Author: Karen deBlieck

January 26, 2022

I was recently informed by our WOW champion ministry in India that the daily Covid infection rate has topped 3 million. This shocking news seems to run against the news from the rest of the world (the West at least) that the Omicron variant is on the wane. Indeed, the EU,UK, and Canada are reported to be using the “endemic” word lately. They are ready to accept that Covid is here to stay and the world must switch from crisis to management  mode. People will continue to contract the virus but sooner than later more may be suffering, even dying, from the collapse of the economy. This shift in...

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January 5, 2022

2022 has arrived but this new year carries a huge load from last year. We thought in 2021 that we might be seeing the end of the Covid pandemic. We were making progress, slowly but surely, and then the Omicron variant hit us with a wallop. Its growth is not just exponential, it’s explosive. In the first few days of January we’re reading reports that we are on the verge of unprecedented numbers of infections. The computer modelling of pandemic prevalence seems almost science fictional. In the iconic words of that ancient bard “Henny Penny” the sky is falling! We’re in this together. What’s more...

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December 24, 2021

Have you noticed that the Gospel is alive and well at Christmas? It’s the only time if the year when we hear the story of the Incarnation sung in pretty much every retail outlet in our western world. I was in Canadian Tire the other day and heard “ Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace, Hail the Son of righteousness, Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in his wings. Mild He lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth…” This is profoundly the gospel message, the theology of salvation. I love the carols. Take...

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December 15, 2021

Just when we thought we might be turning the corner on 20 months of Covid a new variant emerges. Omicron is sweeping the globe and multiple countries are again restricting access to foreigners and locking down their own citizens. Christmas is once again going to be a limited celebration. We’re all tired of this. The universal cry is “enough already!” Jesus words are so apropos at this time,” Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”. We need this rest. Not surprisingly the silver lining in the pandemic has been a revisiting of values. We’re taking stock,...

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December 1, 2021

I was reviewing some pictures recently that were taken just before Covid 19 struck. My wife and I were visiting an impoverished village in Malawi. There we met with several at-risk orphans and widows including what are called “child-headed households”. One of those “households” especially gripped us. It was a family of five children ranging in age from 2-15 years. The 15 year old was the “parent” of three siblings and the mother of the 2yr old. They were “squatting” in a derelict shelter. All they had was their ragged clothing. No food security, no medical support, no protector. Fortunately...

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November 17, 2021

As I write one of our WOW partner ministries is in deep water-literally. Chennai India is in the grip of huge flooding. A major weather system has been deluging the city with record amounts of water. Streets, homes, businesses, even hospitals are in up to 3-4 feet of foul water mixed with sewage. It’s a crisis of gargantuan proportion. The irony is that just as COVID-19 was starting to spread, Chennai, a city of 9 million, was in another water crisis- all its water reservoirs were dry. Water was being distributed to thirsty souls by water truck. There was no water for cleaning or bathing. There...

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October 20, 2021

Recently one of our WOW champions underwent serious back surgery in South Africa. He and his wife oversee critical Home Based Care to about 3000 at-risk orphans and widows. Their ministry, called “Cross Connect”, is one of WOW’s key partners in sub Saharan Africa. It’s doing a terrific job. His back issues have been a constant in his life for years, even though he is only in his twenties. He’s been living and working in pain all that time. He founded CC and has faithfully grown it through constant suffering. With no complaints, I might add. I think of St.Paul’s words where he states that God’s...

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October 6, 2021

The recent release of the “Pandora Papers” has revealed the hidden world of the mega rich and their avoidance of accountability via offshore banking. I’ve had brief exposure to a few of these fiscal fugitives and have been amazed at their casual rationalizations re: offshore hiding places and the avoidance of taxes. They seem to feel entitled to legal legerdemain. Their wealth sets them apart from mere acquiescence to the laws of  the land. Before we get too offended let’s admit that we too are predisposed to greed. We are aware that the love of money can easily erode love of God and neighbor....

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September 22, 2021

I spent a day yesterday recording the JCT TV programs for October (jimcantelontoday.com). As usual the television mantra is“Hurry up and wait”. Why? Because there’s always a piece of equipment that suddenly malfunctions, or a battery pack for the control room to floor intercom fails, or a camera operator called in sick, or, or… Yesterday was no exception but we prevailed. Even though the viewership is in the thousands my view of it is this: the camera is one person, and that person is you. It doesn’t matter if there are thousands. No one sees or hears with anyone else’s eyes and ears but their...

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September 15, 2021

A defining scripture for my wife and me these past 21 years is from Psalms 6:5, “A father of the fatherless, and a defender of widows, is God in his holy habitation”. While founding and pastoring King of Kings Church in Jerusalem Israel in the 1980’s we were exposed to the massive orphans and widows realities of Sub-Saharan Africa on several speaking assignments. A decade after our return to Canada our heart for these vulnerable ones saw us founding Visionledd in 1999, now known as WOW (Working for Orphans and Widows). Currently we work with chosen champions of the poor from several churches...

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