Saturday, March 31, 2007

Refugee rights week kickoff in Thorncliffe!

Next week, April 2nd to 5th, is Refugee Rights Week. And what better place to kick the week off than Thorncliffe Park!! Here's the media advisory
Councillor Janet Davis will join community organizations to launch Refugee Rights Week on Monday, April 2 at 5 p.m. at the Thorncliffe Youth Centre located at 45 Overlea Blvd.
I'll be headin over, wanna come with me?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Q1 SHOUT online!!

Wow, it has really been a roller-coaster ride for us since we sent out our last newsletter. We've been to PEI and back, I was in Atlanta and Pakistan and now I'm very excited to report that God is faithful and we've landed on our feet here in Thorncliffe Park!

Click on one of the links below to read our first quarter report for 2007, and don't forget to 'McPray' as we get started here :)

Word document (709KB) - click here
Adobe Acrobat PDF file (782KB) - click here

If you haven't received one of our prayer magnets yet, please email or leave a comment and we'll get one to you right away. Now that we are back on the ground just email or come visit, we'd love to see you :) Thanks again to everyone for all your love and support! We've really appreciated it!

The sayings of Lukas v33

The other day we were walking when I heard a sad little voice:

Lukas: Daddy, I wish Grampy (from PEI) was still here
Daddy: Oh Lukas, we'll see him again soon don't be sad
Lukas: No, not because I'm sad! Because he has the Clifford game on his computer!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Donation station

Just a quick note for all those who have been asking about 'how we're doing' financially. As of April 1st donations can be sent to Leaside Bible Chapel for our personal support! We're pretty excited about this as things are...well...getting a bit tight. We have appreciated everyone who has supported us in the past and soon I'll be sending out some long overdue thank-you cards. Thanks to everyone for hangin in there during this transition. Here's the details:

Leaside Bible Chapel
826 Eglinton Ave, E.
Toronto, Ontario
M4G 2L1

Make cheques out
TO: Leaside Bible Chapel
FOR: 'Cuthills personal support' in the memo line

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More Thorncliffe

Dave just sent me this article -
click here-
about the challenges Thorncliffe Park School has to deal with each day:
Rallying about 1,700 students under the age of 12 into a school every day doesn’t sound like an easy feat but Canada’s largest elementary school is finding ways to successfully curb traffic congestion and safety issues on a daily basis....About 97 percent of the student population lives on Thorncliffe Dr., and half of them are scurrying across the street each day, said Pfeffer...School assemblies will generally occur three times in order to accomodate every class.

Wednesday prayer requests - Shooting in Thorncliffe

Last night a man was shot here across from our building in the parking lot of the mall. 680 news reports that he is expected to survive.
Please pray for this person, as well as the area, that shootings would not increase as summer approaches. It seems that as the temperature goes up so does the violence in these inner-city neighbourhoods.

*UPDATE - here is the Toronto Star article

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday's hot topics - Co-habitation

A question was posed on the forum:
Is co-habitation against the bible?
That is a tough question considering the implied promiscuity involved in today's culture. Some have posted saying co-habitation is allowed in some circumstances, like when Elijah lived with a widow. Others take a hard stance and say that we should be beyond reproach and never be in this situation. I've personally known friends who lived together before they were married and claim 'nothing happened'. What do you think? Post your thoughts here on the forum!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Parenting 101

Driving in the car today Lukas spoke up:

Mommy, why do we have to wear shoes on our feet when we're outside?

Can you think of a good answer?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday prayer requests - Happy Norouz!! (Persian new year)

Happy Persian New Year everyone! When we lived in Greece I vividly remember attending a Newroz/Norouz celebration held by many Persians who had fled Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. These dear friends in Greece had recently embraced Jesus as their saviour and they were enjoying their first new year as a little church. This trend seems to be sweeping the Persian world. Just recently I received this email:

One of Iran's top Islamic leaders accepted Christ after watching Christian satellite TV for two years. Pastor Elnathan Baghestani, who with his wife provides 24/7 Christian programming into Iran and the Middle East, says the imam contacted Iran for Christ counselors and prayed to receive Christ in early February. "This man knows all the verses of the Koran by heart. After he began watching, doubt began in his heart about the Islamic faith." The man then spent 9 months in prison for questioning the violence of radical Islam. Now, after numerous death threats, he has escaped the country. He believes several other religious leaders he knows may follow suit. While it is illegal to own satellite dishes in Iran, many hide them on their roofs or other locations. Notes Baghestani, "God is shaking the foundation of Islam in Iran." [ANS, 9 March '07]
Pray that many Iranians would welcome the 2007 Norouz (new year) with a new life from Jesus!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday's hot topics - Are you a Be-Leafer??

Here in Toronto we have the curse of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the greatest and worst hockey team all rolled into one. You see, the leafs have not won a Stanley Cup for 40 years now. While many of us hold out hope, the current season is drawing to a close and the Leafs playoff hopes are dwindling. A poll on the forum asks "Will The Leafs Win The Cup In Your Lifetime?". Currently 87% say no. How do you feel about the Leafs? Do you think the leafs will make the playoffs this year? Are you a Be-Leafer?? Click here to post your thoughts on the love/hate relationship with the Leafs

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Sudanese ceremonial singing

Here's a video Hilary took on Saturday night here in Thorncliffe. Hilary was staying with us over her March break and we were at Eid's house for the 'blessing' of his new baby Amit. The party erupted into singing as Eid whacked on the coffee table to create a sweet beat...

See if you can count how long Mohammed holds the one note for

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fill in the blanks - Volume 1

Lying in bed tonight I thought of a new feature for the athensBLOG called - Fill in the blanks. It's almost midnight now, so it might take me a while to develop this feature, but here's the idea. I'll take a common Bible passage and remove some key cultural details in order to make a 'blank' for you my readers to 'fill in', in order for the passage to have more of a modern, cultural context. Make sense? Here goes:

John 4:20-21:

20-Woman: Our fathers worshiped _________ (insert location #1),
but you ________ (group of people) claim that the place where we must worship is ___________ (location #2)."

21-Jesus: "Believe me a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither ________ (location #1) nor in _________ (location #2).

23-True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth

Think you can come up with something to go in the blanks? Just click on 'comment', retype the passage and 'fill in the blanks'!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The sayings of Lukas v32

This past Monday Lukas resumed Kindergarten at Bridlegrove! I drove him up for his first day and we started talking.

Daddy: So Lukas, are you excited to see your old friends again?
Lukas: (smirking) Stephen and his gang will be destroyed! Muhahahaha

Can't wait till he's a teenager!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wednesday prayer requests - Funding & Pakistan

Found this picture on Josh Duffy's blog - here. Made me think about how much (or little) I give to those who are working for God.

Also, Imran gives a very interesting perspective - here - on the emotions involved in someone who leaves Pakistan for another country. Pray for those who are adjusting to life in Canada, especially in the Thorncliffe Park area.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday's hot topics - Why was Adam alone?

I had a thought the other day which I posted on the forum - here. Was marriage and the family unit included in God's original design? If so, why did he create Adam alone then say it wasn't good that he was alone and then create woman? Thoughts?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Need a title v28

Snapped this picture down by Sick Kids hospital. Can anyone think of a good title?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Facial hair vanishing act

Alright, I'll admit it. The facial hair post a few days back prompted an outcry. I had no choice but to unleash the scissors on my months-old beard and moustache. It's gone. All gone. Are you all happy now??? :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wednesday prayer requests - the Blind mover and the Arabic lady

As I reported last week we have moved into Thorncliffe Park here in Toronto. We are adjusting to this sweet neighbhourhood, and on Saturday it was moving day. This was the first time a blind man had helped me move! Quite an experience. I've posted a video of us stomping the ice to make a path for the moving truck. Please pray for us as we move in and connect. Already people are coming across our path. Last night we were at the food court of the mall and a lady spotted Hayley's necklace that I bought in Pakistan. "I can read that!" the lady exclaimed "It's in Arabic...It says Isa, or Jesus in English". Pray that the name of Jesus would spread in this neighbourhood.

Monday, March 05, 2007

More missionfest!

Well the hot topics will have to wait until we're all moved in. Things are going well but we don't have phone/internet at home so I'm blogging here from my parents. I wanted to add a story from MissionFest that I thought was pretty cool. Next to our booth was the Freedom Village booth. Freedom Village is home for troubled teens in the states - click here. Standing there I looked over and saw on the front of one of their brochures the face of one of our old Bridlegrove youth Andrew!!! Andrew is featured on the Freedom Village website - click here to read his story. He used to live down the street until he ran away from home. You can read about him in our Q2 2004 report. When he did run away/get kicked out, he left us his basketball net that some of you may have seen outside of the house at Bridlegrove. This is an encouragement to all of you who are working with kids who you're concerned about. God has a way of finding them. Just pour in loads of love and pray hard. You never know what God will do :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bolton at the Booth

Before I could even get the pictures loaded on my laptop, Jerry Bolton has posted pictures and videos of missionfest on his blog - here. Jerry came down to help at the booth, promoting the George Verwer event on April 21st as well as helping us move in! It was quite a weekend and I'll be posting videos soon but for now check out Jerry's blog - click here.