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.
Grace Williams moved to Ontario from Calgary to answer the call of another mission that needed help in their accounts department. She filled that position for two and half years before joining WEC in 2001. Grace’s careful attention to her work in the finance department is much appreciated. Prayer is a priority in her life. She is an avid photographer. Grace has two grown daughters and a grandson.
Linda Nagel joined the staff in Hamilton in 2006. Linda heads up the Prayer and Mobilization department of WEC Canada. If you receive the monthly Prayer Front*, Linda is the editor. She also leads the editorial committee for RPM. Linda served with WEC in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) West Africa for 38 years. During that time she taught Bible in the public schools, pioneered a work among unreached peoples and served as Field Leader for nine years. Linda would be slow to acknowledge that she is in the midst of writing of her experiences in Côte d’Ivoire. We are looking forward to reading this when it’s published!
Karen Woods came to us from Williams Lake BC as a volunteer in 2006. After a few months she decided to join WEC full time. She is responsible for receipting and other duties in the finance department. Karen is the go to person when we can’t figure out what’s wrong with the photocopier, computer or stamp machine! In other words she is very practical and is called on for many extra jobs. She does the layout of RPM for email, website and print. Karen is a widow with children and grandchildren and also a talented amateur artist.