I love to tell stories, and I am often asked to share my testimony but sometimes my stories lack context. I have served in missions with TWR Canada for more than 30 years, but my story doesn’t start there. I thought I would share my testimony here, but I have added links so if you want to read a story about that part of my life or area where I was working, you can find it easily. Of course, I have many more stories I will share.
In June of 1977, I had no idea that before the end of the year I would be married, have a personal relationship with Christ, and be considering missions as a path for my life. I was stationed at CFB Moose Jaw with the Air Force, did what I wanted, and had never attended church save for Sunday School on an infrequent basis. What changed?
In July of 1977, I met Sandy who, almost overnight, changed everything. Sandy introduced me to my Saviour and two months later I accepted Christ as my Saviour. Sandy was a first generation Christian who was excited about her faith and had served with Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) as a youth worker in the Philippines. (Read how Sandy’s youth mission trip caught up to me years later.)
Sandy and I were married in December 1977. A month later, I was transferred to CFS Barrington in Nova Scotia. We lived in a small community of 500 people so I was thrust into serving at church. I taught Sunday School, Sandy and I led the youth, and we served in any other aspect of the church where help was needed. But the military wanted to send me overseas, so I went looking for other work.
After 3 years in Nova Scotia, God led us to another small community on the northern tip of Baffin Island (read that story here). There was a small company town there which had 270 people and with skills learned in the military, I maintained the diesel generators used by the mine. Sandy and I led a Bible study where many people came to know Christ.
After 3 years in the Arctic, we moved to Sandy’s home town of Kenora, Ontario. The money I earned in the Arctic allowed us to buy a home, two cars, a boat, a travel trailer, have no debt and money in the bank. At 32, I had accomplished what most people take a lifetime to do.
We felt a stronger and stronger urge to serve God wherever that might take us. We were interviewed by OMF, but when the interview was completed the interviewer said, “We can consider you, but why don’t you go with a mission that can use your mechanical skills?”
I said I would love to, but there were no missions looking for mechanics.
He smiled and said, “I know one: Trans World Radio.”
Joining TWR Canada
TWR sent me a book and part way through it, my eyes got wide. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. All of a sudden, I realized why God had sent me to the Arctic. The generators that I had worked on there were identical to the generators used on Bonaire to power the large transmitters.
I told TWR that it would be impossible to raise the needed funding. TWR accepted us and challenged me to continue through the process and allow God to work out the details. (Read this story here.)
While we were trying to raise our support, we learned our daughter had a severe learning disability and were advised not to take her overseas. Bonaire was part of the Dutch Antilles and so education there is in Dutch. Amazingly, our daughter was dyslexic in English, but not in Dutch. God was in control. (Read more about this story here.)
18 months later, our family had the necessary funds to join the mission field on the Caribbean island of Bonaire.
After 6 years as a mechanic on Bonaire, I was asked to assume a leadership role. I had no qualifications for this role, but accepted it out of obedience after God showed us His will. When God calls, He also equips. As I needed skills, He gave them to me, everything from being able to type to leading an entire portion of the TWR ministry. God gives me the wisdom I need when I lack the experience to lead in any situation. It has been an incredible journey.
After 9 years on Bonaire, God took us on a new adventure to Africa where I served for 13 years. I travelled throughout the continent to places where very few, if any, Canadians have ever been. I have been in war zones (read a story about that here), in places where AIDS was pandemic, where the poverty is indescribable (read a story about there here).
I met a man who wanted to join a rebel movement for revenge, but heard about Jesus through a radio and found a relationship with Christ. Humanly it is impossible to forgive, he said to me, but through Christ it was made possible. (Read that story here.) I visited a maximum security prison and met inmates who were murderers, rapists — you name it, whose hearts were changed because they heard the Gospel (read that story here).
Today, I am the President of TWR Canada serving from London, Ontario. We have projects in the Middle East, Africa, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and in Canada to name just a few. Every project has stories of how God is changing lives.
Humanly it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.