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. Grace leads a WEC prayer group and faithfully joins a friend on a ‘Jericho Prayer Ride’ by car around the city of Hamilton once a month. 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.
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 live and work at the Canadian HQ in Hamilton. Although we miss Turkey at times, the challenge, excitement and busyness here more than compensates.
Also, it is nice that we now see our children a bit more. Our son, Peter, is quite close in Waterloo, where he is doing an MASc in Systems Design. Katerina is in her Fourth year of Animal Science at the University of Saskatchewan.