Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
We understand that all Christians are on a mission with God to go and make disciples. As we live our daily lives at work, at home and in our neighbourhoods, each believer is to be engaging our friends, neighbours and co-workers in spiritual discussions that ultimately point them to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. However, some of us are set apart to make the missionary lifestyle our primary vocation.
The vision of the Church of City Missions Team is to be an encouragement to our partner missionaries and organizations through prayer, finances and communication. Here, you can learn more about each of our long-term partnerships.
New Hope Youth Center | Thunder Bay
In November of 2020, Church of the City began a partnership with Hope Story to support the work of the New Hope Youth Centre, managed by New Hope Church in Thunder Bay. Their vision is to “empower youth in reaching their full potential while discovering Christ.”
Being the only First Nations focused youth center in the city, the Youth Centre has become a safe place for Indigenous youth to hang out several nights a week. Many teens have left their childhood home to attend highschool in Thunder Bay and commonly suffer from addiction, drug abuse, and depression. At the Youth Centre they can eat, play, and nourish healthy friendships with volunteers and each other. They are invited into a relationship with Jesus and into learning what it means to worship and serve Him, their Creator. The NHYC stands out to the city and surrounding communities as faith groups and secular organizations alike are recognizing it as a vital aspect of safety for youth in Thunder Bay.
Church of the City’s hope in this partnership is to support the Youth Centre and New Hope Church through a posture of listening, humility, encouragement, prayer and financial support. To learn more about the Youth Center, watch this video, and keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram, and email updates. To support Hope Story directly or learn more about this ministry, click here.
Adam and Sabrina Pietrantonio | Japan
In 2019, Church of the City began a partnership with Adam and Sabrina Pietrantonio by becoming one of their sending churches. Adam had been a key part of our church community and we were excited to come alongside him when he sensed God’s invitation into full-time ministry in Japan. Adam and Sabrina’s mission and heart is to advance a disciple-making movement in Japan. In a country with a government that guarantees freedom of religion, less than 0.5% of Japanese are followers of Jesus, and Japanese identity is strongly tied to Buddhism and Shintoism. The mission to make disciples in Japan is difficult for North Americans given the vastly unique culture which especially values conformity.
God has placed in Adam and Sabrina a deep passion for the people of Japan to know and love Jesus. Before they were married in 2021, Adam had traveled to Japan on a mission trip and spent time discipling Japanese international students in Canada before joining the Fellowship to serve long-term in Japan in 2019. Sabrina spent 5 years in Japan as a missionary serving with SIM. Adam and Sabrina emerged from their time in Japan with incredible stories of evangelism, discipleship, and the power of Jesus!
Now, they serve jointly with the Fellowship and World Venture to join the disciple-making movement in Japan. With an always growing understanding of Japanese culture, they are excited for what God has in store for this ministry.
For recent updates on Adam and Sabrina’s ministry, email COTC’s Missions Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive newsletter updates, or stay tuned for our email and social media updates.
Elijah D | Chad
In 2021, Church of the City began a partnership with Elijah as his sending church when he joined TEAM International to serve long-term in Chad. We got to know and love Elijah at COTC while he studied agriculture and completed his Masters at the University of Guelph. Utilizing his skills in agronomy and conservation agriculture along with his deep love for Jesus, Elijah will be working in the eastern part of Chad with communities where Islam is the prominent religion. Elijah’s vision is to work with Chadian farmers helping them thrive both physically and spiritually as they live and farm in a region that experiences long seasons of drought.
The COTC family is excited to be supporting Elijah as he continues serving Christ. To stay updated on Elijah and his ministry, stay tuned on our emails, website and social media pages. If you would like to receive email updates from Elijah directly, please email the Missions Team.
Bechara and Roula Karkafi | Lebanon
Church of the City’s partnership with Bechara and Roula Karkafi began in 2018 and we are honoured to serve alongside and support them in their ministry. Serving with the Fellowship as missionaries in Lebanon, the Karkafi’s oversee a diverse range of ministries all with the vision of enabling disciple making movements, where people come to know Jesus and tell others about Jesus.
The Karkafi’s ministries in Lebanon include a church-planting movement called Stronger Together Plus, which aims to support and encourage healthy and self-sustaining church plants committed to disciple making and further church planting. The hope is to see this disciple-making movement spread across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as well as to encourage pastors who might be willing to relocate to Canada to plant Arabic-speaking churches. Currently, over 300 passionate pastors and church planters are being trained, equipped, and supported to work as church planters through programs such as the Mission Academy, seminary training and Disciple-Making Movement (DMM) training. Stronger Together Plus is expanding throughout Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Egypt and Sudan.
The Karkafis also oversee the Clementia Life Centre, directed by Roula, which aims to provide education, empowerment, training, development, and protection for Syrian refugee children from ages 5-15, as well as their families. Eight faithful leaders, as well as a psychologist and a speech therapist, offer education, life skill training, psychosocial support, nutritious meals, relief and aid, and spiritual support. Children are introduced to the love of Jesus through a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) ministry. Students are taught English, math, Arabic, and science, which are currently being offered online due to COVID-19. Additionally, life skills training helps children ages 14-16 to pursue safer work upon graduating from the centre. Currently, the centre is serving 102 Syrian refugee children as well as 35 families and extended families.
Amidst the CLC and church-planting movement occurring in Lebanon, there are endless efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and training, with the foundational heart of these ministries being disciple-making movements. As well, the Karkafis are passionate about planting churches among the Arab and Islamic communities in Canada alongside FebCentral. Ten churches have already been planted, and seven new churches are in incubation in Ottawa, Montreal, London (2), Brampton, Hamilton, Barrie, Scarborough, Mississauga, and Kitchener.
To stay up-to-date on their involvement through their newsletter, contact the COTC Missions Team (email@example.com) or stay tuned to our email, website, and social media updates.
Kamil and Rita | Lebanon
Since 2020, Church of the City has been supporting a church plant in Lebanon amongst the Syrian refugee community. The church plant is led by Kamil and Rita under the leadership of Roula Karkafi. Kamil and Rita lead this church through the Disciple Making Movement that includes visits to Syrian families on their doorsteps to pray for them and to care for them through the Mercy Ministry. The care that is offered includes food and medical support, particularly to families who have lost mothers. Many of the children of these families are part of the Clementia Life Centre and receive help for their homework! Those supported include 10-12 families from Syria and two from Iraq. Kamil and Rita are a brave and passionate couple who are doing incredible ministry in Lebanon!
For updates, contact the COTC Missions Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stay tuned to our email, website, and social media updates.