We had a report come in to us earlier this week that during the night of the 22nd of January that the roof of YWAM Medicine Hat’s Central building had collapsed. Medicine Hat has received and unusually large snowfall over the last few weeks and the roof was not able to take the weight. The roof simply folded and 1/3 of the building has collapsed.
Thankfully there was no one injured in the collapse.
YWAM Medicine Hat has been renting the building and was in final negotiations for the purchase of the property. The ramifications for the collapse of the roof is not yet known, but they would appreciate a lot of prayer right now about the situation.
They believe that this place is to be a missions base with prayer and missions going hand in hand. The ministry at Youth Wtih A Mission in Medicine Hat has been growing and they have seen a number of ministries growing and being birthed in the last number of years.
Until they know more they are not sure what will be happening. They are looking at possibly needing to find and rent a new facility. They would greatly appreciate your prayer and wisdom into the situation.
YWAMers from Australia have established a new ministry location in Canada.
In the establishment of the new Youth With A Mission ministry centre the Australians used local, natural and easily available resources to build the new ministry building. It was built very quickly, over a matter of days, and blends in with the local landscape.
The ministry objectives and plans for the Australian YWAMers is still being established by the local staff. The YWAMers are saying that they are there for the long haul, but there are concerns though from the locals in Canada. One of them was overheard saying:
I know that they say they are here for the long term, but the way they built it looks to me like their ministry center will be gone by the time spring rolls around!
Apparently some of the locals are concerned about the YWAMers choice of building material; snow.
When approached about it the Australian YWAMer was surprised, responding, “What are you talking about? It’s everywhere, and I really can’t see it going away, this centre will be around for decades!”.
There was also concern expressed by the local Canadians about some of the Australian YWAMers choice of footwear…
Again the Australian YWAMers were indignant in their answer stating, “We wear these things year round everywhere in Australia, including weddings! I’m not going to change just because of local tradition, I’m an Australian!”.
While the longevity of the building materials used for the new Youth With A Mission Ministry Centre in Canada is in doubt, the long-term future of the YWAMers in Canada is also still to be determined. In the mean time though they are plugging away at whatever it is God’s told them to do there…
Lounging on the roof top of the new YWAM Australia Ministry Centre in Canada
Although my job has me tied in with the YWAM International Chairman’s Team in Harpenden, UK I also connect with the local Youth With A Mission Centre here in Calgary. At the moment they have brought a team to Zambia from Calgary.
Since the team have been in Zambia they have:
Machetti`ed the clearing for the medical clinic. It was hard work clearing the land but very satisfying.
Been busy helping Vinjelu and Kathryn finish building their home.
Visited a the rural village to pray for the people and learn about Zambian culture.
Hosted two afternoons of the Cherish girls program where girls come for an afternoon of love, encouragement and fun times.
Visited a Vineyard house church with the vision to minister to community in creative ways and bringing the kingdom to West Lusaka.
The YWAM community the Calgary team is staying with has 25 people, which includes the staff and students. It’s been a wonderful cultural exchange and sharing of work duties, food and laughter. They are enjoying n^shima, which is like corn based thick potatoes which is eaten with their fingers.
The YWAM centre is a very entrepreneurial centre… there are the ladies who are being taught to sew, a fellow making jewellery and hiring people to build, teaching a few trades along the way… as Vinjelu explained, “Zambians are creative and make what they need as best they can, with the supplies that are here.’”.
There have been many God encounters as they have shared lives with the people there, and everyone is very excited to see what is next. The team has been struck by the perseverance and joy of the people. Life is simple, yet full, and the team is realising the “necessities” of life like internet, phones, and television really aren’t as important as they thought.
The medical clinic that the team is clearing land for is to serve a community in desperate need for additional help with HIV treatment, ante-natal care and nutrition. There are funds and people to continue the work, and there will always be need to keep it going.
There are many stories of how kids cannot go to school and how food is not available as there is no money. The team is working to find a way they can continue to support the vision of this centre to care for those in need and to bring the love of God people.
The team is asking for continued prayer.
For good health, safety, following God`s will in the many areas they can serve
That Vinj and Kathryn could move into their home soon
Health for Vinj and Kathryn’s family
Continued good connections with the YWAM staff and students
Next week will be spent clearing more of the land for the medical clinic and finishing the house. They will also be connecting in the village and experiencing Zambian dancing in the community church times.
Tonight we had a chance to catch up with some good friends and some good music here in Calgary. Five Star Streets and Saving Sparrow from Reef to Outback in Townsville, Australia were in Calgary as part of their Canadian and American tour.
Here in Calgary they were a part of a local music festival, played at a pub last night and at a local church tonight. From what they’ve said it’s been a great experience so far, but you can see for yourself in this video …
I am a bit worried about turning my kids into YWAM Band groupies though. My son purchased CDs from both of the bands and then went around and got them signed by most of the band members.
You can find out more about Five Star Street and Saving Sparrow, including dates for the rest of their North American Tour, here.
The Dusty Cover used bookstore has closed it’s doors after operating in Winnipeg, Canada’s West End after operating for the last 18-months.
I’ve been following the adventures of Jamie Arpin-Ricci for the last few years at his blog and over on Twitter. It’s been fun to see The Dust Cover go from concept to reality, and I was a bit sad to hear of it shutting it’s doors. As a non-profit business it was a success, but the trouble was getting enough volunteers to staff the store.
The road has certainly not ended for Jamie and the YWAM team in Winnipeg. They have other plans to continue their ministry into the community there.
You can read more about the Dusty Cover, future ministry plans to help with housing for low income families and about the Little Flowers Community here.