Albright Church

Service Time

Sundays: 10:00am

Service Information

Begin, Belong, Become

Phone: 204-334-5873    Email: info@albrightchurch.com

3400 DeVries Ave, East St. Paul, MB - View Map

A Message about Expansion from Pastor Alan

 

In 1990 Albright Church took a step of faith to pursue God’s vision by selling its former property and meet in a school for 3 years. Since that time, the tag line for that faith step “Our Sacrifice – God’s Miracle”, became a reality. 

 

In response to the significant sacrifice of Albright people, we now have a wonderful piece of property and a fine facility that is mortgage free.  But God’s miracle has been far greater than providing us with this building and 5 acres of prime land.  His greatest miracle is evident in the lives that have been changed and continue to be changed.

 

Albright planted a daughter church in 1985 and, after moving into this facility, planted another daughter church, River’s Edge, in 2006.  Since then, we have continued to grow numerically as well as have seen our impact for God’s Kingdom reach far beyond Sunday morning.  The number of people, at all stages of spiritual seeking and maturity, who call Albright their home, far exceeds the Sunday morning attendance numbers.  We are a community of faith that not only gathers together but also lives each and every day in a way that is making Christ known to a world that needs Jesus.

 

As we continue to live out our Vision and Mission Statement, we continue to grow numerically.  When comparing month to same month attendance, we regularly see a new highest monthly average since River’s Edge was planted.  But we are so much more than a Sunday-gathering congregation.  While we have space on Sunday mornings within our two services and could add a third service to accommodate continued growth, we are often maxed out during the week in the evenings.  Our building is heavily used throughout the week and it can be difficult to find a meeting space.  When space is available for such ministries as Grief Share, Marriage Course, Foundations for Life, etc., the space is often less than ideal. 

 

One of the great motivations behind the site plan and expansion design is to bless our neighbourhood.  Blessing not only the immediate neighbourhood of Countryside Crossing, but the neighbourhoods in which we all live, work and socialize.  By creating a campus with facilities that we can bring our friends to and make available to them, we regularly remind ourselves that we have a mission assignment to engage with the world by breaking down barriers.  Whether it is a plaza area, comfortable meeting rooms of various sizes, or a café where relationships can be built, this expansion says to everyone that Albright Church is about people and relationships.

As we arrive once again at a historical moment, similar to the moment when courageous and obedient decisions were made to make it possible for us to be the type of church we are today; we are facing a huge step in our life as a faith community.  I am calling you to embrace the vision of expanding our facilities so we can engage with those around us and provide space that is needed throughout the week for current and future ministries. I invite you to join in the excitement about how an expanded facility can be used as a tool in providing life-changing ministry environments for those who are part of Albright, as well as those who are not but are loved by God and by us.

 

As it has been throughout Church history, when it comes to decision-making we are motivated and inspired by God’s grace in our own lives, and the sheer joy of being able to witness God’s grace at work in the lives of many.  So, would you continue to pray for Albright’s leadership, ministry and expansion?  Specifically pray about how you will lend your support to approving the motions the Elders bring to the Annual General Meeting on June 11/15, as well as your ongoing generous financial support to our budget and the future Capital Campaign.  God will continue to do even more than we can ask or imagine.

 

“I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work

in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.”  © Ephesians 3:20-21 (CEV)

 

A Message about Expansion from the Elders

 

We want to express our sincere appreciation for the conversations that are occurring in response to the various changes in the life of Albright Church. We are so excited by the great momentum that Pastor Nathan is contributing to as he embraces his new role of Associate Pastor: Community Initiatives and Worship Arts. In response to Pastor Alan’s expressed desire to retire by July 2016, we are looking to replace our Lead Pastor.  We are also in the middle of developments around our property. There are very recent developments and announcements regarding the overpass at the Perimeter Highway and Lagimodiere Boulevard/Highway 59, and connecting the walking trail that runs parallel to Gateway and Raleigh on either side of the Perimeter Highway. Homes are also popping up in the Countryside Crossing Development.

 

Adapting to these changes requires flexibility, and trust. During the years leading up to the move to this property in 1993, the congregation of Albright believed wholeheartedly that this specific location was where God wanted this church to settle. At the time, we were in the middle of a field, on the outskirts of both the City of Winnipeg and the RM of East St. Paul. The congregation did not know exactly how God would use them in this new location, but they trusted in God and His plan. Only now, 22 years later, are some of the answers to those kinds of questions coming to light. God continues to lead this church and build His kingdom. He has more in store for us as we fulfill His calling to be His light and salt in this part of His community.

 

Starting in 2004, Albright has been operating according to a very clear vision given to us by God.

"As a Great Commission Church, we will consistently reach un-churched people for Christ, welcome them into our caring church family and equip them to become reproducing disciples.

Albright will become a church where people are encouraged and empowered to develop their personal ministry based on God’s call and gift, with a mindset of multiplication.

All ministries taking place in and through Albright Church will be built upon personal and corporate prayer in reliance on the Holy Spirit.

Our leadership model will be team ministry with a Christ-like servant attitude. Small groups will be part of this well-defined leadership development process.

Cutting edge technology will be utilized to reach people both in and beyond our community.

Anticipating the needs of a growing congregation, we envision multiple weekend services, additional staff and expanded facilities.”

 

This vision of maximizing our impact in the world, and of raising up disciples of Jesus, directs all of our decisions and initiatives. This vision gives Albright Church direction to accomplish God’s commandment to:  make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all of His commands (Matthew 28:19-20).


Our direction is already set. The expansion that is being discussed is another tool to use as we continue to implement our vision. The new Lead Pastor will not alter this vision. He will further it. He will bring us all closer to accomplishing this vision.

 

In 2004, the Elders decided that Albright Church would be a vision-driven church, not a church that follows the leader. Instead, the leader follows the vision.

 

Since our last conversation at the Family Chat on April 7/15, we have received some very valuable feedback. We want to take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to all of you who took the time to approach a staff person, Design Team member, or Elder to discuss the vision for the expansion.

 

The process that the Design Team and Verne Reimer Architecture (VRA) have been undergoing for most of the past year has established a proposed two phase expansion Site Plan.  Phase 1 will include renovation of the existing facility, construction of a new link building with ministry & office space, and exterior site work.  Phase 2 includes a future Worship Centre.

 

Through the process of determining priorities to accomplish our vision, the Elders believe that Phase 1 is the most efficient and well-stewarded way of accomplishing Albright’s vision.

 

Since our last conversation at the Family Chat on April 7/15, we have received some very valuable feedback. We want to take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to all of you who took the time to approach a staff person, Design Team member, or Elder to discuss the vision for the expansion.

 

We do anticipate and pray for growth in our Sunday morning attendance as we all become more intentional in being whole-hearted disciples of Jesus, and in doing life with our friends, co-workers and neighbours. However, these expansion plans are not driven in the least by a desire of using a new building to increase our congregation size. We believe that God will draw people to Himself, and we must be His willing workers to minister to them. Our vision is not at all driving us to become a ‘mega-church’. We are simply following the leading of our Lord to be good stewards of all He gives us, and to live a life fully devoted to becoming and making disciples of Him. All of these discussions and plans are for His glory.

 

We believe that it is important to reiterate the cost of the proposed Phase 1 (the renovation and addition to the existing building, the new link building and all site work around those two buildings). The grand total is very close to $10 million, once taxes are included.

The breakdown of this price before taxes is:

  • Site work:                                                                                 $2,105,173
  • Renovation and additions to existing building:           $1,280,354
  • Link building:                                                                           $5,904,303

VRA has supplied us with a very complete breakdown of these prices. The Design Team has and will continue to work with these numbers to advise the Elders on various options for moving forward. They have been instructed to examine whether it is possible and cost-effective to break down Phase 1 into multiple steps. Any multi-step approach would take the overall site plan into consideration in order to ensure that all work that is necessary for future steps (including the worship centre) happen at the appropriate time in the process.

 

Throughout the coming months and years of transition and progress in keeping with our vision, the Elders are committed to continue the dialogue with you and maintain strong stewardship values. Please address any concerns or ideas that you may have to an Elder. We want to ensure that everyone is cared for and heard as we navigate these exciting changes together.

 

As we get ever closer to these expansion plans becoming a reality, here are several milestones that need to be accomplished along the way. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to give you a realistic idea of the upcoming steps.

a)     Determine which option to choose: expansion, church-planting, or multi-campus setup. 
(Accomplished by the Next Steps Team in June 2014)
.

b)     Commission an architect to develop a picture of our property that conforms to our vision. 
(Accomplished with VRA and the Design Team in 2014-15).

c)     Approve proposed site plan as our future goal.

d)     Secure necessary variances and approvals from the surrounding community and the RM of East St. Paul.

e)     Funding from the congregation begins to accumulate in the Next Steps Fund.

f)      Establish a Capital Fundraising Campaign.

g)     Develop construction documents.

h)     Tender most aspects of the project.

i)      Put a shovel in the ground.

 

 

Proposed Expansion Motions from the Elders

 

Following a multi-year process of prayer, waiting, planning and dialogue, the Albright Elders are currently considering bringing the following motions to the membership of Albright at the June 11, 2015 Annual General Meeting.  These motions may be adjusted to reflect our Family Chat conversations on May 11th, 12th and 21st, 2015.  With these motions, the Elders are calling for the membership to support the site plan, as presented by VRA, as our long term expansion vision.   As well, the Elders are asking for approval to begin the process of implementing parts of the plan that will assist Albright in:

­     - moving towards its current priorities of engagement with our new neighbourhood environment and

­     - creating more effective space for Albright’s many current and future ministries on and beyond Sunday morning.


Proposed Motion #1

That the site plan be approved as our long-term expansion vision so that all incremental projects to develop our campus will be done with the site plan and good stewardship practices in view.

     Note regarding motion #1: In approving the site plan it is recognized that the drawings are not yet         construction plans, so adjustments and realignment of certain spaces may still take place.


Proposed Motion #2

That the membership authorize the spending of up to $100,000 on projects to develop our campus in keeping with the site plan.


Proposed Motion #3

That authorization be given to proceed with securing the necessary variances and approvals which will be required for the expansion project outlined in the site plan to allow for the development of our campus over the coming years..


Proposed Motion #4

That funding for our expansion begin by encouraging people to start donating over and above gifts to the Next Steps Fund and secure a Capital Campaign Fundraising company at an appropriate future date.

Note regarding motion #4: Possible target date of April 2016 is being considered by the Elders to secure a Capital Campaign Fundraising company.

 

The Elders are not ready to bring further motions at this upcoming AGM, but looking forward, we anticipate seeking authorization to proceed with borrowing a specified amount of money to complete our priority expansion projects:

  • installing the approach to Maxwell King Drive,
  • adding the parking/plaza area including a maximum of 3 community engagement activity elements,
  • renovating our current facility to provide storage and mid-size meeting rooms.

 

 

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Spring has arrived.  The sun has been breaking through the clouds and warming up the earth below.  The melting snow revealing all that it has covered up over winter.  As the seasons change we also begin to see, if only from a distance, neighbours that we have not seen all winter long. We may have a deep relationship spanning many years with some of these neighbours; some we may not even know at all.  But regardless of how long we have known our neighbours, it should be our desire to build relationship with them so that we can love them in the way Christ has loved us.


“This is the message that you have heard from the beginning. We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11


As we enter this Easter season, we are reminded of what had been done for us.  We have been redeemed from an eternity apart from God and all of His goodness.  We have been shown an abounding love by our Saviour Jesus Christ.  A love that is as wide as outstretched limbs nailed to a tree.  “For this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:24.  Through His sacrifice, He has conquered sin and death; He has made a way for all  who believe in His name to be saved.

 

The truth of Easter weekend is not just for us.  As much as we receive the good news of Jesus Christ with joy in our own lives, we are not called to stop there.  As we have come to know what love is by the servant sacrifice of Jesus, we are called to reciprocate that love to others.  “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:17-24.


As we have experienced the love of Jesus in our own lives, we are called to love others in a way that addresses their needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually through action, not only in words.  As we continue in our journey together as a church body, we seek to not only begin and belong, but to BECOME more committed followers of Jesus; and this is what Christ has asked of us, “…to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded.” 1 John 3:23.  It is my prayer that collectively we grow in our willingness and ability to love others in all areas of our lives.  Whether among co-workers, our neighbours, our families, or strangers, we are called to look beyond ourselves to see the needs around us.

 

How do we discover the needs?  We need to first be growing in our ability to listen.  As we talk to people in all of our relational spheres, we can serve them by listening to them.  Hearing about their past, inquiring about their families, asking about their hobbies and interests, being concerned for their well-being, celebrating their victories.  Listening is the beginning of building any trusting relationship. Intentionally building relationships is so important as we seek to share the life and love of Christ with others.  As we build relationships continue to pray that God would soften the heart of those you are walking with and that, by His Spirit, they would begin to explore the truth of Jesus.

 

So, wherever you are over this Easter Season, take time to consider ways that you might build relationships with those around you who are uncertain what the Gospel means in their lives.  One opportunity you have is to invite a friend to the movie night on April 10.  Whether you choose this or not, seek ways to bless those you have relationship with.  The goal being that they would know the love of Christ alive in us, for this is where we are called to start in relationship with those who do not know Him.  As we seek to be active in blessing, we will continue to rely on the work of the Holy Spirit in those around us; that God will build His kingdom as we open ourselves up to be part of His work.

 

- Nathan Wachal, Associate Pastor Community Initiatives and Worship Arts

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Albright’s 7 person English Teaching team left Winnipeg on July 10, 2014 with 11 suitcases filled with teaching materials, Picture Dictionaries, Bibles, thank-you gifts, and many other supplies. Joined in Toronto by EMCC missionary, Marilyn McIlroy, the group continued their journey to Haiti to serve the people in the community of Gens de Nantes. 

 

In previous blog articles we shared stories and updates from the team.  In this article, Team Leader, Laurie Nemez, shares with you an inside view on the team’s experiences, where the true ‘heart of the story’ can be discovered. 

 

‘Our mission was focused on teaching beginner level English to young people and adults. God had given our 38 students a dream, and they were filled with enthusiasm and very eager to learn! We divided them into 3 classes, with each class having 2 teachers who worked together as teaching partners. Russ planned and led our wonderful chapel times during the last ½ hour of every day, and helped us out with a variety of tasks as needed.

 

Our students attentively listened, and willingly participated, while we taught them vocabulary and 

conversations relating to such themes as: family relationships, days of week and months of the year, clothing, parts of the body, colours, numbers, occupations, and other relevant words and phrases that would come up during our teaching. We also taught some reading, using Bible stories and memory verses. Games and songs were interspersed to add variety and fun to their learning, and our students enjoyed learning in new ways – quite a contrast to the rote method of learning that they are used to. Sometimes this more interactive style of teaching and learning was a bit of an adjustment for them, and they would wonder “What is the purpose of this game?” 

 

We were privileged to be able to get to know our students and develop relationships with them as we spent 5 ½ hours a day with them, for 7 days. We also shared on a more personal level through “Dialogue Journals”, which were like letters that we would write to our individual students in English, and they would write back to us in Creole. These were translated by our hard-working translator, Willie.

 

We enjoyed being able to eat lunch daily with our students, as our guest house cooks prepared and sent a bin of delicious sandwiches and a cooler of drinks each day to the church where we held our classes. Chapel time, at the end of the day’s lessons, was always a lot of fun, and a very special time, as Russ led the group in a variety of activities such as: praying and singing together in both English and Creole, learning the Lord’s prayer in English, sharing faith stories and testimonies, having question and answer periods where students could ask us questions about Canada, and of course playing large group games like “I love Jesus”. In this game, our students were divided into several groups and attempted to out-shout each other while saying: “I love Jesus, yes I do! I love Jesus! How ‘bout you?” When the shouting game was over, Russ said to them, “Now, all of Gens de Nantes will know that we love Jesus!” I’m pretty sure that was true!

 

After a day or so of teaching, our translator told us that our students were really enjoying and benefiting from our classes, and that they wanted us to stay for a month! Near the end of our first week, a number of them were asking us “When can you come back to teach us some more?” One young man initiated a conversation with us about how we might be able to help him continue to improve his English following the course. This sincere Christian young man and very bright student, already has certificates in construction and in videography, but is unable to find work. Improving his English was something he desperately wanted. When he asked us when we would be back to teach again, we had to honestly say that we did not know, but that God did. His face sank and he turned away for a moment. We encouraged him that God had a plan for him, and we promised to pray for him, and to seriously consider how we might be able to direct him in continuing his learning. A few days later, he gave us letters that he had written, one to his teachers, Meghan and Elaine, and one to the rest of the team. The following is a slightly shortened version of one of his letters:

“This day, it’s with a big joy for me to take my pen to write this letter…. But I am very sorry for us, because you are going to leave us, to be back home, and I know truly you cannot stay with us for a long time. Before going, let me tell you something about all the Haitian students, the way they feel about this course.... I try to speak in their name and I think everybody will be glad when I tell them what I am doing. And I know God does not miss to bless us, especially all the staff Canadian, for the way you Canadians are helping us. I am sorry because your mission will stop. You cannot stay anymore. But you are going to help us by your prayers, and we can do the same. Because prayer is the key. Nothing is impossible for God, because we are the children of God. May God bless you. Good travel.”

 

Our team was blessed beyond measure by our students’ gratitude and by their hunger to learn English. We were deeply humbled, as the extent of their gratitude seemed to far outweigh what we had done for them, from our perspective. The heart of the story is that God had been working, and He multiplied our efforts in the well-prepared soil of our students’ hearts and minds. It was an incredible blessing…something we never dreamed would occur during our short time in Gens de Nantes.

 

It was also very humbling to hear Pastor Andre and members of his church pray for Albright Church, for our team, and particularly for our team members who fell ill with the chikungunya virus. He expressed deep gratitude for the people of Albright and the sacrifices that are made in order to send a team to Haiti. 

 

As a team, we want to thank you for your prayers, your support, and your encouragement. Without you, we would not have been able to bless Gens de Nantes and be so incredibly blessed by going on this trip. Please know that Albright’s regular presence in Gens de Nantes shows the people that God has placed them on our hearts and that we have not forgotten them. This gives them hope, and encourages them to keep pushing forward even in the face of much adversity. Please continue to pray for Pastor Andre and his church, for our students, and for the Haitian people.  Mesi (thank-you)!

- Laurie Nemez,  English Teaching Team Leader’

 

Learn more about Albright’s Partnership with Haiti and how you can be involved!  

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As Albright’s first Mission Team to teach English is wrapping up their time in Haiti they are eager to share their journey of this pioneering work with you!  As you read of their experiences, prayerfully consider how God would have you be part of ‘Albright’s Partnership with Haiti’.

 

“We have been blown away by the hospitality of the people of Gens de Nantes. 

As we walk to school in the morning, we are greeted with a friendly 'bonjou' or a 'Chou-Chou' from the children. We have learned that this is a special way of saying, 'I love you'.  

 
Our teaching day goes from 8 - 1 with a break in the middle and chapel time at the end of the day. It was so neat to sing the familiar chorus ‘Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God' together in chapel. Margo led half the group in English, while Marillia (Pastor Andre's wife) led the other half in Creole, and we sang the song in a round. What a joy it is to worship together!

 

We are amazed at how much our students have learned and how thankful they are that we are teaching them.  We know that there are many more who are desperate to learn. Classes were originally scheduled to end on Wednesday, but we learned that some of the Haitian teachers taking our class would not be able to attend after Monday, due to a conflict. Not wanting them to miss out, we altered the schedule and held an additional class on Saturday.  We will now teach our last class on Monday. 


Our meals have been delicious and we have been well fed. Two of our cooks are recovering from chickungunya, a virus carried by mosquitoes, and we have met several people who are suffering from the fever, aches and pains of the disease. Please pray for healing for those afflicted, and for God's continued protection for the team.

 


We woke up extra early Sunday morning to make the trip to church in Acul des Pins, a community about 6 miles north-west of Gens de Nantes. A few of the team members stayed back as they were not feeling up to the long journey over the mountain, but we were joined by Pastor Andre and our translator, Willie. 

 

In Acul de Pins, the church is located a short ways off the main road, bordered by a lush tropical landscape all around. Our team was given seats on stage and we were pleasantly surprised to have a fan oscillating above us. The church service was just over three hours long and included Sunday school, prayers, singing and a message from both the local Pastor and Pastor Andre. As the service ended we were warmly greeted with hugs and handshakes from the congregation; we felt such joy in their church. Afterwards, the team took a walk down to visit the family who received a new house last year, financed through Albright donations. It is set in a beautiful area, tucked away from the main street.

 

Returning to Gens de Nantes, we enjoyed a delicious supper of fish and chips.   There is lots of preparation to do before Monday’s last day of class. We are excited to celebrate with our students, but we know saying goodbye will be hard.

 

The last day of teaching was emotional.  It’s Graduation Day!  A special celebration was held in the chapel where each class sang a song that they had prepared. Each student was presented with a ‘Certificate of Completion’ and class photos were taken.

 

There was a special presentation of Creole Storybook Bibles and a gift of school supplies for each school represented in our classes. We also awarded ESL Dictionaries to the students we felt could best use them.

 

The students sang for us in gratitude and many wanted to speak in front of the group and give thanks. Team Leader, Laurie, spoke on behalf of our teaching team and told our students how humbled we were to teach them and how thankful we were to God for the opportunity to come to Gens de Nantes. She also encouraged them to share their resources and to continue practicing their English.

 

We encourage you to join us in praying for these students - that they would have opportunities to continue learning and practicing their English, as many have a deep desire to do.” 

 

As the team now prepares for a trip to Cape Haitian before traveling back to Puerto Plata on Thursday, we ask for your prayers for overall health of our team and for safe travels.”

 

The English Teaching Team will be returning from Haiti on Friday, July 25/14.  Follow their most current updates on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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The sun is barely up as the team rises to begin their day.  The cook is already stirring in the kitchen preparing the day's meals.  One-by-one the team gathers at the table to enjoy the breakfast prepared for them.  Then, with water bottles filled and teaching materials gathered, they head off down the dirt road toward the school, greeting passers-by with a cheerful ‘bonjou’. Up the hill, at the AEM Church and School, their students are arriving from various parts of the community, anxious to learn their next lesson in English.

 

Our English Teaching Team has settled in to their new daily life in the village ofGensde Nantes, Haiti.  In a recent update from the team, they gave us an inside look at their day. 

 

 ‘After arriving at the school, our team began the teaching day in the chapel, where we prayed for our students and for God’s guidance on our teaching.  We then headed to our three classrooms where we’ll teach in teams of two:  Laurie & Julia, Heidy & Margo, and Meghan & Elaine.  Russ helps out where needed in each of the classes. 

 

Today’s lesson was focused around weather, seasons and dates.  We used flashcard pictures and vocabulary word strips to help the students visualize as they practice repeating the words and phrases in English.  One exercise is to have all of the students tell us their birthdates and write it on a piece of paper with a picture of a birthday cake on it.  They practice speaking the dates and numbers while matching the birthday to the person. 

 

The students have told our translator, Willie, that they are so happy to have us teach them, and that they would like us to stay for a month!

 

At the end of our lessons, we gather together with our students in the chapel, which is always a special time. We sing and pray together both in English and in Kreyol.  Today, Russ shared a personal story from his faith journey, translated by Willie. It was a steamy 38 degrees inside the chapel as we said good-bye to our students for the day.

 

Heading back to the guesthouse, we stopped by the AEM Medical Clinic where EMCC Missionary, Marilyn McIlroy gave us a tour of the clinic buildings on the compound.

 

For dinner we enjoyed a traditional Haitian meal of rice, beans and plantains.  There is a lot of lesson planning to do each evening, but some are able to take some time to go exploring or play with the children.  We feel very welcomed by the community.  Meci anpil (thank you so much)  for your prayers!

 

 The English Teaching Team will be returning from Haiti on July 25/14.  Follow their most current updates on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

  

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Albright Church is thrilled to send its 5th Mission Team to Haiti!  The seven-member English Teaching Team departed on July 10/14 ready to serve for two weeks in the community of Gens de Nantes, Haiti, under the direction of the EMCC.  Armed with suitcases full of teaching materials and supplies, the team left prepared to conduct daily classes teaching English language to young adults and others from GDN and nearby communities.

 

Their flights took them to Toronto, then on to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic where they traveled the next day by ground transportation to Haiti.  The journey by road went well and the border crossing into Haiti, along with all of their supplies, went smoothly. The team was met by Pastor Andre from our sister church in GDN, (the AEM Church) and were unexpectedly spoiled to ride in style and comfort from the Haitian border town of Ouaniminthe to Gens de Nantes in two air-conditioned vans!  The roads were bumpy, with a few rivers to cross, but they arrived at the guesthouse mid afternoon and got straight to the task of unpacking and settling in before enjoying supper. Their first night in Haiti was filled with anticipation of worshipping alongside their Haitian brothers and sisters at church the next morning.

 

Albright’s Mission Team was warmly welcomed by the Haitian church.  Mission Team Leader, Laurie brought greetings to the congregation on behalf of Pastor Alan and Albright Church, and shared her testimony through the translation of EMCC Missionary, Marilyn McIlroy. The service was vibrant with much speaking and singing followed by a very passionate sermon from Pastor Andre. What a joy it was to experience Haitians praying for the people and ministries of Albright Church.

 

A tour of the classrooms and lesson prep filled the afternoon, but still left room for the team to spend time with the local children playing, drawing and taking pictures. 

 

The team is ready and looking forward to their first day of teaching!  While a class size of 30 students was anticipated, God led the team to prepare and bring enough materials for 40 students. They were so excited to learn that they will have 39 students attend their classes, all anxious to learn English!

 

The July temperatures in Gens de Nantes are tropically hot, ranging in the mid to upper 30’s with the humidity.  For a team of Manitoban’s, they are facing some challenges adjusting to the continual heat, as it does not cool down at night.  They have asked for your prayers for the team's endurance as they deal with the heat and teach a large amount of students.  At the time of this writing, thunderstorms are forecast for this evening – pray for cooling rain, and restful sleep.

 

If you would like to be part of Albright’s next Mission Team to serve in Haiti, applications are now being accepted for March 2015.  Plans are underway to form a team with mixed skills to serve for two weeks at the end of March.

If you have gifting in the following capacities, you could be used by God as part of our team:

  • work with patients in the clinic
  • help with organization within the clinic
  • doing some community health work, home visits
  • maintenance and electrical work on the clinic and guesthouse buildings
  • interact directly with children in the school and around the clinic and guesthouse

 Apply now or contact Missions Director, Stephen Moore for more information.

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We spend so much time and energy on developing our skills for our careers and hobbies, but often our most important asset doesn’t get much attention. Consider setting aside time, energy and effort for your marriage relationship. You will be glad you did!

 

“The Marriage Course started good conversations and allowed us to discuss topics

 that we simply would not start on our own.” – Marriage Course Participant

 

Albright Church believes in and affirms marriage and the Marriage Course is just one way which we are actively investing in the marriages around us. Marriage is foundational for our church, children and community, and we encourage couples to make an investment in their marriages. This includes couples with a strong relationship and those who are struggling, those who are newly married and those who have been married for a 30-40-50 or more years. Every marriage can be made better.

 

“The Marriage Course provided practical strategies and activities to help

move our marriage in a positive direction.” Marriage Course Participant

 

The Marriage Course provides eight ‘date night’ evenings in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. There is no group discussion and you will never be asked to share anything from your private discussion. As a couple attending, you are encouraged to set aside these evenings to focus just   on you, your spouse and your relationship.

 

“We enjoyed the special care and concern shown to us. We felt cared for!”

 – Marriage Course Participant

 

The evening begins with a romantic candle-lit dinner for two, complete with music and privacy. After dinner you will be presented a different practical topic to help with discussions between the two of you. The materials used are from the Alpha Marriage Course and topics include:

•    understanding each other’s needs;

•    communicating more effectively;

•    growing closer through resolving conflict;

•    healing the ways you’ve hurt each other;

•    recognizing how your upbringing affects your relationship;

•    improving relationships with parents and in-laws;

•    developing greater sexual intimacy;

•     discovering each other’s love languages and much, much more!

There is a discussion book included with a number of exercises and questions to help guide the conversation between just the two of you/

 

“I would highly recommend this course to couples wanting to build on their marriage.”

– Albright Participant

 

The next Marriage Course starts Sunday, September 28, 2014 and runs until Sunday, November 23, 2014 (with no session on Thanksgiving Sunday, October 12). Each Sunday evening starts with dinner at 5:30pm and finishes about 8:30pm. Course fees are $125 per couple, which includes the eight amazing dinners-for-two and the course workbooks.  Registration is on a first come first served basis – so don’t wait!

 

Here are some other quotes from couples who have taken the course here at Albright:

“Reminded us of the ongoing need for meaningful communication and time together.”

“Our marriage has a stronger foundation, and new insights for a new beginning.”

“This has brought attention to certain areas in our marriage and got us talking again.”

“Improved our communication and showed us how important quality time together is.”

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Loving God and loving our neighbours is an adventure! Our Neighbourhood Service Weekend is a great opportunity to step into that. At Albright we believe in the value of ‘walking across the room’ to get to know people and to love as Christ loves us. It is a privilege to bless people in ways that demonstrates God’s amazing grace. It is also a faith step to be open to what God wants to do in and through us.

 

Not having a usual Sunday Morning Service radically reminds us about the high value God’s calls us to serve. We can become so comfortable with the rhythms of life that we forget that God wants us to connect with our neighbours. Sunday morning worship should be a reflection and celebration of a life devoted to God and to loving others. Our vision for that weekend is to help us re-focus and re-engage with God’s calling to love our neighbours. Taking the time to pray about what God would have you do, and then doing it, will lift our Sunday morning worship times to a whole new level.

 

We are purposely freeing up time on the weekend of June 6th – 8th to provide space and encourage intentional serving. Of course, you can serve your neighbours anytime; it doesn’t have to be during the exact time of Albright’s usual Sunday Service. There is a sense of fellowship in knowing that we are allowing God to challenge us together in this area, but the timing is completely up to you.

 

Who is my neighbour?  The simple answer is: anyone and everyone we connect with in life.  They are not just people who live on our street, but those we encounter in our workplace, at school, through activities and sports, even those who provide a service to us.  Our neighbours are people we may not even have met yet.

 

If Sunday morning isn’t the ideal time to connect with neighbours you could use that time to walk around your neighbourhood, pray for your neighbours and be open to what God might reveal to you. You could go to a coffee shop and pray for what you see and be open for any conversations. Or, you could visit someone and bless them with a word, gift or action. The main thing is to be open to what God wants you to do, or might show you, as you step out in faith. This is as much about being with God and hearing Him as it is about what you do.

 

You don’t have to do something big.  In fact, often loving and serving others begins with being willing to see and do the small things.  Praying for your neighbours by name is a huge start. Introducing yourself or checking in to see how they are is a step. Being purposely open for ‘one minute more’ conversations is another great step. Asking God to reveal a need you can meet or a way that you can bless is a great step. Learning to listen and hear from God as to what is the next step is more important than the size of what you do.

 

The last thing we want to do is avoid making our neighbours a project. That is why what we do needs to come out of who we are in God and not any form of guilt. We are blessed to bless. We are freed by God’s love to love. That means we are still his children even if people do not respond in the way we think they should. It also means that we can leave the final outcome with God. Only he can change hearts. He simply calls us to love Him and others.

 

On Sunday Evening, June 8th at 6:30pm, we’ll be meeting at Albright for a Worship Celebration to praise God, to reflect on what we have been learning and to pray for our neighbours. This will be informal and is open to all ages. If that happens to be your planned time to meet with neighbours then you are free to do that.  We are purposely keeping this celebration time simple to avoid any extra responsibilities on that day. So just come, bring the family, and enjoy the ice-cream and being together!

 

Pastor Sam Devine

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Recently, the Winnipeg Free Press published an article written by Gordon Sinclair Jr., revealing how our Winnipeg Police Service Chief Devon Clunis demonstrated how important community is. 

 

On the day before Chief Clunis was scheduled to visit a Winnipeg Grade 6 class, he called a news conference regarding a serious situation that had recently transpired.  Considering the circumstances the teacher was not sure if Chief Clunis would still be attending their class the next day.  But right on schedule, Chief Clunis showed up.  When the teacher asked Chief Clunis about that, “He said: ‘No, this is important. The children are important. Community is important.’”

 

Police Chief Clunis went on to share with the class of his own experience in Grade 6, of a teacher who went above and beyond to help him out, the big impact it had on his life, and her prayer that might surprise you!   You can read the full article on the Winnipeg Free Press’ website: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/police-chief-earns-an-a-for-effort-after-911-affair-259336211.html 

 

As part of the challenge to Love Your Neighbour, Albright Church is participating in a 365 Police Prayer Watch initiative from May 19th - 25th.  We are doing this in partnership with other churches in the City who have each been allocated a specific week.  You are invited to pray each day for our Winnipeg Police Service using the prayer guide below and remain open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  You could pray as part of your devotional time each day, at family meal times, when you meet with friends, or in your Small Group.  Who knows how God will respond to your prayers!

 

1. Pray for Chief Devon Clunis:

  • For wisdom and courage to lead
  • For complete dependence upon the Holy Spirit
  • For acceptance of his vision for changes in the way policing is done
  • For grace and favour to be upon him in all his relationships
  • For his Family – to be able to balance the responsibilities between work and home

 2. Pray in general:

  • For an enduring partnership between the churches and the Winnipeg Police Service
  • For strengthening of relationships with community organizations and eliminate factors that cause crime
  • For unity and trust within the Police Service
  • For smooth transition into the new Headquarters onGraham Avenuein the New Year
  • For financial provision to meet the budget and Police Service needs

3. Pray for the Police Officers:

  • For safety and protection as they deal with dangers everyday
  • For protection from the emotional and mental stress that can come with policing
  • That officers would have wisdom to be able to deal with people effectively
  • For success in preventing and detecting crime, catching offenders and bringing them to justice
  • That they would exhibit integrity, honesty & dedication in the face of temptation
  • That they would carry a heart of compassion for people & not become hardened
  • That they would embrace a more holistic way of policing and serving the community
  • That they would be honoured for doing their job of upholding the law

 4.  Pray for the Police Officers Families:

  • God’s blessing over families, that they would know peace when their loved ones are on duty
  • That the families have understanding when the officer they love is under stress
  • That officers would be able to separate work and home, and that their families can support them in times of stress
  • That they would trust God for their health and welfare

5. Pray for the City of Winnipeg:

  • For crime, including violent crime to diminish dramatically
  • For peace to reign in the streets of our city
  • For Mayor Sam Katz and City Hall
  • For righteousness and unity to reign and for right people to fill positions in Government
  • For increased funding of Community Enhancement Projects (ie: Endowment Fund)
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One of the things I love to do is meet up with other family members, so as I flew into Calgary, this was what I was looking forward to the most.  ‘Wait,’ I can here you say, ‘Are there Devines in Calgary?’  Maybe, but the family I am referring to is our extended Church family connected through the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada.  Every alternate year we have a Regional Gathering and a General Assembly, primarily so the family can meet.  Often that includes some of our Missionaries who serve in various parts of the world.

 

This year the theme was ‘Following Jesus Together: Disciple Making in Community.’  Our Guest Speaker, Caesar Kalinowski who has just written a book called, ‘Transformation’ challenged us to first practice living out of our new identity in Christ.  We were reminded that, “The world says, we do to be. The Gospel says, we do out of who we are.”  Mission flows out of who we are in Christ.  The experience of His love motivates us to love others. 

 

If we are to respond to God’s command to make disciples then we need the Gospel, Community and Mission.  “As a family we extend God’s family out to others by inviting people into our lives where we imitate Christ.”  Ceasar told many stories of how God has used him and his family to do that intentionally where they live. 

 

Often it started with simple connections that were part of the normal rhythms of life such as sharing a meal, helping to paint a deck, mowing a lawn, having a one more minute conversation and asking someone how they really are. 

 

Missional living is something we all can do because it is who we are: people who have been brought into family and restored to life in God.

 

I am thankful for the challenges and also the opportunity to connect with family again.  It is such an encouragement to know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and that together, within community, we can make disciples through Christ.

 

Pastor Sam Devine

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Jeriah Nickerson is a fun-loving, artistic and very creative 4 year old boy who LOVES to colour, use stickers, paint, and create bead crafts. When using his stickers his parents have made him aware that not all children are blessed with endless amounts of stickers - some children have none.  This news made him sad!

 

When Jeriah found out that his Grandma, Carol Nickerson, was going to Haiti - a place where they don't have stickers, he wanted to do something.  His mom suggested that, since he had a lot of bead projects done, maybe they could try selling them and he could use the money to buy stickers to send to Haiti with his Grandma!   Jeriah loved this idea and was very excited! 

 

Jeriah went about selling his precious crafts to friends, family and people from church.  His parents were impressed at how well he could answer everyone’s questions, and came to realize that this was something that meant a lot to him. He even got some special orders that he had to create for the following week.

 

Jeriah raised enough money to purchase a whole stack of sticker sheets from a dollar store and, from the sounds of it; the kids in Haiti were thrilled to receive them!


    

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We don’t usually think of getting to know our neighbours as a work of art!  Maybe you don’t see yourself as very artistic in the first place.  God is.  He is the master artist who is painting the story of our lives.  Every day he adds another dimension to the picture which is being painted to reflect who He is.  Incredibly that includes the exact place where we live (Acts 17:26). 

 

While it is true that God is painting a very unique picture of our lives He is also painting the family picture of the Church.  You and I are part of the big picture of God’s plan to love Him and to love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).  But why?  Why can’t I just love myself?  Because that is not why we are here!  We are here to reveal Jesus.  We are here to see people added to the big picture.  Every day is another day to work with the master artist.  So, how can we do that?

 

From May 4th and over the next 5 weeks we will be looking at “The Art of Neighbouring” in our Sunday teaching series which will build towards a Neighbourhood Service Weekend from June 6th-8th.  On that Sunday we are encouraging the Church to leave the building and serve their neighbours!  We won’t be having our Sunday Morning Service so that you are freed up for the whole weekend.  We are planning an Evening Celebration Service to share stories, praise God and to pray for our neighbours. 

 

A Neighbour Resource Team will be available to help you with ideas to serve, how you might go about that and to connect you with helpful resources.  You can be as creative as you like!  You could set up coffee connection, set up a walking date, invite a family for lunch, plan a game of golf, pay a visit with a gift of cookies, offer practical help or host a block party.  You could do this with some friends, as a family or as a small group.

 

Here is what we are asking.  Begin to pray for your neighbours by name.  Create a list.  Walk through your neighbourhood and pray for what you see.  Ask God to show you how you can serve your neighbours and be open to hear what He says.  Painting that first brush stroke can be both fearful and exciting.  We don’t know exactly how the painting will look like when it is finished.  But remember God is with you.  He is the master artist.  He wants to use you and He will if you make yourself available.

 

Pastor Sam Devine

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Easter can become so familiar to us that we easily lose the wonder of its significance.  We need to stop and remember.  Sharing in communion helps us to do just that and we will have that opportunity on Good Friday. 

 

But again, it can become nothing more than a ritual that we go through that fails to impact our lives.  So what does it really mean when we break the bread and drink the cup?  Something that I read from Tim Keller recently helped me to consider the wonder of communion and Easter in a new light.

 

“When Jesus said, I am the bread of life, he says, I am God made breakable for you.”  Wow!  The Almighty creator and sustainer of the universe and our lives purposely and willingly made Himself breakable for you! 

 

This is the message of Easter and what we remember when we share in communion.  As Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples he said, “This is my body given for you.”  Luke 22:19.  Previously he had said, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry.” John 6:35.

 

The wonder of Easter, which we celebrate in communion, is that Christ allowed His body to be broken that we might be made whole in Him.  God made himself breakable that we might share in His wholeness.  In our brokenness Christ feeds us with Himself and gives us life. 

 

Such is the mystery of His grace and the vastness of His love that He should be broken for us! 

 

Don’t let this Easter be just another holiday or communion be just another ritual.  As you break the bread remember that God made himself breakable for you.  As you drink the cup remember that God allowed Himself to be poured out for you.

 

Fall on your knees like Thomas and cry in worship, “My Lord and My God.”  John 20:28.

 

- Pastor Sam Devine

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The Clinic Team's last Sunday in Haiti provided a couple of worship opportunities. The team divided into two groups, one headed to the town of Carice to worship with the AEM church there, and the other remained in Gens de Nantes worshipping once again at Pastor Andre’s church.

 

It was communion Sunday at the Gens de Nantes church.  There were hopes that Elizanne (abscess patient) and her family would be in church but they did not come. Please keep praying for them.  After church the group returned to the guesthouse for lunch and began the task of packing, each taking turns soaking their feet in a tub of water to try to cool down.

 

Carice is located south west of Gens de Nantes and is much higher in altitude. The group climbed into the back of Lolance's 4x4 Toyota Pick-up truck and off they went, hanging on for dear life. They stopped at a local petro stand to purchase gasoline at $6.00 a gallon, then bumped along for most of the trip, with EMCC Missionary, Marilyn Mc playing tour guide. As the frequency of switchbacks grew greater the scenery became more beautiful and they marveled at God’s handiwork. Lolance stopped at a stream to pour water on the overheated brakes and on the engine. Soon they were on their way again enjoying their mountaintop experience, driving through small towns and weaving past washouts and ruts. Arriving in Carice, the church service had already started, so after a quick change of clothes they were ushered to seats near the front and then participated in the service. Marilyn Mc brought greetings and introduced the group. The service was very long and it was very warm.  After the preaching, communion was served. The bread and the small communion cups were uncovered and the members of the congregation came forward to take the bread and cup with them back to their seats. Then, just as we would at Albright, they ate the bread and drank the cup. When the group asked Marilyn Mc whether or not it was safe to participate, she said, "Jesus will make it so."
After the service the group greeted many people. The church committee served them soft drinks and crackers, and told the team that they had been encouraged by their visit - it is good to know they are not forgotten. The group went to see the new home Albright provided funds for. The home belongs to a Grandmother and Grandaughter, who welcomed them to take a tour. It is very well kept and they are grateful for the home. Soon it was time for the return trip over the mountain back to Gens de Nantes. They found the trip back more difficult as it was hard to keep from slipping forward into each other. Standing up seemed to be the best option and they took turns standing behind the cab hanging onto the rack for dear life, all the while trying to take the perfect photo, much laughter ensued. At one point the truck died and they gave Lolance their water bottles to cool the overheated brakes and engine once again. Soon they were on their way and received a cheery welcome from the remainder of the team sitting out in the guesthouse yard trying to catch a non-existent breeze.

 

Once back together the team did more packing, tidying, and organizing. A delicious supper was enjoyed - fried chicken, fried plantain, potatoes and carrots in sauce, sliced tomatoes and onions, and rice - what a feast! After dinner the guesthouse staff was presented with a token of appreciation for all they did for the team. Once more, the neighbourhood children stopped by to play, soon skipping ropes, beach balls and rocket balls added to the fun.  Marilyn Mc led the team through a debriefing and it was time for bed.  Their last night in Gens de Nantes was a most humid and hot night.

 

The Clinic Team is now traveling through the Dominican Republicand is scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg at midnight on Tuesday, April 8th, on WestJet #535.

 

Thank you for your prayers of support as you’ve followed the experiences of the team.  You can anticipate learning more after their return.  

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Thursday, April 3rd we were surprised to receive friendly messages from each member of the Clinci Team!  We had anticipated that communication from the team might be limited, but we have been thoroughly blessed by their opportunity, diligence and desire to keep us informed. 

The messages are brief, and we didn’t want to exclude anything, so no editing has been done.  Enjoy the words of those serving in Haiti right now.

 

Hi, it's Steph! I spent the day holding babies, getting peed on, completing inventory of a back storage room, and helping Marilyn M with paper work. I also spent a little bit of time in the pharmacy helping Cindy while Christine was having lunch!”

Carol - I spent the day organizing and completing paper work for Marilyn M, tracking prenatal visits, births and post natal visits from June to present! I also held multiple babies, trying to get them to smile!”

Hi! This is Cindy! I spent the day in the pharmacy filling prescriptions with Christine, Carol, and Steph! We filled prescriptions for 51 people with multiple medications on each. Willy translated as we explained to the people how to take them! We are now all sitting outside watching the kids play soccer in the cool breeze. We can see the clouds coming over the mountains in the distance! We think we are having chicken for supper as we saw the ladies bring them from market earlier and start to remove feathers!”

Hi it's Christine! Spent most of the day in the pharmacy today but took a bit of a break to sit with some kids and painted the girls nails, and made ‘frisbees’ with the boys.  Another great day!”

 

Bonjou, mwen rele Lindsey, I am so blessed to be here in such a beautiful country with an awesome team and work alongside such wonderful people. Today we continued to care for the young lady who is healing well from the nasty abscess, what a joy to see her smile! We did some follow up appointments and dressing changes as well as some paperwork compiling stats for the pre and post natal program. Carol and I had fun trying to pronounce all the lovely Haitian names. Thank you all for all your prayers! Having a great adventure!”

Hi all from Marilyn and KelseyMarilyn: I went early to the clinic this morning to change the dressing of our tooth abscess lady. So wonderful to see her continue to improve. I did a few other dressing changes and gave some medication. The Haitians are so grateful for all we do. So wonderful to serve them and God. Kelsey: I was feeling under the weather today, so it was a bit of a slower day. I played with the kids and made some arts and crafts with the kids and some of the other ladies. They love it!! Really enjoying my time here!”

Dr. Stephen: Hi there. Each day in the clinic has a different flavour but a common theme is the effect that poverty has on everything I am seeing. There are the kids with belly pain without an obvious diagnosis except that they're small for their age and not getting enough to eat. There are malnourished adults and farmers with bodies worn down from years of hard work. Even simple problems like a piece of dirt in the eye can quickly result in corneal scarring and vision loss here. Hypertension is challenging to treat when the medications are variably available or affordable. I have yet to see obesity here though. Not enough to eat and a physical lifestyle will do that to you. And I'm not seeing despair or unhappiness on the scale that we Canadians might expect given the Haitians' lack of "Stuff".  Yes, their life is physically harder but they are rich in other ways. How much stuff do I really need?  Less than I have now.  God really is sufficient.   A lot of what I see as far as poverty and health effects is very similar to what we see in our own Inner City population and the challenges are recognizable. Although we rescued an alcoholic with hypoglycaemia from certain death today, his primary problem is that he is not a believer in Jesus. God gave him a second chance through our presence to turn to Him for forgiveness and mercy and to find everlasting life now and forever. And we told him so.  A situation no different than at Lighthouse Mission, UGM, Charis Centre and other ministries.   There is much to reflect on but I'm loving working here and seeing what God is doing through our team. Thank you so much for your prayers and don't let up just because things are going well. I don't expect Satan to take all of this lying down. But our God is stronger! Shalom,Stephen”

 

Marilyn M (EMCC Ontario): Hi (Pastor) Alan, (Pastor) Sam, Stephen (Moore) and congregation! Thank you so very much for sending such a fantastic medical team! It has been a joy to get to know everyone. We have seen God at work, especially in the clinic. Thanks for your willingness to partner with the AEM and EMCC in the community of Gens de Nantes. Pastor Alan, Pastor Andre really appreciated the letter of encouragement that you sent. Please pray for Pastor Andre and Maryella (Madam Andre) as they provide home care for her mom who is dying. Her father has Alzheimer's which is also a challenge. Thank you Albright family, you are a blessing to me! Marilyn M”

Kathy Tjart (Kitchener,Ontario) To the Albright Church family, I am extremely happy to be working with the team from your church. It's only been a week and I feel like I've made lifelong friends. I feel we have gelled as a team and are working well together. We laugh and talk like old friends and I treasure our time together.  We all have the Haitian’s best interests at heart and we pray they see Jesus in us.  Thanks for the amazing support.”

 

Shannon: Hi Everyone. Thank you for sending me to Haiti on behalf of Albright Church. What a joy to serve God in this place. This morning everything was fresh from the pouring rain last night. The world was so wet that a little tarantula took shelter in the outhouse. Most of my day was spent doing crafts, the yarn wrapping was a huge hit and I am now a pro. The pipe cleaner and bead bracelets were a hit and, as always, the girls love having their fingernails painted. Near the end of the day when I was crafted out, I offered to cuddle a baby - sweet reward at the end of the day. Dinner was so tasty and we were all very hungry. We are now visiting by the warm glow of candlelight. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. There is much need to be strong in The Lord as we can only serve in the power of His might. Please continue to pray for us. We love you all!!”

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The patient smiled with gratitude after the growth was surgically removed their ear.  Besides the morning surgery, lots of children were examined, prescriptions filled, clinic storage room organized and the very sick woman with the tooth abscess received ongoing care. The limited antibiotics didn't seem to be working.  The team pray for a miracle of healing for this young mom whose heartbroken husband has been by her side for many days. 

 

The rain today (Tuesday) made the Haitians smile!  After supper, the Haitian nursing students joined in a rousing game of UNO, until the cool evening air beckoned them and the team out to the veranda.  Fellowship was enjoyed and lots of laughter ensued.

 

Wednesday morning some of the team enjoyed the treat of visiting the school armed with gifts of stickers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pencils and some chalk for the students and teachers.

 

At the clinic, the woman with the abscess underwent a procedure to try to drain the infection.  Team members gathered to pray for this to be successful. After freezing the area, the incision was made and the infection began to drain!  They marvelled at the grace of God and thanked Him for His amazing leading through all this!  Pastor Andre shared that if they had not started the IV on that first night when the team arrived, the extended family would have taken her to a witch doctor. If she had been taken to the witch doctor she would have died. This woman and her husband are the only Christians in her family. Her healing was a spiritual battle.  God performed a miracle that day and they were rejoicing.  Prayers continue for a full recovery.

 

That evening everyone received cards prepared for them from family members. Most were tearful, and all were grateful for the encouraging words from home!

 

This day marked the middle of their mission and God is using them in more ways than is possible to mention.  Please pray for Spiritual protection, strength, wisdom as they continue to serve Him in Gens de Nantes.

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The team’s first full day in Haiti was a busy day.  After breakfast and devotions, they got busy unloading suitcases and organizing items.  The guest house was a beehive of activity.  Several team members carried supplies up the road to the clinic, joyfully greeting everyone they meet with a happy "Bonjou".  The Lab Tech, Dejus was happy to receive his lab supplies.  Dr. Stephen saw his first patients in the morning and other more serious patients came in the afternoon.  Our team nurses were busy organizing and providing nursing care.  Although it was not an official clinic day, it was busy enough ensuring things were set for clinic day on Monday.  In the evening some of the team went out to the road to look up at the beauty of the Haitian night sky.  The stars definitely display God's handiwork.  They enjoyed cool evening showers before bed and are grateful for the updated washrooms; they feel spoiled! 


On Sunday, the team worshipped at the AEM Church in Gens de Nantes, where they were introduced and brought greetings to the congregation.  After church Marilyn M led them to the school yard where they saw the beautiful Mango Tree supported by the retaining wall and cement yard that the earlier Construction Team arranged to have completed.  After, they headed up the road to tour the home that Albright built last year.  After lunch, Dr. Stephen and some of the team went to the clinic to check on a young fellow who was there the day before; they wanted to ensure his wounds were healing okay and provide more care to a very sick woman.  Those at the guest house pulled their chairs outside to try and catch a breeze and a crowd began to gather around them.  Kelsey and Christine pulled out bubbles and went to entertain the children.  Soon skipping ropes and a big orange ball were added to the fun.  The yard was a hub of joyful laughter and fun.  After dinner, team name tags were prepared in both Creole and English and the guest house was a hive of pill counting and packaging activity, as vitamins and antacids were prepared for distribution at the clinic.


On Monday morning, if they weren't already awake, their alarms woke them at 6:00am to prepare for their clinic day.  Marilyn M gave them the outline of the clinic morning and everyone volunteered for what roles they wanted to take.  Shannon remained at the guest house to take inventory of the remaining toolbox items and have them stored in another, safer location.  At 4:00pm, everyone returned to the guest house to rest before dinner and there was a crowd of children awaiting them.  Marilyn K and Kelsey pulled out the skipping ropes and played with the kids.  With some improvisation, Cindy tackled the stubborn shower drain.  A full and satisfying day!

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Today the Clinic Team traveled from Peurto Plata to Gens de Nantes.  They loaded a large colourful truck with an open back with all 35 bags and suitcases.  It will keep the team high up and safe from the jostling crowds during their travels, as today was a market day.  On a market day the border is open for the residents of Haiti and Dominican Republic during certain times to allow them to cross freely, making the border crossing VERY busy.   Ordering lunch today from a Spanish menu in the Dominican Republic was an interesting experience for the team.  They were very thankful to have Alfred there to translate.

Around mid-afternoon after finally getting through the border, the team made it safe and sound to Gens de Nantes, with no issues at the border.  Praise the Lord!

The team now has the fun challenge of unpacking and settling in without the assistance of the generator as it gets dark in Haiti around 6:30pm.

 

 

Here is a picture of the truck that took them across the border.

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Albright’s second 2014 Mission Team to serve with the EMCC, has departed for Haiti.  The Clinic Team, consisting of Shannon Bobrowski (leader), Stephen Henry, Lindsey and Stephanie Runtz, Christine Foth, Carol Nickerson, Cindy Shantz, Marilyn and Kelsey Koop, will meet up with EMCC Missionary, Marilyn McIlroy, inToronto as they make their way to Gens de Nantes, Haiti. 

 

Traveling though the Dominican Republic, they expect to cross the border into Haiti around 10:00am on March 28.  We are praying that all will go smoothly as they may have to cross the border on foot with about 40 pieces of baggage in tow, all containing vital supplies.

Shortly before their departure from Winnipeg, news arrived that a break-in had occurred at the guesthouse they will be staying in.  The thieves stole most of the tools and both generators that were being stored in the guesthouse.  A last-minute purchase was made and a new generator was packed up to go with the Clinic Team, however there are concerns about it arriving on the same flights as the team.  Please pray specifically for this, as the team needs that generator to function in their after-dark duties.

Also, pray for increased safety throughout the whole trip. God has worked in miraculous ways for every team that has gone so far from Albright, and we expect no less this time! But this break-in has reinforced the reality that we are in a spiritual battle for the hearts and lives of our brothers and sisters in Gens de Nantes, and Satan seems to be concerned about what is going on within and through the churches in that village.

Communication with the team will be limited but we will do our best to keep you updated through this blog and our Twitter Feed: @AlbrightChurch

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Join us for the ‘Hearts for Haiti’ evening at Albright on Friday, February 14, 7:00pm as we celebrate Albright’s Partnership with Haiti.

 The evening will feature highlights from our recent Construction Mission Team, as well as an opportunity to meet and greet members of our three 2014 Mission Teams.  You’ll be treated to a selection of delicious desserts and specialty beverages, and will be given the opportunity to financially support our mission teams.  A Silent Auction table will feature a variety of locally crafted items and the Haitian Sale Table offers a selection of beautiful hand-embroidered items made in Haiti by ladies at the Lydia Centre.  

 Tickets are only $5 per person and are available at the church Welcome Centre on Sunday, February 9/14 or by calling the church office at 204-334-5873 by Tuesday, February 11/14

Let’s join our ‘Hearts for Haiti’!

 

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