Comment

Connect to a Cause - Seeing a Need and Doing Something about it

Quite a few years ago, a friend of mine was part of a family ministry series at Willow Creek church in Chicago. They did a video series for families on Compassion and I've always loved the definition they came up with for compassion. They defined it as "seeing a need and doing something about it." I love it because it's not just seeing a need, or feeling empathy or sympathy, it requires an action to be considered compassion.

 

A few weeks ago, a couple of families at Connect, were struck by the news of the refugee crisis unfolding overseas as a result of the Syrian war.  They heard that new refugee families were being sponsored to live in Saskatoon, but that many of them came with little more than what they could carry. With many of these families coming via refugee camps and having travelled long distances from Syria before being sponsored to come to Canada, these young couples were moved by the stories of those fleeing violence with their small children and trying to find a safe place. The Ardell and Palmer families were moved to act when they thought of themselves and their own young children facing the same challenges. They decided that they would host a Toy Drive for the children arriving in Canada to start their new lives. They wanted children to have toys as a means of comfort and joy in their new homes.

 The Ardell and Palmer families stored, sorted, cleaned and delivered toys donated through their Toy Drive for refugee families coming to Saskatoon.

The Ardell and Palmer families stored, sorted, cleaned and delivered toys donated through their Toy Drive for refugee families coming to Saskatoon.

 Jeremiah, Dana and son Lars, sort through toy donations in their basement. 

Jeremiah, Dana and son Lars, sort through toy donations in their basement. 

 

So, for two weeks, Darren and Miranda Ardell and Jeremiah and Dana Palmer drove around Saskatoon on the coldest days of the year, picking up toys for these families. They also hosted at the Info table and in the foyer of TCU a place where Connect families could contribute donations as well. They then sorted, stored and delivered the toys to the Open Door Society who is facilitating the integration of these new families into our city. This is a perfect example of what we at Connect are describing when we challenge you to Connect to a Cause. Act with compassion. Recognize the needs of those in our city and respond with action accordingly. Thank you to all who donated toys to the Toy Drive and a huge thank you to the Ardell and Palmer families for leading by example in this way! 

Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause ~ Take the Next Step in Serving this Year

July 2016 ~ Zimbabwe with Hands at Work

In July 2016, we will take a team from Connect YXE to the community we support in Sukubva, Zimbabwe. We will spend time with the Hands at Work service team and the volunteer care workers in Sukubva. Much of our time there will be spend walking with the care workers, learning their stories and working alongside them as they visit the homes of the children they care for daily. We will also spend time at the care point in Sukubva where the children come for a daily meal and for educational support such as preschool classes and help with their homework. The purpose of this trip is build strong relationships between our church and those we support in Sukubva. We want to know their names and their stories so that we can stand up and speak on their behalf. This trip is an amazing opportunity to see the work of Hands at Work and their volunteers first hand.  The cost of this trip is approximately $4000. 

 

November 2016 ~ Place of Rescue Cambodia

In November 2016, you can join a team travelling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. From there, you will visit various historical sites and learn about the history of Cambodia and how it affects the modern rebuilding efforts of a country marked by genocide. You will visit the four sites of Place of Rescue that Marie Ens founded and developed with her team of Cambodians. You will spend time visiting the homes of the children and their house mothers, as well as hearing their stories of how Place of Rescue has changed their lives for the better.  In addition to the time you spend at Place of Rescue, you will also meet with local missionaries and other non profit organizations that are serving the people of Cambodia in a variety of capacities. This trip is a great learning experience and will give you a new perspective on the work going on around our world. The approximate cost of this trip is $3500. inclusive. 

November 2016 - Bolivia with IJM Canada

We will be taking a small team of 5 that are interested in learning more about International Justice Mission and their work in Bolivia.  This will be our initial trip with IJM Canada and will be an important step in fostering a strong relationship with the Bolivian office, who we support through Connect Church. This is a vision trip with the focus being on learning and understanding the challenges and rewards of working to provide support to those who are victims of violence and exploitation. International Justice Mission works on rescuing those who are victimized, and provides after care and support to them. As well, IJM works on resolving  legal issues of those in poverty and strengthening the justice systems of Bolivia so that those who need it, have access to fair representation.  The cost of this trip is to be determined but will be approximately $2500.  Space is limited and reserved for mature youth and adults only, due to some of the subject matter we would be exposed to. 

If you are interested in learning more about participating in any of these opportunities, please email shelly(@)connectchurchyxe.com and we can set up a time to talk about it! 

Comment

Comment

The Coldest Night of the Year - February 20th, 2016

profile_2.png

Join us on February 20th as we walk to raise funds in support of the Lighthouse and the Bridge...two of our local Connect partners who serve the most vulnerable in our city. There are ways for everyone to get involved!

Join our team Connect YXE by registering here.

Donate to our fundraising goals by donating here

Volunteer at the event by signing up here

This is a very family friendly event and a great way to Connect to a Cause and to our city.  Please sign up for one of the above options today! 

Comment

Comment

Advent Readings for 2015

Food for the Hungry, one of our global partners, has put together a beautiful Advent resource for the 2015 season. Follow along with others at Connect as we read through the verses and the messages that lead us into the Christmas story.  You can also sign up to have the readings sent directly to your email from here 

There are great applications of activities you can do to supplement your reading, as well as suggestions on giving and actions that can be done as well. 

Enjoy the Advent readings from Food for the Hungry and we anticipate with you the new things we'll all learn about this ancient story as we head towards Christmas. 

 

Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Hands at Work Africa - Sukubva, Zimbabwe

Family of Gogo's with Florence.JPG

You may remember that at the beginning of September, Carmen Hamm introduced you to a care worker named Florence, who serves in our Hands at Work partner community of Sukubva, Zimbabwe.  Florence, pictured here in the striped shirt, with a family of grandmothers and girls she cares for, is just one of the care workers that our Zimbabwe team is going to be walking with and working alongside and learning from over the next few weeks.

We hope to bring you stories of the children and the care workers in Sukubva, so that you can connect to Hands at Work and support the amazing work that is happening in this densely populated, urban community.  Our team leaves YXE on October 7th and we will be spending the next 11 days in Zimbabwe with the leaders and care workers who are serving incredibly vulnerable children and families in their communities. We ask that you please be praying as we go and as we serve, that we would remain open hearted and be an encouragement to those that are serving their neighbours daily. Dawson Reddekopp, Bill Koop, Easton VanBinsbergen and I will be walking many miles with the care workers as we simply serve alongside them in whatever they find themselves doing as they care for the orphans and the widows in Sukubva. Please keep us in your prayers that all we come in contact with will feel the hope that we have in Christ and that there are those across the globe who care about their particular stories. 

Thanks so much ~ Shelly VanBinsbergen

 Florence, one of the care workers in Sukubva, Zimbabwe who brings the hope and love of Christ to the children and families she visits and cares for. 

Florence, one of the care workers in Sukubva, Zimbabwe who brings the hope and love of Christ to the children and families she visits and cares for. 


Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Place of Rescue

Thank you for your generosity to Place of Rescue Cambodia and the amazing work that they are doing in the lives of families living with HIV/AIDS, orphans and abandoned grannies. We raised just over $8,000 in one service to support Place of Rescue!  It was an honour to host the Place of Rescue dancers and Marie Ens last weekend - it really brought to light the stories of those who danced and those who are being cared for by Marie's amazing team of Cambodian leaders. A special thank you to all who hosted the kids in your homes...I don't know who had more fun...the hosts or the kids but from the stories you shared, it was a wonderful experience! Thank you again! 

Place of Rescue is one of our key international partner organizations and you can donate to them specifically at any time during the year using our Connect giving envelopes. As always, 100% of your offering goes directly to the organization you specify. 

 

 

Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Youth for Christ

 This is Kristin's update chart of giving! She's over 1/2 way to her goal for the month! Choose a number and donate that amount...

This is Kristin's update chart of giving! She's over 1/2 way to her goal for the month! Choose a number and donate that amount...

Many of you who have been coming to Connect will recognize our friend, Kristin Clark. Kristin is most often found either behind the media computer running the slides/video for our services or surrounded by a gaggle of giggling teenaged girls...or both. 

Kristin is a long time youth worker who serves in Saskatoon with Youth for Christ. Kristin is responsible to raise her own support for her full time position with YFC, which means that in addition to her time volunteering at Connect, she also mentors teenagers, develops and trains missions teams to serve in Belize, chaperones and facilitates spring break excursions for YFC and is integral to the D4 Youth Group that meets weekly at Rock of Ages Church, where many of our Connect youth attend youth group. 

This month, Kristin has set a fundraising goal of $5,000 and to achieve it, she needs 100 sponsors to choose one number on the chart pictured above and to donate that amount. So, you can pick any number that is not coloured in...and that's the amount you donate. You can donate online  here and just put Kristin's name in the message box. It's that easy and whether you donate $12, 39, or 87....it's up to you and will all help move Kristin closer to her goal and let her concentrate on what she does so amazingly well...serve the kids of Saskatoon!


Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause ~ Our Upcoming Global Serving Opportunities

You are invited to join Blaine Sylvester as he takes a team to experience Cambodia and the work that is happening throughout the country. Blaine is the head of Place of Rescue Foundation and he is also the son in law of our good friend, Marie Ens, who established Place of Rescue Cambodia. This is an amazing opportunity to go and visit and see firsthand the work that is happening in Cambodia. You will join other Canadians on a team that will go and serve and learn. Details below, please contact Blaine for any questions you may have. 

Dates: Depart Saskatoon,  evening of November 11 – Return to Saskatoon November 25 (late)

 

Cost: $3,500 CDN – Includes round trip airfare from Saskatoon, medical & cancelation insurance, all in country flights, bus transportation (we will rent our own private  bus) entry visa (we get it upon arrival in Cambodia)  entry fees to Angkor Wat, Killing Fields & other sites, hotels, all meals.

 

You will need to cover your own vaccinations (see your doctor or travel clinic) and passport costs. Passport must be valid until at least May 25, 2016.

 

Deadlines:

I need to know if you are coming by October 1.

I need the first half of the total by October 11 and the remainder by November 1.

Cheques payable to Place of Rescue Foundation. Box 27096, RPO Tuscany, Calgary, Alberta , T3L 2Y1

 

NOTE: If people donate towards your trip, they should NOT put your name on the cheque. Just add a note stating it is for your mission trip November 2015.

 

Itinerary: This is a vision trip as opposed to a work trip. We will listen, learn, ask questions, observe, encourage missionaries and pray. We will visit all 3 Place of Rescue orphanages and 3 House of Dreams university dorms. We will spend time with Marie Ens and with the kids at the orphanages.

 

We will visit other good ministries in Cambodia as well and get a sense of the real raw need and what is being done to meet those needs in Jesus’ name.

 

This is definitely not a tourist trip. Tourists go to be comfortable and to be served. You will  sometimes be uncomfortable with what you see in Cambodia (not in the tourist brochures) and you will go to serve missionaries and your new Cambodian friends.

 

Look forward to hearing from you with any questions you may have.

You can reach me at 403-973-5470.

 

Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Place of Rescue Cambodia

Marie Ens and her team of Cambodian dancers from Place of Rescue in Phnom Penh are now winging their way across the ocean to Canada. We are hosting them on Sunday, September 27th and they will be sharing their stories and their beautiful culture with us! 

We are looking for host homes for the night of Saturday the 26th. We have 6 girls to billet and 7 guys. If you would like to host 2 or 3 of these students for the evening and night and then bring them to church the next morning, we need to hear from you. Please email shelly@connectchurchyxe.com 

Thanks so much! 

Comment

Comment

September Series - Road Trip!

Summer 2015 may be in the books but this September, you are invited to join in on our new series "Road Trip" - we'll be looking at some of the Attention Grabbers, Warning Signs, and Directions of a journey with Christ is all about!  We are looking forward to seeing all of you this coming Sunday, September 13th at 10:30 am at TCU Place as we get back into the swing of things at Connect. Bring your friends, invite your neighbours....see you there!

 

Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Place of Rescue: Cambodian Dancers at Connect YXE

 

Partners in Hope

 

On Sunday, September 27th, Connect YXE will host a team of dancers aged 14-20 from Place of Rescue AIDS Centre and Orphanage in Cambodia. The team will perform a program of traditional dances and provide personal insight into the amazing work of Rescue.

 

Rescue was founded as a Cambodian NGO in 2003 by retired Canadian missionary Marie Ens.  At that time Place of Rescue 1 consisted of 15 houses for families dealing with AIDS.  12 years later, Rescue now has 3 campuses: home to 448 children, 30 destitute grannies and 26 AIDS families. There are also 3 university dorms. Rescue currently provides university and vocational training to 47 of their young adults, and supports an additional 30 families off site.

 

At Place of Rescue, some children live at the AIDS Centre with their HIV positive mothers, others were abandoned as children, and most are orphans. Some of the children have been at Place of Rescue since they were babies; all have come from tragic circumstances. At Place of Rescue children have a new kind and loving “house mom” and new siblings (nine other children living together in a house). Their lives have changed dramatically and they now have every opportunity for a good future.  

The dancers will be performing during our Sunday service time at 10:30 am at TCU Place. All are welcome to come and 100% of our offering will go to support Place of Rescue Cambodia. 

 For more information (including a complete tour schedule) please visit:www.rescuedancetour.com

 

POR Dancers Photo 2.jpg

Comment

1 Comment

Cambodia Team Update ~Place of Rescue

I just wanted to share a little of what our Cambodia team has been experiencing as they have travelled to Place of Rescue in Cambodia to serve. It's definitely the rainy season! Hot and humid with torrential downpours, yet it hasn't dampened their spirits at all. Jason VanBinsbergen and Kirsten Riebot, who are leading the team, have had nothing but good things to say about how well the kids are doing and how they have taken their role as teachers very seriously. It's not all work, work, work though as you can see from the photos, they have been having a lot of fun with their students at Place of Rescue! Please keep them in your prayers as they continue with their English classes this week and learn more about the work that is happening around Cambodia through many other organizations as well. 

  Students from Place of Rescue raise and lower the Cambodian flag each morning and afternoon 

Students from Place of Rescue raise and lower the Cambodian flag each morning and afternoon 

  There are no rain delays here in gym class...the kids just continue to play hard! 

There are no rain delays here in gym class...the kids just continue to play hard! 

 Jaida Buhr (l) and Kirsten Riebot team teach a small group of students during their school hours. 

Jaida Buhr (l) and Kirsten Riebot team teach a small group of students during their school hours. 

 Aidan and Brennan use a game to teach English skills to their students during class time. 

Aidan and Brennan use a game to teach English skills to their students during class time. 

 Kamerin Wiebe and two of her students during their English lessons.

Kamerin Wiebe and two of her students during their English lessons.

 (R-L)Kamerin, Jenessa, Jaida and Kirsten (front) and their students at Place of Rescue. 

(R-L)Kamerin, Jenessa, Jaida and Kirsten (front) and their students at Place of Rescue. 

 Brennan, Aidan and Jason...and their students seem to be getting along just fine.

Brennan, Aidan and Jason...and their students seem to be getting along just fine.

 Kirsten seems to have found a new friend at Place of Rescue. 

Kirsten seems to have found a new friend at Place of Rescue. 

1 Comment

Comment

Habitat for Humanity ~ Come hear what they are doing in our city!

Ever been curious about what Habitat for Humanity does? Have you ever thought it would be a great way to get involved in our city? If you are interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity, come out and hear first hand how your volunteer hours can help a family achieve their goals of having a safe, healthy place to live in Saskatoon. 

Habitat For Humanity - Volunteer Information Event
Monday August 10th at 2:00 pm
at 320 21st Street West


If you've ever been curious about volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, please come out for this information event where Shannon Durand, the Volunteer Coordinator at Habitat will go through some of Habitat's history, how they work as an organization, and how important volunteers are to the work that they do. If you would like to attend please sign up here. If you can't make it to this one don't worry just give Shannon a call or text at 306-281-6680  and she would be happy to meet with you one on one. having more If you have friends and family who are interested please extend this invitation to them as well, everyone is welcome!

Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Saskatoon Food Bank Community Garden

For many of us who live in Saskatchewan, planting a garden in the yard allows us the chance to connect with nature and watch our food grow right before our eyes. Yet, for many in the city, lack of yards or apartment living or even lack of funds for planting are obstacles to the joy of gardening. 

The Garden Patch is a community-driven urban agriculture initiative of the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre and is located in the 900 block of 3rd Ave. N in the heart of Saskatoon. Each year this vacant city-owned lot is transformed into a thriving green garden!

You can help out at the garden on Wednesdays from 4 - 8 as a drop in volunteer to help weed and harvest at the garden, with the produce going to the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre. 

GetInvolved.jpg

Grab your family or a group of friends and head out to the garden patch this summer! 

Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Update on Cambodia Team 2015

This summer, Connect Church is sending a team of young adults to Cambodia to facilitate an English camp for students at Place of Rescue. Place of Rescue is one of our Cause partners and I know from the response to having Marie Ens in our midst and hearing the stories of incredible life change in the children she is responsible for, that Place of Rescue has captured a place in the hearts of many Connect people! 

On July 29th, 5 students (Jaida Buhr, Brennan Hamm, Jenessa Martens, Kamerin Wiebe and Aidan VanBinsbergen) and two adults (Jason VanBinsbergen and Kirsten Reibot) will travel to Phnom Penh to teach English curriculum to students at Place of Rescue. These students need English skills to secure the opportunity of further education and/or gainful employment. Teaching English is the only position that any non-Cambodians hold at Place of Rescue and it is an important component for the kids' futures. Our students have been busy planning and preparing lesson plans under the guidance of David Sylvester and Kirsten Reibot (who is a teacher here in Saskatoon). They are planning activities and games that support the learning. This is a huge responsibility for these young adults and they are working really hard to ensure they are bringing their best to their Cambodian counterparts. 

Each team member has to raise $3500 for their involvement, flights, accommodations, and food. Right now, the team has raised nearly all of their funds for the trip. They have about $3000. to raise before July 29th to be finished. If you would like to support this team in their endeavour, and make a donation, there are several ways to do it. 

You can donate online at www.placeofrescue.com and make a note that it is for Connect Team.

You can do an online transfer to placeofrescue@shaw.ca and make a note that it is for Connect Team. 

I can arrange to pick up a donation via cheque or cash if you email me at shelly@connectchurchyxe.com. 

Let's send this team off well funded and ready for the work that lies ahead of them. I will update regularly about the team's trip here so check back through the first 3 weeks of August for updates. Also, Marie Ens will be bringing a team of Cambodian dancers to Connect on September 27th, 2015 ~ many of these students will be the same students that are being served by our team. We continue to grow this relationship and see the amazing work in both Cambodia and Saskatoon because of it. 

Thanks for being part of it!

~Shelly VanBinsbergen


Comment

15 Comments

Here's "The Scoop!"

Have you driven down 20th St lately and seen this little shack being built out of repurposed building materials from around the west side? Do you know what is going to happen this afternoon at the corner of 20th St and Ave B South? This scrappy little shack is going to open it's window and serve ice cream on 20th St. It's a small business called "The Scoop" and it is the vision come to life of my friend, Chris Randall. Chris is an incredibly kind man, a super cool dad who seriously takes his kids all over town on cool little adventures, a husband to a beautiful wife who is an amazing role model to many and who can bake like nobody's business...and a youth pastor. Chris ministers to kids that others would call "street kids" or "poor kids" or "rough kids" and he just calls them "his kids".  He has been a pillar on 20th Street at City Centre Church for years and he has a great ministry there called Street Force. One of the things he's aware of while working in his neighbourhood, is that it is difficult for "his kids" to be given a chance at a first job. So, the dream of "The Scoop" was born and with a lot of sweat and demolition and refurbishing and transporting of bits and pieces of architectural Riversdale to the empty lot on 20th, this sweet little shack was born. Today, this very afternoon, it opens to the public and I am telling you to go do something good for someone today and go buy ice cream. And then do it again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And do not let Jenny Craig or Richard Simmons stand in your way because the sweetest thing about this little shack on 20th and Ave B South is not the ice cream. It's the students and their youth pastor who have created their own jobs in the midst of their own neighbourhoods and they've done it on their own. Well done, Chris and kids...proud to share your story! I wish you every success as you begin this adventure in earnest today!  

15 Comments

Comment

Connect to Others, Connect to a Cause ~Hudson's Taphouse June 24th

To get tickets for this event, please email Shelly@connectchurchyxe.com or info@connectchurchyxe.com. Tickets must be confirmed by June 22, 2015. 

 

Hudson's Taphouse on 21st St, YXE

Burger Bar and Silent Auction

6 - 9 pm

Burger Bar opens at 6:30, Silent Auction bidding begins at 6, ends at 8:45. 

Burger Bar with Salad and a Drink ticket for $25 per person with proceeds going to support the team from Connect who are travelling to Zimbabwe with Hands at Work to serve in our partner community of Sukubva.  

Please confirm your tickets by no later than June 22, 2015 by emailing 

Shelly@connectchurchyxe.com or info@connectchurchyxe.com



Comment

Comment

Connect to a Cause - Wedzenai's Story

In 2012, our family spent a month living with a family in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The Gunhe family serve with Hands at Work and we volunteered alongside them, observing the incredible work that they oversee in two communities in Zimbabwe. One community, Sukubva, is probably one of the most challenging places I've ever worked. When we arrived in Africa, I had visions of us working in rural Africa, places I had visited before. I was unprepared for the type of poverty and difficult life that people in Sukubva were faced with.

Wedzenai and her brothers are one family who have stayed on my heart since meeting them years ago. They are beautiful, bright, well spoken kids, much the same age as my boys were upon meeting them.  Wedzenai and the boys were doing homework when we arrived though they were expecting us to visit them with their care worker, Rhoda. When we walked up, they greeted Rhoda as "Mama", which surprised me because often, care workers are referred to as "Aunty" as a term of endearment.  I realized though, through our visit, that Rhoda really had become their mother over the time that she had been coming to care for them. Living alone, these three kids were still grieving the recent death of their father. Their mother was gone long before he passed away, and when he died, they were left on their own to try to carry on with life. When Rhoda heard of these children, she went to visit them and helped enrol them in the newly formed community based program that Hands at Work was helping develop in Sukubva. Rhoda helped the children find suitable, safe renters for a couple of rooms in their father's home, allowing them enough income to stay on and live there. Every day the children go to school and then come to the care point to have a meal and get help with homework, play with other kids and find support from the care workers who love them. Rhoda visits them and helps them with the housework and chores that need to be taken care of. Her involvement in their life has allowed them to experience the love of a mother and to thrive in school, without the worry of day to day survival looming over them. Watching Rhoda and Wedzenai as the boys visited with Wedzenai's two brothers, I saw them talking about the plants outside of the house, just enjoying a shared interest and so comfortable with one another that had you walked by at that moment, you would believe you were watching a mother and her daughter having conversation. And in essence, that's exactly what you would have seen. 

We at Connect Church have committed to an ongoing relationship with the community care workers of Sukubva, Zimbabwe. The relationship goes beyond sending money, though that is an integral part of the continuing support for 50 children to receive home visits, daily meals and access to education. We want to learn the names of the children and the care workers and integrate them and ourselves into one body of believers who serve together from both sides of the world. Over the next months, we will be sharing some of the stories of the care workers and children in Sukubva, Zimbabwe. We will be taking a team to Sukubva in October 2015 and if you would like to be part of that, you can email shelly@connectchurchyxe.com. In the meantime, we just offer up their stories as evidence of the beautiful things that God is doing through believers much like ourselves, that when willing to serve selflessly, impact others far further than they could ever have imagined. 

 Kdaushe, Wedzenai, Nsimba and their care worker - "Mama" Rhoda. 

Kdaushe, Wedzenai, Nsimba and their care worker - "Mama" Rhoda. 


Comment

Comment

Baby Dedication - May 10, 2015

We have the sweetest future here at Connect with these young families dedicating their children to God. Join us as we support and pray for them - raising children is a huge responsibility and one that we as a church family should take on together. 


Comment