Missionary Letters

Kingston Prison Ministry

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

Following many months and often even many years behind prison barriers, an inmate's next step in their correctional plan is to be granted day parole by the National Parole Board to a halfway housein an appropriate community.

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These halfway houses are located in most of our larger city centres across the country. (There are two different types of halfway houses. Some are managed by Corrections Canada and others by private organizations, such as the Salvation Army.)

No longer with the accustomed previous physical barriers, an inmate in a halfway house must now abide by new regulations, and time schedules. As they progress through this gradual reintegration into society, the actual physical time spent at the halfway house lessens and more time is granted outside in the community in places of employment and with family contact. While they are away from this new facility they still need to report their whereabouts and their activity. This begins stringently where they report at regular intervals every few hours but then lessens as they are allowed more time away with less reporting back to the officers on duty.

Some of the goals of a halfway house is to reestablish family contact if this is a possibility, secure employment, and to continue necessary correctional programming on the street that successfully allows them to display a pro-social attitude along with evidence of law-abiding choices.

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Personal life skills of grocery shopping, food preparation, clothes shopping, and money management are all skills they need to learn or begin to implement again after several years.

General restrictions during time at a halfway house would include no association with other inmates...which makes it very interesting/challenging when you are actually housed in the same facility with such a person! There may also be restrictions on certain food establishments, shopping malls, schools, playgrounds, or beaches, depending on the nature of their offence. They must report financial information, employment status, and any relationships they have. 

Moving forward in their correctional plan to a halfway house is a whole new learning curve.  It is a mark of progress but not necessarily an easy or successful venture.   Their parole can be revoked simply by a subjective decision from their parole officer accusing them of a  “deteriorating attitude”. 

One of the keys to success for an inmate's stay in a halfway house is to build a healthy, open and trusting relationship with their newly assigned parole officer.  

Over the last five months, 8 guys we have had close contact with have moved on to a halfway house environment.  At this point they are remaining successful in this next stage of their correctional plan.  All of these men have professed salvation.  

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Pray for an ability for each of them to adapt to this new environment, to be able to find suitable employment, and to continue to choose patience and submission to authority whether it is logical or fair.

Pray they will be able to continue to enjoy Christian fellowship, to be able to find churches that will love them and receive them, and that as they return to their families that they would have the ability to communicate the gospel not only by what they say but also by consistent evidence of a changed life.


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Pray for Ben, Liam, Sam, Silas, Dennis, Peter, Curtis and Simon.* May God help them to continue to run the race set before them, knowing that He never will leave them or forsake them. *names have been changed

... for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
— Hebrews 13:5b

Thank you for your prayers for us as we seek to share the gospel inside prison walls and as we encourage inmate believers in their walk of faith. Thank you for your financial support that enables us to do this in a full time way. We are grateful for each of you and ask that God would cause your lives to be rich and full of His blessing.

We would love to hear from you as well!

Blessings,

Robert and Susan

Shoulder to Shoulder in Bangkok and Jakarta

Serving leaders in Southeast Asia.

Serving leaders in Southeast Asia.

We wanted to share two short stories that make us smile in terms of how we get to serve leaders in Southeast Asia.

Story 1: “Russ, can you give me a personal tutorial so I can study it? We need to use this information to reach my people in Vietnam,” explained Phoebe. “Of course,” said Russ, “That’s why I made this trip to Bangkok.” Over two hours later, the coaching session ended with Phoebe confidently equipped.

Story 2: Bayu, our team leader in Indonesia, pulled Russ aside during that same meeting in Bangkok. “My team needs to hear and learn what you just shared with us about measuring our missional progress.” 

Russ agreed to book a flight to spend the day with Bayu’s team in five days time. “I hope your family is ok with going to Jakarta,” Bayu continued. “It’s no problem, that’s why we moved to Singapore!” Russ explained. 

Previously, seizing opportunities like this were difficult. However, being based in Singapore, the cost is minimal, the jetlag non-existent and the impact of the relational presence is high. Our indigenous leaders in Asia are so hungry for encouragement, input, training and direction. They minister in some of the most difficult environments.

Thank you for your continued partnership in leading the next generation of digital missions and being a part of the team that is serving leaders like Phoebe and Bayu.

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Bonus: Just in case you ever wondered where french fries came from or how much electricity is in your brain, Wyatt and Gwenyth have started a YouTube channel. They would be thrilled if you subscribe.

We love air conditioned coffee shops.

We love air conditioned coffee shops.

We welcomed new team members.

We welcomed new team members.

Mommy-Daughter date.

Mommy-Daughter date.

A "Chill" Summer

An outreach at the University of Waterloo.

An outreach at the University of Waterloo.

CHILL WITH A CHRISTIAN

Chill with a Christian was the name of an outreach that we did at the University of Waterloo this summer. You can see students in the picture above having conversations as they gave away ice cream sandwiches and freezies. So many great conversations were had. Here are some of the highlights from the students:

"I was scared to do this because, I have never had a spiritual conversation before, but this was fun! Scary but fun!"

"My favourite part was talking to the guys from Dubai who had never had a freezie before. It was great being able to share the Gospel with him."

"That guy talking to Liam is in my class! We've never talked about spiritual things before. Now I can keep the conversation going"

"My friend came because I invited her. I've heard a lot about her faith but this time she asked me about what Christians believe."

"I just want people to come so that I can tell them about Jesus!!!!"


Please pray for the Christian students who have been trusting God as they share their faith as well as the non-Christians who are engaging with the story of Jesus.


CHILL AT HOME

Often our summers are full of travel. Either we are on a mission trip with students or we are doing biblical training or we are going around the country meeting our amazing supporters (like you!). But this summer we decided to stay close to home for Trevor's healing. It has been a great decision and the stability has helped Trevor continue to heal after his mental health crisis in the beginning of the year. He has somewhat of a routine throughout the week which includes meeting with people to talk about his mental health, going to the gym, meeting up with friends and spending quality time with Amelia and Hannah. The doctor said it will still be a couple of months until he goes back to work as the mind needs a lot of time to heal. Similar to a broken ankle, it might seem stronger than it actually is, and we don't want to put too much strain too early.

Thank you for all your continued prayers for our family.
Please pray that we would have wisdom to know how to walk this journey of healing.

Celebrating Amelia’s half birthday.

Celebrating Amelia’s half birthday.

Trevor and Amelia waiting for a show to start at the park.

Trevor and Amelia waiting for a show to start at the park.

Amelia ‘at work’.

Amelia ‘at work’.

Stopping in a small town to get butter tarts.

Stopping in a small town to get butter tarts.

How God Answered Your Prayers

Train Ride with Friends to the Children’s Museum.

Train Ride with Friends to the Children’s Museum.

A few weeks ago we asked you to pray for us during an intense season. Here's how God answered your prayers.

1. Hosting an internship program
Although this was a break in our regular family rhythms, the kids were troopers and managed well. Our interns, 3 from the Philippines and 1 from the U.S. enjoyed getting to know our kids too. Each day the team worked hard at developing enhanced digital tools to reach young people in South East Asia.

A highlight was a test where we hoped to have conversations with 10 people online and ended up having 700. More than working on projects, each of the participants walked away having taken faith steps and with a greater vision for digital missions, myself included. In was a fun challenge to have a "real job" on our team where everyone was depending on me to help pull this off.

2. Transition Stress
God has provided a deepening friendship with a British/Australian expat family, which has helped tremendously with the feelings of loneliness and given the kids some much needed camaraderie. The kids also participated in two different vacation Bible school sessions at local churches, forcing us out into the city more.

It's still hard missing Canada Day (July 1) and the various family celebrations/vacations that happen back home during June/July, but we are resting better in God's grace.

3. Kids School
God did not answer our prayers on this one and Wyatt and Gwenyth will be enrolled at the west campus. We are trusting that God has something better in store as we navigate the longer commute to get them to school.

Your prayers are a vital part of leading the next generation of digital missions. It means so much that you would pray to our Father on our behalf. Thank you for partnering with us.

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Photos: Around Singapore
1) Safety first on luge ride
2) 10th anniversary lunch with a view

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Stories from DR...

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

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It was a privilege and a joy to be able to help with the debrief of our DR mission trip last month. This group of 37 staff and students had spent 5 weeks making friends and sharing the gospel with Arab students. I was impressed by their energy and their love for the Arab world. This year the DR mission trip was almost entirely during the time of Ramadan. That meant that our students did a lot of their ministry late at night after the sun went down, when their friends would break their fast (their friends were less interested in meeting during the day due to the heat and the fact that they were fasting). 

Over the course of the debrief I got to meet with students one on one to hear about their experiences. Here are some of the questions I asked and their answers.

How do you think God worked through you to accomplish his kingdom work?

  • Planting seeds. I was able to share the gospel with several people and even though they may not have accepted it straight away, they have at least heard it, and I trust that God will work in their hearts if it be his will. - Kiersten, University of Alberta

Tell me about a significant moment of partnering with the Holy Spirit that stands out to you?

  • I meet a girl whose name means faith. I don't think it's a coincidence that we met. She was busy with lots of exams and the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for her everyday. She told me that she was not Muslim because of all the contradictions and injustice that she saw in Islam. She was searching for truth. We talked about the Bible a lot and I was able to give her a Bible. - Bea, McGill University

What lessons from this mission trip are you most excited to continue to apply?

  • How to develop relationships and have spiritual conversations with people. Also, how to pray for those who don't know him yet. - Stacy, University of Toronto

Thank you for partnering with me to help make mission trips like this happen. Together God used us to help students (see pictures below) process their experiences and identify how God used them and grew them this summer.

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Financial Update:

Earlier this spring I spent a focused time doing ministry partnership development. During this time God began to provide me with the increased monthly support I require. For the next few months I will continue to raise financial support as I get back to my regular work. If you are interested in increasingly your monthly support or would like to introduce me to others interested in learning about my ministry, please let me know -charlotte.martin@p2c.com, 226.791.6703.

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