OC Director's Blog: September 2022 Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Tuesday, September 6, 2022
In 2006 I was running the PowerPoint presentation at a Movement of National African Initiatives (MANI) Conference in Kenya. It was a high-security event with hundreds of Christian leaders from all over the continent. Partway through one of the sessions, a security guard came and tapped me on the shoulder and said, “We have a problem.” I followed him out of the meeting hall, and he took me to their office, where the security team had detained an uninvited guest at our international conference. “This man says he knows you,” the guard exclaimed. I looked at the guest and immediately recognized my friend Paul from Delta, BC.
Paul came to the conference looking for me and was detained when he was seen on the grounds with a camera and no security pass. I quickly assured the security guards that Paul was safe, and he passed through the door to his freedom. We had a quick visit before he carried on with his ministry trip. Last week Paul passed through another doorway to freedom. This time he was immediately recognized as he entered the presence of Jesus. Paul’s name was on the guest list, the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Paul is the father of my sister-in-law, Julie Kraft. Paul was a retired pastor and missionary who never stopped being on call for Jesus. I spent some time with Paul in his final days at the hospice. We prayed, read scripture, took communion, and laughed together. On my last visit with Paul, I asked him if he had a favorite passage of scripture that he would like me to read. He replied pretty quickly that John 3:16 was his favorite. He said, “It’s a great verse because it covers everything we need to know.”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Paul marched to a different drummer in this life. You might say that some of his behavior was odd or awkward. Reflecting on his life today, I recognize why some things seemed odd. Paul Loved the Lord with all his heart and loved his neighbors as himself. Paul did not squander an opportunity to demonstrate love to strangers or to share the gospel with someone. He truly followed the Holy Spirit’s leading in his life, even when it was awkward or uncomfortable. He is deeply missed by family and friends today, but I hope that we will carry on some of his legacy; loving one another.
Outreach Canada is launching a new quarterly theme, Making Disciples. We will feature blogs and stories about disciple-making, the heart of our ministry. We are working with a couple of Disciple Making Networks in Asia, where we have seen phenomenal growth. One of our team leaders started last year with one group and is now overseeing over 180 Discovery Bible Studies in six nations. We are praying that God will launch similar movements here in Canada.
New Team Members!
We are pleased to welcome some new team members this month.
Jonathan Luesink is joining us after serving for many years as a pastor and missionary. He and his wife served with Avant in Prague, and for the last several years, he has been working on a home assignment in Canada. Jon is joining our team to focus on supporting and expanding Disciple Making Movements (DMM) in Canada. Our first goal is to see a trained practitioner of DMM principles in each of Canada’s 338 electoral districts by 2025. Jon will work with several other Outreach Canada team members to coordinate, catalyze, and coach this new network.
Tony and Tiffany Carmichael are also joining our Outreach Canada team and will be deployed shortly to Africa. Tony and Tiffany will be serving with Magezi Ministries in Bethlehem, South Africa. They are going out on a two-year assignment to assist with children and youth ministry. This is a strategic partnership with our good friends Dan and Janell Hartley (Heather and I served with the Hartleys when we were in Africa).
Outreach Canada has continued to grow this year. We currently have twenty-eight full-time staff and around seventy part-time and bi-vocational staff members (a good portion of these part-time staff run our summer programs for missionary families and kids). God continues to bless our team and provide us with outstanding team members.
Please continue to pray for Outreach Canada and our individual missionaries. We are moving into a full season this fall. God continues to provide new opportunities for us to serve our nation. Many of our team members are support raising right now. We are dependent on the financial support of our partners to continue the great work that God has called us to. If you would like to learn how you can support the ministry of Outreach Canada, please check out our online giving page.
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.