At Village Green, we’re committed to serving those who are less fortunate and sharing the love and good news of Jesus Christ. We support both individuals and organizations that are serving and sharing at the local, national and international levels, and we pray for them regularly. Village Green has Missionary Partners in Austria, Bulgaria, Colombia, Thailand, Japan, the US, London, Calgary and Toronto. We also connect with many global initiatives thanks to our connections with International Justice Mission (IJM), Mission Services London, New Life Prison Ministry, South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies-India (SAIACS) and World Serve.
Our Mission Partners
Jacob and Leidy Paul – Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Jacob and Leidy live and work with youth-based ministries under LAM Canada in Armenia, Quindío Colombia. With a population of around 250,000, Armenia is a small town, but with big needs. Jacob fell in love with the land when he went to work there in 2009 and then fell in love with a resident of the land, Leidy, in 2012. They were married in a civil ceremony in 2013 and held a covenantal ceremony in the January of 2014. Jacob and Leidy work with a local church (Iglesia Cristiana Shalom), as well as a Youth foundation ( ZONA J) dedicated to helping teens and with a children’s program in a hard neighbourhood (La Mariela). Recently, they have felt God’s calling to reach out to pregnant teens in the city. They are planning, along with ZONA J, to open up a teen pregnancy centre in order to teach, help, and share God’s love with others. Click here to see an update from Jacob and Leidy.
The Flemings: Rob, Kathryn, Tess, Grady and Julia
Rob and Kathryn send these words: “We have spent over 20 years church planting in northern Japan, and moving to Tokyo for this three year commitment is a significant change for us. We have always lived in a small rural city, where there are very few churches and almost no western expats. We will move to a city of 40 million people, with and a greater Christian presence. We have always enjoyed living in a house and weeding the backyard garden. Tokyo means a small Japanese apartment in a big building. We will spend our first few months discovering what ministry God has in store for us. We have been blessed to see a fruitful church planting ministry, focusing on evangelism and discipleship, with the goal of seeing our converts going on to become soul winners in Japan. There are churches in Tokyo that we would like to cooperate with. Over 95% of Japanese believers never get around to sharing their faith with anyone. We are praying that God would lead us to more “good fruit” during the next three years. Pray for us. Our travels over the past 10 months have taught us an important lesson. Many of you have been praying for us; some daily! Your prayers keep us in Japan, effectively reaching out to people there. As we transition back to Japan in July, please pray. We need to settle as a family of three in Tokyo, while Grady and Tess resume their studies in Canada. Pray for wisdom from God to make good life/work decisions that will affect us for at least the next three years, and pray that God would impact many in Tokyo for eternity. We have been slowly learning Psalm 16 as a family this summer as we anticipate many changes and separation again. “Keep me safe oh God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, You are my Lord; Apart from you I have nothing good.” Amen Please keep us prayed for in these next few months.” Rob and Kathryn. Click here to see an update from the Flemings.
The Griffiths: Bel, Jonathan and Luca
Jonathan, Bel and Luca live in Vienna Austria. Between raising an active boy, Bel works part time, as an actuary with an Austrian Bank while Jonathan works with TWR as the Director of Specialised Content. After joining TWR in 1993, Jonathan worked for 10 years on Bonaire, then transferred to Europe in 2003 where he served in the UK and Austria. Jonathan and Bel, met in Vienna after Bel felt called back to Austria, after working 6 years with the OM Ships Ministry. They were married in 2008. Bel is still active in missions, as member of the OM Austria Board and providing regular missions focused inputs at church. Both Bel and Jonathan are involved in coaching and mentoring, seekers in the neighbourhood, and believers through church and work. 80% of the 8.4 million Austrians are “Christians,” with 75% Catholic and 5% Protestants. Within that 5% the majority is Lutherans, with less than 0.5 percent as Evangelicals. Many Austrians associate their “religious” affiliation based on family heritage with little or no understanding of what a Christian really is. Though this affiliation is very strong, there is lot of wounds, skepticism and questioning of the “old beliefs.” Pray as we walk, talk and listen to the wounded skeptics! As the Director of Specialized Content Department, Jonathan manages a growing team that researches, develops and writes media programs addressing the social issues the church is facing in Europe. Some of the projects are: Trauma, Disaster & Relief, Refugees, Theology of Suffering, Persecuted Church, Theology of Giving, Reconciliation. Click here to see an update from Bel and Jon.
Sara Leggett – Calgary, Alberta
Sara has worked full-time in ministry to students through the work of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship since 2003, mentoring staff and students first in Central Asia, then in Toronto, and most recently in Calgary. Leading a multi-cultural staff team to plant International Student Ministry at the University of Calgary, her present role includes hospitality, modelling and deepening of cross-cultural friendship, and the leading and training of students and staff in Bible study, in prayer, in leadership and in reaching out to others with the good news of life in Christ. Students from around the world have come to Canada to study, and are longing for community, safe places to explore questions of faith and spirituality or alternatively to continue growing in their Christian Faith, opportunities to learn about other cultures and build cross-cultural friendships, to develop leadership skills and celebrate life together. Sara and her colleagues are excited about the ways God has been laying the foundation for their International Friendship Club, which seeks to meet these needs on campus, and are praying for students in the coming year who will begin to partner with them in investing deeply in this growing community. Likewise, at Olds College Sara’s (part-time) work with undergraduate students has her focusing on the training, discipleship and spiritual development of these young leaders, with the vision of influencing this smaller campus and their communities in the name of Christ Sara is grateful for the opportunity to continue to partner with the global Church through working with sister student movements connected to the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). Click here to see an update from Sara.
The Ramirez Family – Bev, Ruben, Andrew and Catherine
Armenia, Quindio, Colombia
Ruben and Bev Ramirez, together with their young adult children Andrew and Catherine, have been serving as missionaries with the Latin America Mission-Canada in Colombia, South America for the past 25 years. Since 1994, they have served as the pastoral team leaders of the Shalom Christian Community Church in the city of Armenia. Shalom is a vibrant, growing and loving congregation of believers in Jesus: they are strongly focused on joyous worship, Bible-based preaching and a sense of family that intentionally reaches out to the needy – they are impacting all levels of Armenia’s society, as they creatively minister to children, teens, youth, women and men; and as they support and serve in different social organizations – and they are reaching many nations of the world as they preach and teach the Word of God via the Internet. Their signature verses for Shalom are: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer … praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42,47) Click here to see an update from the Ramirez family.
Peggy Macphee – Bulgaria
Peggy works with UFM Worldwide in Bulgaria. She began working there ‘before the changes’ that opened up Eastern Europe in 1989-1990. Her ministry from the beginning has focused on outreach, at first among fellow academics and later more broadly. She has been engaging interested people in studying the bible in the context of small discussion groups and then later in bible study groups as they became believers. Ten years ago she joined up with a few local young professionals as they started an apologetics group. Their first activities included an online magazine; later they expanded into organizing public meetings directed towards explaining Christianity to the inquiring public. She has helped organize various youth oriented summer activities, such as English camps, work in homes for children without parental care, and the handicapped. She is involved in a local church and has helped with a church plant along with a dozen local people in her city. More recently she has been involved in teaching bible courses in several cities as part of the extension program of a local bible school. Click here to see an update from Peggy.
Kolten and Lauren Macher – Austin, Texas, USA
Kolten and Lauren work for Cru (known as ‘Power to Change’ in Canada) at a film production studio. They create short narrative films and other media that initiate spiritual conversations and share the gospel with viewers. Each film comes packaged with questions that engage this growing tech savvy generation with stories that matter and help you start conversations on deep issues that your family, friends, neighbours, and coworkers can all relate to. The tools they create are used on campuses, by churches, and in neighbourhoods in Canada and around the world! Watch some of their short films here: http://www.globalshortfilmnetwork.com/ Click here to see an update from Kolten and Lauren
Our Global Connections
South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS) is an institute for postgraduate theological studies and research in Bangalore, India. We strive for biblical and contextually relevant theological studies so that students can make a meaningful and significant impact in their diverse ministries—including, Churches, Mission Fields, NGOs and Christian organizations, Bible Colleges and Seminaries—for the glory of God. http://www.saiacs.org International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global organization protecting the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. International Justice Mission Canada shares in this mission. Our vision: Rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible. https://www.ijm.ca Mission Services of London Whether it’s providing emergency shelter for an individual or family, or caring for those with mental health needs, Mission Services of London is there with a message of hope through faith.We are a Christian faith- based social service agency with a focus on serving those who struggle with poverty and homelessness; men, women and children. We provide food, shelter, clothing, crisis intervention and rehabilitation….Many men and women tell how their lives have been changed significantly as a result of the love, care and respect they received from our agency during difficult periods of their lives. A little help made a great deal of difference. http://missionservices.ca Prison Fellowship Ministry trains and inspires churches and communities—inside and outside of prison—to support the restoration of those affected by incarceration. We equip correctional leaders, volunteers, and incarcerated men and women to make prisons more rehabilitative places; we advocate for a more restorative criminal justice system; and we collaborate with churches and local service providers to support former prisoners, their families, and their communities. http://www.prisonfellowship.org