate the good news our people experience like when a young person graduates high school & heads off to College or University. Many of them are the only ones in their family to do so. We see our young people caring for each other & their neighbourhood. Yes, they are growing into fine leaders & positive role models that can transform their hood one young person at a time. We also cry with our people there as they face the many struggles so prevalent in neighbourhoods like theirs – poverty, hunger & violence - are just a few things they have to deal with, often on a daily basis. Pastor Jordan Thoms is doing a great job & the interns we have been able to recruit for him have been a tremendous help in expanding his ministry in the neighbourhood. Please keep praying for this young church & that God's Spirit to fill everything they do as they seek to be Jesus in their neighbourhood. 
Warden Underground at Bible Study & a young leader with Pastor Jordan & Jon (Intern) discussing mission within their context. 

SOULHOUSE CHURCH REPORT 

Young child at SoulHouse Church - a house church built on Jesus' hospitality, grace and love. 
SoulHouse Church is led by Pastor Judith McCartney who has an incredible pastoral calling & strong gift of hospitality turning her home into a wonderful church that manifests itself every Monday night as we gather around a huge dinner table for a meal. This house church experience has taught me how important it is for us leaders to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance to his calling & gifts in our lives. The environment at SoulHouse is Judith’s sweet spot as I see how Jesus works through her in providing an incredible, Spirit - filled atmosphere through our weekly gatherings each Monday night. I also see how Judith is able to pastor her people outside of our Monday gatherings via media, phone calls & one on one care.  Her church is filled with wonderful people who, like all of us, carry some pretty heavy burdens. Recently, there has been a lot of cases of sickness within our congregation & much prayers have been given while we support one another in our journey of life.  One highlight we experienced was a recent testimony from one of our faithful members who shared how she felt God's presence with her as she battles cancer. It appears that her battle will be won as current medical diagnosis shows that her cancer is now operable. Please pray for this woman and others who are in great need at SoulHouse. God is good.
St. Patrick's Day fun at SoulHouse & some members of SoulHouse worshipping together. 

NEW STAFF FROM NEW ZEALAND

Our two new interns from New Zealand - Von & Louis - have arrived & they are very proficient in welcoming us with the Maori "Haka".  
As you know one of the things Connect City does is take in young leaders who want to serve with us as interns. These interns come & bless our ministry team by providing energy & extra help in our churches mission while also blessing those we serve while experiencing God in mission, training & spiritual formation. We currently have interns from Germany, Canada & now New Zealand!! We are so excited & blessed to have Yvonne Heng & Louis Pablo join our team as interns having traveled all the way from New Zealand to Canada. Both Von (Yvonne) & Louis are terrific musicians who come with worship music experience & a great gifting in leading worship.  Both of them have been a perfect fit with our team & we have been so blessed as they have brought to us a worship dimension that our current churches lack. Von & Louis have committed to serve with us for six months & hope to train up worship teams for Connect City to lead us in our worship at our various churches. They are also helping an older church develop in their worship as well. Please pray for Von & Louis and our other interns as they lead the way in shaping our worship styles throughout the churches we have planted & future churches we seek to plant. 

SUMMER CAMP IN JANE FINCH

This summer we are excited to have one of our great young leaders oversee a summer camp program in partnership with our friends at Christian Centre Church in Jane Finch. CJ Barnett is a young man with a strong & passionate heart for his neighbourhood. He is a Child and Youth Worker & now studying for a BSW starting in the Fall. CJ is a terrific leader who has the skills, drive & a huge heart for children & youth & we are so thankful for our friends at Mennonite Central Committee Ontario & Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada who have funded CJ's position to serve his community.  We are hoping that CJ's work this summer will open doors for further ministry in his neighbourhood in bridging families with Christian Centre Church.  Please pray for CJ this summer as he leads his team & builds strong relationships with the children in his program & with their parents.

WE CAN'T DO ALL WE DO WITHOUT YOU 

Help us build leaders in our city who will lead churches to be beacons of light in the darkness of our urban neighbourhoods. 
Jesus said he is the light of the world and told us to; "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

We sure do a lot at Connect City & we couldn't do it without God working through us & you. With your help we seek to shine the light of Jesus in our city by being the body of Christ planted throughout neighbourhoods in simple, "New Testament" type churches through hospitality, kindness & Spirit - filled love for Jesus & others. We don't have high tech programs or expensive buildings to maintain but focus on people through loving mission & nurturing relationships meeting in homes, community centers or any other place that welcomes us. We envision that one day we will see hundreds of simple churches spreading throughout our city as beacons of light amidst the darkness & despair that is present in far too many neighbourhoods. This is why we are serious about building young leaders to build inner - city churches that participate in the progress of the Gospel in government housing projects & beyond. 
 
Please consider how you can be part of our simple church movement through supporting us financially or in prayer & volunteering. We depend on God's people to provide the support our pastor / missionaries need so they can be freed up to serve their communities & the people they reach among the poor & hurting. To support our staff, interns & ministries please click on the button below & it will lead you to our on-line giving via CanadaHelps. You can pick a specific Church of ours to support or designate your gift to a specific staff person in that church:

* SoulHouse (Judith McCartney)
* Warden Underground (Jordan Thoms)
* Connect City Ministry Fund to support our interns, programs or Colin McCartney. 
* New Church Plant (Jon Folkeringa) 
* Screenfish

You can also give through cheques at the address below. All gifts are tax deductabe. Thank you for your love, prayers & support.
CLICK TO SUPPORT CONNECT CITY
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Connect City
27 Toynbee Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1E 1E8
Canada

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Connect City · 27 Toynbee Trail · Toronto, Ontario M1E 1E8 · Canada

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