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Back into the swing of things

This post is part of a series about the work I’m doing in the office of Ethnos Canada. Check out the first post for an intro to the series.


It’s been some time now since my last post about my work in the office of Ethnos Canada. Most of that is due to our July trip to California. It was a great trip visiting supporting churches, friends and family! We’ve been back for a few weeks while it’s been a busy month, we’re happy to be home.

My last post talked about the new members’ site that I was working on. It’s currently being tested and has been well received, thank you for your prayers for that project! I’m thankful to have put together something that serves our team. Next month, all going well, we’ll replace the old site with this new one.

This week I’ve got a number of projects to push forward including Facebook Ads for our ebook, From Darkness to Light and newsletter sign up sheets for our members who visit churches. We’re also beginning preliminary planning of a refresh for ethnos.ca. On top of that, I’ve also got all of my regular system maintenance to keep up with.

Thanks for your prayers as we work to equip our fellow missionaries in order to see thriving churches for every people group!

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Work on the members site begins

This post is part of a series about the work I’m doing in the office of Ethnos Canada. Check out the first post for an intro to the series.


Last week I began work on Ethnos Canada’s new members site which I mentioned last week. It’s longer than most of my projects and my hope is that by doing enough up-front research and planning we’ll end up with something that serves the team well and is built efficiently. We’ll probably be using WordPress and a few key plugins; possibly BuddyPress. I have a new whiteboard in my office and have loved brainstorming and mind-mapping on it. It works really well with how I think; it’s often the best way to find a solution to a problem or to be creative.

This week I’ll be pausing that project and building a new system for onboarding Volunteer Reps. Volunteer Reps are people who are excited about the work that Ethnos Canada is doing and would like to represent us in their community by speaking at events, going to missions conferences, etc. It’s a great way to get people involved who can’t train and join full-time but still want to give some of their time to be a part of seeing a thriving church for every people group.

Alongside my bigger projects I’ll be keeping up with regular system maintenance, keeping data clean and providing our reps who represent Ethnos Canada with the info they need before an event.

Thank you all for your part in allowing me to be here doing what I do! We appreciate your support!

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FirstStory and a Members’ Site

This post is part of a series about the work I’m doing in the office of Ethnos Canada. Check out the first post for an intro to the series.


It’s been a few weeks so my last post about the work going on in the office of Ethnos Canada – that probably means we’ve been quite busy! Last week my main project was an application system for missionaries wanting to work with a new ministry we’ve started in Canada called FirstStory. In case you’re not familiar with it, FirstStory is our ministry to the First Peoples of Canada. FirstStory has been excitedly received by many and is growing quickly! Part of that growth means increasing the size of our team. Missionaries from Ethnos Canada partners around the world are interesting in coming to Canada to join the team.

My job was to put together a way for the FirstStory team to interact with those applicants, screen them, provide them with the right information at the right time and when applicable make sure they have the documentation necessary to come to Canada.

This week I’m beginning a large project – rejuvenating and updating our members’ website. This will be a place for us to provide Ethnos Canada missionaries with the resources they need to communicate their ministry and also find finance related resources (taxes, financial statements, etc). This project will take place of the coming month. Please be praying as this week I been laying out a framework for the site and also defining the scope of the project. Thank you for your interest in our ministry as we serve as part of a team dedicated to seeing a thriving church for every people!

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Board reports and quarterly meetings

This post is part of a series about the work I’m doing in the office of Ethnos Canada. Check out the first post for an intro to the series.


I always love starting a new quarter. It’s a fresh season with updated goals and plans – much like a new year. At the end of every quarter the PR team meets together to review how the last quarter when and what our goals will be over the coming quarter. I was encouraged by how well we were able to stick to our plan set for Q1.

I’m excited about my projects for Q2, they involve board reports, updating our donor account system, setting up an application system for FirstStory (our new ministry in Northern Canada), updating our members website and more!

Last week I began my first project: running reports for an upcoming board meeting. Once a year or so I run a number of reports to give to our leadership team to use in our board meetings. The majority of the reports I’m generating this year involve personnel statistics related to age, ministry, field of service, retirements, etc. Pray with me that the information I provide the leadership team with will be actionable and will help them make decisions.

Thanks again for your part in our ministry with Ethnos Canada! We’re excited to be a part of seeing a thriving church for every people!

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This post is part of a series about the work I’m doing in the office of Ethnos Canada. Check out the first post for an intro to the series.


Last week was shorter than most, a four day work week following family day! Family day is a statutory holiday in Ontario and one that we usually use to enjoy some geocaching. This year the weather was a bit rainy so we decided to take on an indoor project. For ages the kids have wanted to make a stop-motion movie together, so we did! Here’s the result:

My main work project for the week went much faster than anticipated. Last year we rebranded to Ethnos Canada from NTM Canada, it was a huge undertaking with many moving parts. One loose string was our online bookstore. Until last week it was still branded NTM Canada and resided at ntmbooks.ca. I took time to rebrand the site and update the URLs. I also had to make sure that the old URL and any old links out there would go to the right location. The new bookstore is at resources.ethnos.ca but resource.ethnos.ca, books.ethnos.ca, store.ethnos.ca and ntmbooks.ca also work.

We recently held our first 2018 Gracia event and out of that came many filled out slips from attendees asking to be signed up for various mailings. I made sure that all of those people are now signed up to the appropriate mailings and receiving exactly what they want from Ethnos Canada.

I also set up a new landing page at ethnos.ca/pray-give-go. I built it using bootstrap, it was a lot of fun to put together. This page will be the destination for those clicking on the ad below, it gives an overview of who we are and gives ways to pray, give and go – the three actions we encourage people to take.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions about the work we do with Ethnos Canada, let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Tax receipts, Facebook ads and Gracia Burnham

This post is part of a series about the work I’m doing in the office of Ethnos Canada. Check out the first post for an intro to the series.


Last week was busy and saw me working on a number of projects – more than I typically like working on at one time. One big one was our 2017 tax receipts. Every year we send out thousands of tax receipts by mail to donors or Ethnos Canada and its missionaries. Last year we offered digital tax receipts (PDFs) for the first time. It required donors to create an account and login to access it. Many people asked that it simply be emailed to them so that is what we did this year. In December I sent an email out to everyone in our system who donated in 2017, offering them the opportunity to sign up to have their receipt emailed to them. We had about 500 responses which was very encouraging. This past Monday I used a tool called SDOCS to generate the emails and attached tax receipt PDFs and then mailed them out in batches. It went well and only a small number of people wrote in with issues opening their receipt (most due to issues on their own computer).

Alongside that I worked on Facebook ad campaigns for Ethnos Canada as a whole as well as a number of ministries such as FirstStory and Emanate. We want to raise awareness and give people the opportunity to pray, give and go!

Last week was also the lead-up to our first weekend of Gracia Burnham events. For these events we ran Facebook email campaigns, sent out email invites to donors in the area and put up event listings on our own site, Eventbrite and other local event listings. On Friday night Gracia spoke in Steinbach Manitoba. For that event we had just over 100 people registered. But late Friday evening I received a text message that around 360 people showed up!

It was an exciting week and I look forward to what God has for the team this week! Thank you for being a part of the team through supporting our ministry in prayer, words of encouragement and financial gifts – we couldn’t do it without you!

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From Darkness to Light

A week ago I started a new series of posts about the work I’m doing in the office of Ethnos Canada. Check out the last post for an intro to the series.


The Public Relations team, of which I’m a part, is working on a book that we can provide our missionary reps with at events. The reps can give away the book in return for an email address. Our prayer is that the person is encouraged by the book they receive as well as the follow-up email series they’ll get in the inbox. The email series features our core values like Bible Translation, New Testament church planting, teaching in the heart language and more.

The book is called ‘From Darkness to Light’ and features the story of how the Gospel reached and transformed the lives of the Inapang people in Papua New Guinea. My coworker Jason is focusing on the print version of the book while I’m working on the eBook version. I do most of my reading on an eReader and know that there’s a big difference between an eBook that’s just a quick conversion or one that’s built for an eReader. Amazon has put out a lot of resources related to creating an eBook and I really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the process. If you’re curious about it, another helpful resource was this post.

Along with the eBook I put together a landing page where people can sign up to receive the eBook. It’s not officially launched yet but should be sometime this week. We’ll also be advertising on Facebook in hopes of getting this book into as many hands as possible.

If you’re interested in trying out the eBook on your Kindle, Kobo or any other eReader, send me an email or leave a comment. I think you’ll enjoy and be encouraged by the story and I would appreciate any feedback on the formatting.

This week I’ll be fine-tuning the landing page and the follow-up email series that people will receive after requesting the book. Along side that I’ll continue my routine work of our various system and databases as well as monitoring Facebook and Google advertising campaigns we’re doing for upcoming speaking events for Gracia Burnham.

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My Cuber

This is my speed cuber! About a year and a half ago Canaan became interested in Rubik’s Cubes. I personally have never solved one! But he seemed pretty interested in it. So after a while we went ahead and bought him a 2×2 cube. He mastered that right away. So after little while we went ahead and got him a 3×3 cube. And so began his obsession.

This Saturday he will be competing in his third speed cubing competition. He solves a lot of different cubes. He lives for a new cube to figure out. For a while has been teaching his friends at school how to solve them as well. Starting tomorrow, they are beginning a more official class. He is over the moon! We love his school! They are really fabulous at encouraging each person in their passions and strengths.Each time he competes, his competition times are listed on his World Cubing Association page. Check his scores out here: WCA   At his last competition his personal record for the 3×3 was 32 seconds.

Canaan made a video of himself solving some cubes. Check it out: Canaan solving some cubes

 

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“What exactly is it that you do?”

Every morning at 8am I head in to the main office of Ethnos Canada to do something I love – be a part of the team working to see a thriving church for every people group.

Being ‘behind the scenes’ as we are, it can sometimes be difficult to answer the question “What exactly is it that you do?”. I typically spend half of each week focused on a particular project and the remaining half maintaining and updating Ethonos Canada websites, database, mailing lists, promotions etc. Along with family and adoption updates, I want to use this blog to share more about the specific projects I’m working on each week at the home office of Ethnos Canada. I hope that this gives you a better idea of the type of work it takes to keep our church planting missionaries focused on what they’re there to do.


 

As many of you know, the income we live on is supported by individual donors; churches, family and friends. It’s up to us to raise that support and communicate with our supporters. So how is the home office funded? Well, much the same way that we are. Churches and individuals support the various projects and operating costs of the home office. Over the last year around 1000 people supported the home office or gave to various projects such as Bible Translation, FirstStory, Aviation or many others. It’s important to take time to thank those donors. Over the last week I’ve been developing a system for making sure that the Public Relations department stays on top of thanking those donors and communicating our appreciation for their gifts.

Another project I’ve worked on, off and on, over the last few weeks is a display for our office breakroom. It provides staff news, updates and stats about our work. My hope is that it encourages, informs and inspires my coworkers and I as we work together. It was a fun project!

Thanks for your part in our ministry with Ethnos Canada! We love what we do and are incredibly grateful for the role you play in making it possible to do so!

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Growth

Its January. January 2018! Sometimes the new year makes us think about the passing of time. Last month we snapped a family photo. I was really struck with how tall our kids are getting. They are growing up. Growing too fast! It made me realize how long we have been on this endless adoption journey! When we announced we were adoption Berea was 11 months old. She is currently 4 1/2. She turns 5 in May! 

As I watchmy children grow, as we wait to be matched with our kids from Haiti, there is much growth. The kids are growing in height and character. Canaan turns 12 in March. He was 7 almost 8 when we started this. He has grown so much during this journey. Our children have walked this journey with us, every step of the way. They have experienced the amazing miracles and the grief and loss that we have suffered. All of us have grown in our faith. The time waiting has not been a loss.


We have grown so much through the ups and downs. We desperately want to get our match so that we can find out who our children are and so that we can touch the for the first time. But we wouldn’t change a single thing in God’s plan because is his ways are better than ours. His ways are perfect. Easy? NO! The best in light of eternity? Yes! 

Its 2018! We have been waiting for a match since July of 2015. We started the paperwork in April of 2014! Thats almost 4 years from the beginning and 2 1/2 years waiting for a match. We have heard that there is a big push to get families matched who have been waiting as long as us. We are feeling incredibly hopeful that we will get a match soon! We are praising God, knowing that he knows the exact day we will touch our kids for the first time.

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