ReachOut 2018-2019 Progress Report
As ReachOut wraps up its second year, we are amazed at all the incredible work God has done through our community and international partnerships. Many of the projects we began in our first year are continuing and thriving, many of our partners have undertaken new projects, and we’ve made some new connections and partnerships. What follows is a report on what ReachOut does, and all the ways we have had impact as a church throughout this past fiscal year.
ReachOut maximizes Deep Water’s effectiveness in building God’s kingdom through partnerships with incredible people, ministries, churches, and organizations. 10% of the offerings at Deep Water are allocated to ReachOut. It is our top priority to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar and every volunteer hour with which we are blessed. We are careful in our selection of partners, and specifically seek to amplify the impact of those who are doing great work serving the poor, evangelizing, and/or are planting new churches. Our partners work closely with ministry Champions from within the ReachOut team to ensure they are remaining effective and that their goals and missions line up with those of the church. We are therefore confident that we are, together, maximizing the impact for the Kingdom in ways that none of us could do alone.
Why do we focus on evangelism and church planting? We believe that Jesus changes lives. Our mission, as Christians, is to spread the word of Jesus and spread His love. We best do that through building up churches and loving the poor. Jesus was very clear.
This year, our time, energy, and finances:
provided playground and gymnastics equipment to a centre that serves kids in one of the most low-income areas of the city
started and continued to support the Child Survival Program in Nicaragua that helps equip parents with the skills to help their children survive and thrive, and works to keep families together whenever possible
supported presentations about sex trafficking in local schools, often 10-12 presentations per week
provided meals and volunteers to serve a free monthly dinner to guests who need it in the Halifax area
created a safe, fun space for kids and caregivers to come play and connect with each other, with toys, games, snacks, songs, and stories each week
helped fund counselling to youth being sexually exploited
provided resources in support of the launch a church in Truro that has seen such success that they are expanding less than a year after their inaugural service
supported a church plant in the South Shore that is set to start in September 2019, but has already seen seven people come to Christ in their preview services
provided the food to serve a Christmas pancake breakfast and field day BBQ to kids in a low-income area close to the church
provided the means by which a Christian organization can reach into public schools to make connections and provide mentorship to potential attendees of other, Christ-centred programs
helped support the purchase of a new, bigger church in Haiti where our partners looking to expand their congregation
started up the Celebrate Recovery program in our partner church in Haiti
sent a trained volunteer to Southeast Asia to work undercover and fight human trafficking directly in the brothels
supported church leader development in Mongolia
None of this work could have been done without you, Deep Water. This is what YOU have done this year- what WE have done together. Thank you for blessing so many people, locally and internationally, and for coming together to shine a light into a world that can sometimes seem so dark. Let’s enter a new year encouraged by what we’ve accomplished so far, and with renewed passion to see more work done in the name of Jesus!
This year we’ve been able to bless Open Arms with some new play equipment, games, and toys. The centre has been booming lately, and there’s always a crowd of kids from all different ages and walks of life. The centre is vibrant and growing and impacting their community for Jesus as well as making significant contributions to the health of community in Uniacke Square. One of the kids favourite new activities is tumbling and some amateur gymnastics. We were able to provide them with four new professional quality tumbling mats. We dropped the first one off recently and within minutes the girls were doing cartwheels! They’re very excited for the delivery of the rest of the mats. Because of ReachOut’s partnership with Open Arms and Deep Water’s generous young families, we’ve also been able to bless some families in the community with much-needed baby items such as strollers and cribs as they need arises. Recently, a family at Deep Water was looking to donate a stroller to someone in need. Our staff contacted the director at Open Arms. She texted back immediately and said that someone had been asking if Open Arms had any strollers just that morning, and we were able to make that connection. Deep Water’s connection to the Open Arms Centre continues to bless and show Christ’s love to kids who, in many cases, had never even heard of Him before! What an impact!
Come Play is entering its fourth year, and they continue to see new faces walk through the doors! Not only that, but newcomers usually come back week after week, and many of them have started attending Deep Water through the regular connection on Friday mornings. Come Play’s dedicated volunteers show up every week to serve coffee and snacks, read stories, sing songs, and set up a large play area for kids ages 0-5.
Come Play is also a place for caregivers to come and connect with other adults. Here they have formed friendships, helped each other through struggles, and loved and served each other’s kids. It has become a community, and one that warmly welcomes new faces and gives them a place to sit, chat, relax, and feel at home. Come Play is truly a blessing to the community of children and caregivers both from inside and outside the walls of the church.
The two arms of the Open Door Centre, UP (unplanned pregnancy) and HEY (Helping Exploited Youth), have been busy this year meeting critical needs for youth in our city. They had 326 visits in 2018 and so far 2019 is far busier than last year. They did almost 100 pregnancy tests last year, helping youth make critical life choices and supporting them after their decisions. They are seeing exponential growth in HEY; in the past two months they have had over 20 appointments helping trafficked youth. They are also speaking in schools every week on sex trafficking awareness as well as sexual consent. Sometimes they are in up to 10-12 classrooms a week talking about the issues that are deeply impacting our youth.
Deep Water’s support has been an integral part of funding to do the school presentations! What a privilege to have this opportunity as a faith based organization to have this voice of truth in our schools.
They have a growing staff team, and the ReachOut support this year enables them to have high calibre HEY staff and a computer to do their work on. They are so thankful for the way ReachOut ensures that they can offer free services to all their clients through its ongoing support. Every week they see so many youth begin to make healthy decisions that literally turn their lives around. As a result of coming to the Centre for a few of months, they recently seen two clients make the biggest decision of all - to surrender their lives to God. This is when true life change often takes place!
Souls Harbour Rescue Mission remains an active and important ministry in Halifax. This year, the funds from ReachOut have been used to provide a monthly dinner, which will continue
to be served on the first Friday of every month. Each month they have been getting an
average of 10-15 volunteers from Deep Water to help serve the meal to guests.
Souls Harbour has expanded their ministry in a couple of different ways over the past
year. They opened Mission Mart in Bayer’s Lake, a thrift store where 100% of the
proceeds go to supporting their ministry. They also began construction of a Life Recovery
Shelter at their Cunard Street location, which should be up and running very soon. The
shelter will offer a recovery program to up to 10 men at a time who are in the margins,
either just coming out of prison or recovering from issues such as addiction,
homelessness, or joblessness.
Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA), run by Halifax Community Chaplaincy Society, works with men and women who acknowledge responsibility for their crime and desire to discover their true identity, allowing them to live crime-free, healthy futures. They see hope flourish and healthy relationships blossom where previously only despair and isolation reigned. Deep Water has and continues to play an integral part in their ability to carry out this vision. Our steadfast support has given them hope and confidence to continue, and for that they are very grateful! They continue operating 10 circles and their volunteers, and regularly receive requests for new circles. One need that has been addressed by volunteers and staff alike is continued volunteer training. With the demographic that CoSA works with, volunteer competence, integrity, and emotional health is of utmost importance.
ReachOut has had the opportunity over the past two years to be part of the team that is supporting a unique work of God in the Marten’s Falls area. Marten’s Falls is a native Canadian community north of Thunder Bay. Members of the community band reached out to a new church in Thunder Bay, Transformation Church, requesting help in starting a Christian community in the area. Transformation Church began working with them, including flying people in and out of the community, to begin the work. Through an Alpha program, training and an ongoing Bible study, progress in the area has been slow but God has been working in lives. As Transformation Church has funds and now other groups supporting this work, ReachOut is finishing up our committed giving to this project yet keenly and supportively standing by our partners in this mission as they continue to work to reach this community.
Since their launch in the fall of 2018, God has been doing big things at Groundswell Church in Truro! Groundswell, led by Pastor Tammy Giffen, is a no-pressure space and atmosphere where people are encouraged to come as they are and free to explore faith at their own pace. They are a church for both the seasoned believer and the unchurched. Their excellent mission and leadership is reflected in their success, and they are currently working on plans to launch a second location in East Hants in October. There are 15,000 people who live in this area and it is the youngest and fastest growing municipality in Nova Scotia. Their hope is to have a portable location in one of the schools.
Groundswell has expressed deep appreciation for the support and encouragement they have received from Deep Water over the past year, and we are thrilled to be able to help them grow and spread the Word throughout Nova Scotia!
Coastal Church is church plant set to launch in Barrington, NS in September of 2019. It will operate under the umbrella of sending church Yarmouth Wesleyan Church (YWC).
Barrington is one of the regional hub communities without a strong gospel presence, and Coastal Church will be the first church plant in the area in decades. There is a group of people from YWC leadership as well as Barrington, Woods Harbour, and Pubnico locals who have been meeting weekly to prepare for their September launch.
Coastal had had two preview services to date, with 188 attending the first service and 278 attending the second. There were also seven first-time decisions to follow Christ between the two services. YWC and Coastal leadership sees this as confirmation that the mission field in the area is ripe, and is excited to partner with Deep Water both financially and through prayer.
Joe Howe School
Deep Water’s relationship with Joe Howe Elementary School is unique, in that is it a relationship rather than a partnership. Simply put, we just want to love on them! This school is home to many children coming from low-income families and a large number of Syrian refugees, and we consider it a blessing to be able to show them love through acts of service. This year, we provided and served the kids a Christmas pancake breakfast. It was our second year doing this, and we were thrilled to see so many folks from Deep Water come out and serve these kids. We also headed up a school BBQ in June, and served them hotdogs, chips, juice and treats on their field day. We had a large team of eager volunteers serve the kids and staff. In the coming year we hope to hold more events like these and to keep serving the kids in the school just a stone’s throw from our church building.
Youth Unlimited has seen a big year as it works to build a ministry from the ground up. They work primarily in the Lower Sackville area and have offered a drop-in centre on Wednesday nights, a weekly basketball group for teen boys, and recently started up a drama program for youth. The basketball and drama groups have seen lots of success, with many youth coming through the doors and finding a safe space to spend time with amazing volunteers willing to pour into their lives. These events also offer the opportunity to make connections with the youth and parents, and invite them out to other, Christ-centred events. One such event is Youth Alpha, which was very successful early in the year and will be run again throughout the upcoming year. Right now, Youth Unlimited is regularly connected to around 50 teens through one of their existing programs.
On the horizon for the next few months are youth events, called GymPact, in public schools. These will start with one of the most challenging school, AJ Smeltzer Junior High. These events will have a “pep rally” feel, and work to make connections, find leaders from amongst the students, and build into their lives to help them develop leadership skills. They will also work to increase Youth Unlimited’s influence and visibility in the community of Sackville. This opportunity to reach into public schools is rare and Youth Unlimited leadership can’t wait to get started and bring more troubled, unchurched, seeking, or any other group of youth into a community of love and support!
Multiply is an organization, lead locally by Chad MacDonald, which equips new churches in Canada. ReachOut has begun a partnership with them to help build the network of effective churches in Atlantic Canada and throughout the country.
This year, Deep Water helped to solely fund a Child Survival Program in Nicaragua through Compassion. This program focuses on promoting development and survival of the most vulnerable babies in the area. Though the program, they provide education and support for the mother or primary caregiver, and encourage families to stay together. Below is an update from the partners working at the program in Nicaragua:
“This past year, working with pregnant mothers and babies has been a great blessing. We have
been able to provide personalized attention from the heart of their homes, illuminating for them
lessons necessary for the proper development and growth of children from the womb. It has
also been an opportunity to sow in the hearts the seed of the kingdom of heaven. The prayers in each home have given fruits of blessing, healed children, and homes that have been restored. We are working to unite families and couples in marriage. We have contacted a lawyer for those couples who wish to join their lives in civil marriage. Our challenge is to make this a reality so that homes are legally recognized. We see each mother motivated to dedicate her children to the Lord, through a ceremony of "Dedication of Children". With the help of the Lord, this year we will present about five children. I ask for your prayers for our safety in each visit we make and for God's support to be with us. Our Church will be praying for you that God will prepare you in all your goals, plans and help you in every challenge you face.”
Our partnership with people and churches in Haiti is where ReachOut began (as luvHAITI). We are thrilled to continue to see the fruits of those first seeds sown years ago. This year, eight participants were approved for micro loans for their business ventures. The micro loan program continues to function self-sufficiently and provides people with the means to kick-start their businesses and support their families. On top of this, four students received sponsorships through the Petionville Scholarship program for their post-secondary studies.
We also continue to provide financial support to our Missionary Partners, Carl & Maya Gilles, as well as support for EquipHaiti, which is a youth leadership/ ministry program. Our long-time partner church in Haiti, Petitionville Wesleyan, is growing and would like to expand. They have excellent leadership in Pastor Jeannot Chataigne, and this year we sent funds in support of their goal of purchasing a larger church building.
Petitionville Wesleyan is interested in bringing Celebrate Recovery to their congregation. Initial conversations were held in the summer between Pastor Jeannot and our CR leadership. Pastor Jeannot has identified a team of individuals to lead CR and we are currently sourcing training materials in French so that the launch team can begin to prepare.
Anti- Human Trafficking (Chris Jones)
Chris Jones, a Deep Water member, works with The Exodus Road organization as part of a team of undercover operatives investigate sex trafficking involving underage girls in Southeast Asia. Chris and his team go into brothels wearing hidden recording devices to gather evidence, then write reports and put together evidence packages to give to local law enforcement agencies. This allows the authorities to conduct raids, make arrests, and give these girls the freedom they deserve.
The work to which God has called Chris is hugely challenging, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He sees girls treated like cattle, given numbers, and completely dehumanized. These girls are abused by customers in every way imaginable. We are honoured, as a church, to support Chris in his mission financially, through prayer, and through emotional support and community.
Chris has been working with the Exodus Road for several years, but this year his mission saw a change. Due largely to the success that the Exodus Road and similar groups have had, the traffickers are changing how they do business. His last trip was largely about exploring how they can best change their approach to stay effective and keep the traffickers and abusers in retreat.
Evangelism and Church Planting in Mongolia
The Ellisons who moved to Mongolia in 2018 to help build up churches and church leaders in the country. Mongolia has a small, young Christian community and is often overlooked by missionaries due to the extreme difficulty of the local language. The Ellisons are working hard to make connections despite this language barrier. They are learning Mongolian and working on getting camps up and running to teach the locals some English skills. This will open the lines of communication between the groups of people and help spread the gospel to many Mongolians who have never heard about the love of Jesus.
Other partnerships include:
World Hope International - Canada (Disaster relief and international anti-human trafficking)
Global Partners - Church planting in Nicaragua working with Ryan Schmitz
Deep Water Benevolence