Heartland Regional Newsletter November 2018

Note from Mark Doerksen

It is always difficult to see ministries come to an end, and the closing of Pelican Lake Baptist Camp in Manitoba was no exception. Members of the Heartland Area Resource Team (HART), working with the Heartland Regional Minister, oversaw the closing of the camp and the selling of its assets. As you might imagine, many emotions were involved as that camping ministry concluded.

The monies retained from the sale of the camp were established as a trust with the CBWC Foundation, and they have been used to continue camping ministry, and especially leadership development. Currently, HART administers a grant program in partnership with CBWC Foundation for those from Manitoba who are a part of the leadership of Christian camps, mainly in Manitoba, but sometimes further abroad. This year, grants of $300 were issued to young people who committed to camping leadership for 4 weeks of the summer. The successful applicants had to respond with the answers to three questions at the end of summer. First, what did you learn about God, second, what did you learn about yourself, and third, how do you see yourself leading or volunteering at your church in the Fall?

This year, we had 21 young leaders receive a grant, and though most were involved in ministry in Manitoba, some of the recipients were privileged to join other folks from CBWC’s SERVE team and go to Camp Tumaini in Kenya, Africa. This camp is a part of Canadian Baptist Ministries. Under the leadership of Tammy Klassen, eight young people from across Canada, including three from Willowlake Baptist Church in Winnipeg, were able to serve there. I’m grateful for the continued leadership development that happens, as well as the continued emphasis on camping ministry, with these funds from a local camping ministry that meant so much to so many people.

Here are a few anonymous responses to the grant:

…. “I learned that God will work in ways that I don’t always understand or see coming. We just need to recognize that He is God and can be trusted.”

… “I learned that God appears to people in very different ways, and that He meets each person where they’re at. I also thought a lot about what it means that He’s an incarnated God.”

… “I learned what it means to truly know God and to know His heart. I learned to talk to Him as a father and a friend, not as a being whom I cannot see.”

… “I learned that God is at work even when you don’t think that He is.”

I want to thank HART, SERVE, CBM, the CBWC FOUNDATION, and Cindy Emmons for administering these funds for the continued leadership development of some of our young people.

Mark Doerksen

Welcoming Refugees in Swift Current

by: Joell Haugan

In late 2015, the Swift Current Area Ministerial Association struck a committee to look into sponsoring refugees in Swift Current. I ended up being the Chair of that team and we began the work of gathering funds and volunteers to potentially do the work. Well, the outpouring from most of the churches in Swift Current was overwhelming and within a few short months we were sponsoring our first family of 13 from Syria who arrived in July, 2016.

Now, two years later we are welcoming our third family, this time a family of eight, also from Syria.

It has been my pleasure to work with many wonderful folks from various churches in our community to achieve results that we would never been able to do on our own. To date, we have brought 26 refugees (plus two Canadian-born babies since) to the serenity of Speedy Creek. The community is also taking notice that the Body of Christ is doing stuff that is Christ-like and opening up doors of conversation and inspiration.

Community Baptist Church has been instrumental in this process by supporting the Refugee Committee with administrative and team leadership. It has also been instrumental in some of the nuts and bolts of ministry… driving, tutoring, and simply visiting and showing God’s love.

Joell Haugan

AlRahhal (2016) family throws a “thank you” party in the park for all those who helped

Mayyuf family – arrived October 2018

Meet Pastor Joe Welty

Though not born in Canada, I was certainly raised here, spending the first ten years of my life in southern Ontario and the next eight in rural Manitoba. I grew up on a farm with my parents and three siblings before moving to a small town in Manitoba. My childhood was a typical rural childhood spent largely outdoors on our farm, on sports fields or in friends’ basements. It was also spent, somewhat begrudgingly, in a wide variety of churches that my parents dragged me to. At least, that’s how the story went until God got my attention.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

I was reading the Bible on my own for the very first time, more by accident than on purpose. I read the Gospel and was amazed by the Jesus I met there who was so different than I had assumed. I really liked Him, though He also made me nervous. Intrigued, I kept going. When I came to Romans 8:38-39, it was all over for me. I realized this was what I wanted more than anything else. Shortly after, I was baptized and mentored in a fantastic community that would later welcome me back as part of their ministry team.

Desiring to grow further in my faith and to serve in whatever way God might use me, I went to college at Briercrest College in Caronport, Saskatchewan and then to seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. I focused on biblical studies because I just wanted to know whatever I could about scriptures and this Jesus who I’d given my life to. Looking back, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to spend so many years immersed in focused study of the Scriptures while living in rich community with others. It’s an opportunity that seems to be increasingly rare.

To pay my way through those years, I spent my summers running tree planting camps across northern B.C. and Alberta. It feels funny to say this, but I think the practical life and leadership lessons I learned those summers did as much to prepare me for the daily realities of pastoral ministry as those that were taught in the classroom each winter (and at the very least makes me grateful for a warm, dry bed every night).

In the fall of 1998, I met Ang, the woman I would one day convince to be my wife. She was also a seminary student at Trinity and helped lead the youth group in the small community church I was on staff with at the time. I joked that we were spending so much time together we should just start

dating. Apparently that worked! We married in September 2000. After we both graduated in 2002, we decided to move to Winnipeg for a year. We thought it would just be a year to welcome our first child and to let Ang get to know my family before we pursued possible doctoral studies or pastoral positions at some future point. What we didn’t expect was that four weeks later I would be on staff at a local church which would lead to 16 years of pastoral ministry in Winnipeg.

Over the past 16 years we have served in two congregations. For the first nine years I served as the Director of Young Adult Ministries and Spiritual Formation in the large, suburban congregation I had been mentored in. For the past six years I have been serving as the Lead Pastor at Broadway-First Baptist Church. Broadway-First is a small, urban congregation located on the edge of downtown Winnipeg in the third poorest federal riding in Canada. It is a diverse community of rich and poor, commuters and locals, PhD’s and not quite G.E.D’s, new Canadians and older Canadians who trace their roots back to the United Empire Loyalists. I love the opportunity Broadway-First gives to help people from all walks of life and corners of the world learn what it means to follow Christ together.

On a more personal note, Ang and I have four children: Emily (16), Elim (14), Jane (12), and Seth (7). This means we are frequently found at swimming pools, hockey arenas, gymnasiums and concert halls. As a family we enjoy camping, cycling, hiking, and just about anything else we can do outdoors. Personally, I love hiking, cross-country skiing, cooking and paddling anything that will get me on a river or lake.

Join us for the Heartland Pastors and Spouses Retreat in February

When: February 4-6, 2019
Speakers: Rob Ogilvie and Peter Anderson
Theme: Living with a Kingdom Mindset
Location: Russell Inn, Russell, MB
Additional details and registration information will be available later in November.

Settlement Report

New Hires:

Heartland Region

  • Art Hildebrandt, Interim at First Baptist Church, Brandon

Mountain Standard Region

  • Jonas Seide, Senior Pastor, Bonnie Doon Baptist Church, Edmonton
  • James Scorgie, Chaplain at South Health Campus, Calgary
  • Kaleb Penner, Children’s Ministry Worker at McLaurin Baptist Church, Grande Prairie

BC & Yukon Region

  • Monica McKinlay, Senior Pastor at Kitsilano Christian Community, Vancouver
  • Jason Johnson, Lead Ministry Pastor at Summerland Baptist Church

Moving On:

Heartland Region

  • Kevin Dyck, Youth Pastor at Moosomin Baptist Church

Mountain Standard Region

  • Jason Johnson, Senior Pastor at High River Baptist Church

BC & Yukon Region

  • Matt Kitchener, Senior Pastor at West Point Grey Baptist Church, Vancouver


Mountain Standard Region

  • Sandy Smith, Chaplain with Covenant Care, Edmonton

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email our editor Zoë: zducklow@cbwc.ca or the Heartland office: heartland@cbwc.ca