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Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship News


									 Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship News
                                                                                                                       Christmas 2005
Letting Go                                                                                                           Volume 3, Issue 2
    What does it mean to let go? It means to release and
hold it up to God. What are we to let go of? We are to let
go of hurts, self-pity, revenge, bitterness, and control;
attitudes that are burdensome and entangle our thoughts.
    As people come to Bethlehem week after week, we
see them “letting go” of criticisms, judgments, pride, and
revenge, The Lord receives these burdens and then gives
“A new song” to each person. For example one young
man was finally able to confess his resentment towards
his mother for her “put downs” of his father. It freed him
to love her anew and then accept himself as “his father’s
son”. A new song formed in his soul as he was able to
move towards his dad without fear of “letting his mother
down”. “Sing to the Lord a new song.” Psalm 96:1, “And
He put a new song in my mouth” Psalm 40:3.
    To experience a new song we need to let go of: the
"old song and dance.” Letting go is essential to embracing
the new.
   Someone once said: “It’s harder to let go of something than to overcome it.” Many
times, we overcome but inside we may not truly let go. Instead of saying Lord help me
overcome or Lord take this away, we could pray. “Lord, I acknowledge this anger/hurt,
and I choose to let it go by giving it to You. I don’t want it anymore, it burdens me, keeps
me “dull” and joyless. I release it to You now. Amen”. Then wait and let Him respond to
   As we have walked with people in releasing and letting go of sinful attitudes we are
always blessed to hear a new song come out. God bless you with a new song this season of
Christ’s birth.
                                                                                      Dietrich and Edith and family

                                                                                     We are not allowed to issue charitable
                                                                                    receipts for cheques that are designated
                                                                                     to an individual. Please make cheques
                                                                                        payable to Bethlehem Aboriginal
                                                                                       Fellowship, and include designation
                                                                                            information on a separate
                                                                                                  piece of paper.
     Personal support for the Desmarais' can be sent to Canadian Baptist Ministries 7185 Millcreek Drive, Mississauga, ON L5N 5R4.
                    If you would like to become our Partner in Mission and provide a gift to support our ministry,
                                    contact Eileen at CBM: or (905) 821-3553.
Page 2                                                                              Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship News

Pastoral Report...                                          Recent news bits...
                     One of the reasons I enjoy working        •   Michelle Allison, Secretary, moved to Ontario.
                     at BAF is the variety. Several            •   Deirdre Peters, assumed the part time
                     months ago an aboriginal woman                Secretary position.
                     from the community asked me to go         •   Debby Smit, returned to work full time. She is
                     visit her nephew who lived in an              making connections in the community through
                     inner city hotel. We decided to               home visits, the food bank, and working with
                     visit him together. He is only 26             young moms. She is also serving as Project
                     years old, and has been in a wheel-           Coordinator for the Short Term Mission Teams.
                     chair about 5 years. As a young           •   Beth Wilton, Sam Wu & Roger Page have begun
                     man he was intentionally shot and
                                                                   a youth church on Sunday afternoons.
    David Kolesar    as a result, became paralyzed from
    Associate Pastor                                           •   We are looking forward to 4 short term mission
                     the waist down. He let me pray
                                                                   teams coming to experience community with
with him, and was able to forgive the man who shot
                                                                   us in the North end of Winnipeg.
                                                               •   Karin Regehr, former Teen Mom's Leader is
   Since the last newsletter, I have had the privilege of          involved with a new ministry called Secret
leading several water baptism classes in a one on one              Place Ministry just a few blocks from BAF. She
setting. It is a joy to witness new Christians express             will continue to volunteer at BAF in the
their desire to follow                                             Women's Friendship Group and in healing
Jesus for the rest of                                              prayer.
their lives. One girl,         “He let me pray with            •   Jodi Friesen has taken over the leadership of
(12 years old) has ex-         him, and was able to                Young Mom's, networking with the Young
perienced much pain in                                             Mom's group from Inner City Youth Alive to
her young life. Before         forgive the man who
                                                                   form a significant number of moms and
the baptism we met                   shot him.”                    children, meeting weekly.
upstairs and I listened
to some of her story.
Then I asked her if she would be willing to hear from                  Winnip eg Heali ng Rooms
Jesus. Almost immediately, she looked up and smiled.                         (Associated Ministry)
“He (Jesus) told me I will be all right”. With that we          Now starting our fourth year of ministry, the
entered the sanctuary and proceeded with the water          Winnipeg Healing Rooms are continuing to bring
baptism.                                                    hope and healing to each of the “patients” that
    I continue co-leading the Thurs. evening healing        come in. There have been an number of people
prayer service and praying with people during the           with cancer who have been coming in and reporting
week. The words of comfort and truth from the Holy          that after prayer they are feeling better, and their
Spirit never cease to awe me. It is a privilege to see      test results show healing is progressing. (we would
people embrace and experience healing as described in       like to see them TOTALLY healed for Jesus).
Isaiah 53. Here we find, in detail, what Jesus' suffering       One woman with arthritis was totally healed.,
and death accomplished for us. “Surely he hath borne        and left the Healing Rooms jumping for joy. The
our griefs, and carried our sorrows… But he was             healing teams are praying that the LOVE OF GOD
wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our      will be poured out ON THEM AND THROUGH THEM,
iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon          so that we minister out of HIS LOVE, and not out of
him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah           our own understanding.
53:4a, 5 American Standard Version).                            This is starting to happen in a greater measure,
   Thank you for your generous support and prayer in        but we desire to lay our lives down even more so
2005. May God’s favor rest on you, as you have shown        the Lord can flow through us. May HE receive ALL
favor to Winnipeg’s North End.                              the GLORY!! (Please pray this for us, that we will
                                                            not get in the way of what the LORD wants to do in
                                       Merry Christmas,     HIS ministry of Healing).
               Love David, Kara, Paul and Katie Kolesar                                                 Thank you,
                                                                                        Jo-Ann Swenson (Director)
                                                                                                                                          Page 3

      Administrator’s Report                                                         New Staff Member
     I want to take this opportunity once
                                                                            Hello, I'm Debby Smit and am
again to tell you how much I, in my admin-
                                                                        one of the new staff members. I've
istrative position at BAF, appreciate your
                                                                        been attending BAF since 1998.
dedication to this work/ church/mission.
                                                                        I have volunteered with Sunday
Each month we receive your contributions
                                                                        School and have helped lead and
to the work in our community both in                                    run spring and summer Vacation
prayer and monetary gifts. Thank you.                                   Bible School's with visiting
                                                                        volunteer teams.
     Along with the daily workings of ad-
ministration, I, and those in the offices         Pearl Toews                                                                   Debby Smit
have the wonderful privilege of rubbing            Administrator            I've lived, worked and                 Associate

                                                                        worshipped in the North End since
shoulders with many beautiful people of the neighborhood,
                                                                        1991. I came from a small farming community in
whether it is providing for an immediate need, praying or en-
                                                                        southern Ontario to be a volunteer for a year (or so I
couraging them, calling them forward to minister to each
                                                                        thought) at Hope Centre Church. While there, God
other; it all culminates in serving one another and it is a
                                                                        opened my eyes and heart and gave me a vision to
glorious experience.                                                    help start a drop-in centre for children, which 7
                                                       Pearl Toews      years later became Manitoba House.

                                                                             I love the North End. There is something about
               Upcoming Projects                                        it that is attractive, despite the problems that seem
                                                                        to plague this community. But the Lord is doing a
We have a number of projects that need to be looked at over the         good work here and I'm excited to be part of it. The
next few years. The Lord has been amazing in the ways he has pro-
vided so far, and we look forward to seeing how he will provide for
                                                                        News Bits section already talked about what I will
these next few projects:                                                be doing, so I will leave off with that. Till the next
                                                                        time, blessings to you.
1. The Roof: Our roof has been leaking badly for several years
now. The problem is that on an old large building like ours, it is
very expensive to replace. Several years ago, we were able to ac-                                                                            Deb
quire the shingles, and have had them in storage since then. How-
ever, the bill for the labour and remaining materials, such as flash-
ing, is in the neighborhood of $80,000. So far we have been able to
raise enough money to have one half of the roof done. The contrac-
tor hopes to start very soon. We would love to be able to finish the
other half of the roof, as it is in not much better shape. Another
$25,000 is required to complete the roof project.

2. Church windows: Many of the smaller windows in the church
are the original windows, and are very drafty. In addition, the
frames around the large stained glass windows are rotten, and are
in desperate need of repair. Some of the windows have had to be
braced with angle iron to keep them from falling into the building.
Because of the size of the windows, this is very specialized work.
We have a well known company in Winnipeg that is able to do the
work, but we need to raise a sizeable amount of money for the
project. Initial estimates are in the neighborhood of $100,000.

3. Brickwork: Some of the original brickwork on the exterior of
the church is starting to deteriorate. We need to get this re-
pointed before it starts to deteriorate to the point of needing ma-
jor repairs.

4. Passenger Van: We could really use a large 15 passenger van.                Shelly Stroud (shown on right, along with Jadilla, her helper), is
We have mission groups come through Bethlehem several times
                                                                         doing an amazing job of sorting and cleaning clothes (we now have a
each year, and it is always a struggle to find enough vehicles to
transport them from the airport, and around the neighborhood.           washer and dryer) which are made available on Tuesdays to those who
                                                                             come to our Food Bank. We are very thankful for her work.
Men’s Ministry
                     As I spend time with the
                     men who attend Bethle-
                     hem or live in the
                     neighborhood, I am im-
                     pressed with several in-
                     creasingly strong realiza-

                     One, is that they contrib-
    Clint Toews
    Associate Pastor
                     ute as much to my faith
                     as I do to theirs. Their
opinions about their life struggles and sin
put me more closely in touch with my own.
They demonstrate to me how weak we are
in our own strength, how fragile life really is
and how much we need a Saviour. I see how
they live in the moment (most of us work
hard at securing our future, we believe) and          Peter Swensen, our local “handyman extraordinaire” (Left) has been doing a great job of connecting
                                                      with some of the local men like Ed (right). Ed has a great sense of humour, and has been helping
how focused they are on people, much more             Peter around the church.
than programs, property, progress or privi-

    I learn a lot from them and feel blessed and honored to
serve Jesus with them. Lately, we have set up a team of
men, believers and not yet believers, to clear snow at con-
dominiums managed by local companies. We are getting to
know each other well. Pray that faith in Christ will be es-
tablished and grow in all of us.

                                                Pastor Clint Toews

Women’s Fellowship Group
     We are small in numbers, but enjoying
getting to know each other, and the Lord.
Our time together is increasingly spent in
praying for each other, the church and the

        As a springboard we use
"Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby, to                                                          294 Burrows Avenue
learn to apply the Word of God to our lives,                                                         Winnipeg, MB
in a practical way. We are seeing God at              Karin Regehr
                                                      Women’s Ministry                                 R2W 1Z6
work as we pray for each other.

      Pray for more community women to come, to be en-                                        Phone:204-586-5707
couraged and to experience the real love of the Lord.
                                                                                                Fax: 204-589-0154
                                                    Jo-ann Swenson                         e-mail:
                                                       Karin Regehr

           Personal support for the Desmarais' can be sent to Canadian Baptist Ministries 7185 Millcreek Drive, Mississauga, ON L5N 5R4.
           All other donations can be forwarded directly to Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship 294 Burrows Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R2W 1Z6

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