OC Director's Blog: July 2022 Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Wednesday, July 6, 2022
God is at work in Canada.
2021 Annual Report is now available online.
The religious landscape is changing in Canada. More and more people are identifying as non-religious. The church does not hold its position of hope and prominence as it once did in our culture. Younger Canadians are even less likely to see Christian churches positively contributing to society. However, there is still a spiritual hunger in people. Many churches and mission organizations have been experimenting with new ways to share the gospel with people who are repelled by stereotypical ideas of what the church is.
Discovery Bible Study (DBS) is one of the methods that is successful in reaching the unchurched with the Gospel in Canada and worldwide. One of our missionaries could not return to her field of service when we were under the Covid travel restrictions. She decided to start a DBS with a few friends. One small group eventually became two, then four, and then eight. Our missionary was leading groups virtually and training others to lead groups. Within one year, her initial group in Vancouver had grown to 125 individual groups, meeting in five different countries, including Myanmar, Korea, Bangladesh, and others.
At a time when many of us have given up on evangelism because the soil seems to be so hard, God is still at work. He still calls us to be faithful and find contextually relevant ways to share the gospel and make disciples. Outreach Canada has been working with DBS methods for several years, but we are now shifting to make this a more prominent tool in our toolbox. We are doing significant training with our staff this year and are ready to provide training for you and your church to become part of a new disciple-making movement in Canada.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” – Romans 10:14-15
OC Ministry in Person!
After a long season of virtual and micro-events, we are back into full swing this summer, with several camps and events going on across the country. Summer is always a busy season for our MORE team (this is our missionary member care team). The MORE Network consists of about 40 Canadian missionary sending organizations. We developed this partnership to work and share resources to provide excellent care for all our missionaries and their families. We are so much stronger when we work together.
In addition to the regular coaching, counseling, and debriefing services that we share, in the summer, we run special camps for missionary kids who are repatriating to Canada after growing up overseas. We call them TCKs (Third Culture Kids) because they are neither fully Canadian nor fully connected with the native culture where they have grown up. Returning to Canada after growing up overseas can be very challenging. Transitioning from a foreign, boarding, or home school situation into a Canadian university is intimidating. We run two ReBoot camps every year for graduating high school students. This summer, we will be running two camps, one in Alberta and one in Ontario.
A few years ago, we added a new option for older TCKs called Wilderness ReBoot. As the name implies, this one is for a smaller group, and it happens in the wilderness, where young adults can break away from daily routines to find a new rhythm with God and their peers.
Our third set of events this summer is ReView. It is kind of like ReBoot, but for families. We will also run two ReViews this summer, one in Alberta and one in Ontario. Altogether we have close to one hundred missionaries participating in these events, and we are so happy to do them together in person.
Some other exciting news! Outreach Canada is just starting to serve a new client with our Corporate Chaplains. We have hired and trained a new chaplain who will be starting at Stapleton Sausage Co. Corporate Chaplains Canada is working on a new website and new materials for presenting our service to potential clients. If you know someone who might be interested in having a corporate chaplain, let me know.
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.