Several pioneers with MB Mission who have had a significant impact on our global mission work have recently gone on to their eternal reward. Both James Wiebe and Ernie Friesen were gifted leaders, faithful servants and mentors within our mission family.
James and Lois Wiebe served from 1962-1993. James is recognized as the church planter who led in our commitment to reach the Brazilians of Sao Paolo. Over the space of 31 years, James and Lois Wiebe planted or replanted 4 churches, mentored numerous leaders and modeled lives focused on living and sharing the gospel. One of their mentees, Vic Wiens, noted, “James was influential and well-received as a pastor, educator, conference leader and Christian school board member. His ministry was foundational for the growing family of MB churches not only in Sao Paulo, but throughout southern Brazil.”
Ernie and Elsie Friesen served with MB Mission in Colombia from 1955-1969 and Spain from 1976-1981. Ernie later served as the Board Chair of MB Mission in the 1990’s. Harold Ens, MB Mission General Director from 1991-2004, shared a heartfelt and moving tribute to Ernie at the recent memorial service. In his tribute he noted, “We’ve often reflected on how Ernie and Elsie became the models for our own 40 years of mission related service. Helen particularly remembers the powerful and sincere nature of Ernie’s prayers in Spanish. She says it was like he knew really well the one he was praying to!” A love for people and a deeper love for the Lord, marked these dear servants! (please email me if you’re interested in receiving the complete copy of this tribute to Ernie Friesen)
This September we are welcoming another strong group of potential pioneer church planters who are entering our “Mission Training and Equipping” program. Since 2004 we have mobilized 76 mission workers in over 10 teams, motivated by the same urgency that James and Ernie experienced to share and live the gospel amongst those who have never heard the name of Jesus.
This new generation of church planting teams needs your prayers, support and encouragement as they take up the mission baton and run with perseverance the race marked out for them. So many have gone before us in this mission call. “Remember your leaders, who have spoken the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Heb. 13:7)
Missionary Training & Equipping is starting up again this month with 6 couples and 2 singles joining us for training. Pray for this group as they lean into God and look to the future with plans of going overseas long term. Pray for wisdom and discernment in making decisions about team formation and locations.
ACTION and church teams joined with churches in Mexico to run VBS (Vacation Bible School) for kids, sports camps, and an English camp this summer! The VBS camp hosted by the RETO Church in Guadalajara was attended by 56 children and lots of youth came to the soccer camp. Many children and youth chose to follow Jesus! Their parents were also impacted and many asked for a visit or to study the Bible with the pastors of the church. Pray that these seeds would take root and grow!
Items for Prayer
Praise God - Team C4 recently moved to France where they will be church planting and resourcing leaders! Pray for a smooth transition as they adjust to a new language and culture. Pray for good communication between team members and with partners in France. Pray also that God will give them vision and excitement for the work they will be engaged in.
Pray for the South Asia team. Some team members are already in the country while others are preparing to go. Pray that their support would be fully provided and that the necessary visas would be granted. Pray that all of the details would come together for language training and finding places to live. Pray for growth and passion in the churches in South Asia.