OC Director's Blog: May 2022 Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Wednesday, May 4, 2022
So much has happened in April that it's hard to know where to start with this newsletter. So, I will begin with the most exciting news. Heather and I became grandparents on April 27th to Beatrice Marjorie Kraft. She decided to arrive on the very day that I predicted, which was also the first day of our OC Team Retreat in the mountains. Unfortunately, only Joel and Melissa were allowed to be at the hospital for the birth, but Joel kept us posted. Things happened fast, and Bea was born just after 7:30 in the evening.
Joel and Melissa are doing well and adjusting to parenthood. They spent 24 hours at the hospital before returning home. Now they are adjusting to life without sleep.
As I met my granddaughter for the first time, I couldn't help but think of Judges 2 and the importance of passing our faith to the next generation.
"After that whole generation have been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord." -Judges 2:10-11
We continue to pray for our children and now for their children. We have a great responsibility to raise the next generation well, so they will know the Lord and what he has done for us!
Outreach Canada News
Last week we had our annual staff retreat, and it was great to have forty of our team members all together in the same place. Because of our growth over the past few years and no retreats during Covid, eighteen people were at our retreat for the first time!
We heard so many exciting and encouraging reports from our team members. The number of churches and leaders served by OC continues to grow. Last year 1,558 individuals participated in our leadership training events, we coached or mentored over 100 individuals, and we had 130 seminary students enrolled in our courses.
We are also expanding our many partnerships. Our Member Care department is now helping care for missionaries from close to forty different mission agencies. We partnered with 113 other organizations or ministries in the past year, and it has been exciting to see new groups asking if they can work with us.
Our Social Media and Communications team has been busy. We have now posted over 200 blogs by fifty different authors. Currently, 27% of all the traffic on our website is to our blog. We have already had over 1,100 visitors to our blog this year.
This is excellent growth for something that we just started at the beginning of the pandemic.
Our ministry impact overseas is also growing. For example, this year, we are providing substantial funding for the training of church planters among unreached people groups in South East Asia. In addition, one of our team members started a network of Discovery Bible Studies that has grown to over 100 groups meeting across four different countries in Asia.
In the weeks to come, we will produce our 2021 Annual Report with more information, but 2021 was a significant financial year. We are debt-free as a mission, and we finished the year with a bounty to carry us forward into the new year and the new opportunities that abound in our rapidly changing world.
Canada is rapidly accelerating down the path of secularism. Canadian churches have lost much of their voice and influence in our society, yet there are great opportunities for us as the church does a post-pandemic reset. We pursue more simple Discovery Bible Studies opportunities, and our team engages with new Canadians. Canada is welcoming many refugees right now, and we are also receiving many Christians who are migrating here from other locations. These are all great opportunities for the Canadian Church
Outreach Canada continues to follow our simple strategy of:
- Recognizing critical needs and opportunities for discipleship and leadership development in Canada.
- Responding with innovation and relevance
- Rallying the full Body of Christ toward cooperative solutions.
Dr. Craig Kraft is the Executive Director of Outreach Canada. After 15 years of pastoral ministry in western Canada, Craig, with his wife Heather, served with OC in southern Africa before returning to lead the ministry in Canada. Craig is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS and a graduate of Asia Graduate School of Theology with a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. His study has focused on diaspora missiology in Canada. His dissertation explores the potential for revitalizing Canadian churches through the practice of biblical hospitality with refugees and immigrants. Craig loves to watch sports, work in the yard & spend time in the woods.