Dear Moses Project supporter:
Almost six months has past since our last update; I trust 2012 has been going well for you. As you are aware, here in the Middle East things have not been stable recently – not any more so than for any of the past several hundred years! Uprisings and brutal repression and unusual weather – all signs that we are indeed living in the end times.
At Moses project we are struggling with issues that we trust God will use in our lives for His glory. Some are struggles related to growth in the work we have in the clinic – for this we are truly grateful! Some are struggles related to economic challenges (I understand that though this is on a different scale here than in North America, we all have challenges in this regard!) and some are health related challenges.
Regarding work opportunities, growth in the clinic leads to more opportunity to reach out to more people with the good news, and also helps legitimize our presence here. Thanks be to God, the 2008 pickup truck we were able to purchase works very well and meets our needs wonderfully. We are now able to reach some of the poorest of the poor in areas inaccessible by car. Our operating expenses for vehicle have gone up somewhat but with money saved from not having to rent a car month by month, we are able to cover those expenses; driving along the highway is now more safe (and more comfortable too!). We are able to reach clients that in the past would need to give us rides to their farms. Some still choose to give us rides as it is a little cheaper for them to do that than to pay the small amount we ask for mileage costs with our truck. Either way is fine with me – riding in their own vehicle actually gives more time for meaningful discussion, in a safe environment.
Though work here is quite seasonal, depending on the rains, there has been an upward trend both in number of examinations and amount of medication administered and dispensed. We are quite limited in the type of medication we can get here but are able to obtain all basic types of medication and supplements for livestock. The small amount of companion animal work we do is limited by equipment and medication availability but with the lack of service availability in our area, clients essentially need to choose between our clinic or nothing at all. Having said that, the number of small animal cases per month can be counted on two hands. Still, fees for such work help support the outreach among large animal clients.
Health related concerns have to do with Dr. Joe, who has recently been diagnosed with spinal disc disease, a condition which causes considerable pain at times. Please pray for healing there.
Your brothers and sisters in Christian churches have been very much affected by the ‘Arab spring’ of recent years, mostly in the form of increased oppression. We ask not that you pray for freedom nor new government nor overthrow of regimes but that in all that is happening, God will work His will for His honor, and that His children (we) will prove faithful in tribulation and act in ways that are in line with His calling and bring Him glory, no matter what the cost is to us. Do pray for us though please – we need your prayers.
Recently it has become clear that we need to be able to raise more funds to continue the work here. This has been a prayer concern for some time, and in response to what we believe to be God’s leading, after much prayer we have taken the step of hiring another Christian veterinarian to work in the clinic. That might not sound like the typical response to insufficient support, but we are thrilled to have Dr. Mark join us. Dr. Mark is a new graduate and is learning a lot from in-the-field training with Dr. Joe. The plan is that having Dr. Mark with us as a full time worker in the clinic will free Dr. Joe up to spend more time in direct evangelism and fundraising. This transition will take place over the next half year or so, as Dr. Mark becomes more familiar with the practice and more competent and confident in his work.
The support we have been able to raise through CVM, together with the limited income from the clinic, will hopefully be able to continue to support Dr. Mark and related expenses. Meantime, believing that God is calling him to more of an outreach and fundraising emphasis, Dr. Joe has declined ongoing support and is moving out in faith that God will provide. As He always does, even though it may not always appear how that will happen moving forward.
Please pray for Drs. Joe and Mark and for Sam, the assistant, as they seek to be faithful kingdom workers. If possible to also give to the Moses project, please do so – we need your prayer support and are also very thankful for financial support.
In the name of our King,
Your brothers in Christ
I have great memories of my first trip to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in October 2009. I had applied to work in Mongolia as a shuttle veterinarian for Christian Veterinary Mission.
After dropping off my luggage at my apartment my Mongolian guide took me to the small animal clinic where I was immediately put to work. Within an hour I was assisting a young Mongolian veterinarian with surgery for a foreign body blockage using multiple enterotomies to retrieve a cloth bag that a dog had eaten two days before. It was a great start!
I loved my time in Mongolia that first year and every October for the past 2 years I have returned to Ulaanbaatar.
This past October my job description was a little bit different from my first two years. This year I was asked to teach 20 hours of small animal medicine in the Masters Program, I also taught two surgery classes at the Mongolian veterinary college and worked at the Enerekh Caring small animal hospital and training center.
Mongolian Veterinary School
The Masters Program is coordinated by V.E.T Net and is offered in conjunction with the Mongolian veterinary college and 4 veterinary schools in the U.S.A. It is a graduate degree program for Mongolian veterinarians. At the present only V.E.T. Net veterinarians are registered in the program but starting next year upper year students from the veterinary college will also be accepted. The Masters Program is a significant collabrative relationship between the Mongolian veterinary school and V.E.T. Net.
Mongolia is a country bordered by Russia on the north and China on the south. It became a communist country, aligning itself with the Soviet Union after breaking away from China in 1921. In 1992 it became a parliamentary republic with the introduction of perestroika
in the U.S.S.R.
Over 1 million people live in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. The remaining 1.7 million people are herder families who live a semi-nomadic existence in the countryside as they move their sheep, goats, cattle and horses over large areas of unfenced hill country. When an area becomes overgrazed the herders move their gers, a round tent house made of layers of felt and canvas, and move to a new area.
On a recent farm call, I was introduced to a visitor (a Christian foreigner) and
one of the farmers told that the foreigner was a good man – if only he would
become a Muslim then he would be fine. I asked the farmer why the foreigner
should become a Muslim and he replied, “So he can pray to God!” “He already
prays to God” I replied. Then I asked the farmer a leading question: “Can you
think of any reason this foreigner would want to become a Muslim that would
benefit him over being a Christian believer?” There are quick and easy answers
to that question for Muslim evangelists, but the farmer said he would think
about it and we would talk again the next time I came to his farm. I look
forward to that.
Reflecting on the question I asked, however, I wonder – was I insinuating that a valid reason for being a Christian was personal benefit? Was I to some degree preaching Christ because it benefits me and do I desire others to become like me so as to share in the benefits?
Serving in the mission field does not necessarily mean leaving your country and travelling to some 3rd world country, bringing your “foreign” culture and clothes with you, preaching from your own variety of theological background and asking people to repeat the same words that you did when you became a Christian. It’s not necessarily helping others to memorize your “Christian phrases” and to mimic your style of worship.
We can tend to preach a type of Christianity that satisfies ourselves. Living in other cultures and places with mind-sets very different than ours (and I presume in North America too) we risk reaching a point when we put our head on the pillow and look back over the day and can identify moments when we showed other people that they were wrong. We can tend to spread a gospel that makes us feels right and other people wrong! We may corrupt Jesus’ teachings by promoting a Christianity that makes ourselves feel comfortable and yes, maybe even a little superior.
I used to think that a goal of my Christian faith was to make me feel good and to help me live in such a way to increase my understanding and give me ways to improve myself and be satisfied with growth in spiritual knowledge and action. I was, however, forgetting that the central message of Christianity is abandonment of self!
Preaching the Gospel rarely leads to fairy tale endings such as a whole village turning to Christ. Spreading the good news is not simply telling an emotional or romantic story about some poor humble guy had nothing else to do but live a moral life and then give it up for some sinners. It is not primarily a means of self-improvement. It’s not a ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘lived happily ever after’ type of guarantee.
Two months ago, something happened that challenged my view of mission work
God has plans for you and for CVMCanada! We are seeking His will: that it may be done and that we are available to do His bidding. With this in mind, our AGM was held in Bulington recently. All of the Directors attended from across Canada, and we believe the Lord blessed our time together.
Some highlights included celebration of the Lord’s blessings in putting the Canadian office in the position that the board has been working toward for a year now. We are now in a solid debit position and are planning new work. Some of these include extending funds from our Canadian Ministry funds to be budgeted to encourage students to plan short term missions. This would include grants toward their STM costs. We can also use this budget to investigate a mission to answer a call from Armstrong in Northern Ontario.
We celebrated with our friends heading to Rwanda in July and prayed with them for their vision and efforts. Please do pray for them as well— for safety and work in the Udder Project as they are in Rwanda now at time of writing this article. May the Lord protect them and guide them and use their labours to bring others to Him.
Much more transpired as we even made new friends at the barbecue and were challenged by Dr. Louis Kwantes and Dr. Tom Mulder. There are great challenges to step out for the Lord here in Canada and all over the world. He has plans for you! Be at the AGM next year, you will be blessed.
As we write this we are at CVMA in Halifax. We have met some interesting and special people, please pray that they will join our cause and use their special gift of veterinary medicine to tell others of our Lord. We have been given much and have a special platform from which to tell of Jesus, may we use it well. To whom much is given, much is required.
- Dr. Len Carr
Each year our friends at CVM US hold a workshop for Christian Vets interested in missions and ministry. This conference/workshop is one that members of CVMCanada attend each year, and those who have gone in the past have really learned a lot. The conference has a lot to offer, not only for Vets interested in long-term missions, but also those interested in building their faith, and learning great tips for their practice. It is also a great time of fellowship and networking with other Christian Vets and their spouses.
The Annual CVM Short Course
session is designed for those seeking God’s will in discovering the role full-time missions will play in their lives. The session will be seek to answer the following questions:
o How do you know if God is calling you?
o Where could you serve?
o How can God use a Vet?
o Is CVM the best agency for me to serve with?
o How is a vet missionary funded?
If you are interested, come join CVM staff and Veterinary Missionaries at the CVM Shortcourse in Kansas City Missouri August 24 to 26th.
Register now to get the early registration rates at Shortcourse 2011.
If you are not interested in the learning about long-term missions, there are other sessions which might interest you still. Other topics include:
o How to do effective Short Term Mission
o Disaster preparedness Training
o Using God’s word to address interpersonal relationships at work and at home to address life the way God intended
A great highlight of the conference is the great worship, sharing and fellowship. Hope to see you there!
for more information.
CVMCanada had the privilege of attending the 2011 AAHA/OVMA conference in Toronto with our American counterpart/sister organization, CVM (Christian Veterinary Mission). The event took place over the weekend of March 24-27, and proved to be fruitful in advancing our ministries and building fellowship amongst Christian, Canadian vets. CVMCanada board member, Becky Holvik, wrote an update on her experience at the conference:
"As many of you know the OVMA conference was a combined event with the AAHA conference and it all occurred in Toronto. There were good things (quality of conference) and bad things (crowding) about a large event like this. But, for us at CVM/CVMC it was a good thing. We had a unique chance to meet and share our message with veterinarians from all over North America right in Toronto and we made some new contacts. We had a seminar on the Friday night led by Dr. Wendell Cantrell from CVM USA (I did not get to attend this due to my work schedule, but I am sure it was excellent). We also had a very well attended fellowship breakfast on Saturday morning with a devotional from Dr. Cantrell followed by a time of sharing and prayer. I left wishing I could have spent more time with our American brothers and sisters and it increased my desire to make a trip to their "Short Course" or other events."
Were you at the AAHA/OVMA conference this year? What did you think?
We're gearing up for the CVMA convention in Halifax in July. See you then!
Here we are - March 2011 and CVMCanada is at a very important time in its history. After a couple of lean years financially, CVMC had to make some key changes. Thanks to faithful donors and leaders, it is well and we are ready to move on to even greater things in God’s work, but CVMC still needs you!
I am an old timer and have enjoyed so much the veterinary profession. Some of the very special blessings of the profession are the great clients, staff, and fellow veterinarians. We have met many great Christian people in the veterinary profession, people who have crossed our paths, touched our lives in a meaningful way – and sadly moved on. Ever sit and wonder where they are? What triggered these thoughts was a visit to our home on the event of the annual meeting of CVMC - a meeting attended by one such individual. You see when I was a young student, starting to make my way in the veterinary world, there was a professor who invited us into his home – he and his lovely wife cooked us a great meal, ministered encouragement to us in a low key way and sent us on our way. Dr. Barnum ministered in his professional way for so many years to so many students and it was a thrill to see him again on that evening!
There are so many more special individuals – people who love Jesus Christ and are involved in the veterinary world. Has it ever occurred to you how great a body of people we could be working together for His kingdom if we stayed attached as a body and pooled our unique abilities for Christ?
I believe that this is the current mission of CVMC - how can we draw back together many of you to minister together – to minister here in Canada – to minister around the world – to help our veterinary college students as they launch their careers – to help one another in business – to offer help to one another’s staff members – we have such unique gifts given to us by our God!
How can we help one another? Any ideas? Leave us a comment and lets hear those thoughts and move forward helping one another to use our gifts for His kingdom. We can start by continuing in prayer for one another.
- Dr. Len Carr (Interim Executive Director)
We've been hard at work at the CVMCanada office in Burlington, Ontario, to launch this new site. I hope you have had a chance to look at all the different features that we have added so far. In order to best promote CVMCanada and its different projects, it was time to update our website and make it more user-friendly for our present and future supporters. With our recent office transition from Dundas to Burlington, Ontario, it feels as if we are turning over a new leaf at CVMCanada. Our new website is just one step of many in a fresh beginning.
This blog will be a source of news from our office in Canada, as well as missions updates from our Long and Short term missions trips all around the world. You can look here for prayer requests and maybe some pictures too.
We are excited to hear what you think about the new look of our website! Feel free to suggest any features you think we should add, or give us helpful suggestions on how we can make this site even better. Leave us a comment below, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Rachel, Office Administrator