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The Story behind the Abuse Overture

The letter to the attorney begins, “I am Wesley Heersink's brother, Stan... It is with frustration and disappointment that I am writing this letter to you now. The letters we have written to the church leadership go unanswered...”

As soon as I read that sentence, I thought: “Leadership has to respond to an overture. Write an overture.”

Students, Be Who You Are

It’s the beginning of a new school year. I work at a higher education institution, so this time of year means interactions aplenty with parents of new college students, as well as new students themselves.

A Humble Hustle

This year I took a leap of faith. I’m starting a new season of life and taking a humbling journey of hustling to be a social entrepreneur.

No Carbon Tax and No Plan

In the hundreds of conversations I’ve had about climate change, hope, and stewardship, the talk inevitably turns to politics. Rightly so. There is a lot we can do in our own homes, but we also look for guidance and direction from our governments: local, provincial, and federal. Recycling and waste recovery programs tend to be local, whereas larger programs like green energy generation and carbon taxes are left to the provinces or the federal government.

Fighting Hunger Can Be Awkward

A simple Google search for “main causes of food insecurity” pulls up a list of some things that one might expect. Drought. Pests. Poverty. Climate change. Conflict. Corruption. And so on.

Most people are aware that many people around the world are hungry. We see non-profits raising awareness about hunger issues, hashtags about ending hunger, and celebrities fighting for causes.

If many of us took a minute to ask ourselves why people are hungry, I’m sure we could come up with some of the answers that Google gave us. All these answers are very true.

The Temptation of Comfort

Strolling along the seaside town of Sai Kung, Hong Kong recently, I had a significant conversation with two of my wife’s cousins, both in their early 30’s. I have been visiting Hong Kong with Yee Lam since the handover of the colony from British control back to China in 1997, visiting with these girls since they were young. We used to visit every two years, but four years have gone by since we last were in Hong Kong. We were talking about how much has changed in both our countries, and our hearts, since we had last talked face to face.

Praying for North Korea

“You’re Korean? I fought in the Korean War.”

Students at Calvin Seminary are taught the ABCs of writing and preaching sermons that are biblically grounded and theologically Reformed. They are also given the option to put their education to use by providing pulpit supply to CRC congregations all throughout West Michigan and beyond.

The Dignity of Work for Refugees

He came to us in dire straits.

Joseph wasn’t the name his mother gave him when he was born in Darfur—it’s the name he took on when he was baptized after coming and receiving medical help in this Middle Eastern country. His story as a refugee is full of twists and turns, starting with his flight, as an injured university student, from the authorities he was protesting.

His story as a refugee is full of twists and turns.

And the end has yet to be written.

From the Chains of Trafficking to the Ties of Christian Community

In March 2018 a bold decree was made by Oba Ewuare II, the traditional ruler of the kingdom of Benin (located in southern Nigeria). Oba Ewuare II was upset that his beloved kingdom had received negative international press regarding the high numbers of women and girls who are coerced into trafficking and sexual exploitation and “bound” to their traffickers through voodoo juju rituals, so he decreed that all victims of these rituals are free.

“Now we are part of a community”: Youhanna, Yosra, & Abeer

Youhanna and Yosra, and their four adult children Martin, Alen, Aiden, and Abeer are from Qaraqosh, Iraq. In 2014 they were forced to flee their home when ISIS invaded and destroyed their predominantly Christian area. After spending several years in asylum in Lebanon, they had the good fortune of being sponsored to come to Canada by Harvest Bible Chapel. Martin arrived in September of 2017 and the rest of the family arrived in January of 2018.

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