In ONMB Updates

ONMB Newsletter | July Issue

Greetings Friends,

A year ago, I was walking the Camino de Santiago captivated by the beauty and wonder of Spain. Little did I know that God was recalibrating the lens through which I have come to view life. Was it preparation for the unbelievable changes and upheaval impacting our entire world just a few months later? Possibly. What I do know is that this summer we are all on a pilgrimage fraught with untravelled terrain and deep valleys. How does one navigate such a treacherous journey?

Let me offer three ways that I’m finding to be helpful:

• Choose a posture of deep listening...

In a recent webinar “How Our Understanding of Change can help us now” by Cam Taylor (Transitional Leadership Network), I was struck by a graph/roadmap. It depicts the route we all navigate in our attempt to climb the next mountain. We must first pass through the valley fraught with internal resistance, emotional uncertainty, denial, fear, depression, before surrender and acceptance take hold.

Where would you plot yourself at this moment?

If navigating COVID-19 was not enough our society is concurrently wrestling with deep seeded Racism. How does one listen deeply before voicing a word? How does one authentically accept one’s role in this problem, and move in the direction of personal and organizational growth? Danielle Strickland recently posted a helpful image that I believe captures a healthy trajectory toward becoming Anti-Racist.

Where would you plot yourself on this graph?

Listening can also come through reading more. One thought provoking new book is “The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American churches complicity in Racism” by Jemar Tisby. You might just want to take a look at this book with me. I’d love to hear what you learn! Beware, as it may be quite unsettling.

• Choose to live by faith...

2 Cor. 5:7 is short and to the point: “For we live by faith, not by sight.” What steps of faith are you are taking right now? One tangible step I took recently was to renew my Nexus Card. At a time where I’m not crossing the border into the US nor doing any air travel, I renewed my Card. Why? For me it was an act of faith. We will travel again. We will see family again. We will move to a new normal in the days ahead. I have to believe this!

• Choose to be generous...

I can also live generously at this moment. As so many are struggling with loss of jobs, uncertainties, and financial challenge, I can choose to be generous with what God has given me. Let me offer to you one great practical way to make a difference right now:

Camp Crossroads needs our help! This summer as Camping has been scuttled, there is a real financial crisis looming for Camp. I’ve asked Andrew Hiebert – the Executive Director of Crossroads, to briefly update us:

40 years ago, God brought together the Ontario MB Church community and provided miraculously to purchase the Camp Crossroads property in Torrance. Today we are seeing God rally the camp community once again. When the Ontario Government cancelled all overnight camps for this summer we knew we needed to cancel our Day Camp and Family Camp programs as well. We praise God that despite not running any programs since the end of February, we were able to return all camper fees and preserve our capital campaign funds without going into debt. This was accomplished through a combination of generous donor support and implementing all possible cost-saving measures. We are grateful for all the camper families who donated a portion of their fees (i.e. just over 50% of families gave for a total of about 26% of the fees we had received), and for those former staff who have joined the Summer Staff Challenge to collectively give just over $17000, in addition to other generous donors who continue to support Camp. Our cost-savings measures have included laying off 4 full-time staff in April, conserving energy, deferring costs where possible and working to sell items that camp no longer needs (e.g. old vehicles, 2 RV’s, older boats, etc.) 

Despite our best efforts, the reality is that we need your help to meet the fixed costs of running a property this large. While we are still hoping to run retreats at Camp this fall, we’ve already had groups postpone and cancel and we realize that fall retreats might not be possible. Our projected fixed costs to the end of this calendar year are approximately $175,000.00. Would you consider donating to our GENERAL OPERATING expenses so we can continue to pay our bills and plan for a great winter retreat season? Thank-you for your prayerful consideration. I would be happy to connect personally to answer any questions you might have, and look forward to the next time we can host you at Camp Crossroads.

Andrew Hiebert 
Executive Director
Cell: 705-641-1519

Listening with a posture to grow, living by faith, and sharing from a generous spirit will help us be Kingdom citizens in this moment. May God use us for his glory during these challenging days!
On mission with you,


Ed Willms,
Executive Director

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