In the summer of 1987, three Ontario men saw the need for a “non-profit organization dedicated to assisting mission hospitals and organizations by the supplying of equipment and personnel.” Led by Graham Langford, the name they chose for the organization was ACCTS – an acronym for Answering Christ’s Call To Serve. These days, we refer to it as ACCTS Mission Shipping.
ACCTS Mission Shipping’s primary function is to ship supplies to mission workers, stations, and hospitals – primarily in Zambia. These shipments of needed goods and equipment are gathered at MSC’s warehouse in Markham, Ontario and sent in large commercial shipping containers to mission fields around the globe. Containers are 20 or 40 feet long and are 8 feet high and 8 feet wide – the same kind you commonly see on trains and ships. Some examples of items that are commonly sent include Bibles, commentaries, electronics, good new or used clothing, and supplies for schools, hospitals, households, and maintenance work. Occasionally special items are sent such as solar and well drilling equipment, electrical supplies, and aircraft parts.
Graham Langford tirelessly provided direction from the very beginning in 1987 until 2002 when he passed the baton to current ACCTS Director, Gerrit Van Essen. Around the same time, ACCTS became a program of MSC Canada and since 2008 ACCTS has utilized MSC’s excellent warehouse attached to their offices at 101 Amber Street in Markham, Ontario.
Over the course of the past 25 years, God has grown the ministry of ACCTS Mission Shipping substantially. Since the first container shipped to Zambia in February 1988, over 230 containers have been shipped to locations including Angola, Honduras, Jamaica, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zaire, and Zambia. These shipments have frequently included unusual supplies such as X-Ray machines, sawmills, ATVs, hospital beds, defibrillators, swimming pool supplies, solar panels, a river boat, aircraft components, and ox-drawn farm equipment.
In the early years it was normal to send one container per calendar year. ACCTS now ships up to 10 containers annually from warehouses in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and the MSC Canada facilities in Markham, Ontario. Goods arrive year-round but the busiest times are the three weeks following Easter and Canadian Thanksgiving, when the majority of shipments are loaded and sent out. During these times, a sizeable squad of volunteers are on-site checking inventory, packing boxes, operating forklifts and loading the containers. Outside of these normal times, occasionally special shipments will be sent at other times for disaster relief or extenuating circumstances.
To be added to the email listing for updates of ACCTS activities, please send an email to the MSC Canada office.