I met my wife, Caroline, at St. John’s College, Oxford University longer ago than I care to remember. We were both doing our doctorates there, she was studying insect viruses and I, synthetic chemistry (smelly!!). We were both from non-Christian backgrounds but had come to a personal relationship with Jesus, our Saviour, during our early teens. Even before we married we wondered whether the Lord was calling us into missions and went for a weekend put on by BMMF (Interserve). We felt the answer was “not at this time.” There we left it, we got married and worked. In 1991 I was offered a job in Calgary and we immigrated (and later became citizens). I worked in research and marketing associated with the Oil Industry and Caroline had two babies, two dogs, two cats, five lambs, and a bunch of chickens and ducks to keep her busy. We had a lovely view of the Rockies from our living room window and mountain blue birds; swallows, red tail hawks, bald eagles, the occasional deer, coyotes and innumerable gophers to complete our country living experience. Then God started challenging us and after a while He convinced us to give up our job, house and all the animals (the dogs were the hardest) and move to Hamilton to do Candidate Orientation with WEC and then we left for Turkey at the end of 1997.
We spent 15 1/2 years in Turkey involved in church planting, camp ministry, and various other things. For the last six years we also lead the 70-80 strong field. The Turks are lovely friendly people although not very responsive to the gospel, but we were encouraged to see many growing in their faith. Our children went to a local Turkish school for most of their primary education but when Peter was ready to go into grade 6 we switched to using a home school cooperative that Caroline helped with (she had worked as a science teacher and was well qualified) and later an international school. I also had a secular role there working as a consultant for the company that I used to work For in Calgary. After I left the company it was bought out by a Palestinian couple and so I was working for Muslims. They wanted me to I return to Calgary and warned me that Muslims do awful things to people who do work like us!!
A Few years ago we were asked to become Sending Base directors in Canada. Our response took about 5 years because of commitments we had in Turkey! We returned to Canada in 2013 and are delighted to work at the Canadian HQ in Hamilton. Although we miss Turkey at times, the challenge, excitement and busyness here more than compensates.
The Lord is gracious and despite their varied education both our children successfully completed university. Our son, Peter is now happily married and living in Waterloo. Our daughter, Katerina is here in Hamilton. It is good to have them close by!
Although trained as a doctor and enjoying medical work, Mike also studied Bible translation before joining WEC in 19XX. Mike worked for a time in Cote d’Ivoire with the goal of seeing the Worodougou receive a Bible translation. He then worked in Chad, learning Arabic and doing discipleship for three years. Mike married Laurie in 2008 and they together moved to BC to take up the directorship at our MTC, Gateway until it’s close in 2017. They were then invited to take up the position of deputy directors at HQ in Hamilton, ON. At the same time they introduced our C.O.M.E. program (Canadian Overseas Missionary Experience) helping our international WECers improve their English speaking skills.