Who We Are

icr-logoInternational Christian Response Canada was founded in 2003 by personal from HMK in Swizterland. We are a registered charity and an inter church organization, with board members from several major Christian denominations.

We work to see the Church grow and expand in all denominations though out the world especially in countries where the church is persecuted Our office is at 5788 – ­203 Street, Langley, BC V3A1W3. 604-­532­-1993 / 604-­836-­4546

For 10 years Mel Wiebe was an Associate Pastor of Christian Life Assembly, in Langley, B.C. a suburb of Vancouver, B.C. in Western Canada. Christian Life Assembly is a congregation of about 2,500 people and has influence in much of Canada and throughout the world through a strong missions endeavor. Mel’s area of responsibility was pastoral care through a network of over 200 small groups and various other ministries.

103621_webphotoMelwiebe1In addition to his work in the local church, he traveled extensively to other churches and countries, preaching, teaching, training and mentoring others in the Gospel. Mel is a recording artist, a song writer and pianist and has been used of the Lord to teach other churches Praise and Worship. Mel speaks on a variety of topics and does ‘Encounter Weekends’, a time of spiritual renewal. Mel has a very humorous style of communicating the message. He has been a Pastor for over 40 years, a missionary for 4 years and has preached and taught in many countries world­wide.

He enjoys travel, sports, golf, music and family and has been married for 45 years. He and his wife Jasmine (A Trinidadian) have 2 married children and 4 grandchildren.

On Nov.25/08 Mel had ‘NO PULSE’ for almost 30 minutes and then was diagnosed with Colon Cancer with a short time to live. God gave him a miracle and this testimony is inspiring to all.

Mel is now the President of International Christian Response; ICR Canada supports persecuted Christians in 40 countries. He wants to help Canadian Christians become aware of the persecution that other believers experience on a daily basis in many areas of the world. Mel will encourage believers in Canada to pray for their brothers and sisters in other lands and he will also encourage them to invest financially in the worth­while work that God is doing among these wonderful persecuted believers.

Name and History

  • HMK (German “Hilfe für Mensch und Kirche“ – Helping individuals and churches)
  • Established in 1969 as a Christian relief and development ministry

Mission

  • HMK provides fast and effective help for persecuted Christians and people in need

Scope

  • Global mandate and active in over thirty countries

Values

  • The gospel matters – The Good News of Jesus Christ is at the core of all our activities
  • Excellence matters – Compelled by Christ’s love we serve with excellence so that others may receive holistic, encompassing help
  • Sustainability matters – We emphasize capacity-building in our pursuit for integrated development
  • Synergy matters – We serve in close collaboration with indigenous local partners and ministries, as well as national and international networks to maximize financial and material synergies
  • Church planting matters – We believe in the importance of the local church in God’s mission
  • Transformation matters – We long to see the gospel transform whole societies and people freed from bondage and the poverty cycle
  • Justice matters – We engage in advocacy and defend human rights and religious freedom
  • The disadvantaged matter – The disadvantaged and marginalized are an integral part of numerous relief projects and they are given access to tools for self-sufficiency

Mission

HMK (German “Hilfe für Mensch und Kirche“ – Helping individuals and churches) exists to provide fast and effective help for persecuted Christians and suffering people in over thirty countries. Our material assistance contributes to the livelihood of thousands of people in need. The gospel of Jesus Christ is at the core of all our activities. Compelled by Christ’s love we serve with excellence so that others may receive holistic, encompassing help.  

Who we are

HMK was established in 1969 as a Christian relief and development ministry with a global mandate. We emphasize sustainability and capacity-building in our pursuit for integrated and sustainable development cooperation. For this reason we serve in close collaboration with local partners and ministries. We promote the development of sustainable church networks in poor countries to see the gospel transform societies and people freed from bondage and the poverty cycle. Refugees, children, and people facing mental and physical challenges are an integral part of numerous relief projects.

Goals

In carrying out our mission we pursue the following outcomes:

  • Christians who are persecuted on account of their relationship with Christ receive new strength and hope
  • The poor and needy, those who lost everything as a result of a catastrophe or are living in poverty-stricken regions, receive new hope and perspective
  • Christians are empowered to practice their faith amidst political and societal pressures in countries with restricted freedom of religion
  • People in the West become aware of, and respond to, the needs of persecuted Christians

Strategy

Local Networks

Our developmental approach leads us to implement capacity-building solutions. We collaborate with and empower local indigenous people and ministries, in order to build their capacity to come alongside people in need in their own regions and to render a valuable service in their own communities. For this reason we work almost exclusively with local, indigenous partners in a given country or region. They know the culture, language, and way of thinking of people in need and are thus best equipped to provide effective and efficient help.

Cooperation

We collaborate with numerous national and international organizations and ministries, including dozens of partner ministries in the countries of our projects, as well as ministries in Switzerland, Europe, and North America. Collaborating across denominational lines with various Christians and ministries results in financial and material synergies, which in turn can be used to provide quick and effective help for people in need. We participate in several networks such as “Hoffnungsnetz,” (“Hope Network”) with a focus on emergency and disaster relief, the Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA), and its roundtable for religious freedom called “Interaction.” We also collaborate with others on specific projects such as the transport of humanitarian aid and a Christmas parcel initiative for widows, orphans, and people in need.   

Information and raising awareness

Millions of Christians today experience persecution, discrimination, oppression, torture, and even death on account of their faith. Many of them lose all their material belongings, have to flee, and are left with nothing. People in the West are typically unaware of these occurrences. We make it our mandate to raise awareness about the extent and nature of the persecution of Christians and how we can help them. We do this through the use of our publications, seminars, and workshops, as well as inviting people who have personally been affected to visit us in Switzerland and to share their first-hand experiences.

Ministries

Helping persecuted Christians

Millions of Christians around the globe are discriminated against and persecuted on account of their relationship with Christ. The reasons for the persecution may be motivated by political, religious, or social factors. We desire to step in and provide help when Christians come under pressure on account of their faith. Our network in over thirty countries enables us to provide quick, effective help to save lives and to provide new perspectives and opportunities. We do this, for example, through medical care, legal assistance, and projects that develop education and income generation.

Church planting

Christians face great challenges in countries with restricted freedom of religion. In collaboration with local partners and networking we are able to create synergies that enable them to help and encourage one another. We support indigenous pastors, church planters, ministry and social workers, provide equipping and continuing education opportunities, and make Christian literature and media in their own language available to churches and ministries. We desire to support Christians in living out their faith effectively in the face of difficulties.

Humanitarian aid

Many people around the globe suffer as they barely have enough to survive. Motivated by Christian charity we provide emergency and disaster relief, in order that those in need can begin to rebuild their livelihood. We provide thousands of refugees, children, and those with physical and mental challenges, for example, with a new basis of existence. As a result of networking with local partners we are able to provide quick and effective help. In the case of disasters like earthquakes or flooding we are able to provide relief within 24-72 hours. We also transport relief materials by truck several times a year to the poorest regions of Eastern Europe. In this way 100-150 tons of quality used clothing and other relief goods from Switzerland reach people in need.

Human rights and religious freedom

We are convinced that people should have the freedom to live out their faith regardless of what country they live in. To profess one’s faith and to live it out is a basic human right. In fact, this is explicitly stated in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition, as recorded in the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” all 168 state parties ratified and committed to uphold and guarantee freedom of religion. However, in numerous countries religious minorities, particularly Christians, are restricted from living out their faith. We promote religious freedom through participation in various working groups on freedom of religion and networking at various political levels. It is unacceptable that this basic human right is violated while the international community turns a blind eye.

History

HMK was founded in 1969 through the ministry of Rev. Richard Wurmbrand who became known in Switzerland for his book “Tortured for Christ.” Just as still today, many were unaware of what Christians suffered in countries with limited religious freedom. Initially HMK focused on Eastern Europe, communist countries, and the production, transport, and distribution of Christian literature. The fall of communism and a generation-turnover in HMKs leadership have resulted in a renewed mission, vision, and values. We continue to provide fast and effective help for persecuted Christians and suffering people in over thirty countries. Most of these countries are marked by restricted freedom of religion.