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DS DISPATCH

News from Sheldon Kotyk, Director of P2C Digital Strategies

Active Mentors

833

New Mentors

10

Applicants

9

Mentored in '22

38,101

Waiting for a Mentor

30

Mentors Needed

10

Prayer Requests

We can't do anything under our own strength. Join us as we hear God's voice and bring our requests to him.

Put a Bow on 2021

Our family with Julie's Parents
Our family with Julie's Parents

2021 started out with a covid lock-down here in Manitoba. Things eventually opened up and in the summer we even had a few weeks of optional masking instead of required. Unfortunately, Covid did it’s thing and now we are waiting to find out what type of restrictions we will be enduring as Omicron cases spread through the province.

Ministry

From the ministry side, this year has seen growth in some of our partnerships and the Digital Strategies team continues to grow. It is so exciting to see other ministries as well as church denominations grasp what we have been working on for years. One key area we will be focusing on in 2022 is a church planting strategy in South Asia with the Canadian Missionary Alliance and their church planting partner. Our desire is to make disciples and to integrate them into a local church. Another large Digital ministry once told me they had given up on that. I’m not willing to give up and the CMA isn’t either.

We’ve been expanding our Persian ministry and have launched Issues I Face in Chinese and are expanding the languages we work in within India as well. A few languages in Africa have also come on board as we work with our Global Digital Strategies national teams. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this amazing video that our Creative Director put together, please watch it. With a day to go in 2021, our team of 828 active mentors has mentored 79,483 people. Over 2200 people have indicated decisions for Christ. Our websites have been visited by 3.35 million people from almost every country on the planet.*

*Numbers are still in the verification phase.

We are so thankful for those of you that support our ministry through your prayers and finances. If you are interested in making a gift for the end of the year, you can give on this page and get a tax receipt for the 2021 tax year if you give before midnight on December 31.  

Family

On the personal side, Covid impacted our extended family with my father and my in-laws both experiencing pretty harsh symptoms. My dad was hospitalized for much of the fall but thankfully he is back at home and has improved back to even better than he was doing in the summer.

Julie is still at the Crisis Unit here in Steinbach and works nights. The physical stress is awful but the mental stress is much less than she endured when working in the psych unit in the hospital in Abbotsford so we’re relatively happy.

Kristin is in Grade 12 and has already been accepted to Youth With A Mission in Kona, Hawaii beginning in the fall. She’s working at Carters/Osh Kosh at the mall here and has already paid off half of her car loan! We were able to get a great car for her from our friends at Fairway Ford.

Ava is in Grade 11 and made the varsity basketball team. She’s also working at Carters after doing a six month tour at McDonalds.

Jamie played school volleyball in Grade 8 and just made the Providence Jr. Pilots 14U Volleyball team. We are hopeful that they will be able to play in tournaments in the spring but for now it looks like they’ll be at least able to practice.

I am very much looking forward to 2022. I pray that God would bless you and your family as he has ours.

Covid Status

With Manitoba beginning a third wave, our government has put in restrictions that limit our ability to see family outside of our home. Pray that we would have peace and make use of opportunities to connect with family and friends where possible.

One of our staff and his family of 5 in India have tested positive for COVID, with symptoms worsening for his wife. They are still grieving a family member who recently died due to COVID complications.

Some have had the privilege of getting a vaccine and are feeling its side effects of fatigue and weakness. It has been difficult for some to get work done with such low energy.

Some of our staff, having recovered from COVID months ago, are still feeling its effects today. 

This pandemic has affected us as I'm sure it's affected you in so many different ways.

Will you pray that God's promise of deliverance and redemption would give us life this week? Will you pray for a miracle of healing for our staff? Will you pray that God would act in the broken health system of India for his glory? 

Ministry Requests for May

We have a number of innovation projects underway.

Our Reddit project has a number of mentors engaged and we are testing how ministry can happen on that platform along with some machine learning tests.

Kirk Durston has put up a number of videos on his Quest channel dealing with Christian culture and responses to reasons people give that have left the faith.

Pray that we would see amazing things and learn new ways to reach more people with the love and hope of Jesus.

Praise God for Jobs

Back in November, Kristin applied at Carter's OshKosh but it just happened to be the day our government announced that retail stores needed to be essential sales only and/or curb-side pickup. Thankfully, in March she was called and began her first real job. She's really enjoying it.

A few weeks ago, Ava was hired at McDonalds and has learned how to do the fries. Unfortunately, they closed today for a few weeks as they renovate. She didn't even get a pay-cheque yet so no EI for Ava. She'll be back at work soon enough.

With the weather getting better, we filled up the pool so the kids have something to do besides Minecraft.

November's Ministry Requests

This quarter, we are focusing on a few things that will help to increase mentor retention which will in turn, allow us to respond to even more people.

Our goal is to have at least 90% of our mentors continue at the end of each quarter. Although our mentoring program is not for everyone, we want to ensure that we have done everything we can to ensure the experience is fulfilling for those that give their time and heart to our ministry as volunteers.

  1. We are wanting to recruit another 20 or so mentor coaches to encourage and equip new mentors, as well as those that have been with us for a while.

  2. Anecdotally, and in our staff's own experience, sometimes it can be frustrating when mentors do not get a second message when they respond to a message. We've crunched the numbers and thankfully, it isn't nearly the problem that it seemed to be. When mentors follow our training, it is only 10% of conversations that don't continue after the mentors respond. What this does show is that our training needs to be more clear.

November Family Requests

So far this fall has been, in a word, interesting. Obviously, with the pandemic causing issues, school has been intermittent. Until this week, Jamie (12) has been in school full time while the older two are mixed between in-person classes and working on projects. Thankfully, all three do well and other than the annoyance, we're expecting them to continue to perform. Kristin is in grade 11 and Ave is in grade 10. Jamie is in grade 8.

Ava has continued having shoulder issues and we are waiting for follow-up with the surgeon to see when surgery can potentially happen. It's looking like elective surgeries will probably get postponed at this point. My hope is that it can be dealt with before soccer season next year.

With Julie in healthcare, we are thankful for minimal cases at her clinic. Continue praying for protection please.

Financial Requests

It is through the financial partnership of people like you that we can continue as a ministry, and I can be involved in it.

Although the pandemic is making things a bit more difficult than usual to raise funds, it is also showing the need for digital strategies to reach the world. We're excited to be able to share the stories of those whose lives are being changed by reading our content and connecting with our mentors.

This fall, we need to raise $200,000 to fund the operations of our ministry. I am also needing about $1000 more of monthly support. Please pray towards these goals.

Covid-19 Opportunities

As devastating and scary as Covid-19 is, it is nothing compared to what it would be like to hear that we did not do what God wanted us to do at this time. The opportunities are coming at us from every direction and we want to take advantage of as many as possible.

Prayer Request

Wisdom to identify and mobilize on the opportunities that God wants P2C DS to do or support.

Family Updates

Julie is working at the Crisis Unit in town and being in health care, interacts with the population that often has the tendency to be more high-risk. Pray for continued health and safety.

The kids are all at home now as we're on lockdown but being smart kids they are getting all their work done.

Ava is scheduled for an MRI on her shoulder on April 6. We're expecting it may get postponed or cancelled but pray that she is able to handle any anxiety spikes as the date approaches.

Jamie is doing physio on her own now and the pain specialist has cleared her for active duty in PE and with sports.

Kristin would like the snow to go away.

Pray for each other

I have an amazing group of prayer and financial partners. I am very aware that when the economy is experiencing issues, it will often affect you. I am praying for you and I would love it if you would all pray for my team of ministry partners. Related to this, pray that the individual churches would all be able to continue operating and reaching their communities.

A New Vision Beyond 2020

"5000 Mentors leading 1 Million people closer to Jesus by the end of 2020." As we see the end of 2020 quickly approaching, we are confronted by the need to look beyond December 31. Will you pray (and fast?) with us over the next few months as we listen to God's heart for our ministry?

Family: Ava Dislocates Shoulder in Basketball Tournament

We're pretty sure it isn't the first time that our middle daughter (14) has popped her shoulder out. Unfortunately, this time the x-rays show that she has a Hill-Sachs Lesion. An MRI is in the process of being scheduled and she'll be joining Jamie (11) in physiotherapy who damaged her wrist (Scaphoid fracture). Ava is still going to play in the soccer tournament this weekend.

Jamie is in Choir. Kristin (15) is currently in indoor track and is doing great.

Ottawa. Twice.

I'll be heading to Canada's capital for a day and a half of meetings in mid-February then again in April for our Ministry Leader's Summit. I'll be taking my oldest daughter Kristin with me on the first trip. We're hoping to skate on the canal. Pray for safe travels and wisdom for those in the meetings.

Quebec Project

Our initial marketing tests for advertising in Quebec came back a little higher than desired. Pray that Dorothy would be able to figure out how to reach more people in Montreal and the Sherbrooke areas with our MES DÉFIS, J'EN PARLEstrategy.

WE NEED MORE MENTORS!

I just looked at our TMM.io administrative dashboard and I see that there are currently 559 new people waiting for a mentor to respond. Although we have seen 24 new missionaries accepted in the last 30 days, we need to see hundreds more join us. JOIN HERE!