Raising funds for missionary or international purposes has been a tradition among local congregations for decades. That tradition has carried on at Langley Mennonite Fellowship, a congregation of some 100 participants, most recently on Nov. 16.
It was an enjoyable family event, with food and drink at the tables while participants checked out the items and responded to the auctioneer’s friendly banter. The first part of the auction was for children, who bid eagerly for their desired items with play money and engaged in the raffles from a host of toys and books to choose from.
Adults chose from items such as a night out for dinner, an evening Scrabble event, handcrafted items, homegrown fruit, an evening on a boat, tea in a garden, baking, books, games and more.
The auction raised $6,983 to be allocated to four projects: one international and three local.
This year, the international project chosen was the training of Vietnamese pastors in Vietnam through Mennonite Church Canada’s International Witness. The North American Mennonite Fellowship has planted churches there since the early 1990s and continues to do so.
Nhien Pam, pastor of Vietnamese Mennonite Church in Vancouver and president of the North American Vietnamese Evangelical Fellowship, is directly involved with the Vietnamese ministry. Supporting the Vietnamese ministry is also a recognition of the 40th anniversary of the coming of Vietnamese refugees to Canada.
The local projects include The Five and Two ministry, Youth for Christ Unlimited, and a Langley Mennonite refugee family.
The Five and Two ministry volunteers provide a meal every third Sunday of the month to homeless people in Langley at the local Vineyard church.
One of the Langley members is on staff with Youth for Christ Unlimited, which aims to remove social, physical, emotional and spiritual barriers for young people and to provide experiences within and outside the inner city.
The church is continuing to support a refugee family that it has sponsored for more than a year, after the family ran into some unexpected financial challenges.
“[This] is an event that brings many things to our church,” says Pastor Ian Funk. “It raises money, it’s fun, it accents [our] mission/outreach, it celebrates our community, it highlights the gifts of many individuals, it encourages creativity and further social interaction, [as] many of the auction items are invitations to other social events in one another’s homes.”
Ministries in Vietnam benefited from the November goods and services auction at Langley (B.C.) Mennonite Fellowship. One of those ministries includes a new church plant in the neighbourhood of a music store owner in Saigon, second from left, who is returning to the Mennonite church after the lifting of persecution. The lifting of the persecution is mostly due to Nhien Pham, second from right, who built connections with the local authorities and helped them to change their attitude towards the Mennonite church. At left is MC. B.C. executive minister Garry Janzen, and at right is Pastor Hong, president of Evangelical Mennonite Church Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of Garry Janzen)