Category Archives: Current Events

A Phone Call From Nepal: Local Leader Shares What Life is Like now

Luke McKee is Communications Coordinator  for Partners International Canada. This week, he hosted a phone call with Bhim Lai, a partner in Nepal.  Bhim Lal shared what life is like right now in the earthquake-stricken nation.

Since early in the morning on April 25, 2015, Bhim Lal’s life has changed. As the director of Good Friends of Nepal he has dedicated much of his life to sharing the love of Christ to a country that has not heard the Good News.

Bhim Lal in better days in Nepal.
Bhim Lal in better days in Nepal.

Since 1996 Bhim Lal and Good Friends of Nepal has grown from four Church plants to over 150, with hundreds of baptisms taking place. They have also been able to operate an orphanage, as well as reach others through the development of a literacy class. Bhim Lal’s work and life have made an incredible impact on the community that surrounds him. The New Vision Orphanage Home serves 20 children in Kathmandu, providing them with food, clothing and education. Good Friends of Nepal was expanding, transforming hearts and lives around the country.

On April 25th that all changed.

As a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck near Kathmandu in Nepal, Bhim Lal and his family were forced into the streets as houses began to crumble and thousands were trapped in the rubble, calling out for help.

In the days that would follow, aftershocks and tremors between 4.0 and 6.1 magnitude continued to devastate Kathmandu destroying homes, streets and lives.

We were able to connect with Bhim Lal from the Partners International Canada headquarters in Brampton within hours of earthquake striking and the scene that he described to us was a scene of sadness and loss.

With all of the building damages, Bhim Lal and his family were amongst the thousands who would spend the night in the streets, with his children sleeping inside of their car while he and his wife slept outside.

In our phone conversation Bhim Lal said he could hear people crying out for help, the situation remained chaotic and people began to simply try and survive as they waited for help to arrive.

Aid agencies across the country immediately mobilized to provide relief to those in Nepal.

For some organizations that means serving the immediate needs of those on the ground, for others plans began to take shape that promote mid to long term recovery.
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Myths About Disaster Relief: World Vision’s New President Weighs In

World Vision Canada’s incoming president and CEO Michael Messenger is on the ground in Nepal supporting World Vision’s emergency response to last Saturday’s devastating earthquake. Prior to his departure, Michael reflected on a few common myths about how aid agencies respond to a disaster of this magnitude:

MYTH #1: Good intentions always produce good results

Consider this: would you prefer to have life-saving surgery done by a friend who loves you? Or a highly skilled surgeon with years of training? The same is true when it comes to the logistics, skills, and experience needed to execute a relief effort in the days and weeks following a disaster.

World Vision incoming President Michael Messenger in Nepal
World Vision incoming President Michael Messenger in Nepal

Seeing Nepal’s death toll skyrocket past 5,000 is devastating and many generous hearts want to do more than just donate money. But while motivated by good intentions, their efforts can be counter-productive. Independent food and clothing donations can clog up the supply line and while volunteers can help, relief staff often have enough on their plate without training, coordinating and translating for them.
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EFC Webinar Tackles Huge Issue

Last week, Bruce Clemenger, president of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), sat down with Karen Stiller, a senior editor of Faith Today, to talk about euthanasia.Needle photo

We had an invisible audience, those who had signed up and listened in on the EFC’s first foray into the world of webinars.

We had been talking about webinars for a while — thinking they would be an effective way to both offer and receive wisdom, insight and action points on some of the crucial issues facing Canada today.

The issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide was the final push for us to complete a crash course on webinars, sit down in front of two microphones and our laptops (being careful not to spill our giant glasses of water of course) and have a conversation  we thought was important.

Just over two months ago, the Supreme Court of Canada  in a unanimous ruling, struck down Canada’s laws surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Court ruled that the law that made it illegal for anyone to help people end their own lives should be amended to allow doctors to help in specific situations.

The court has given federal and provincial governments 12 months to craft legislation to respond to that ruling. If the government doesn’t write a new law, the court’s exemption for physicians will become the new status-quo in Canada.

Euthanasia and sanctity of life issues are some of the most pressing challenges facing Canadians and parliamentarians today.

The EFC  has long been a voice for the sanctity of life, and a voice against euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. And Faith Today is a magazine where we try to translate some of these issues into features and news pieces that serve and inform our readers along the way. The webinar brought those worlds together. It is posted now for anyone to listen to. We will have more coming down the pipe.

Listen here.

Watch for the May/June issue of Faith Today as we explore the ethics of euthanasia and Canada’s “seismic shift” with ethicist and columnist Margaret Somerville. Subscribe today!

The Alarming Loss of Freedom of Speech on Canadian Campuses

 by John Carpay

“I can’t stand what you’re saying, therefore I will silence you.”

This sentiment is rapidly becoming the normal practice at Canada’s public universities, which accept mob rule as a way to censor controversial ideas on campus. 1221_lady-justice-150x150

Christie Blatchford was invited to speak at the University of Waterloo about her book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, but loud, unruly “protesters” forced the cancellation of this event in 2010. U-Waterloo’s president, Dr. Hamdullahpur, learned nothing from this incident, allowing MP Stephen Woodworth to be shouted down by “protesters” in 2013, while campus security watched passively.

In April 2014, the University of Ottawa condoned the forcible shut down of a presentation by Dr. Janice Fiamengo, by “activists” who disagreed with her opinions against radical feminism. This was consistent, of course, with Ottawa-U previously allowing a mob to prevent a scheduled speaking event with controversial author Ann Coulter from taking place.

Men’s Issues Awareness events at the University of Toronto and elsewhere have been blocked, disrupted and effectively shut down. Alternatively, the university administration censors these events by permitting them to proceed only if the campus club pays hundreds of dollars in “security fees” to cover the real or potential risk posed by obstructionists who disagree with the club’s viewpoint.

Last week’s physical blocking of a pro-life display at the University of Alberta, with disruptive protesters hiding it from view entirely, is the latest example of mob censorship that is condoned by university presidents.
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Looking for God in Ottawa Tragedy

By Craig Macartney

National War Memorial in Ottawa

Christmas is a time of reflection. As Christians, we reflect on the coming of Christ as light in a dark world. Many people also use the time to reflect on events of the past year. Christmas is an incredible time of hope, but reflections this year will be tainted with the still-fresh memories of terror attacks in Quebec and Ottawa.

On October 22 Michael Zehaf-Bibeau drove to the National War Memorial and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Zehaf-Bibeau then forced his way into the Centre Block of Parliament before being killed in a firefight.

The attack came two days after another home-grown, radicalized Islamist had used a car to run down two Canadian soldiers in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and injuring the other.

Beneath the surface of such tragic events, I believe another story is visible for those who are willing to see: the story of God’s love and protection.

Zehaf-Bibeau’s first shot missed. The next two shots hit Cirillo. Before heading to Parliament, Zehaf-Bibeau fired a fourth shot, aimed at the other soldier standing guard. He missed again.
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Prostitution Laws Just Moral Enough

By John Cassells

When Peter MacKay reported earlier this year that prostitution is “very corrosive” to our society, many scoffed at his moral stand. Though he hadn’t started the debate, MacKay was in the middle of it when the Supreme Court ruled our prostitution laws unconstitutional last Christmas.

Now that new prostitution laws are in place, clearly, the federal justice minister got the last word.

It all started in 2007 when York University’s Alan Young sought to have Canada’s three main prostitution laws overturned in a case called Bedford versus Canada. Young’s hope was to legalize brothels, suggesting it might a way to increase safety for prostitutes. He also asked that the so-called pimping law (living off the avails) and public solicitation constraints be stricken from the law books.

Among those who countered Young’s arguments were The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Christian Legal Fellowship, the Catholic Civil Rights League and REAL Women of Canada. While it became apparent that the old laws were not very effective, it was to the dismay of Evangelicals across the country that the Supreme Court sided with Young.

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