April 2016

Greetings from the yet still white North,

Spring is here; it is still kind of cold here though. Easter came and went. I spent my Easter at services the various churches in Thompson held. I definitely missed Easter gatherings back home. Jesus is still alive and victorious wherever we are. I’ve been doing a lot of ice fishing recently. Currently the bite is on at Paint Lake and fishing is a hobby of mine.

SALT Nelson House
We as a mission are very excited to see what has been happening at the SALT group in Nelson House. The youth are starting to take turns leading Bible study each week. This is what we have been praying for for years. We have always wanted the youth to take ownership of this group and begin to self-lead this group. It is really exciting to see God working there.

Nipawin Retreat
The retreat at Nipawin Bible College really opened a door for me to get to know some of the youth much better than I did before. I am not a naturally outgoing person. This weekend was a really good experience together. Noah Parsons of the Bridge in Saskatoon was the speaker. We were challenged to stand tall for God wherever we are. Peter’s denials of Jesus were the example of what we can learn from.

Junior high and high school can be hard years for anyone. Some youth feel very isolated with very few fellow Christians in their families. Representing Christ well is hard, no matter where we are. However, just as Peter was reinstated, we are welcomed back to God and back to serving him. Please pray for the youth who do not have many other believers to fellowship with.

Midway Builders
We have been busy. Dylan and I finished up the entrance at Eduard Spies house. He was very happy with the job that we did for him. Dylan has learned a lot in the short time that he has been here. We have also hired another young man, William Paupanakis. We have also started building a shed that we hope to sell.

I am often reminded that this is a long term project we are looking at. Discipleship is not a linear street and only God can change hearts. However, I have been blessed to get to know these two young men. I have been privileged to be a part of their lives.
God has been teaching me that just as we struggle in our faith here on earth, Jesus has gone before us and left us an example. I do have fellowship here but generally Thompson is a dark city. Jesus suffered in His earthly life; we should not be surprised when the same happens to us. Let us strive to be faithful in our lives as Jesus was.

Matters of Prayer
Prayer for Dylan and William would be greatly appreciated. Pray that would both want to follow God with everything they are. Pray also for the SALT youth that they would grow into mature disciples of Christ. Pray also for me as I try to create a long term business plan for Midway Builders.

Humbly yours,

Travis Harms

March 2016

Hello and greetings from the Great White North,

February has been a month of new things. I have been to Nelson House and Split Lake for the SALT groups. I have started working with Dylan and we are figuring out the best way to handle this adventure. I am learning about giving quotes and planning jobs. God has been working and I have seen good fruit even in the short time that I have been here.

MissionX
We had Steinbach Bible College’s second year students here for a week for their Mission Exposure trip. There were two trucks that took students out to Split Lake. I was even able to visit them halfway through their week there. The Split Lake band was very thankful for the cleanup work the students did in the local youth center.

The general report that I received was that students were blown away by how many people they got to know in the short time that they were in their communities. Most have not ever spent extensive time on a First Nations reserve before. Many received great hospitality and were pleasantly surprised at the doors God opened up for ministry in their communities.

Midway Builders
I have been putting much time into the construction ministry in the last month. Dylan and I finished installing the door in the offices as you can see in the picture. Tuesday we had a great time together working on Eduard Spies entrance. The walls are going up and our communication as coworkers is improving. We expect to be finished that project in the next few weeks.

God is Patient
Personally, I have been learning patience and trusting in God. The previous two weeks have been frustrating for me. I have been feeling like very little was going well for me. I was uncertain about where I would be staying in the coming months. Truancy was an issue last week for Dylan.
With work I was advised to show great patience and to be thankful for the time Dylan and I could spend together. I was reminded how God is patient with us when we take forever to learn or understand or to make a change in our lives. God gives us immeasurable grace in our imperfections. If God is so patient with me, I can be patient with those around me also.

I was reminded yesterday at Bible study that we will have trouble in this life and that we should not be surprised. God is still the master of the seas and is still working His purposes in our lives. Sometimes when we look back what we got so worked up over seems so small but in the moment it was huge.
I am very glad to say that I will be moving in with Daniel in the next few days. I am really glad to be able to settle in somewhere and unpack all of my boxes. I am looking forward to the fellowship we will be able to have together. God has provided for what I need.

Matters of Prayer
Prayer that Dylan and I would continue to communicate well going forward as well as making good decisions for our endeavor and those involved would be appreciated. We will be taking some youth to a conference at Nipawin Bible College this coming weekend. Prayers for safety and God’s hand at work in all of our hearts would be great!

Humbly yours,

Travis Harms

February 2016

Greetings,

For the first time I am writing this to you from the beautiful Thompson Manitoba. I arrived here approximately a week ago. Currently I am staying in Morgan Serger’s basement. God has provided me a good place to stay even though a place with a roommate was not available when I moved up. I am still planning to move in with another fellow missionary, Daniel Merasty in the coming months.
This previous weekend we spent some time caribou hunting up on the winter roads. We drove up all the way past Lynn Lake up toward Brochet and Tadoule Lake. The caribou on their migration swing through part of Manitoba. For the past few years, Morgan, Cohle and a few others from the community have been going up to get caribou.

A number of folks that have been involved in the Bible camp from Winkler and Steinbach drove up to hunt also. There were also two teens from Thompson who joined us, one of whom I’ll be working with, but I’ll return to that later. We were actually not able to get any caribou. Most were too far north and we could not travel to them because the winter road was not open far enough. This was disappointing but we still had a good time and made memories together. We are thankful that God provided safety for us travelling. There were some vehicle breakdowns but no one was hurt. God is good!

I have started on developing a platform for using construction projects as ministry. I will be working with a teen named Dylan. We have two projects lined up currently. We will install a door in the mission offices and build a shed with the intent of selling it. The profit from the projects will go to paying Dylan a wage and covering our costs. Roy Dunford of Thompson has been a great help. The company Roy works for throws out many building materials that can still be used. Roy has brought them to us for this ministry’s use. This greatly lowers our costs. I am very thankful for the help that he has been thus far.

I will still be working in the Nelson House SALT group as I have said previously.

I am glad to report that I have experienced a second wave of sorts with support coming in. I have been greatly blessed by what I have received in the last month. I had been at approximately 30% for a long time. Currently I am at 56% which is enough for me to live on. God has provided for my needs and I am thankful for His provision.

I wrote in my previous report about my dad’s health issues. My dad made a full recovery shortly thereafter. I praise God for His goodness in that to our family. My grandpa however, is now dealing with cancer and treatment. I am praying for recovery and I ask that you would join me in that. Prayers also for developing a good working relationship with Dylan and finding a long term place to settle into would be appreciated.

Humbly yours,

Travis Harms

November 2015

Hello,

I am writing to let you know of how the Midway team is doing and how my plans are coming. We just recently had a retreat at Selah Christian Retreat Center in Vassar, MB. We discussed what our calendar year will look like and what we want to change coming into 2016. We also discussed how I will fit into the ministry team come the New Year.

I am at approximately a third of my monthly amount thus far. I am thankful for those whom God has provided to partner with me. I am also rejoicing that God has provided many prayer and encouragement partners. It has been decided that I will be starting on Feb. 1. I will move up during the third/fourth week of January. I will be rooming with fellow missionary Daniel Merasty. We both want a Christian roommate and I thank God for His provision thus far.

Construction is slow in the Winkler area; the company I had been working with laid off several of their employees including me. I have found work for the time being with my uncle doing construction in Altona and western Manitoba/Saskatchewan.

We also recently had an art auction titled Meeting Midway For a Masterpiece. This was held at the Steinbach MB church on Nov. 21. 25 pieces of art were sold; the majority was graciously donated by artists in northern Manitoba. The proceeds were for the support of Midway Bible Camp and missionaries Daniel, Kyla and I. Thank you very much being a part of God’s ministry in Northern Manitoba. I thank God that you are part of my life.

Humbly yours,

Travis Harms

October 2015

I am Travis Harms from the Altona EMMC and will begin working with Midway Christian Leadership this winter. I grew up in Dominion City, MB and attended Steinbach Bible College from 2010 to 2014. Currently I have been working in construction in Winkler, MB.

Over the next year I will be learning from Daniel Merasty and exploring his current role working with the S.A.L.T. group in Nelson House. Daniel is considering going to attend Bible College in the coming year and this may leave an opening which I am willing to fill. I anticipate meeting the youth and seeking God together with them. Either way there is much missions work and opportunity to grow disciples of Jesus and being flexible and obedient to God is foundational to this kind of work.

Looking further ahead into the future, I found I actually do enjoy construction work. Morgan and I have talked about the possibility of facilitating mentoring relationships through a vocation. This is in the idea/dream stage; however; it is something we are looking at getting into.

I am praising God for providing me with close friends and family who have supported/encouraged/prayed with me as I made my way to this decision. I am also praising God for those who have given their word to support me in this also. Prayer would be appreciated as I build my support team this fall and to finish well at my current job.

May 2016

To those who support us in faith:

Thank you for your continued support. This month has been discouraging; there has been quite a lot of death in the northern communities. Last week I drove a youth home that hasn’t come to salt in some time. I’d known this youth for a while. She’s a very intelligent individual who has a good sense of humor. For most of youth and the drive she was pretty quiet. Then as we nearing her street she said, “How do you deal with grief?”

The question was hard hitting. After deep breath I said, “Well, there are two ways you can deal with it. You can trust God, or you can try and deal with it some other way. I’ve tried both. And the times I’ve trusted God are the times I’ve felt the closest to Him and felt actual peace. It was really nice. But the times I didn’t, were the times I chose to suffer more. Yea you might feel a little better for a while but it’s only temporary.” She understood and contemplated it a little and I dropped her off, she said thanks and that was it.

So, there are many cases like this in the communities we’re involved in, struggling with grief and depression. I myself have had seasons of it but am doing well now. In the news there was an epidemic in the nearby community of Cross-Lake. In a community of 6,000 there were 140 people attempting or threatening to commit suicide and 100 people on suicide watch.

Before any social aid that the federal government plans to give, I believe the only real answer is Jesus.

So please pray for deliverance for us, that we would all turn to God and trust in him. If God is able to restore a nation like Israel, He is able to restore our people if we just trust in him. Because I know that if God created our people, and that we were all made in his image, he loves us.

So I’ll just end with a slight update with Nelson House. We are still meeting, and we recently finished the book of Matthew, and before that, Genesis. We are now reading Exodus and the youth’s response is really encouraging, they scold me for not teaching enough. We do about three chapters at a time, seeing’s how when the youth group began, one chapter seemed like a lot to get through for a lot of them, I think that’s a great response. I’d ask that for prayer that God would speak to us through His word and that we would seek Him and turn completely from our way to His.

Thank you again for being a part or what we see God doing.

Sincerely,

Daniel Merasty