New church looks to broaden horizons
Helping those in need is more than writing a cheque
Photo by Jose Manuel Rios Valiente/Flickr.
WINNIPEG, MB—Pastor Justin Bradbury articulates the reasons he and his wife, Angela, are thrilled to be in partnership with the Wesleyan Church in church planting.
They share a desire for genuine Christianity that takes seriously that call of God in both Old and New Testaments, to care for the “foreigners, widows, orphans among you” and to do it beyond just “sending a cheque to a mission agency.”
Angela’s research revealed government services for immigrants couldn’t provide the building of relational networks with Canadians. The International Friendship Centre in Winnipeg opened December 2013. Just over a year later, New Horizon Church (NHC) began worship services.
Bradbury is excited about helping Canadian-born Christians, immigrant families and international students learn together to develop real lasting relationships and friendship with Christ at the centre.
During the week, providing help with resumés, English conversation and other basic supports are the norm. Friday evening cooking sessions have proven popular, with newer Canadians, particularly the men, eager to share their traditional foods and culinary heritage. International students and immigrant families are also taught to cook Canadian foods.
Younger, enthusiastic retirees and others from the congregation are willing to jump in and help. Even if they are not sure at first how to help provide the psychological, emotional and spiritual support needed by those who have left behind all that is familiar to come to Canada, they are learning.
Christian volunteers from other churches are welcome to assist with projects. Summer plans include visiting farms and going to the beach to further enhance newcomers’ Canadian experiences.
The large number of churches in Winnipeg may lead to a perception that church planting is not needed. However, says Bradbury, “When established churches become comfortable within themselves and do not continually seek to reach non-Christians for Jesus, then church planting is all the more necessary.”
The Wesleyan Church tradition of integrating spiritual and physical ministry, without overlooking the realities of sin and broken lives, is evident at NHC. The church is optimistic about God’s grace. “There is no limit to what God can do in a person’s life,” Bradbury says.
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