Category Archives: Misc

Ironwood Christian Camp

Mike helped with a new addition to the meeting hall
Mike helped with a new addition to the meeting hall
Ironwood Christian Camp
Ironwood Christian Camp
The road to Ironwood
The road to Ironwood

For over 25 years Melanie and I had the privilege of hosting work teams both in Sept-Îles and in Quebec City. But last week, we had the opportunity to actually work on a work team during “Nehemiah Work Week at Ironwood.” How refreshing to work alongside others from so many different walks of life and in such a concrete way for a common cause. Getting to know this wonderful ministry located in the heart of the Southern California desert was truly a blessing!  Thank you Pastor and Mrs. Craig Evins of Trinity Baptist, Bullhead City, AZ for inviting us to join your gang!


E-mail Temporarily Down

Just a note to say that our e-mail will be down for what we hope will not be more than a few hours today. We are changing hosting services for both simplification and cost effectiveness.

This site will probably need some spiffing up after the change as well. Thanks for your patience!

Pray for a Mission Trip to France

Valerie Webster Sandquist,  with husband, Tom, and children, Erik, Karen, and Benjamin.
Valerie Webster Sandquist, with husband, Tom, and children, Erik, Karen, and Benjamin.

Tomorrow, our oldest daughter Valerie flies out of Charlotte with a group of students from Calvary Christian School in Greer, SC.  She and another teacher are leading this group on a mission trip to help missionaries Jared and Rebekah Stevenson for one week.  We ask you to pray that God might use this trip in the hearts of these young people for His glory.  We are so thankful that Valerie’s epilepsy has been under control for several months now.  We ask you to pray for her in a special way during this trip.  It is such a thrill for us as parents to see her and Tom giving of themselves to the Lord’s work!

Email Upgrade and House Cleaning

We have made a few changes that make it possible for you to receive more regular email updates via our blog if you wish.  A few of you are already subscribed to our blog posts.  Our regular updates are sent once or twice a month but blog posts will occur more often.  In any event, you may update your subscription here.

Thank you so much for your faithful prayer support!

California, here we come!

30th anniversary gifts from our folks.
30th anniversary gifts from our folks.

Lord willing, we will be leaving Quebec City on Monday for the airport in Boston, and a round trip flight to San Diego, CA for two weeks.  We are looking forward to time with Melanie’s family in Southern California and to much needed rest.  This will be our first real vacation since 2009.  We are thankful that Catherine’s health is currently stable enough to allow for this.  Thanks for your prayers!

“When we believe that we ought to be satisfied, …”

“When we believe that we ought to be satisfied, rather than God glorified, we set God below ourselves, imagine that He should submit His own honor to our advantage; we make ourselves more glorious than God, as though we were not made for Him, but He made for us; this is to have a very low esteem of the majesty of God.” — Charles Spurgeon

“Measure not God’s love and favour by your own feeling…”

“Measure not God’s love and favour by your own feeling. The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day as it does in the brightest. The difference is not in the sun, but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof.” — Richard Sibbes

The Quebec Government’s Religion Class now Mandatory

Canadian Supreme Court(Editorial from Spring, 2012 edition of “News of Quebec”, the trimestrial missionary news publication of the Assemblies of Christians in French Canada, used with permission by the author, Richard E. Strout)


The Supreme Court Decides

On   February   17,   2012,   the Supreme Court of Canada in a 9-0 ruling upheld the right of Quebec’s Ministry of Education to require that all elementary and secondary school children be obligated to follow the controversial Ethics and Religion course introduced into the Quebec school system as of 2008. According to Christianity Today, the court ruled that since the program was educational and was not forcing children to join any religion, it did not infringe on religious freedom.

The course teaches religion from a secular point of view, putting all faith systems on an equal footing. Bible stories are treated as legends and Christianity is presented as just one among many of the legitimate cultural expressions of our time. In the words of the court,

“… early exposure of children to realities that differ from those in their immediate family environment is a fact of life in society. The suggestion that exposing children to a variety of religious facts in itself infringes their religious freedom or that of their parents amounts to a rejection of the multicultural reality of Canadian society and ignores the Quebec government’s obligations with regard to public education.

Since its inception, the introduction of this course has been opposed by parents and leaders of various Christian expressions, both Catholic and Protestant. Already over 2000 parents are said to have raised objections, among them parents of two children in Drummondville, Quebec, who requested of the local school board that their children be exempted. Following the school board’s refusal, the loss of their case before the Quebec Superior Court and a refusal by the Quebec Court of Appeals to hear the case, it was taken to the Supreme Court.

Some organizations within the province of Quebec have opposed the introduction of this curriculum by legal action, public manifestations and the like. On the other hand, The Protestant Partnership in Education has endeavored to work closely with the Quebec Ministry of Education to introduce changes into the program in order to make it more compatible with evangelical convictions. Thankfully, there has been a good spirit of give and take and some progress has been made over the years. This said, however, in the minds of many if not most Quebec evangelicals, the Ethics and Religion course is still very far from being acceptable.

The Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC), one of the numerous interveners in the case before the Supreme Court, expressed its concern with the court’s decision lest it “set a precedent allowing provinces to implement a particular mandatory religion course of their choosing at the expense of violating the religious sensibilities of Christian schools and their supporters.” The CCCC goes on to say that, in their view, “the religious curriculum in question favours one particular vision of religion that of the Quebec government at the expense of the vision of the parents who objected.”

This is by no means the first time that the education of evangelical protestant children has been a matter of concern for parents and leaders here in Quebec – see my editorial in the Spring 20 I 0 issue of this magazine. One has only to return to the 1950s and 1960s and right back into the nineteenth century when education was in the hands of the predominant church. Ways were ultimately found for circumventing the problem but they were costly, both in terms of money and the persecution of the French evangelical minority. Today it has become a Church-State issue rather than a confessional one; however, the stakes are much the same.

Happily, materials have been and continue to be prepared to be placed in the hands of Christian parents which will enable them to counteract the negative influences of this required curriculum. We can only hope that parents will avail themselves of such materials and step up to the plate as concerns their God-given responsibility to see to the proper religious education of their children. …

Brethren, pray for us.

“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.” (Mt 28:6)

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”  (1Co 15:17, 20)

A blessed Easter Sunday to all!!!