Documentary features TWU president 11.29.2013
LANGLEY, BC - Trinity Western University chancellor and acting president Bob Kuhn is one of five featured subjects in a recent documentary, Undefeated - An Intimate Portrait of Parkinson's.
"I thought maybe by sharing my struggles and small victories I'd be creating an environment for people to share theirs and feel encouraged," said Kuhn in a Vancouver Sun article. Kuhn's blog (positivelyparkinsons.blogspot.ca) chronicles his own journey, which he hopes will inspire others to remain optimistic.
The second-most common chronic degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer's, Parkinson's affects some 11,000 British Columbians and more than 100,000 Canadians. The reality of the disease's potential consequences - Kuhn lost his father to complications from Parkinson's four years ago - serves as a challenge and inspiration for Kuhn, a husband, father, and grandfather, to live a fuller life.
Undefeated "is intended to reflect the challenges faced by people with Parkinson's, how they've met those challenges with differing degrees of resolute commitment, or faith, or hope, or just courage," said Kuhn, who hopes the film will have something for all viewers, whether or not they have experience with diseases such as Parkinson's.
"I think one of the things a disease like Parkinson's does is it gives you different perspectives and makes life more meaningful in a way," said Kuhn. "It really galvanizes your thinking into either very positive or alternatively very negative and you have to make some conscious choices as to how you're going to approach life." (www.twu.ca)
Human trafficking examined 11.29.2013
CALGARY, AB - An assistant professor of sociology at Ambrose University College is researching Calgary's response to human trafficking. Julie Kaye's project represents the first Canadian attempt to document how a major urban centre is responding to the experiences of trafficked persons.
Calgarians are more aware than ever of the issue of human traffickingbetween 2011 and 2012, referrals and reports of human trafficking to the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT) Alberta increased by 500 per cent. However, along with her colleagues John Winterdyk and Lara Quarterman, Kaye has also found that significant challenges inhibit local responses to trafficking, including the complexity of human trafficking cases and the limitations of current laws.
Kaye hopes the research will help the province implement a better service provision protocol for victims of trafficking, as well as encourage people to support anti-trafficking organizations at a local level.
For more information, visit http://julielynkaye.ca/courses/featured-research-project/.
Excavation yields big find 11.29.2013
JERUSALEM - Summer 2013 was an exciting time for an Acadia Divinity College (Wolfville, Nova Scotia) professor and two students who were part of an amazing archaeological find at Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Professor Craig Evans, Greg Monette, and Cale Clarke were participants in an excavation in an area where a number of wealthy Jewish people, including ruling priests, lived in the time of Jesus.
Evans, Monette, and Clarke uncovered hundreds of pieces of pottery, glass, and animal bones, as well as two coins.
Archaeologists in charge of the dig say the house may have belonged to the high priest Caiaphas or Annas.
"We have more work to do before we can speak with certainty, but we may have found what we all along hoped to findthe home of a high priest," says Evans. "We look forward to returning to the excavation next June."
Mother-friendly hospital initiative nets Canadian grant 11.27.2013
HAMILTON, ONWhen Grand Challenges Canada announced $9.3 million in seed grants to improve global health November 21, Save the Mothers' Mother Friendly Hospital Initiativeunder the direction of Dr. Eve Nakabembewas on the list of recipients.
Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada, and is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact in global health. They are extending grants of $100,000 each to 83 "inventive new ideas" for addressing health problems in resource-poor countries.
Save the Mothers' bold idea is the vision of Dr. Eve Nakabembe, a Ugandan obstetrician and director of Save the Mothers' Mother Friendly Hospital Initiative (MFHI) in Uganda. Through the MFHI, graduates of the Save the Mothers (STM) program work with hospitals to improve standards of care for mothers and newborns.
Nakabembe's idea is to fill in vital gaps for vulnerable mothers and newborns to receive health care expeditiously. By using highly accessible mobile phone technology to link mothers in rural areas with trained health care workers in local hospitals through toll free hotlines, women will have greater access to advice and emergency transportation.
"I'm only one link in the chain," says Nakabembe. "Science has found all the cures to prevent mothers from dying due to pregnancy complications. But there is a great need for social and business reforms to ensure every mother can get the care they need in time.
"This grant will go a long way to helping prevent the deaths of many women and babies."
Founded by Canadian doctor Jean Chamberlain Froese, Save the Mothers (STM) is an international, non-profit organization that educates local leaders in developing countries to improve mothers' health and reduce the incidence of preventable maternal death. (www.savethemothers.org)
Quebec euthanasia bill opposed 09.25.2013
OTTAWA, ONLeaders with 15 national organizations have added their signatures to a statement released by LifeCanada calling on Quebec to rescind Bill 52, a proposal which would legalize euthanasia under certain stipulations.
The statement asks lawmakers not only in Quebec, but also throughout the rest of Canada, to care for the most vulnerable in society. It says Bill 52 would signal "a momentous shift in medical ethics and public policy."
"The medical alleviation of suffering is an indispensable element of compassionate health care. Killing the patient, however, is not," the statement reads in part.
"Contemporary medicine has made great strides in the relief of suffering, especially in the areas of pain control and palliative care for the dying. But if intentionally causing a patient's demise becomes embedded in health care, the soul of medicine is subverted.
"Despite the assurances the bill's sponsors have offered, we are convinced that many persons living with sickness, advanced age or disability would increasingly be put at risk."
The statement encourages lawmakers to remain steadfast and support a path that uses both the tremendous gains of palliative care and the ethical defense of human dignity.
"An entirely different path of health care is possible," reads the statement, "one that is deeply compassionate, legitimate, that builds on past medical progress to deliver quality end of life care to all those in need, and that kills the pain without killing the patient. It is a path based on the premise that every person, no matter how ill or weak, has an inherent and irrevocable dignity. Indeed, it is this dignity that is the foundation and basis for all human rights."
Among the signees of the statement are the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, Centre for Faith and Public Life/Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and various other pro-life and faith-based organizations. (www.lifecanada.org)
Celebrate Bible Sunday 09.25.2013
TORONTO, ONThe Canadian Bible Society (CBS) is encouraging churches across the country to mark one Sunday this fall as a day to celebrate the Bible and the good news it contains. The CBS is offering resources to make Bible Sunday (October 20, or any Sunday of a church's choosing) a fun and meaningful celebration, including a comprehensive Bible Sunday Resource Kit. Resource kits are available as both digital download or traditional post. (www.biblesociety.ca/biblesunday)
MoveIn honoured with mission award 09.24.2013
ATLANTA, GAMissio Nexus, an organization dedicated to connecting the Great Commission Community of North America, presented three awards in mid-September to U.S. and Canadian mission leaders who have exhibited a commitment to service, innovation and partnership.
Jerry Rankin, President Emeritus of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, received the 2013 Lifetime Service Award. Two mission organizations, Every Tribe Every Nation and MoveIn, were awarded the 2013 eXcelerate Award, presented to organizations exhibiting excellence, innovation or partnership in mission.
MoveIn is a grassroots movement that began in Toronto, Ontario, as regular Christians decided to move in to communities of unreached, urban poor to love and serve their neighbours. The organization exemplifies the value of innovation by giving Christians the training and opportunity to follow Jesus' example in Philippians 2:5-7 and literally "move in" to neighborhoods desperate for the hope of the gospel.
Missio Nexus formed in 2012 as a merger of CrossGlobal Link and The Mission Exchange with a combined total of 159 years of experience in global mission. The organization has a membership of 5,500 Great Commission influencersrepresenting North American agencies and churches with a mission force of more than 35,000 individuals serving at home and throughout the world.
GotGinch set for annual homeless shelter deliveries 09.24.2013
VANCOUVER, BCUnion Gospel Mission was the first stop in a cross-country odyssey by four Calgary-based philanthropists to deliver thousands of pairs of underwear to homeless shelters across Canada.
For the fifth year in a row Brent King will drive more than 7,000 kilometres from Vancouver to Halifax in an RV and deliver 40,000 much-needed pairs of ginch (men's underwear) and 10,000 much-needed pairs of knickers (ladies underwear) to 10 homeless shelters.
This cross-Canada underwear drive, now known as GotGinch and Need Knickers, has delivered more than 190,000 pairs of underwear to date, across Canada.
"While it might sound funny to talk about, underwear is actually a huge need among the community we serve," says Bruce Curtiss, UGM's senior chaplain. "Being able to offer clean underwear goes a long way in promoting dignity and self-confidence. With the group's generosity and ingenuity, we will now have enough supplies for about two-thirds of the year."
King launched the GotGinch campaign in 2008, inspired by the answer to a question he posed to a homeless shelter: "What do you need?" The response was simply, "men's underwear."
An engineer by trade and entrepreneur by passion, King got to work. He raised money through friends, family and business colleagues; a supplier for a large quantity of underwear was sourced and an order placed; an RV booked and GotGinch was born. In 2010, Robb Price, the founder of DeliverGood.org joined Brent's efforts. Gabriela Ostendorfer helped found Need Knickers in 2012, this year joined by Trevor Beckman.
The crew will stop at 10 homeless shelters from September 24 to October 3 in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax delivering 4,000 pairs of ginch and 1,000 pairs of knickers to each shelter.
I am Second releases 100th film 09.23.2013
DALLAS, TEXASIn less than five years, I am Second, a movement centered around short films of transformation and hope, is launching its 100th film featuring New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas.
I am Second features video stories of a variety of musicians, athletes, actors and everyday people on iamsecond.com. To date, the website has received more than 10 million visits from 219 countries and territories.
The I am Second films address an array of personal struggles, including abuse, addictions, pride, eating disorders, broken families and the search for success and meaning in life, have received a total of more than 20 million views. More than one-half million people "like" the I am Second Facebook page.
Metaxas, who is author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling book, Bonheoffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, and radio host of "BreakPoint," is featured in the 100th film from I am Second. In it, Metaxas shares his journey from doubt to faith in God through unusual circumstances.
Founded in 2008, iamsecond.com has spread across the globe, and also includes a Spanish website, yosoysegundo.com, as well as two books, I am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives and Live Second. The movement also offers numerous curriculums to accompany films as well as volunteer opportunities and expeditions to help encourage people to live second daily. (www.iamsecond.com)
IJM applauds strengthening of sex tourism laws 09.18.2013
LONDON, ONInternational Justice Mission (IJM) Canada is applauding a recent announcement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper that reinforces Canada's commitment to protecting society's most vulnerable citizens, both in Canada and abroad.
The proposed amendments signal Canada's resolve to take action against predators who travel to exploit children. The amendments include the introduction of new notification requirements for offenders on the National Sex Offenders Registry who travel outside Canada and better information-sharing measures between the police and border services officers to keep track of travelling sex offenders.
Earlier this year, IJM Canada launched Stop It Together, a campaign calling upon Parliament to make the enforcement of Canada's extraterritorial laws for sex tourism and human trafficking a priority.