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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

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The Gift of Honour on Mother’s Day

Mary, Did You Know?

Edhird's Blog

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Mother Mary is the world’s most famous mother.  Her son Jesus  honoured her while being crucified by passing on the care of his mother to the Apostle John.  In one of the seven last words from the cross, Jesus said: “Dear woman, behold your son, and to John: “Here is your mother.”  What an amazing honour and privilege that Jesus was giving John: to look after his mother.  How would you like to have been asked to look after the blessed Mother Mary?

Jesus, who loved the Bible, rooted his life in the Ten Commandments.  At the heart of the Ten Commandments is the call to honour our mothers.  To honour is to love, to value and to cherish.  Mother’s Day reminds us that we need to honour our mothers 365 days a year, not just for 24 hours in May.  The Good Book…

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Mothers Are Irreplaceable

Happy Mother’s Day:)

Edhird's Blog

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Everyday there are computers being invented that take over more and more of our traditional functions. Many jobs that we take for granted will have totally disappeared within 20 years, due to technological advance. I am convinced that there is one position in life that can never be replaced by advances in technology: the position of mother. Think of your own mother for a moment. What series of machines or computers could ever take her place? What social bureaucracy could ever fill in for a mother’s warmth, caring, and reliability? Thank God for the wonderful gift of women who really care for their sons and daughters. Thank God for the security and rootedness that comes from having a mom who welcomes you home.

The more mature I become, the more I appreciate how much my own mother has given to me. My sense of well being, of basic…

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Angus Reid: 85% of Canadians Still Pray

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Does prayer still have a future in Canada?  At the 50th BC Leadership Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Angus Reid the keynote speaker gave us the latest Angus Reid Institute results from polling 1500 Canadians on prayer.  Held at the Vancouver Hyatt Regency, dignitaries like our Premier Christie Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson brought greetings to over 1,000 BC leaders.  Angus Reid, a well-known Canadian pollster, informed us that while weekly church attendance has dropped from 56% in 1966 to 15%, 85% of Canadians still pray, at least occasionally.  Reid found that weekly prayer by 40% of Canadians (12 million people) has remained relatively constant over the past century.  70% of Canadians who pray frequently say that their prayers are answered always or often, in contrast to just 25% of Canadians who pray infrequently.  Frequent pray-ers, said Reid, focus more on thanksgiving than in just asking for help.  Contrary to some snobbish stereotypes, he also found that university-educated Canadians (33%) are more likely to pray daily than high school dropouts (26%).  Reid’s data showed that new immigrants are twice as likely to be frequently prayers as native-born Canadians. This confirms my experience that new immigrants are much more open to the gospel and attending church than often jaded Canadians who come from a Christian heritage. It is no wonder that, according to Jonathan Bird of the Vancouver Consultation, one third of Vancouver churches conduct their worship in languages other than English.

Of particular interest was Reid’s discovery that childhood prayer greatly shapes one’s likeliness for praying as an adult: “If you prayed frequently as a child, the chance that you would be a non-prayer today is 7 percent (i.e 93% would be praying adults). If you didn’t pray as a child, the odds that you would be a frequent prayer today is 6 percent (i.e. 94% would be non-praying adults).   This reminds me as to how faith survived in Russia during the seventy years of atheistic communism.  The key was grandparents who taught their grandchildren how to pray even when their children were officially forbidden to attend Sunday School.  Many Canadian parents have bought into the tragic idea that it is better to not expose children to religion or church until they are adults, when they can ‘make up their own mind’.

Even though I did not meet Jesus until age 17, I was blessed to be taught to pray as a child by my mom, as well as in Sunday School.  Prayer was something that I linked with remembering one’s family before going to sleep, and in saying grace at the dining room table when my nana came to visit.  Imagine how we might shape the future of Canada if we invested in helping the new generation learn how to pray.  If we will prayerfully strengthen the new generation, then prayer will have a Canadian future.   Lord, teach us to pray.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-an article to be published in the Light Magazine

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. TheBattle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of theBattle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide

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Check out the brand new Alpha Film series Episode 01


You are encouraged to check out the brand new ‪#‎Alpha‬ Film Series | Episode 01: Is There More To Life Than This? It has the integrity of the original Alpha Course videos, set in a wonderful new media backdrop. Pray about showing this to your friends, family, neighbours or coworkers in the context of a meal.

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A great North Shore News article about Hilary King & Embrace Rwanda

Embrace Rwanda making a difference in Africa

North Vancouver-based charity still growing after 10 years

Christine Lyon / North Shore News
April 13, 2016 09:09 AM

North Vancouver resident and Embrace Rwanda executive director Hilary King holds a Rwandan baby during one of her many visits to the African country.

In 2006, in a small hospital in rural southern Rwanda, a premature baby lay curled up in a washing bowl next to a wood stove to keep warm.

It was a sight Hilary King will never forget. At the time, the North Vancouver resident was working at Lions Gate Hospital. The contrast of seeing a nursery in the town of Kigeme was eye opening.

“That was just a turning point for me because inside my heart I was saying, ‘It doesn’t have to be like this.’ It was so extreme compared to what we have in North America,” recalls King, who was touring the Rwandan health care facility with a Lower Mainland Anglican church group.

King realized she didn’t have the capacity to raise funds for a brand new hospital for the community. But she did have experience in community development.

“My experience was telling me that maybe if we went further upstream to help these moms to stay healthy during their pregnancy, we would prevent the premature babies and the infant and maternal deaths that were very evident at that point,” she says.

That’s how Embrace Rwanda was born. King, the founder and executive director of the charitable organization, started things off by establishing the Healthy Mum’s Project in 2008. The program helps mothers through pregnancy by offering consultations with health workers and giving a goat to each mother to help provide better nutrition and a source of income. King saw positive change within a year.
“It was just amazing to see how women were following through with the advice they were given around hygiene and nutrition,” she says.

From there, the charity expanded its service offerings. As the babies grew into toddlers, Embrace Rwanda introduced an Early Childhood Education project to prepare young children for primary school and give them a foundation in English – the language used in Rwandan schools.

“We realized that it’s fine to help moms during pregnancy, but if that family and if that child is going to have a really good start, they need more attention during that first 1,000 days – that’s the crucial time for early childhood development,” King says.

Soon after that, Embrace Rwanda set up a vocational training centre to teach useful trades to adults, and an economic development program that organize micro-loans to help residents start small businesses.
From its beginnings, Embrace Rwanda has expanded to serve 11 districts of Rwanda (there are 30 in total). In its first year, the Healthy Mum’s Project helped 200 mothers. That number exploded to more than 2,700 mothers in 2015. Just last year, the charity was registered as an international non-government organization.

Currently, about 130 Rwandan staff run the various programs. King, who takes no salary, travels to the country twice a year at her own expense with a team of volunteers from Canada, the U.S. and U.K. These volunteers have backgrounds in health care, education and construction and help to train the Rwandan staff.

“The whole idea is not to go there and do things for people, or even to send people from Canada to work there. We encourage training so that local people are then employed,” King explains, admitting that making the programs self-sustainable is a challenge. “When people are coming from abject poverty, it’s difficult for them to quickly move into sustainability.”

King has travelled to other developing countries, but was particularly struck by the situation of Rwanda, a country which is still recovering from the 1994 genocide more than two decades later.

“It’s a country that was totally devastated during the genocide and the moms in these rural communities don’t have any other support because they’ve lost their mothers, their grandmothers, their aunties,” King says.

There is still a great deal of emotional trauma, she explains, and suspicion among neighbours leaves many people feeling isolated. As such, Embrace Rwanda is just now starting Healing the Next Generation, a program intended to help residents deal with lasting emotional trauma.

Asked what has kept her motivated to help out for the last 10 years, King doesn’t hesitate to answer.

“Each time I go I just see lives being transformed and I hear the women giving testimonies of how their lives have changed,” she says.

Visit embracerwanda.org for more information on Embrace Rwanda or to make a donation.  
© 2016 North Shore News

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/community/embrace-rwanda-making-a-difference-in-africa-1.2230078#sthash.VpFFJ0RC.dpuf


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Just Imagine: Marcia Laycock’s endorsement of Restoring Health

by Marcia Laycock

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is a book that will both challenge and encourage the spiritual leaders of our day. It will also inspire those who are just blossoming, those who are on the edge of their destinies.

In his book Rev. Ed Hird uses Titus, the Apostle Paul’s second in command, as a template. As he moves swiftly and eloquently through one of the smaller and often neglected books of the Bible, Rev. Hird lays out a pattern that can be followed today. The parallels with the first century church Titus helped establish and the struggles we face in our churches today are startling and undeniable.

Rev. Hird states – “If the wisdom in the 45-sentence book of Titus can revolutionize a pirate island, it can even transform a pirate continent like North America. Signs of our North American toxicity include gun violence and the insanity of the shooters, obesity when there is no shortage of food, and a wealth of communication tools while many are no longer talking any more.”

“I have become convinced that North America desperately needs to recover from its toxicity, and that the key to restoring its health is found in strengthening a new generation of holistically healthy leaders, as illustrated in the person of Titus.”

The Second in Rev. Hird’s series,

Strengthening a New Generation of Healthy Leaders, this book is endorsed by such notable spiritual leaders as Dr. J. I Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College and Peter H. Davids, Ph.D. Visiting Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University.

Rev. Hird ponders – Imagine what would happen if every congregation had a Titus in their midst. Imagine what would happen if tens of thousands of healthy Tituses were strengthened and released throughout the pirate continent of North America and to the ends of the earth.

Imagine what could happen if every church leader in the country read this book.

-A book review by Marcia Lee FrontLaycock

– author of A Traveller’s Advisory: stories of God’s grace along the way

-Marcia was raised on an island off the north shore of Lake Huron, ran away to Alaska and then the Yukon, had a “road to Mayo” conversion in 1982, leaped by faith into Briercrest Bible College with her husband in 1985 and landed in the “promised land” of central Alberta in 1988.

She also had the privilege of living a few miles south of the Arctic Circle (Dawson City Yukon) and a couple of degrees south of the equator (Papua New Guinea).

smooth_stone_cvr_alt4For the past thirty some years, she’s been a pastor’s wife, mother of three girls, caretaker of two dogs, two cats and sundry fish, and oh, yes, a freelance writer.

She now has two award-winning novels in print as well as three devotional books. Her ebooks are available on www.smashwords.com and some on Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc.

Marcia is honored to have served on the executive of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, been a long-time member of The Word Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers, and been privileged to teach for some of these groups.

She is also a sought-after speaker for women’s retreats and one day events, having spoken widely for Stonecroft Ministries. You can contact her for available dates and topics.

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Embrace Rwanda Doing Justice

St. Simon’s and Justice Globally


EmbraceRwanda_JusticeDr Tim Keller memorably commented: “A life poured out in deeds of service to the poor is the inevitable sign of real, true, justifying, gospel-faith. Grace makes you just.”  One of our St. Simon’s NV missionaries who embodies this heart for restorative justice and reconciliation is Hilary King, Executive Director of Embrace Rwanda.  After seventeen mission trips to Rwanda, Hilary is building on the reconciliation work that was already started after the genocide and is seeing significant healing between the formerly warring tribal groups.  Instead of doing genocide, they are doing justice and forgiveness with their neighbours who had often taken the lives of their closest family members.  Instead of bitterness and hatred, they are taking part in shared projects involving microbusinesses, early childhood education, and maternal health.  Embrace Rwanda is living proof that Christ-centered mission can radically change lives, making them more just and loving.  Thousands of families are living out a more godly, holistic life, because of the missional commitment to justice by Embrace Rwanda.  One participant Jeanne says, “I feel accepted now. I have learned many new things. We share stories about our lives and I have learnt how to improve my farming and to prepare a balanced diet for my family. I have seen my child gain weight. I see the importance of saving money and am even comfortable going to the bank now. The tailoring I learnt enabled me to make this dress and the shirt for my boy. I now have a dress shop business. We study the Bible. It has taught us how to live in our community in peace with one another”.

Rwanda Mission Trip 2011 046Doing justice with Embrace Rwanda involves helping unemployed impoverished people to earn a living through vocational training.  The local Rwanda governments are recognizing the value of the local Embrace Rwanda Vocational Training Centres and the gift of tool kits to get the new graduates started in their businesses. The Nyamagabe District representative commented, “This is unbelievable, to give a student the required skills and knowledge and at the same time equipping him or her with the basic needs to start a job!”  One girl joyfully commented, “When I joined this school of construction, I was fearing that I could not make it. Thanks be to God for Embrace Rwanda that empowered me. I will make sure I value the skills and knowledge I got”.

This ministry of justice and reconciliation began in 2006 when Hilary noticed that many mothers were unable because of malnutrition to carry their babies to full term. In response, Embrace Rwanda birthed the Healthy Mums Project, in which mothers from eleven local districts of Rwanda receive a goat and materials to start a kitchen garden, using the goat manure to produce healthy vegetables.  As a result, many Rwandan mothers are now able to bring their babies to full term, with a significant reduction in the death of mothers and babies.  Doing justice involves many aspects of life, including birthing preschools in local chapels, a significant innovation in Rwandan culture.  With the active support of the local Rwandan Mothers’ Unions, Embrace Rwanda is doing justice in assisting women in starting Credit and Savings associations.  Hilary King commented: “Embrace Rwanda is not about going into a community and telling them what to do.  It’s more enabling them to decide what they need to do, assisting them to do it, and seeing that they can make the progress themselves.  As a result, the women in the Embrace Rwanda Projects have ownership of their activities.  They feel empowered. In fact their neighbours notice the difference. They feel important in the community now.”  Almost all the women, involved with Embrace Rwanda, were affected in some way or another by the genocide. Through Embrace Rwanda, their shame and trauma has been replaced with a sense of acceptance and love.  The Gospel of Jesus’ love, justice, and reconciliation is making a practical difference in the lives of thousands of Rwandan women and families.  You are invited to check out two well produced online films on the Embrace Rwanda website at www.embracerwanda.org

Ag_EmbraceRwandaThe Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector
St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver
Anglican Mission in Canada


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