Monthly Archives: March 2009

Update: What Can One Person Do?

What can one person do — with God’s help? An Update on Jabez Blanket Ministry

John 15:4,5 (NIV)

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. “


One person alone could not have accomplished what this ministry had set out to do when the idea was in its infancy in 2002 … God has blessed this ministry by providing willing hearts and hands to come together to help bring comfort to orphans throughout the world. 


The Jabez Blanket Ministry provides “Backpacks of Hope” for  Orphans living in unimaginable poverty in Orphanages around the world.

The Jabez “Backpack of Hope” contains a colorful, hand-crocheted or knitted blanket for warmth, a comforting Teddy Bear “friend” and essential School Supplies for learning. 

“If the longing eyes of a tiny, fragile child were to look up into your eyes, and you were able to place a warm blanket in his/her hands and a precious little bear next to his/her heart, who would be the happier? The child or you?”

Since its inception in 2002, Jabez Blanket Ministry has shipped Backpacks of Hope to 20 countries around the world! What began as a simple question: ‘what can I do?’ has, with God’s blessing, become an international ministry reaching orphans in some of the poorest nations across the globe.

Catherine Trafford Welk and her sister Sharon Trafford James worked together to create a way to help orphans. Catherine and Sharon did not know how big this ministry would be but they began, led by God, to help in whatever way He wanted, and “God granted ‘them’ what ‘they’ requested.”

Where do the blankets come from? The ladies of Calvary Baptist Church in Killaloe, Ontario helped Catherine get the ball rolling back in 2002 by taking up knitting and crocheting in their homes and since that time the word of this ministry has been shared across Ontario and now even in the United States, many crochet/knit bees have started as a result of this ministry to Orphans. They are largely in church group settings, however other groups to start crocheting/knitting include homeschooling groups, seniors homes, a high school, and college and even a women’s prison in the States.

Where do the blankets go? In February of 2009 the number of blankets and completely filled, “Backpacks of Hope” that were shipped in separate shipments totalled 757. These shipments went out to Haiti, Ukraine and South Africa.

Countries that have received blessings from Jabez Blanket Ministry include the following: Haiti, Zambia, Kenya, Eastern Siberia, Ukraine, Russia, Guatemala, Peru, Columbia, Romania, Nepal, Swaziland, Bengal, Lebannon, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Honduras, Uganda, Sudan and China. 

The Jabez Blanket Ministry has had an article published in “Above Rubies” magazine which is sent to 90 different countries which largely brought a response in the hundreds, from the United States and Canada, and several from places like New Zealand and Australia and even Papua New Guinea!

How can you get involved? You can pray for this ministry to orphans around the world. A work such as this can only succeed with God’s blessing and guidance. Pray for Catherine Trafford Welk and her sister Sharon Trafford James who are the administrators and facilitators of this ministry that is very close to their hearts. 

For Blanket Instructions, or further Ministry information, or to help with the basic material costs of a Jabez “Backpack of Hope” (tax receiptable), kindly contact:

Jabez Blanket Ministry International
P.O. Box 336
Killaloe, Ontario, Canada

The Jabez Blanket Ministry is a Canadian Registered Charity, working jointly with established North American Organizations.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 NIV

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Posted by on March 24, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Lest We Forget


**Scroll to the bottom of this post to read an edit and update – March 23, 2009

The following article was shared with me via email. Full credit to the publication and author given.

Sunday Telegraph  Article From today’s UK wires:  
Salute to a  brave and modest nation – Kevin Myers, ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ LONDON 

Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan , probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops are deployed in the region.

And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of the world, as always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.. It seems that Canada ‘s historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored.

Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped Glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent with the United States , and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two global conflicts.

For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions: It seemed to be a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one, and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude it deserved.

Yet it’s purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of Canada ‘s entire population of seven million people  served in the armed forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle.

Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, it’s unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the  popular Memory as somehow or other the work of the ‘British.’

The Second World  War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began the war with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the Atlantic against U-boat attack.  More than 120 Canadian warships participated in the Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.

Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the fourth largest air force in the world. The world thanked   Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had  the previous time.

Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in which  the United States had clearly not participated – a  touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.

So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality – unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular  perception become American, and Christopher Plummer, British.

It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to  be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as  unshakably Canadian as a moose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.

Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements of its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely unaware of them. The Canadians proudly say  of themselves – and are unheard by anyone else – that  1% of the world’s population has provided 10% of the  world’s peacekeeping forces.

Canadian soldiers in the past half century have been the greatest peacekeepers on Earth – in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on  non-UN peacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in   Somalia , in which out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace – a uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for which, naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan ?

Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac , Canada repeatedly does honourable things for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remains something of a figure of fun.   It is the  Canadian way, for which Canadians should be proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This past year more  grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.


Lest we forget. ISD02-3007Please join me in praying for the troops and their families.

March 23, 2009

The bodies of four Canadian soldiers were returned to Canada today.








Master Cpl. Scott Vernelli, 28

Cpl. Tyler Crooks, 24

Trooper Jack Bouthillier, 20

Trooper Corey Joseph Hayes, 22

were all based at CFB Petawawa in Ontario, were killed in two separate incidents Friday in southern Afghanistan.

Hearses carrying the flag-draped coffins of four Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan are being escorted by police along the Highway of Heroes.
























Total: 116 Deaths

Since the start of Canadian military activities in Afghanistan, 116 Canadian soldiers have lost their lives. A Canadian diplomat and two Canadian aid workers have also been killed over the course of the insurgency.

In the line of duty: Canada’s casualties

Support Our Troops

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Posted by on March 15, 2009 in Uncategorized


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