This page highlights pictures from projects supported by Acts of Grace within the most recent five years.
This page highlights pictures from projects supported by Acts of Grace within the most recent five years.
Photos are listed in alphabetical order by charity name. Click on the charity's name to be redirected to its website. Click on the Grant Description link to learn more about each grant. These pictures are used with the express permission of the organization that provided them and are not to be reproduced for any other purpose.
The existing CRM software used by Global Disciples Canada is no longer adequate to meet the growing needs of the organization nor continued effective integration with the US organization. In order to ensure the long-term effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the Global Disciples Canada office and administration, Global Disciples Canada requires an updated and scaleable CRM solution.
To ensure continued and enhanced integration with Global Disciples US, Global Disciples Canada will also implement Salesforce and a portion of the Canadian processes will be integrated with the US instance as enhancements to the US Salesforce org. This installation will increase the reliability of Global Disciples CRM data and reporting and the efficiency and effectiveness of Global Disciples Canada CRM processes and outcomes. The installation will enhance the ongoing integration of Canadian-US reporting and data management processes and outcomes.
The investments made into this CRM software will directly enable the Global Disciples Canada office to more effectively develop its Canadian partner network in order to sustainably support the high demand for church discipleship-mission, small business and leadership training programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These programs equip clusters of local churches to reach their own or other near-culture peoples with the Gospel.
Over the last several years, NorthWind Family Ministries has experienced significant growth in its ministry. The limited space at the existing 138 May St location has increasingly posed challenges in accommodating the growing needs for programming and counselling causing long wait times. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges necessitating social distancing, rendering half of the counselling offices at 138 May St unusable due to inadequate space for social distancing between counsellor & client. Approximately 18 months ago, NorthWind approached the City of Thunder Bay about a 9000 sq ft building it put up for sale directly across the road at 141 May St. South. After a year-long process, NorthWind took possession of 141 May St in early 2021.
Pictured here: The 141 May St South building purchased by NorthWind Family Ministries in early 2021.
Although the building was empty for over a year, it only needed cosmetic updates and cleaning to enable operations to begin in the new facility within 14 days. The individual counselling, Family Strengthening Program and LifeBuild offices all moved to 141 May St. This new facility increases counselling capacity from 1 to 3 family counselling offices. The counselling offices at 141 May St have adequate space for social distancing between counsellor and client. Moving the counselling and LifeBuild departments to 141 May St also frees up space at 138 May St for the Learning Centre, Warm Reprieve/Next Steps, the Gathering, Cooking for Life & Bible studies, which sometimes moved to other locations due to space constraints.
Pictured here: A counselling office at the 141 May St location.
However, the 141 May St building is presently heated by electric boilers causing expensive heating bills. In order to sustainably and affordably heat 141 May St, NorthWind must retrofit the building with a natural gas heating system including bringing the natural gas line to the building. This retrofit will not only safely, effectively and efficiently heat the building space at 141 May St but will also increase the long-term affordability of operations at 141 May St and long term sustainability of NorthWind's programming and services overall.
Pictured here: The previous electric boiler heating system and the new natural gas heating system at the 141 May St South location.
Many Indigenous people in the Thunder Bay area and northern communities have suffered greatly and experience ongoing trauma, resulting in alcohol/drug addictions, poverty, poor education, and violence. In coming alongside Canadian Aboriginals on their journey to know God and his intimate character, NorthWind provides meals and snacks as part of its programming to help provide sacred places for Indigenous people to embrace their stories, foster belongingness through community, and improve meaningful connections to God and one another.
Pictured here: The original food prep "kitchen" area in the NorthWind building.
Originally, the NorthWind building did not have a full kitchen onsite; only a fridge, microwave, minimal storage and insufficient sink/wash area. Although NorthWind used work arounds for volunteers to bring food from home (rice cookers, electric roasters, etc.), it was increasingly difficult, costly and unsustainable as programs grew. This was especially true for The Gathering, which regularly serves 100+ people at a weekly Bible Study and for family strengthening programs when families stay in the building 3-5 days at a time.
Pictured here: Participants at "The Gathering" enjoy a meal together.
An onsite kitchen has significantly increased the capacity and effectiveness of NorthWind in offering nutritious meals to its clients while leveraging bulk purchases and sales. Already, Northwind had added a second seating of The Gathering, doubling the number of people that attend. The new kitchen also facilitates NorthWind offering cooking skills classes as part of its Life-Build programs. These classes help participants learn how to provide healthy, affordable meals for their families, many of whom are food insecure.
Pictured here: The new kitchen including new cabinets, countertops and appliances as well as all new dishes, cutlery, cookware and serving pieces.
The Organized Kaos Apprenticing in Life and Trade model has proven very successful in the last several years with significantly increasing demand for increased quantity and variety in OK programs in the Paris/Brantford, Ontario area. Organized Kaos believes that this hands-on mentorship approach can not only be further expanded in its current location but also replicated in other locations across Canada to further increase the impact to young people's lives.
Pictured here: Youth work with their mentor. The OK mentorship model breaks down barriers to have real conversations about faith and life.
In order to effectively support replication and growth of the Organized Kaos model, Organized Kaos will develop an Operations Manual that outlines how to effectively start, implement, manage and grow an OK-model organization. This manual will enable the effective replication and implementation of the Organized Kaos model in new locations as well as support more effective implementation, management, and growth of current OK locations.
Pictured here: Youth work with their mentor. OK programs are offered in a variety of skilled trades including automotive, construction, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, stone carving, framing and others.
The Operations Manual will help Organized Kaos significantly expand its reach beyond its immediate programming to youth and communities throughout Canada. By extending its reach to other locations, Organized Kaos will be able to inspire hope and purpose to youth throughout Canada while continuing to engage skilled trades persons from the local church in a safe mentorship environment.
Pictured here: Youth work with their mentor. Organized Kaos uses a “side-to-side” mentorship, in which trades people teach youth, ages 13-17, in a hands on approach.
Rising Above Abuse Counselling Agency seeks to bring healing to our land and to educate, equip and empower Indigenous people to rise above their pain. Rising Above desires to see Indigenous people empowered by the Holy Spirit to experience life, identity, purpose and healing in Christ as God the Father intended. Through conferences, regional seminars, music ministry and ministry projects, Rising Above works with victims of abuse, counsellors, helpers of victims of abuse, pastors, and social workers in major cities, smaller centres and Indigenous communities. Rising Above conferences focus on abuse issues prevalent among Indigenous people including recognition, impact and healing of issues such as sexual abuse, residential schools experience, generational impact of residential schools, grief and suicide.
Pictured here: The Rising Above Band ministers at a Regional Conference.
During conferences and seminars, counselling is provided by mostly Indigenous counsellors qualified with Masters-level psychology degrees using biblical counselling principles and approaches. Additionally, Rising Above Elders and Associates act as speakers, mentors and leaders throughout the country. Many of these individuals are Residential School survivors or children of survivors and they've learned to rise above their pain through the healing they found in Christ. Through their experience they are able to help a great many others begin to heal their pain. To build its long-term capacity to train and retain new Associates to carry the ministry into their communities, Rising Above will build a new Associates Training Curriculum.
Pictured here: A speaker welcomes guests to a Rising Above Regional Conference focused on Healing the Generational Impact of the Residential School Experience and Trauma of Sexual Abuse.
The new Associate's Curriculum will gather traditional and working knowledge of current Associates and Elders and compile their expertise into a structured, modular, online, multi-media training resource to guide and mentor the next generation of speakers, leaders and Associates. This training will leverage the knowledge and experience of the current Rising Above communities to offer training through an interactive, online platform to local ministry leaders, equipping them with a biblical model of healing as it applies to healing from abuse and other trauma. The curriculum will also focus on increasing the capacity and capability of younger people to become Associates, to walk alongside people on their healing journey in their own communities.
Pictured here: A plenary session at a Rising Above Regional Conference in Prince Rupert.
SEMBEQ exists to assist in raising up the next generation of Christians principally in Quebec. SEMBEQ's mission is to equip pastors, chaplains, and various ministry leaders who are community-oriented, to encourage and help the local church to grow in its ability to multiply and train disciples, leaders, elders and deacons within its midst. SEMBEQ acts as a tool of the local churches in the training of their members and leaders, primarily in Quebec and French-speaking Europe. As a context- and church-based seminary, most of SEMBEQ's courses are taught within local churches. In particular, the core theological courses use an "inverse pedagogy" format by which students study independently then meet with a small group led by afacilitator who supports students in sharing what they learned through structured group discussion.
In order to continue to effectively serve the meet the needs the church today, as especially of younger, technology-savvy generations, there is significant need for an interactive online platform that enables high quality French-language theological training with supportive coaching, mentoring, group discussions and student follow-up. SEMBEQ also believes that modernizing the approach to theological education, equipping the church for ministry differently and informing social justice issues with a biblical worldview is essential to addressing broad societal trends of young people leaving the church. Modernizing the approach to theological education, is an opportunity for churches throughout the French-speaking world to pursue the Great Commission, training disciples or future workers with today's technology in a “user-friendly" way.
Leveraging work already completed to transition SEMBEQ courses to an online learning platform, SEMBEQ will update the format of and digitize its core theology courses as well as add supporting multi-media resources. This online dynamic interactive platform will allow individual churches or groups of churches to autonomously use the platform to provide university-quality theological training of pastors, future leaders and mature disciples in the French-speaking world. Once courses are online, the interactive platform is fully compatible with either in-person or remote/ online group meetings and will allow pastors and leaders to equip and train mature disciples and future leaders in a way that best suits their particular church context. With additional training for facilitation and regional coordination, this platform can be used internationally throughout the French-speaking world at low cost.