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  • Training Location Underway

    SBC Blog

    Training Location Underway

    This post has been reproduced with permission from Rick's personal blog, Dust on my shoes... To be directed to Rick's blog, please click here.

    It's been a busy week here in the California Baja of Mexico, where volunteer Rich Howard and I have been getting a start on Mercy Tech's latest training venture. In cooperation with One Life One Chance, we are preparing to start an automotive training program that will bring hope to local young men who would otherwise not have access to skills training of this nature.

    Our main objectives to this point have been to pour a concrete slab where we can repair vehicles, and to also begin bringing in the tools and equipment needed for the training sessions. What follows are photos of the progress we've been making here. Thanks for following along, and I'll give a more complete update when we wrap things up here at the end of the week.

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    Okay, that's a taste of what we've been up to. I start training our first two students tomorrow, and as we look ahead, we'll be needing more tools and shop equipment, along with some automotive instructors to add to our roster.

    One last photo...just to show that the Baja isn't all about concrete, dust, and work!

    MTM Nov 2014 14

    Adios, amigos.


  • Our Vision

    SBC Blog

    Our Vision

    Leadership board letter teaser 2Imagine with me that you are a young married couple with two kids and your marriage is in trouble. The communication has broken down, arguing occurs daily and all of your friends tell you that it is better to be divorced and happy than married and miserable. You want to make your marriage work and so you try to see a counselor and are shocked to discover that the fees range between $100- 200.00 an hour. Given the depth of the issues and the history, you will need to see the counselor at least ten times to start with. You don’t have the money, don’t have any benefits to cover part of the costs and therefore you decide that you can’t afford it. The cycle of conflict escalates and then your partner either asks you to move out or you just don’t bother going home anymore.

    One more marriage fails.

    Imagine that you are a single parent; you are working two part time jobs, juggling the needs of the kids and doing your best to pay the bills and keep some sense of “normal” as a single parent family. Then the car breaks down. Your credit cards are already maxed out, the bill for the repair is almost two thousand dollars and you can’t pay it. You desperately need the car to get the kids to school and get yourself to work. You decide to take out another credit card and go even deeper in debt in hopes that someday you will find freedom.

    One more family goes deeper into financial bondage.

    Imagine that you have an adult child and their marriage has just failed. You have poured your love into both your child and your child by love. You love your grandchildren, but you know that no matter what assurances are given, it will never be the same. Even worse, you don’t know why the marriage failed. When you ask you get vague answers and finally you discover that your adult child is an addict. It could be drugs, alcohol, pornography or sex. Whatever the addiction is, they cannot stop and their addiction has destroyed yet another marriage and family.

    One more addiction has destroyed a family.

    These stories are not fiction. They are real stories of people connected to our church family. They are just a few of the many stories of brokenness and pain, heartache and sin, longing and desperate needs. One of the greatest challenges we have as a church family right now is that we don’t have the resources, space or time to help any of these people. We can pray, encourage, love and hope for better days. We can listen; care; serve; and attempt to speak truth - but so much more is needed.

    Now imagine that there is a place that these people and many others can go to. A Family Care Centre where affordable counseling is available; where vehicles can be repaired by volunteer mechanics; where pathways to freedom from addictions can be found. Imagine a place with a community resource closet with food, clothing and household goods. Imagine a place where classes and resources addressing parenting, life skills, finances, marriage, grandparenting and freedom can be found. Imagine recovery ministries that heal and restore as people walk through the valley of grief, divorce, separation and loss. Imagine a prayer centre for healing, hope and encouragement. Imagine a place where children, youth, adults and seniors are welcome.

    Imagine a place where the needs of life and the grace of God intersect.

    Such a place would address the needs of people well beyond Summerland. People with desperate family and life needs from Peachland, Penticton, Kaleden, and Naramata would come because frankly there is no other place for them to go.

    As I seek the heart of God and attempt to listen to the voice of Jesus this is what I hear him calling us toward: A Family Care Centre – where the needs of life and the grace of God intersect. In such a place the tide of brokenness and addictions will begin to turn and rather than hearing every week of one more failing marriage and one more imploding family we will hear the stories of one more marriage restored and one more family healed.

    How do we get there?

    That is what our vision journey is all about. We don’t know the specific details but we know the direction. It is why we are meeting, praying and talking about both our immediate and long term needs. It is why we are dreaming and exploring the options that are available to us. We are not thinking about the needs of 2014 but the needs of 2020 and beyond. We are not thinking about Summerland but about the South Okanagan. We are not just talking about the space needs of 2014- 15 but the need to change a culture and a trajectory. It is why we are asking you to pray, serve, give and join us as we follow Jesus together.

    We believe that we can be a people and a place where the needs of life and grace of God intersect. Will you join us?


  • A Response to 'What Now?'

    SBC Blog C&F Youth

    A Response to 'What Now?'

    Hemorrhaging Faith fb

    Recently we had James Penner and his team share with us at 'What Now?', a one-day conference on what leaders and parents can do in response to the exodus of young adults from the church. Below I have collected some of the great “take aways” from those that attended.

    What is one thing you learned about millennial health/discipleship?

    “I learned that Millennials are different because they have been brought up in a totally different social culture than me, being a boomer. It is impossible for them, as it is for everyone, to see the world from a viewpoint that they have never learned or experienced.”

    “The need to connect older and younger generations.”

    “Millennials need approval of their mentors whenever they endeavor to search for answers and they learn best if they get gentle guidance within their own terms and life experience. Millennials learn from their parents and do what they see in the family. ”

    “It is experiential. The focus is on the relationship.”

    “To see them as having the spark within to be lit, not a vessel to cram full.”

    What is one thing you plan to do differently about millennial health/discipleship as a result of the conference?

    “I plan to listen more and learn about the lens that they are seeing the world through. I would like to understand their logic for factors such as prolonged adolescence and their need for "freedom".”

    “To be intentional about connecting meaningfully with younger adults.”

    “Keep encouraging parents to be involved actively in their own faith.”

     If you attended this event and would like to add further comments, please feel free to use the comment section below.

  • Next Chapter, New Location

    SBC Blog

    Next Chapter, New Location

    This post has been reproduced with permission from Rick's personal blog, Dust on my shoes... To be directed to Rick's blog, please click here.

    If you've been following our blog, you'll know that most of the past 3 or 4 years have been spent teaching trades in Mozambique in Southern Africa. But I'm excited to announce that Mercy Tech Mission will be starting a second training location that's a lot closer to home, and therefore easier for some volunteers to get involved.

    On November 9th, I and Rich Howard (volunteer from Summerland, BC) will be travelling to San Quintin, on the California Baja in Mexico. As you'll see on the map, San Quintin is the red dot about 7 hours driving time south of San Diego, California.

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    Rich and I will be there for two weeks setting up the training area for a mechanics program that will start in March, 2015. Our first job will be to oversee the building of a concrete pad (hopefully with some shade!) where we can begin teaching young guys how to repair and maintain vehicles. As you can see from my last trip down, the work area will be a big upgrade from fixing cars in the driveway dirt.

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    Our work is being done in partnership with One Life One Chance, a Canadian charity who owns this 17-acre mission base in Mexico. One of the main staff people that I'll be working with is Isaias Valsquez who manages the base and its maintenance. He is also a local pastor with a small church about 45 minutes north. Isaias and his wife Ana are a great couple with servant hearts and I look forward to meeting the future students with him and seeing what we can do to help young men get training, find better jobs, and begin taking care of their families in ways they never could before.

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    Proper training takes proper equipment, so we will also be purchasing some of the mechanics tools and shop equipment needed for the teaching program. So if anyone can help out with donations towards that end, it would be really appreciated. You can make your donations on our Mercy Tech Mission website.

    One of the good things about starting a training site in Mexico is that it will be a lot easier to take along donated tools, whereas it was difficult in the past to transport heavy things to Africa. So any shops out there that are upgrading, but have some good used equipment to donate, be sure to let us know.

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    Thanks again for following the ongoing work of Mercy Tech Mission, where we believe in changing lives, one skill at a time. Until next time, adios, and I'll be sure to have a taco on your behalf! 

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