Our EAPE newsletters tend to be filled with all kinds of positive words. This is because we sense God at work, doing great things through our young mission workers and teachers who are serving in cities across North America and in several developing countries. Nevertheless, I want you to know that we have our times of trouble and sorrow.

Colin McCartney

Colin and family before surgery.

One example is found in the recently created program in Toronto, Ontario, called Connect Leadership Ministries. The executive director, Colin McCartney, had to undergo a very serious operation on his back. He is recovering, but the recovery is slow. In spite of this, he and his wife, Judith, have carried on their work with great effectiveness.

In case you don’t remember, Connect Leadership Ministries is a program designed to revitalize dying inner-city churches. EAPE is burdened by the reality that many urban churches are dying and we are committed to work with Connect Leadership Ministries to do something about that. This ministry recruits young men and women in their twenties who are willing to give at least a year as part of a team serving out of an inner-city church that has possibilities for rebirth. This is a program that enables each church, with the help of Connect Leadership Ministries’ workers, to reach those who live in the vicinity through a combination of door-to-door visitation, evangelism, and youth and Sunday school programs, in places where they haven’t existed for years. At the same time it provides pastors with the encouragement and support they need to prevent burnout and help sustain their ministries.

Connect Leadership Ministries

The exodus of the church only heightens the prevalence of criminal activity, drugs, gangs and other social problems.

EAPE knows from sociological studies, that as good as urban youth programs may be, unless those who are reached by these programs are integrated into churches, the likelihood of them continuing on in constructive Christian living will be seriously in question. Parachurch organizations have long-term effectiveness only if they are able to bring the young people and children they serve into a church fellowship that will nurture and sustain them in the years that lie ahead—after they pass their teenage years.

If you know some young people, particularly those who are just coming out of college and have not yet settled into normative vocations, why not tell them about this program and have them get in touch with me? I can link them up with Connect Leadership Ministries. A year or two serving with a team of fellow Christians and being nurtured by people like Colin will make them into mature Christians able to serve the Church for years and years to come.

Pray for all of our work, but especially for Colin and Judith and their ministry in Toronto. Thank you for enabling so much to be happening in the name of Jesus. Please continue to give and help keep them and all our urban missionaries and teachers continue their work for God’s Kingdom.