By Wentworth Pike
Canada’s Action International Ministries (ACTION) has moved from Three Hills to Calgary. Dr. Wayne Whitbourne, ACTION Canada Director, led 40 friends from the three westernmost provinces and Washington State in a dedication service of the Mission’s new office at 3015A 21st St. NE on Saturday, June 3, 2006.
Doug Nichols, International Director, came from Mountlake Terrace, Washington, to deliver the dedicatory speech. He challenged the group with staggering statistics about street children, AIDS orphans and children in crisis in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the South and North American continents. Nichols acknowledged that mind-boggling figures cause some people to say, “What can we do about so many?” ACTION personnel, however, “get in there and do SOMETHING!”
He spoke of King David’s “mighty men,” one of whom, Shammah, defended Israel against the Philistines as he stood “in a bean patch.” Doug’s text from
2 Samuel 23:11-12, “So the Lord brought about a great victory,” motivated missionaries, administrators, board members, and prayer supporters to serve God faithfully wherever he has put them.
Dr. Whitbourne introduced ACTION Canada Board Members: Dr. Abraham Ninan, Chairman, Regina, SK; Mrs. Jutta Wittmeier, Vice Chairman, Calgary, AB; Dr. Steve Ibbotson, Secretary, Three Hills, AB; Mr. Ron Reynolds, Treasurer, Pambrun, SK; Mr. Ray Olson, Three Hills, AB; Mr. Chris Vetter, Caronport, SK.
Mr. David Linden of Calgary led in the prayer of dedication.
Some of the reasons for the move to Calgary are:
Calgary, with a much larger population and rapid growth, affords more opportunities to recruit new missionaries, attract volunteers, and expose more churches to ACTION’s ministries.
As an urban-focused mission, it is more appropriate to be in a larger urban center that facilitates the training and orientation of future urban missionaries.
Moving to Calgary will reduce overhead expenses. Although labour is higher, the difference should be absorbed by savings on office costs.
Calgary has several Bible Colleges, including Alliance University College, Alliance Biblical Seminary, Rocky Mountain College, Alberta Bible College and Nazarene Bible College. Just outside the city is the Southern Baptist Seminary. The office is still only 1 ½ hours from Prairie Bible College in Three Hills. These offer opportunities for recruiting new missionaries and gaining more prayer partners.
ACTION’s recruitment is no longer centralized in Three Hills; recruiters are in Red Deer, Manitoba, and Cape Breton with plans to have someone for Ontario and British Colombia.
Today, 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. By the year 2050, it will be 79%. ACTION has a deep commitment to the urban world, “the greatest missionary frontier.”
Cities influence even those who live in rural areas; decisions made in cities influence us wherever we live. Around the world, poor people looking for a better life stream into cities daily. Immigrants arrive in cities to engage in new culture and to begin new lives; wealth, commerce and technology co-exist with poverty and exploitation. The world’s major cities are in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. ACTION’s commitment is to serve in these cities.
If the world is to be impacted, we need to see transformation take place in the cities. The Apostle Paul worked in the cities so the gospel could influence the nations. One writer said, “We began in a garden—Eden—but will end up in a city—the New Jerusalem.”
Dr. Whitbourne says, “Calgary, a wonderful city in which to be based, also faces multiplied urban realities, as in cities where we minister globally. We trust that living and serving in this multicultural, rapidly expanding city will contribute to maintaining our vision to see the cities of the world transformed. Without the partnership of Christians in Calgary we would not be able to carry out our vision of ‘Reaching the urban poor in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.’”
Based on percentages of national population, ACTION Canada contributes more missionaries than any of ACTION’s other sending nations. The ACTION Canada office has been in Three Hills approximately 20 years. Before that it was in Innisfail for about one year. Action International Ministries, envisioned in Manila, Philippines, in 1972, started in the USA in 1974.
The Mission’s goals center around three key ministries: Evangelism, Discipleship and Development. The needs of street children and the poor in Manila that prompted ACTION’s beginnings thirty years ago have multiplied internationally with the advent of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. ACTION has correspondingly grown to more than 200 missionaries in many countries in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe and North America. Active missionaries’ ages range from 20 to the late 70’s. Cooperating with existing evangelical churches and national Christians in developing countries, ACTION provides food, homes, schools and camps for children and families, as well as seminars, books and study materials for pastors.
In Gulu, Uganda, ACTION is building and administering child mothers’ homes for rescued or escaped victims of the rebel army that kidnapped and ravaged the young girls. In Seattle, volunteers and Mission personnel are preparing a container of supplies such as bicycles, books, study Bibles, and computers for pastors and Christian workers, as well as medicines, clothing, children’s books and school supplies for the sick and needy. In Red Deer, Alberta, Martin and Lorna Scholz are preparing to take two Canadian teams to the Philippines this summer to assist the poor in developing appropriate technologies for sustainable healthy families.
Friends will find a ready welcome from Jennifer Reinhart (Administrative Assistant), John Kooistra (Accounts Receiptor), and Wayne Whitbourne (Canadian Director) at ACTION’s new location: 3015A 21st Street NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7T1; tel.: (403) 204-1421; fax: (403)204-1501; web site: www.actioncanada.org.
ACTION USA: PO Box 398, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0398 * Tel. 425-775-4800 * [email protected]
ACTION Canada: 3015 A 21st Street. NE, Calgary T2E 7T1 Alberta*Tel: 403- 204-1421*
ACTION United Kingdom: PO Box 144, Wallasey, Wirral CH445WE * Tel.
0151-630-2451 * [email protected] (Registered Charity 1058661)
ACTION NEW ZEALAND: PO Box 8929, Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand *
ACTION Philippines: PO Box 110, Greenhills Post Office, 1502 Metro Manila *
Tel. 632-531-3709 * [email protected]