S M endeared herself to us in Hamilton when she served on staff for two years. We loved
her happy spirit and scrumptious cooking. SM came to Canada from a country in South Asia to attend university. She was nineteen. Following her graduation, she joined WEC in 1998, not planning initially to go overseas, but as she says, “God was tugging at my heart and I thought why not?” Her journey in overseas work has been an adventure with God. She started out in Central Asia and would have stayed on if the workers were not all expelled from the country. Her next stop was Russia, and then on to another region in Asia – where
visas are next to impossible to obtain at this moment. Now she is happy to settle into a country between Europe and Asia, reaching out to people from her previous places of ministry. She went through times of questioning and struggles when one door after another seemed to close. Now, she can look back and thank God. He led her all the way.
I was a little girl when I first heard missionaries sharing in my small country church. Even though I was so young, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see that there are parts of the world where there are almost no Christians. A few years later I was at a youth retreat focused on the Great Commission. God watered the seed that had been planted in my heart and asked me to personally respond to the need. On the last day of the retreat, I had my Isaiah 6:8 moment: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” It took almost 20 years before the Lord would reveal where He was sending me.
After Bible School, I continued to sense a pull to overseas work, but no specifics.
Initially God told me to live and work in Canada, and so I found a job in administration. I did this for 8 years, much longer than I expected. God taught me to be faithful in the small things and to look for opportunities to share the gospel here in Canada. In 2017, when I least expected, God began stirring my heart again for overseas work. Little by little, He made each step clear to me. I was invited to do a short-term trip in April 2018 to the Middle East, where I was hosted by a WECer. This trip was life changing. God spoke very clearly and directly that it was time to leave my vocation in Canada and start taking steps to go. I prayed earnestly for Him to reveal the “where” to me in His timing. In Fall 2018, I went through training at the WEC headquarters, which were some of the most encouraging months of my life. The Holy Spirit touched me in a special way, and I felt spiritually revived and renewed. This is exactly what I needed! He also spoke to me very specifically about an unreached people group in Central Asia but the door seemed completely closed to the country I felt specifically called to.
Now, two years later, I am on my way to this very country. All those quiet years working in an office were a training ground for me. God knew exactly what He was doing – for I will be working with a partnering organization in Central Asia doing administration. This will allow me to be the aroma of Christ in a country normally closed to Gospel workers. Wow! Even though I’ve battled doubt, fears and insecurities along the way, God continues to comfort and guide me with his perfect love. I am confident that God has upheld me with His victorious right hand and will be with me now as I take this leap of faith.
One of the challenges of missionary life is that many find it difficult to find a spouse that shares their vision and their passion for reaching out to those that do not know Christ. Consequently, many stay single but there are exceptions. Three young couples serving with WEC recently said, “I do!”
V married K (German) in Germany on September 26. They met at Cornerstone, WEC’s missionary training college in the Netherlands.
J and C tied the knot on October 10 in Ontario. Both served in the Middle East and plan to return.
D met J in Alberta. They plan to serve the Lord together in missions. J has not yet joined WEC. They got married on October 17 in Edmonton.
Pray for God’s blessing on these young couples eager to serve the Lord.
“In our last years at Briercrest College, a wild-eyed, ambitious beauty with a strong sense of social justice, and dreams of ‘saving all the children,’ met an equally driven young man with a passion for culture, sacrifice, and adventure. As teens, we had both decided – on our own terms – that we were going to be missionaries, without having any real idea what we were volunteering for (at the time, I figured getting ‘paid to travel’ sounded pretty good). With a vision of going out to change the
world, we got married in 2012 and signed up with WEC in 2013.
“Of course, as our knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus grew, He was kind enough to reveal more
about His purposes and ways. While He has patiently transformed our thoughts and attitudes over
the years, our sense of excitement and spirit of volunteerism in doing the things that He loves has
remained the same. Neither of us have the sense that we are uniquely called into cross-cultural
service and have never felt supernatural guidance to a particular nation or people group. But we do
see the promises of God in His Word, and we do hear about His heart in prayer… and that provides us
with enough direction and drive for a lifetime!
“These days, people are still coming over regularly and inviting us to socialize with them, though fear
has certainly set in. They are more diligent than ever with the call to prayer and, attempting to appeal
to God’s mercy, often arranging for children to perform it. We’ve handed out soap and supplies,
helping our fellow villagers understand more about the virus. We would love to have our medical
contact come out to do further teaching; we also plan to partner with a local seamstress to make
masks for everyone in the village. Pray that our love would grow bigger and bigger, for the Lord Jesus,
for one another, and for this unreached people group.”
Amy joined WEC in 2002 for a short term to teach missionary children. She spent two years teaching in a large country in the Middle East. During that time, she gained a vision to invest her life into discipleship in a nation with shockingly little Christian presence. She returned to Canada to complete seminary and then returned long term in 2007. In 2008, she began work with a residential ministry training program based out of the capital, which prepares local people to serve in this country and the neighbouring nations. Currently, she is the director of this program after the former director was forced out because he was considered a threat to national security. The intense challenges of this ministry led Amy to recognize the real need for inner healing ministry to help students grow in character. God amazingly brought various opportunities for training and experience in inner healing ministries across her path, and she is now extensively involved in both leading sessions and training others. Amy also enjoys worship leading and prayer ministry and is grateful to be involved in those ministries, including a bi-annual nationwide worship training camp. Her life is not without challenges, some pretty extreme, but Amy feels very privileged to be living the life that she does. She says she would not trade it for anything!
Ken, originally from Kirkland Lake, Ontario, and a graduate of Prairie Bible College, joined WEC in 1949 with a deﬁnite call to North India. He met his wife Racile (predeceased in 2015) on the ﬁeld and they married in 1951. They had a fruitful ministry in India which included founding, along with godly Indian pastors, Bethel church in Lucknow–a thriving church today.
Ken never forgot his calling to the unreached. For him that was initially and primarily India, but it embraced the whole world. He and Racile returned to Canada reluctantly in 1975 when they were asked to re-establish Canada as an independent WEC Sending Base. It was only after much prayer that they accepted this new challenge. On one of his furloughs, someone chided Ken saying “You must like India to keep going back.” “It has nothing to do with likes or dislikes,” He replied, “I do like India but not the heat, not the poverty, not the dirt, not the darkness. We return to India because the love of Christ compels us.” While a young missionary in India, he was often sought out to speak to student groups. To him this was most rewarding. An MK remarked, “Ken was an East Indian in white skin.” That love for India endured to the end of his life and led to his involvement in outreach in that community, even in his retirement years.
Ken was a gifted and wise leader. He was elected to leadership in India while still a young missionary. His approach to leadership was relaxed, easy going and trusting. He was methodical in assembling a team. He was a consensus builder. He urged all present to contribute and did not rush the decision making process. Walter Mohr says, “For me, Ken was a mentor and a friend. I learned much from him about welcoming new missionary candidates then walking with them through the candidate orientation period.” Ken had a great sense of humour and an ability to diﬀuse a tense situation with his cheerful countenance and amusing words.
He was visionary. Soon after taking the helm of WEC Canada, he saw the need for a large base so staﬀ could be added, returning workers could be welcomed and candidates trained. We are so thankful that his vision led to the purchase of 37 Aberdeen Ave. in Hamilton.
After stepping down from Canadian WEC leadership he led in launching the new MTC (Missionary Training Centre) project In Langley, BC – Gateway. Always thinking ahead, he saw the need for more workers trained in the WEC ethos but also the need to develop a strong base in Western Canada. He prayed for WEC representation all across Canada.
We praise God for this humble, gifted leader in WEC and count it a privilege to have known him and served under his leadership.
Jason Mandryk, from Manitoba, joined WEC in 1997. He has a Master’s degree in global Christian studies from Providence College and Theological Seminary. During his studies, Jason sensed that God was putting in him a more global calling to see the big picture, to analyze the trends, and to communicate the global challenge to the church. Jason worked alongside Patrick Johnstone to coauthor the sixth edition of Operation World, released in 2001 and then authored the 7th edition released in 2010. Jason is a regular speaker at mission events and, along with Molly Wall, continues to head up the Operation World team based in the UK. Next on the horizon is a new edition of Operation World and work is being done right now to improve the data base.
Jason asks prayer for God to send the Operation World team capable members who are gifted in the areas of administration, management, and planning. Provision of such a team would not only bring much-needed people with these important gifts but would free up the researchers, analysts and writers to do what they do best.
Nick Mason, from Ontario, shares his testimony. “My journey to missions started with feelings of emptiness in my chosen life path. Right when everything was feeling meaningless, I came to Ecclesiastes in my Bible readings. This connection with what was happening in my life led me to consider God’s will for my life. I quickly felt the call to missions. Praying about where to go, I started to see Japan pop up again and again. It was like everywhere I went, Japan came up. However, the thought of mission to Japan never entered my mind until I looked up Japan on Wikipedia and saw that the population was over 125 million and less than 1% were Christian! Seeing this, I suddenly felt that this is where God wanted me to go. I attended WEC’s Gateway missionary training course in January 2012 and went to Japan for a three-month internship as part of the program. This time really helped to affirm my call to serve long term in Japan. I joined WEC in December 2012 and returned full time to Japan in June 2013.”
Nick works in evangelism and church planting and longs to see the people of Japan turning to Jesus.
D, from Ontario, met her husband P, from South Asia, while attending Regent College in Vancouver. They were both working towards a Masters degree in Christian Studies. They got married in Ontario in 2002 and joined WEC in 2003. Both P and D had a vision to return to P’s home country to encourage the church and train leaders. P teaches at a theological seminary of over 200 students and is currently vice-principal. He also heads up the publishing department, actively working to write and translate suitable material into the local language. He completes his PhD this year, and the seminary celebrates 25 years since its foundation. D has a full time position in the international school where their two boys, M (15) and J (12), attend. She teaches, counsels and organizes community service clubs and projects with students. She also leads a Ladies Bible Study one morning a week. D enjoys a sporting challenge and excels in swimming. She is grateful for the open doors this sport creates to meet people in the community. She recently guided a blind athlete for the swim portion of his Ironman competition — 1.9 km in the sea! The boys also enjoy and excel in sports, especially football. Pray for this gifted and dedicated family shining for Jesus in South Asia.
Julie Gibson: Born in the Middle East to missionary parents, Julie has lived in a number of Middle Eastern countries. She made the decision to follow Jesus at an early age. In 1988 her family moved to Hamilton to serve with WEC on home staff for five years. Julie was twelve when they returned to the Middle East. She struggled as a teenager with this move, and fell into depression. One night, with the weight of darkness heavy on her, she cried out to God in prayer and He lifted the weight from her spirit. Julie says, “I heard the call to prayer from the mosque and looking out my window I saw the darkness spreading from minaret to minaret all over the city. I knew I was free and safe from that darkness but the people, the children, around me were not.” Julie realized at that point that God wanted her to reach out to Muslim children. In 1998 Julie returned from the Middle East to finish her last year of school in Canada. The following year she enrolled at Bible School in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. Julie went to the Middle East for two years, before returning to complete Bible School. When her family moved back to serve at Gateway, our training centre in Langley, BC, Julie joined them and volunteered there for five years. During that time God spoke to her about Albania. Julie went with WEC to Albania in September of 2010. God is using her experience and talents to reach children for Christ. Julie’s days are full of preparing materials and teaching lessons for the children’s clubs, youth camps and other outreach events to reach Albanian families.
Dirk’s burden for missions came when he left Saskatchewan for a short term trip to a country in the Middle East. Returning from that trip he focused on preparing to serve overseas. He attended WEC’s training school, Gateway, in Langley BC and joined the Candidate Orientation course in Hamilton the fall of 2012, moving on to the Middle East the following year. Dirk says, “By God’s grace I’ve been able to learn the language well enough to preach the Gospel and make disciples. I’ve seen some fruit.” Dirk is happy to keep focussed on the main task at hand, seeing God’s kingdom come on earth.
M spent ten years of his childhood in the Middle East with missionary parents. Seeing the needs around him, he too had the desire to share Jesus. Back in Canada he took courses in computer programing at university and later got his degree. He attended Bible School in Saskatchewan. M joined WEC for full time service in 2014 and now serves in the Middle East. M is gifted in IT (Information Technology) and has been a great help to several ministries. Prior experience with the language and culture opens doors for meeting people. M desires to reach nomadic people and has been involved in a research project He is praying about what kind of door God will open for reaching them in the future.
Jan. 22, 1920 – Sept. 5, 2018
Cheerful, loyal and prayerful worker are words that describe Peggy. Peggy and husband Jack, who predeceased her in 2014, joined WEC Canada in 1980 to be responsible for Public Relations. They put many miles on their car traveling across Canada to promote WEC and missions. This was at the end of a fruitful ministry with WEC in India and the UK. We admired their stamina and vision to see workers join WEC and move out to the unreached areas of the world. Peggy shared with us her stories of early years in India and how they reluctantly had to leave in 1955 and return to the UK, their home, because of the serious illness of their son, Jonathon. Daughter Liz was born in the UK. Jonathon passed away in 1982.
In between travels in Canada Peggy served as receptionist at the Canadian base. She retired at age 89, but continued to host a prayer group in her home, attend WEC meetings, and keep in touch with workers in the UK and around the world. Peggy modelled strength of character, courage to face crises and a deep love for Jesus. She remained active to the end. We miss her.
J, a young single man, came to WEC from Vancouver Island. He had completed his Bible training at Briercrest College and spent several summers in tree planting. God answered his prayer to pay off school debt in time to join the candidate orientation course in the fall of 2014. J now serves in North Africa, reaching out to young men with the message of God’s love. J has a heart for broken people and knows that God has a purpose for him being in this country. He says, “I want to join Jesus in loving those who are not so loveable.”
L, also a graduate of Briercrest from Ontario, has a heart for missions. She joined WEC in the spring of 2016, going on to North Africa at the beginning of 2018. L doesn’t find language learning easy but is determined to keep at it until she can communicate well with the local people. She was delighted to meet a young woman at a bus stop who is willing to help her with her language. People are drawn to L’s bright smile and cheerful honest attitude.
A short story from L in North Africa
I was riding in the taxi the other day and got to talking to my taxi driver. Somehow the topic of religion came up, and I thought ‘hey, here’s my chance.’ I mean he was practically begging me to tell him what I believe. Unfortunately, with my limited vocabulary in religious terms we didn’t get as far as I would have hoped. I did however encourage him to read the ‘good book’ and he said he hoped we would meet again so we could discuss this further. This situation got me more excited about language learning and gave me motivation to improve so I can take advantage of these sharing opportunities every chance I get.
L grew up in a Christian home in Ontario. Following Bible College at Briercrest, L worked in Regina for several years assisting a young church plant in the city. Feeling called into missions, L served for six months with WEC Betel in South Asia. During his time in South Asia God affirmed L’s vision to reach the people of this area for Christ. He returned to WEC to take the full Candidate Orientation Course in the fall of 2015 and went to the field in 2016. L has persevered in language study and loves to chat with locals. He teaches English to several young men and disciples new believers. His passion is to win souls for Christ.
Randy and Heather Barnes joined WEC in 1985, coming to us from Saskatchewan–they met at Millar College of the Bible. Randy and Heather spent 16 years in evangelism and church planting in Central Asia. In 2001 they joined the staff in Hamilton and since that time ably fill the role of Candidate Directors.
Heather is a gifted pianist, often playing for our morning devotions and WEC meetings. Both Randy and Heather’s practical skills make a valuable contribution to the running of the home base. Randy and Heather teach classes at the annual Perspective courses held in the area. They have two grown children.
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.
Jon grew up in WEC, born in Colombia to pioneer missionaries, Ralph and Martha Hines. He returned to Three Hills, Alberta for high school, where he met his future wife Mona Charter. They married during Jon’s work and studies in Calgary; he graduated as a Certified General Accountant. Their first son onathan was born in Calgary and their daughter, Lisa, in DR Congo during a two year short term with WEC. On returning to Canada God gave them another son, Daniel. Jon and Mona joined WEC full time in 1991 responding to the need for a treasurer at the WEC base in Hamilton. In 1994 the Lord chose to take Mona home. Jon married her sister Patty in 1995. Jon and Patty are faithful and dedicated workers, Jon as treasurer and Patty currently filling the role of kitchen manager. Jon is also a good source of financial information while Patty is a gifted organizer of events. We have all been blessed by their hospitality. Their two grandsons bring them great joy.