EYE WITNESS THE MAGAZINE OF PROVIDENCE
WE HAVE NOT REACHED THE END OF GOD’S STORY A Pandemic Devotional pg. 29
FOLLOWING GOD’S CALL TO ADVENTURE
Featuring 2020 Alumnus of the Year, Bruce Peters & Cliff Heide pg. 39
HELPING SCHOOLAGED CHILDREN WITH ANXIETY
DMin graduate’s dissertation project led to a workbook for ages 8 to 15 called ‘Facing Fears with Faith’ pg. 13
CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF THE PROVIDENCE CAMPUS EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 1
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EYE WITNESS 2020 EDITION Publication Mail Sales Agreement No. 40010809 | EYE WITNESS is published once annually. Editor: Kathryn Mulolani, Director of Marketing Co-Editor: Lindsey Post, Executive Assistant for External Relations Photographer: Lauren Ritchie, Audio/Visual Coordinator Designer: Chez Koop Printer: Derksen Printers Ltd.
Contributers Robert J. Dean, Teah Goossen, Samantha Groenendijk, David H. Johnson, MichĂ¨le Keijzer, Elfrieda Lepp-Kaethler, Kathryn Mulolani, Mee Hee Park, and Grace Sandulak.
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EYE WITNESS INSIDE
CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF THE PROVIDENCE CAMPUS
05 07 09 13
MAKING AN IMPACT
20 22 23
MEET OUR RESIDENCE LIFE DIRECTOR
BEHIND THEIR BOOKS
A message from the Editor
30 YEARS OF PROVIDENCE A message from the President
TEACHING ENGLISH TO DISENFRANCHISED WOMEN HELPING SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN WITH ANXIETY
RELAUNCHING DIDASKALIA THREE GENERATIONS OF SERVICE Recent works by our Faculty
WE HAVE NOT REACHED THE END OF GOD’S STORY A pandemic devotional
32 39 43
ALUMNI UPDATES FOLLOWING GOD’S CALL TO ADVENTURE A LASTING IMPACT A message from the VP External Relations EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 3
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MAKING AN IMPACT A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR
This edition of the Eye Witness magazine is all about impact. As I sat down this week to write a note to a friend from the past who was facing a difficult transition, I thought about the impact he’s had on my life and the church community he’s served for so many years. It got me to thinking about how all of us affect one another in our daily encounters, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. But few people truly make an impact. People who merely affect us can be forgotten, as their influence is passing and impermanent. People who impact us, however, are memorable and significant to our lives and personal growth. The articles contained within these pages will inspire and challenge you. There are so many Providence stories to tell, and these ones represent only a small sample of people who are making an impact in Canada and around the world. The quality of the students who graduate, the instructors who teach, the staff who serve and the leaders who lead at Providence is exemplary. I echo the words of Nonie Giesbrecht (pg. 25) who says, “I see the people who are a part of it all … how they are sacrificially present. There’s so much heart and soul at Providence that I don’t think you find in many other places.” We open our magazine with a reflection (pg. 7) written by David Johnson who’s in his last year before retirement. He has made a significant impact on Providence over the 30 years he’s served as Professor, Provost and President.
We tell stories of recently graduated students – Mee Hee Park (pg. 9) and Michèle Keijzer (pg. 13) – who are making an impact by heading overseas to help Syrian refugees and developing a Christian workbook for school-aged children facing anxiety. Impact is evident in the stories written about Alumni of the Year, Bruce Peters and Cliff Heide (pg. 39), who are leading discipleship work in Southeast Asia and working alongside of Winnipeg inner city youth. Our donors and supporters are making a marked impact on student life through our Impact 2020 fundraising campaign that has raised money for building projects such as Muriel Taylor Hall, a beautiful, new 22,500 square foot residence (pg. 17), which is a popular hub for student connectivity. We also see the impact of three generations in the Locht family serving Providence for more than 90 cumulative years (pg. 23) and the contribution our faculty make through their written publications (pg. 26). Providence is making a positive impact. It’s evident in the enclosed pages and the stories we share. I hope you enjoy reading this Eye Witness edition. KATHRYN MULOLANI Director of Marketing Editor
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30 YEARS OF PROVIDENCE A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
In telling my story, I want to emphasize that Providence has had a huge impact on me. I applied for a faculty position at Providence Seminary in the fall of 1989. Along with my application, I sent a picture of me and my family, mentioning Barb (my wife), Shannon, Laura and Rachel (my three daughters). I noted in the letter that I was the one with the mustache. I think that little bit of humour got my foot in the door. Later, I was told that I was the only candidate with significant pastoral experience and that sealed the deal. My life has been one of serving the church in whatever academic or leadership activities I have found myself. God was good to bring me to Providence. I have been privileged to make an impact on the church. My first 12 years at Providence were spent teaching New Testament and Greek in the Seminary. Gus Konkel, Chuck Nichols and many others served as mentors to me. This was a delightful time of my life, a gift to me. In my second year, Providence supplied each faculty member with a desktop computer in our office. You can imagine how technology has changed since 1991. Back then, it was a novelty. Now I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t function without a desktop, laptop and smart phone. The connectedness and immediacy afforded by technology have drastically altered, or at least accelerated, my life. The Providence IT department has kept us current, for which I am thankful. I enjoyed the scholarly work of research and publication. As I was the only New Testament prof in the Seminary, I taught all the NT books as well as second year Greek and EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 7
When I became President...it felt like God had taken 58 years to prepare me for this one job.
the specialized NT courses. ‘The Birth of the New Testament’ became somewhat of a special area of interest to me. I believe the formation of the New Testament is key to the church’s foundational beliefs. I took a sabbatical in 1997 as a visiting scholar at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Providence was good to me and good for me as it supported me in my scholarly pursuits. I especially enjoyed students. These are the delightful people I met in classes who have gone on to all sorts of ministries and places to make an impact for Christ in Canada and around our world. I am proud of our alumni. They are the reason Providence exists and the reason I do what I do. In 2002, after some urging, I took on the role, first of Dean of the Seminary, and then the newly created position of Provost under President Gus Konkel. In my position as a teacher, I viewed administration as something that needed to be done, but it was not for me. I looked at it as a sacrifice, which I finally reluctantly made, changing the course of my career. Now that I have been at it for 18 years, I have found administration to be crucial to the operation of Providence and to its impact in the world. These positions, although they took me out of the classroom, afforded me an institution-shaping ministry.
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My eight years as President have been a delight, because I have met many wonderful people. On the one hand, I have gone back to being a pastor. I preach more than I teach. I play a pastoral role for staff, faculty, Board and donors. God has been good to give me this function. On the other hand, I have learned the difference between management and leadership. God has brought Providence some great vice presidents, who do most of the management of the institution. They inspire me, guide me and correct me. My task now is to lead which does not mean decision-making. Rather, as a leader, I embody institutional values, inspire others, challenge people to solve problems and care for people’s souls. When I became President, I told a number of people that it felt like God had taken 58 years to prepare me for this one job. God has incorporated elements from the three tiers of my postsecondary education, from my life as a pastor, from the development of my personal theology, from my time as a teacher, and from my time as an administrator. God has used all of these things to shape me, give me experience, and form my convictions so that at the end of my career I could do this one thing, being President. In telling my story in this brief form, what I am trying to say is that in God’s providence, Providence and I have molded each other to reflect the glory of God to the world around us. My vision for Providence is that what has been true for me will be true for everyone who comes into its sphere of influence. After all, that is what the Christian life is all about. God has blessed me! Yours,
David H. Johnson, PhD President
TEACHING ENGLISH TO DISENFRANCHISED WOMEN Many acts of heroism motivated by Christian faith fall under the radar of the public eye. Little of the life and work of Mee Hee Park (MA 2020) was visible to me when I first met her. However, over the course of her studies, Mee Heeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s confidence and her gifts as an educator and leader swiftly appeared. Her research in language anxiety and motivation in Korean speakers of English promises to contribute to the growing field of psychology of language learning and teaching. Before Mee Hee and her family arrived on our Providence campus in 2017, she had spent two decades in the backwaters of Southeast Asia, teaching English and other employability skills to disenfranchised women. She and her family served in areas hostile to Christian faith and were often in danger of their lives. Now that Mee Hee is graduating, we thought it would be meaningful for the Providence community to hear a little more of what motivates her.
Frieda: You have told me bits and pieces of your work as a missionary in many countries before you came to Providence. Could you tell us more about that journey? Where did it begin? Mee Hee: In 1995, I joined a mission organization called YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I went to Discipleship Training School in Sri Lanka, and I became a missionary in 1997 when I was 21. I travelled and lived in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Egypt and many other countries over the last 23 years. Frieda: You and your husband both worked in these countries? What kinds of work did you do? Mee Hee: After our marriage in 2003, my husband Amos and I moved to Chittagong, Bangladesh. There I worked with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at Hope Training School for Muslim women. Countless abandoned widows and orphans came to our school to learn
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employability skills to help them become selfreliant and get jobs in the industrial complex. My husband worked in the same NGO with orphans, tribal groups and local churches. Beginning in 2009, I ran a small business to help poor Muslim women in the capital city of Bangladesh. I also worked part-time as a teacher in an international school. My husband started a media and worship ministry. He made several local Christian movies so that he could share the gospel. Frieda: You are a skilled teacher. You could get a job almost anywhere. What motivated you to dedicate yourself to this type of work? Mee Hee: Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I believe in the power of education. As a missionary, I’ve always worked in the field of education, teaching various life skills including English, Korean, piano, math and the Bible. Often, I couldn’t preach the gospel directly and legally, but it was a great privilege to serve these women with the love of Jesus and to devote my life to help develop their lives. 10 | EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca
Frieda: Tell us about your decision to come to Providence. Mee Hee: Five years ago, the Winnipeg Korean Church invited my husband and me as speakers for their mission seminar. During that time, we were able to visit Providence. Amos was looking for a school at which to study for his MDiv and I was looking for a Master of Education. Providence has a reputation for their respected and experienced professors. Frieda: That must have been a big change coming from Southeast Asia. Mee Hee: Yes, after living in highly populated areas and in a hot climate (over 40 degrees), Otterburne was different. We loved it! Otterburne had snow. It was clean, peaceful and isolated. The perfect place for us to study. Frieda: That is great to hear! Not everyone is thrilled with the cold Manitoba winters. Tell us about your decision to choose an MA TTESOL degree (Teaching Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).
Mee Hee: In my undergraduate degree, I majored in English Literature (and grammar). Then, I taught English in many different countries. I wanted to become more professional in this area, and so I chose the MA TESOL. After taking a Psycholinguistics course, I learned many new theories and methods for teacher education. I changed my major to TTESOL to become a teacher educator. Frieda: I’ve frequently heard from other students that your home was a busy place of welcome for many international students. It always seemed to me you never stopped working as a missionary even during your years on campus. Can you tell us a bit about that? Mee Hee: I understand international students’ difficulties and loneliness living in a different culture. I love cooking so I invited a lot of international friends. Especially on holidays or Korean students’ birthdays, I’d cook traditional food. I was also privileged to enjoy meaningful relationships with Canadian friends as well as friends from other cultures: Brazil, Germany, Colombia, Myanmar and India. Frieda: You’ve completed your MA this past spring. Tell us about your family’s plans going forward. You recently mentioned Lebanon. Mee Hee: During the last summer break, my husband spent several months visiting slums and refugee camps in Nepal, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. We’ve seen many needs and difficult situations in all these countries. We chose Lebanon to work with Syrian refugees. But now, we have heard of larger refugee camps in other countries such as Turkey and Greece. We’re in consultation with schools and NGOs from various countries. The country is not precisely set, but we are committed to a
We have given our lives to those who are poor, abandoned, abused and suffering from famine. This is the model we see in Jesus. — Mee Hee Park
ministry for Syrian refugees. We have given our lives to those who are poor, abandoned, abused and suffering from famine. This is the model we see in Jesus. Frieda: Is there anything else you’d like to say to the community of Providence students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters? Mee Hee: I’m deeply grateful for the professors who have taught, guided and encouraged me with all their heart. For the last three years, I have spent a great deal of time in the library. I am grateful to the librarians, Terry and Hannah, who always cared for me, helped me and laughed with me. Frieda: Thank you so much, Mee Hee. We will miss you!
ELFRIEDA LEPP-KAETHLER, PhD Assistant Professor of TESOL
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HELPING SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN WITH ANXIETY Perhaps no one is more surprised about the direction my life has taken than I am! I graduated from the University of Toronto in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science, but a series of serendipitous and providential encounters resulted in a new direction for me. First, a friend’s casual suggestion to take some counselling courses at Providence Theological Seminary resulted in a Master’s degree in 1992, and then unexpected (and unsolicited) job offers resulted in a now 23-year career as a school counsellor in various Christian schools in Winnipeg. During my early years as a counsellor, I had two concerns about my ability to make a difference. At first, I doubted the value of staying in Winnipeg as
opposed to “working overseas” somewhere. That doubt lingered for a while, until one morning when I heard God’s inaudible but nonetheless very real voice say, “I have sent you to the brokenhearted.” The second concern I had regarding the impact of my work rested on the fact that children—unlike adults—are not able to make significant changes to their lives. In many ways, children are recipients of the effects of how the adults around them choose to live. How could I help children when children have few choices and little control over their environments? This remains a significant challenge, but as studies showed that the presence of one caring adult is an important factor in fostering resiliency in children, something settled in my heart. I knew then that, even when being a caring presence was the only thing that I could offer, it was good. The 1990s saw a great increase in neuroscientific research that continues to this day. The new information that was being revealed during my early years as a counsellor was fascinating to me, and—thanks to my undergrad studies with their heavy focus on human physiology and biochemistry—I was able to follow developments and make sense of the material. As I did so, it became increasingly apparent that my first EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 13
interest in science was far from disconnected from my chosen field as a therapist. Indeed, these two disciplines are intimately intertwined. We are, after all, physical, spiritual, emotional and rational creatures! Another installment in the series of encounters that influenced my life occurred over a decade later when a new acquaintance made a chance suggestion that I return to Providence to pursue doctoral studies. Even though I had no idea what the focus of those studies would be, I jumped at the suggestion out of a sheer love of learning. I recall driving to Providence on a beautiful August evening in 2013 for my first Doctor of Ministry (DMin) course, very worried about whether or not I could still write essays. Although my path through the program was convoluted and interrupted by things like professor sabbaticals, no cohort and life crises, I thoroughly enjoyed my return to school, and often felt that I was born to study and learn. Whether it was the MDiv equivalency courses like Church History and Worldview & Culture, or the DMin-specific
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courses like Religion & Psychology and Advanced Psychotherapy, I revelled in the discussions, reading and learning. For those not familiar with the DMin program at Providence, it is a program meant to be taken while in full-time ministry. For me, my ministry is my counselling work with children in schools. So, while I studied, I also worked, and as a result of this overlapping, an idea for a dissertationproject slowly began to form. During the same years that have seen an explosion in neuroscience, there has been a growing problem in the world of mental health. That problem is anxiety. Like other therapists, I have seen anxiety rise to be the number one reason for referral. Without treatment, anxiety can lead to a variety of troubling outcomes. The good news for therapists like me who work with children is that childhood is an ideal time to intervene. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because childhood is marked by neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change and adapt as it responds to new information) and
also by increases in self-regulation and executive functioning (which is a set of mental skills that include thinking flexibly, self-control and working memory – skills we all use every day to learn, work and manage daily life). As more and more anxious children came to my office, I began to hunt for good materials to use with them. Some were too exclusively cognitivelyoriented (which is not ideal for young children and teens), while others focused exclusively on self-regulation skills. Almost all of them spent far too little time actually doing or practising the self-regulation strategies, which is like learning to swim by reading about it. But to top it off, I could not find any resource that was written from a Christian standpoint or that paid any significant attention to developing a healthy relationship with God. Because I believe that it is important to address the needs of the whole child —spirit, body and mind—, I would add in any missing elements or deficits during my individual work with students in my office. But it is my intention when using a workbook with a child that, when that workbook is completed, the child will take it home. That way, both the parents and the child can repeatedly refer back to it as a way of continuing to manage anxiety and practise what was learned. Using a good workbook is good, but I wanted a good workbook that was undergirded by an understanding of Christianity as a transformational worldview, which would be so much better. The final piece in the DMin program is to write a project-dissertation that makes a significant contribution towards the advancement of ministry. So I wrote the resource that I was looking for: a workbook for anxious children 8 to 15 years of age that is written from a Christian worldview, with deliberate integration of spirituality, and which addresses the whole child.
...it is important to address the needs of the whole child — spirit, body, and mind...
The resultant (and as yet unpublished) workbook, Facing Fears with Faith: Learning to Handle Strong Emotions and Uncomfortable Feelings, serves to help children reach a simple understanding of how their brains work, while learning cognitivebehavioural techniques and self-regulation skills. Christian contemplative practises like breath prayer are integrated into each chapter with the overall aim of promoting spiritual formation while also reducing and managing worry and fear. The continuous repetition of these strategies facilitates the formation of new habits and brain pathways. I may never have anticipated the direction my life has taken, but it is both a privilege and joy to work with children who trustingly open their hearts to me as they bravely face each new day. I have learned that my impact as a counsellor comes not from any momentous insights I might have, but rather from walking with children as they challenge their fears and are changed by the gentle breath of God’s Spirit.
MICHÈLE KEIJZER (2020 DMin) School Counsellor, Calvin Christian School (Winnipeg), Elementary and Collegiate Campuses
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CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF THE PROVIDENCE CAMPUS STUDENT LIFE IMPACT
Providenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fundraising campaign, Impact 2020: The Campaign for Providence, has been successful due to the generosity of donors who are committed to supporting our students both prayerfully and financially. The campaign represents a donor base of more than 1,500 alumni and supporters. By December 2020, we plan to reach our goal of raising $14.5 million. Since the Impact 2020 campaign began in 2015, Providence has been able to accomplish many of its priorities to establish new student supports, program development, campus enhancements and employee provisions. Some of the projects tackled in the last five years include: opening a new Welcome Centre for students, renovating classroom spaces for the Buller School of Business, creating a state-of-the-art science lab, designing a school courtyard, launching a new website and installing fiber optics on campus for an improved Internet experience. Providence has also started new programs such as Bachelors of Science in Health Science and General Biology and a Bachelor of Business Administration. One of the more recent initiatives was the construction and opening of Muriel Taylor Hall, a three-storey, 22,500 square foot student residence. Providence celebrated EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 17
its Grand Opening with the Honorable Ralph Eichler, Minister of Economic Development and Training, and MLAs Andrew Smith and Dennis Smook on February 10, 2020. This summer the finishing touches are being put on the building’s exterior. “It’s a great feeling to have this project drawing to a close. The final coat of stucco was added in early June. The contractor is fixing small things, now that students are out of the building. We are moving a couple of light switches, re-caulking some windows, touching up some paint. The biggest thing left to complete is the final grading of the outdoor spaces, creating sidewalks, and landscaping. I am really excited to have a full year of student residents in Muriel Taylor Hall,” explained President David Johnson. Muriel Taylor Hall was constructed with Providence students in mind. There are designated quiet spots for students to study and pray, and a large open atrium for students to hang out around a fireplace, cook/eat together in a contemporary 18 | EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca
kitchen, watch movies on flat screen TVs, and play some ping pong. The building of a new residence became necessary when Bergen Hall, our men’s residence, burned down in June 2017. So, the project was partially funded through insurance money. This $7.5 million project was designed with floor to ceiling windows to allow natural light to flood into every corner. Pico Architecture, Grant Design Group and Three Way Builders were retained for the design and construction of the facility. It fulfills Providence’s vision for an on-campus living and learning hub not only offering dormitories on the second and third floors, but modern facilities for classroom use and meetings on the first floor—“a space where all parts of student life intersect” as Connor Gerbrandt, Providence alumnus (BA 2017) and reporter for Golden West, commented. Muriel Taylor Hall was named after the first female professor of Biblical Studies when Providence, then Winnipeg Bible Training School, opened in 1925.
Muriel Taylor Hall is “a space where all parts of student life intersect.”
Muriel Taylor was an inspirational figure from Providence’s rich history and served our school for more than 25 years. Earlier this year, at the Grand Opening, President Johnson shared how every inch of the Hall was designed to nurture relationships within the Providence community. Emily Wiebe, a student completing a BA in English and Psychology, concurred, “Muriel Taylor Hall is beautiful. And at every turn, I’m aware of the careful attention that
was given to the planning and building of this new residence. I, along with many other students, will enjoy this facility and we feel grateful for all the hard work and time that was dedicated to put everything in place.”
KATHRYN MULOLANI Director of Marketing
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MEET OUR RESIDENCE LIFE DIRECTOR Hi, my name is Teah Goossen. I’m taking on the new role of Residence Life Director. My job is to facilitate a Christ-centered living and learning environment within our residence halls. It’s a position with a heap of hats to wear, but thankfully there is a whole team of people who pour out their time and talents to make residence function. My job would be impossible without the students, staff, faculty and donors who love and cherish this community. I was drawn to working with students in Christian higher education because of my international travels. The biggest thing that drew me to working 20 | EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca
with 18 to 25-year-olds was from my backpacking experiences. Once, I spent eight months solo backpacking, simply travelling and working as a nomad, meeting hundreds of other young adults travelling in a similar fashion. It’s there that I plunged into sharing God’s Word while living an authentic life inside a diverse community. So many young adults I met along the way had head-knowledge and higher education, but they didn’t know who they were or where they fit in this world. So many had made poor decisions and couldn’t imagine a God who could meet them where they were at and love them unconditionally. Working at a faith-based school isn’t exactly like being with backpackers, but there are some commonalities among its demographic. Many students have times during which they don’t know where they fit, struggle to apply what they learned in their life, and forget just how valuable they are. My hope as the Residence Life Director, along with my team of Resident Assistants, is to walk with our students, helping them grow as we live and learn together.
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RELAUNCHING DIDASKALIA OUR SEMINARY JOURNAL
This fall will mark the relaunching of Didaskalia, the journal of Providence Theological Seminary. While Didaskalia has always aspired to make high quality interdisciplinary scholarship of a theologically reflective nature available and accessible to the broader church community, a new editorial board has taken the opportunity to reimagine ways of more effectively ministering to and with the local church. In addition to peer-reviewed essays and thoughtful book reviews of recent works, future issues will typically be devoted to a relevant theme for the contemporary church. The journal will include features such as interviews with leading practitioners and figures in their field, and exemplary sermons with commentary from leading homileticians. The upcoming issue focuses on the theme of worship and includes an interview with Canadian songwriters and worship leaders Steve Bell and Glen Soderholm. The following is a brief excerpt from that conversation. Robert Dean: What is one word of advice you’d give to pastors and worship leaders desiring to lead God’s people into a richer encounter with the living God? Steve Bell: You can’t take somebody where you’ve never been. A shepherd presumably knows where the water is and where the green grass can be found, even if that sometimes means navigating the flock through terrifying territory. This is 22 | EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca
somewhat different than thinking of worship as creating exuberant experiences for people through slickly produced worship performances. Not only is this an unhelpful way to think about worship, we are never going to be able to put on a show that can compete with The Stones or U2 or provide entertainment that comes close to what Netflix has to offer. Let’s focus on getting our people to the clear waters and the green pastures. This will require some patience, as there’s going to be timidity in the flock, especially if we are approaching a dark valley. If the church is going to shift away from the arena rock vision of success, the integrity of its leaders will become increasingly important. Glen Soderholm: First, know the story that you find yourself in. Second, connect to a tradition that gives you some accountability. It might be liturgical or maybe denominational, but don’t just go out and be a solo artist. Third, find a few people who will tell you the truth. Finally, to echo what Steve said a moment ago, when Jesus teaches about the kingdom, he seems to always talk about its qualities as being small and slow and hidden. So prepare yourself, especially in this context, for something slow and small that may appear insignificant and be shrouded in mystery. Don’t be ashamed of it. Because if you start buying into the cultural myth of success, you’re going to find yourself compromising all over the place. To celebrate the re-launching of Didaskalia, the upcoming worship issue is being made available to all who are interested at a greatly reduced fee. You can find more information about how to get your copy of this issue at Prov.ca/Didaskalia.
ROBERT J. DEAN, ThD Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics
THREE GENERATIONS OF SERVICE Lorna Locht grew up hearing first-hand missions stories around her dining room table from Providence graduates who served overseas. Her earliest memory of Providence is when she was the flower girl in the Sinderson’s wedding. George and Ella Sinderson were among the first Providence (then Winnipeg Bible Training School) graduates of 1927/28. They served as missionaries to Chad in North Central Africa for more than 40 years. I had the pleasure of meeting with Lorna and her daughter, Nonie Giesbrecht, who both warmly shared their memories of Providence. It all started with Lorna’s mother, Ingrid Davidson. She was the one who organized the
Sinderson’s wedding. She also served on the Ladies’ Auxiliary at Grant Memorial Baptist Church (then, it was called the Scandinavian Baptist Church). She hosted Providence students for regular homemade meals out of her Winnipeg home. “Over the years, my mother often had people in our home from Providence. They came for a meal. Our house was always full of people,” explains Lorna. “When Ella Sinderson was getting ready to go to the mission field, she (my mom) was the one who went with her and helped get her things together. She got help and money from other people so that Ella had a proper send-off as a missionary. But that was my mom. Whenever anybody needed help, she was there.” Although Lorna is 95 years-old and a widow, she still lives independently in a Winnipeg condo and has a sharp, crisp memory of Providence in the early days. She remembers going to Providence graduations at Elim Chapel as a girl and falling asleep on the hard, wooden church benches. She also remembers later attending Night School taught by Miss Margaret Moody and Miss Muriel Taylor out of a church basement in Winnipeg. EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 23
There’s so much heart and soul at Providence that I don’t think you find in many other places. — Nonie Giesbrecht
When doing some research and digging into the early Providence days, I came across an article written in 1975 celebrating Providence’s 50th anniversary. It provided background to all that Lorna had shared. In it was a quote from George Sinderson who recalled the vision and burden of the school’s founder, Rev. H. L. Turner: “The summer of 1924 saw me in the city of Winnipeg attending a rather modest evening Bible class in the basement of a church. Said the leader, Rev. H.L. Turner to me one night, quite unexpectedly, ‘The Lord has laid upon my heart to open a Bible School.’” That was the start of the Winnipeg Bible Training School (now Providence). It was founded on January 4, 1925 in a small building owned by St. Stephen’s Church, later Elim Chapel. At that time, the school had a student body of 26. Joining Rev. Turner on faculty were Rev. Percival Cundy, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, and Miss Muriel Taylor of the Canadian Sunday School Mission (CSSM). “Providence graduations were at Elim Chapel until the Centennial Concert Hall was built in 1968. I can remember very clearly the first graduation in the Concert Hall,” shares Lorna. “I was President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary and my friend, Alga Bergen, was helping me. We were serving lunch, if you can believe it. At the Concert Hall.”
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The years 1968 and 1969 were difficult for Providence. They rented temporary facilities in Tuxedo, the Fort Osborne Barracks in Winnipeg. “The College got permission to use the Army Barracks in Tuxedo that were vacated after the war,” remembers Lorna. “But then, the government decided they were going to tear down the barracks. So, our Ladies’ Auxiliary had just gotten the barracks half decent, and now they said we had to move out. So that’s when the men on the Board went looking for a new place.” Providence needed to find a property that would allow for future development and growth. St. Joseph’s College in Otterburne, MB proved to be a serendipitous solution. Having closed in 1967, the school was now for sale. The campus offered nearly 100-acres of land and a main building of 75,000 square feet. “I remember the Board was interested in a school in the north end of Winnipeg. But, God is great. He led us to St. Joseph’s in Otterburne,” explains Lorna. Nonie speaks about how her mother and father, Lorna and her husband Ed (who sat on the Board of Directors), were instrumental in Providence’s move from Winnipeg to the Otterburne campus. The Otterburne campus was formerly a Roman Catholic school for boys. Ed first befriended the French priests who ran the school, as he regularly bought evergreen trees from their nursery. In January 1970, the Board of Directors, in conjunction with Dr. Hanna (President), negotiated the purchase of the property. There are records of approximately 5,000 people streaming to the campus for a June 1st Open House. The Otterburne campus was an answer to many prayers. Lorna’s oldest daughter, Karen, was one of the first ones to attend Providence on the Otterburne
campus. The family recalls setting up their daughter’s dorm room on the second floor, east wing of the Hanna Centre. They brought Karen’s bed and dresser from home and put up curtains. “The Ladies’ Auxiliary were instrumental in the startup of Providence in Otterburne,” says Nonie. “They collected dishes. They collected bedding. They collected everything. Because, at that time, you didn’t buy anything new. Everything was donated and used to set up the kitchen, classrooms and dorms.” Since that time, the buildings of the original St Joseph’s College have been augmented by new campus facilities and student residences, including the Jubilee Auditorium/Gymnasium (1972), Bergen Hall (1984), Eichhorst Hall (1998), the Loewen Learning Resource Centre (2000), the Reimer Student Life Centre (2009) and Muriel Taylor Hall (2020). A long-time dream became reality in 1972 with the formation of a graduate division now called Providence Theological Seminary. Since that time, it has become one of Canada’s most respected evangelical seminaries. In the fall of 1974, Nonie followed her sister’s footsteps and started her studies at Providence. “I enrolled and planned to go for one year but stayed for three. I got my BRE,” states Nonie. “The biggest highlight for me was going on tour with the choir. I was on the music committee every year. That is why I ended up staying because I was so involved, and I loved it. The choir was great. We were under Dr. Bill Derksen’s leadership.”
Nonie, now retired from a distinguished career with Air Canada, serves on Providence’s Board of Directors (like her father did in the 1960s/70s). She talks about the dedication of Providence faculty and staff. “I see the people who are a part of it all … how they are sacrificially present. There’s so much heart and soul at Providence that I don’t think you find in many other places.” Since its early beginnings, Providence has grown significantly from 26 students taking Bible classes in a church basement. Enrollment now stands at approximately 440 students. Providence confers over 30 majors, and more than 10,000 alumni have gone into meaningful careers and ministries in Canada and around the world. At the end of our visit, I asked Lorna, “When you think about Providence, how does it make you feel?” She replied with tears brimming in her eyes, “It’s a feeling of thanksgiving to God for what Providence has been to Winnipeg. It has been so much a part of my life. There would’ve been a big hole in my life if Providence hadn’t been there.” The Locht family legacy of service to Providence has spanned over three generations, representing more than 90 cumulative years of history. It started with Ingrid, then her daughter Lorna and now her granddaughter Nonie. These are wonderful examples of the strong women who have impacted the course of Providence over the years and helped to make it what it is today.
KATHRYN MULOLANI Director of Marketing
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BEHIND THEIR BOOKS
RECENT WORKS BY OUR FACULTY
The Rosary and the Microphone: Religious Impulse in U2’s Mediated Brand by Nicholas P. Greco Equinox, 2019. 230 pages. Available on Amazon. My book focuses on the Irish rock band U2, who have often been the topics of discussion because of their Christian lyrics and the social activism of their lead singer, Bono. They have also been maligned, precisely because of Bono’s activism in the face of their vast wealth. In the book, I explore how U2 communicate a message of global care, which emerges from a particularly Christian formation. This message is communicated through their mediated brand, that is, through their live performance, music videos, song lyrics and so on. I noticed that books on U2 tended to focus mostly on the band’s lyrics as markers of their Christianity. To me, these sorts of analyses ignore the things that U2 do most effectively: the mediation of their celebrity brand. What I hope readers will glean from the book is how celebrities (and other entities) communicate apart from lyrics or speeches. Popular music celebrities also communicate through their live performances and through other visual media. I hope readers will gain a further appreciation of the band, understanding that they are situated in a conflicted space. Those who find Bono’s activism disingenuous in the face of his immense wealth are justified in their thinking. But there is also something of deep worth in their work: U2 uses their global platform in order to encourage global change for the better. Perhaps we will all be influenced to use our own platforms to do the same. 26 | EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca
Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas with Robert J. Dean Wipf and Stock/Cascade, 2018. 334 pages. Available on Amazon. Over the past 40 years, there has hardly been a more influential and prolific contributor to theological conversations than Stanley Hauerwas. My doctoral dissertation, published as For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas (Pickwick, 2016), mined the significance of his work, alongside that of the German pastortheologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for discerning what it means to be church in our increasingly post-Christian culture. So when Hauerwas graciously invited me to collaborate on a book project, I jumped at the opportunity. The result was Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections. In this collection of essays, lectures and sermons, Hauerwas continues his life’s work of exploring the theological web, discovering and recovering the connections necessary for the church to bear faithful witness to Christ in our complex and changing times. In addition to curating and editing Hauerwas’s writings that appear in the book, I had the opportunity to contribute an introduction that orients readers to both the book and Hauerwas’s project more broadly, two sermons and a closing essay. The closing essay explores the often-overlooked significance of Hauerwas’s sermons and what they can teach preachers tasked with weekly proclaiming the Word of God today. The Story of God Bible Commentary: Joshua by Lissa M. Wray Beal Zondervan Academic, 2019. 464 pages. Available on Amazon. For many people – believers or not – the Old Testament book of Joshua is a difficult book to read. In a world where religiously-related violence is prevalent, we are shocked and troubled by the book’s violent warfare. We wonder about the lives of the real people in the land. We are troubled by its relationship to colonialism. We wonder about the commands to do violence and “totally destroy” the inhabitants. We wonder how – and if – the book’s portrait of God can align with the Lord Jesus, and the God that He is. For the past few years, I’ve wrestled with these questions. As a result, I’ve read, researched, written about, and prayed over the book of Joshua and its problems. Out of this, I’ve written a commentary on Joshua in The Story of God Bible Commentary series. If you are wondering what to do with the book of Joshua, this readable volume may be of interest. The commentary won’t answer all questions about the book (and my work hasn’t answered all of mine, and even raised several more!). But it will engage you in the narrative, cultural and canonical contexts that help illuminate it. And, as we seek to live faithfully as the Church in the world, this volume can inform our discipleship as it brings the book’s message to today’s world. EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 27
Rationality, Humility, and Spirituality in Christian Life by Dennis Hiebert Wipf and Stock/Cascade, 2020. 222 pages. Available on Amazon. As Euro-American culture turns resolutely away from religiosity toward spirituality and becomes increasingly post-Christian, the ordinary, everyday practice of Christian life is in ever more need of scrutiny. This big-picture book prompts readers to ponder the biggest picture of human life, and it may turn out to be the definitive statement of my life. An interdisciplinary academic treatise with pastoral undertones, it consists of three interconnected essays. Christians are first called to comprehend the excessive rationality that modernity has built into both the cognitive structure (how we think) and organizational structure (how we live) of contemporary Christian life. Just as Christianity is metaphysical and God is supernatural, so too Christian faith is meta-rational or super-rational. Christians are then summoned to personify the virtue of intellectual humility that is most challenged and tested by religious convictions. After reviewing the biblical call to humility, more specific grounds for Christian intellectual humility are considered. Christian practice of intellectual humility has been mixed but is best evidenced by faith as open-minded trust rather than correct belief. Christians are subsequently invited to live their faith more as an internally differentiated and open spirituality, rather than an externally determined and regulated religiosity. Social scientific perspectives of spirituality are reviewed, and the history of Christian spirituality is traced through the texts, practices, and lifestyles promoted by the branches of Christianity, and the various views of spirituality within them. The overarching theme of the book is that, when we exhaust our rationality and are confronted with its limitations, we are humbled by our finitude, and animated by our spirituality.
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WE HAVE NOT REACHED THE END OF GOD’S STORY A PANDEMIC DEVOTIONAL Why doesn’t God stop COVID-19? It’s a question my children have put to me numerous times over the past few months. As the resident theologian, they think that I can provide a compelling answer to their question. The fact that they keep asking suggests that I have not yet hit upon an entirely satisfying response. On several occasions, I’ve bumbled attempts at describing the intricate complexity and interconnectivity of the world as an ecological system, which is inevitably met by the interjection, “But doesn’t God have the power to stop it?” And I’m left stammering, “Well yes, but . . . we don’t know what other effects there would be if COVID was suddenly brought to an end through miraculous intervention.” In some ways, this is similar to an argument put forward by the great theologian of the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas, about the existence of evil. For Aquinas, we human creatures simply do not have the perspective—the God’s eye view, if you will—to see how everything in the cosmos fits together. What appears to be a horrendous evil from the perspective of the gazelle run down by a lioness, looks like a tremendous blessing to her and her hungry cubs.
My own personal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic reflects something of this ambiguity. When the pandemic broke, I was in the early days of recovering from a health crisis of my own. The initial period of social distancing and working from home provided a time of respite for my broken and beleaguered body. While Aquinas is right to remind us that we dare not think we can place ourselves in the position of God, there is something about this type of cosmological response to a reality like a pandemic that just doesn’t sit well. In the face of the multitude of lives that have been lost around the world to the novel corona virus and the many more lives that have been profoundly altered in many different ways, it seems somewhat callow to suggest that there could be a type of calculus that balances out on the good side of the ledger. As a result, when I’m talking to my kids, I often find myself pivoting in an eschatological direction. Such an approach could be paraphrased by the rejoinder that “the way things are is not the way things have to be, or ultimately will be.” Christians do not need to justify the present state of affairs because we are people who recognize that we have not yet reached the end of God’s story. One day, every tear will be wiped away. One day, there will be no more cancer or corona virus, but we are not there yet. This is why the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians of the necessity of walking by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The eschatological perspective overlaps in some ways with what could be called an apocalyptic angle. In reflecting on the pandemic with students and faculty, it occurred to me that the spread of the virus had a certain apocalyptic quality to it. I was not suggesting that COVID-19 can be neatly mapped onto a timeline of end-time events, but rather, drawing on the meaning of the term apocalyptic in the original Greek, I pointed out how the virus has “unveiled” certain truths about us and our society that we might prefer to avoid. We have seen how
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our American neighbours to the south with their celebration of individual freedoms and autonomy have had a more difficult time responding to the crisis than many of the Asian countries which share a more communitarian conception of the common good. It has become clear that the most important members of society, at least during a pandemic, are not necessarily the people who are most highly paid. When multi-millionaire celebrities of various sorts were stuck posting selfies from their luxurious estates, it was the cleaners, grocery store attendants, and, of course, first responders who kept things running. While it is said that a virus is no respecter of persons, the pandemic has revealed how systemic inequalities make certain groups of people more vulnerable to infection and even death, as evidenced by the higher rates of transmission within the black community in the United States and the horrific developments that were witnessed in some retirement homes here in Canada. The disruptive global spread of COVID-19 has also led to widespread anxiety, perhaps because of the way that it has unmasked the fundamental myth of modern society that we are in control of our own destinies. The more we have gained mastery over the chaotic forces of nature and society, the more threatened we feel when something like a pandemic reveals the true fragility and finitude of our lives. In the last 100 years, the average human life expectancy has doubled, from approximately 40 to 80 years of age, due to significant advances in nutrition, sanitation and medicine. However, in Jesus’ day, some scholars estimate that the average life expectancy may have been under 30 years of age (due in part to high infant mortality rates). In other words, when Jesus paced the dusty roads of Palestine proclaiming the inbreaking of God’s Kingdom of Life, every one of His hearers would have been personally acquainted with the Dominion of Death. Perhaps the pandemic has brought us closer to the day-to-day realities that have faced previous generations of the human 30 | EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca
race and revealed that no society or people, no matter how technologically advanced, can outrun death. Now suggesting that the pandemic may bring us closer to the lived experience of our ancestors doesn’t ultimately answer the question of why God allows the pandemic. Those who have gone before us cannot answer that question for us; they—and we—simply do not know. But we can learn from what our forebears in the faith did know. The Isenheim altarpiece is considered to be the 16th century German artist Matthias Grünewald’s masterpiece. It was painted for the Monastery of St. Anthony which provided a special ministry to those sick and dying of plague. The center panel of the altarpiece depicts the figure of John the Baptist extending his long, boney figure towards the scarred and pockmarked body of the crucified Christ, as if Grünewald wanted to say to the hospital patients, “You must look here to the one who has taken up our infirmities and borne our diseases” (Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4). And so should we, for not only does He know our sorrows, but the One “who was handed over to death for our trespasses” has been “raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25). We no longer need to be ruled by fear, for Jesus has triumphed over the grave, setting us free for lives of selfless service permeated by faith, hope and love. The ultimate question for Christians, then, in the face of a pandemic or any of the other tragedies and calamities that afflict our world is not “why?” but “how long?” For we know that in the end God will make things right. We know this because we have seen the beginning of the end in the crucified and risen body of His Messiah Jesus.
ROBERT J. DEAN, ThD Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics
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HELMUTH GRAEWE 1983 MA Christian Studies
ALUMNI UPDATES S TO RIES AND MILES TO N E S FR O M PR O VI DE N CE A L U MNI
GARY WILLIAMS 1971 BTh Bible & Theology After 46 years of fulfilling ministry with Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT), I had to retire after a hip replacement operation. Now I continue to volunteer with WBT as a non-member. I also minister in our home church in Dalmeny, SK and spend time with family. In addition, the Lord has opened up an intercession ministry for the scores of people that He has brought across my path over the past 40 years. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated my retirement savings, the Lord is doing a new work of encouraging me to hold on to passages like Psalm 115:3, Matt 6:31-33 and Psalm 121. Since the Lord did significant things through Caleb at the age of 85 (Joshua 14 & 15), surely thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still something He can do through me.
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TIM & DEANNA (TOEWS) TREADWAY 1973 Credits towards BRE Our third son Dave Treadway (34) was a professional skier living in BC. A year ago (April 13, 2019), he was skiing for a movie and a snow bridge collapsed behind him. He left behind his wife Tessa (expecting their third son) and two wee boys. Dave always wore a cross on his helmet and on his skis. Some magazines and movies wanted to edit out his cross, but he would rather lose a photo op than have his cross taken out. We did not realize how great his witness in the ski world was, and he likely did not know either. People Magazine named him one of the celebrities we lost in 2019. He ran the race and ran it well. We have been reading his Bible & journal and have been so blessed to read of his personal walk with the Lord.
CHARLES & DELORES (HIEBERT) MAHLANGU 1975 In 1974, my wife Delores and I met and fell in love at the school so Providence holds a special place in our hearts. Our son, Bo Mahlangu (BA Social Science), attended and graduated in 2003. We serve in South Africa, training pastors and counsellors. Charles’ course is awarded credits by the South African Theological Seminary. We started Magongo Orphan Movement (MOM), an organization which prepares couples to adopt. We are preparing for our Biblical Counseling Course, hoping to get back to seminars and counseling soon. We continue with our daily posting from Charles’ book Your Gift from God the Holy Spirit Matters posted on Charles’ Facebook page. Check out our website: www.niselaresources.org/books. NARENDRA “NK” KATARE 1979 MA Christian Education I retired from the teaching post I held at an evangelical seminary in India. I now lead seminars and counselling ministry for leaders, youth and family. It has been very fruitful for the glory of the Lord. WBC/WTS played an important role in preparing me for ministry. I thank the Lord for Providence. My wife was a teacher at a local Christian academy but is now also retired. She continues in ministry with women and is a great help to me in my ministry. A great “hi” to all at Providence. HELMUTH GRAEWE 1983 MA Christian Education I currently serve with Action International Ministries in Calgary, AB. For the past 32 years, I have been training young people and young adults to use performing arts as evangelism and discipleship tools in cross cultural opportunities around the world. COVID-19 has put everything on hold, and we are waiting to see what the Lord has for us next. In the meantime, we try to be
creative and stay connected through Zoom and phone calls. I have learned through this pause in life that, though things seem to be out of control, our Lord is still in control. PETER ENNS 1984 BA Music We are currently involved in part-time church ministry; however much of the real ministry happens at our other jobs. Mary Anne teaches nursing students how to be good nurses, but also how to be genuine. While she cannot talk openly about her faith, her students all see Jesus in the way she cares for them. I work at a company that manufactures boat molds, and this offers me unique opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus to co-workers who would probably never darken the door of a church. When I consider the way Jesus went about doing ministry, I notice that ministry was not his job, rather it was his life. I want my life to be like that. No matter what I’m doing, I want to reflect the life of Jesus to every person God brings across my path. LINDA ANDREWS 1986 BCM Youth Ministries I attended WBC in the ‘80s. I have held a few jobs since then in the child welfare field. I have worked for the London and Middlesex Children’s Aid Society for 26 years. But for the past five years, I have been supervising visits between biological families and the children not in their care. With COVID-19, this has become even more complex as we are offering virtual visits sometimes with infants. Without the option to hold and play with their children, the parent/child relationship is becoming even more strained for most. In addition, we are being challenged daily to learn new technology and programs and are working hard to find new ways to meet the needs of our clients.
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GREGORY JOHNSON 1989 MA My wife, Susan, and I live in Three Hills, AB. We have three married children and five grandchildren. Susan is a retired nurse, and I have been at Samaritan’s Purse since 2003. My role is to support Samaritan’s Purse affiliate offices in Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK with the implementation and global integration of the Operation Christmas Child Project. A significant initiative of our project is a discipleship program titled “The Greatest Journey.” We have seen hundreds of thousands of children and families impacted by this program worldwide. Please join us in thanking God for His faithfulness in growing the church through this initiative and pray for the teachers who are now being trained to lead future programs. Pray that disciples of Jesus would be multiplied. VAL ROWAN 1991 MA Biblical Counselling I am currently supporting a First Nations community through the COVID-19 crisis in Northeastern Saskatchewan. They have had two suicides and 13 deaths since February of this year. Prayer for the spiritual warfare in this community would be very appreciated! I also counsel on a private practice basis. Of my 10 great nieces and nephews, there is only one who has not yet graduated. This fall, one of my great-nephews and his wife will have a baby, then I will be a greatgreat auntie, and I’m not even 60 yet! MICHELLE (TEIGROB) STRUTZENBERGER 1998 BA Humanities My twin, Maria Janette, and I attended Providence in 1995/1996. In the summer of 1996, while we were travelling with our parents to Belize, Maria was killed in a car accident. In April 2020, my book, Surprised by Grief and God: A Twinless Twin’s Stories, was released. My stories are about
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how grief surprised me with its wreckage and darkness, but they are also about how God, in and through that grief, surprised me with Himself. The book is enriched by responses from Tyndale’s Spiritual Director, Tracey-Ann Van Brenk. SARAH HORDYK 2005 BA Intercultural Studies, TESOL The Lord has led me in a new ministry direction recently. After 14 years of serving Him in a Christian school, first as a grade school teacher and then as the founder and director of a special education program, I have started a private practice for students who struggle with learning and/or behavioural disabilities. It has been one wild ride, but I can say with full assurance that God has provided and been the centre of this new ministry in ways that I never dreamed possible. KATE (NOORDEGRAAF) BEATON 2009 BA Intercultural Studies, TESOL After Providence, I worked at a daycare in my hometown and gained a Child Development Practitioner Certificate from Georgian College. I met my husband, Dave, at church and we now have two children, Charlie (5) and Natalie (2). While attending Clearview Community Church in Stayner, ON, we joined a group to church plant in Creemore. We have attended there ever since. Two years ago, I accepted the role of Children’s Pastor. As well as Sunday morning programming, we provide weekly kids’ clubs and occasional day camps. With COVID-19 changing everything, we are actively working in different ways. We use various social media platforms to provide programming and do our best to connect with people online or by phone. God is working in Creemore!
LINDA VESEY DE CASTRO 2011 Certificate of TESOL
NATHAN MYRICK 2010 BA Music Ministry It has been a busy 10 years! I got married, moved to L.A., did a Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Theology at Fuller Seminary, worked as a screen writer and producer for a small production company, released two albums, and had a son, Ford, in 2014. Then we moved to Waco, Texas where I completed my PhD in Church Music at Baylor University. My daughter, Hasley, was born in 2017. Last year, I was appointed Assistant Professor of Church Music at Mercer University and was elected President of the Religion, Music and Sound Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology. I am currently coediting a book on ethics and Christian music and have completed the first draft of a manuscript called Music for Others. Providence was a wonderful place for me to blossom as a thinker and Christian.
DUSTIN BURLET 2011 MDiv Biblical Languages I am pleased to announce that I have just graduated with a PhD (Old Testament) from McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, ON. The focus of my study was a rhetorical critical (rhetoric as persuasion) analysis of the Noachic Deluge Narrative using a modified version of George Kennedyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model. We are in the process of preparing the manuscript for publication. My education at Providence and the relationships that I developed during my time there were critical to my success! LINDA VESEY DE CASTRO 2011 Certificate of TESOL In 2018, I moved from youth and education ministry in Baltimore, MD to a small town in Pennsylvania. This was more than just a ministry shift as my husband, Jeremias, rejoined us in the USA at the same time. After a long immigration process, my daughter and I rejoiced at his arrival. We continue to be aware of how our heavenly Father cares for our home and community. EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 35
TERRY SMITH 2015 MA Christian Studies
ROCKY DICK 2013 Credits towards BA General Studies Much has changed in my life after attending Providence from 2011 to 2013. I moved back to Alberta where I grew up, attended Lethbridge College and graduated with a diploma in Renewable Resource Management. I struggled to find work in my field, so I went back to school studying Kinesiology at University of Lethbridge. I hope to maintain my grades and then apply for a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program in physiotherapy. If I complete this degree, I hope to move back to Manitoba where my brother and sister live with their families. VERN MARTIN 2013 Credits towards MA Educational Studies My family moved to Morris, MB in 2010 to accept a position as pastor. In 2015, I accepted the pastoral position of Emmanuel Gospel Church in Lowe Farm. My wife Kathleen works in the laundry department at the Morris Hospital, and we will celebrate 22 years of marriage on August 15. We have four children: Micah, Jaala, Leah and Nathan. 36 | EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca
TERRY SMITH 2015 MA Christian Studies For 23 years, I have served within the EMC national office, largely in the areas of communication and education. Already trained, supervised, experienced and ordained as a minister before entering this position and attending Providence Theological Seminary, I came to view my decade of part-time studies in the Seminary as a refreshing experience that provided a valuable sense of community. It allowed me to dig deeper into my personal library and connect with the wider church. WILLIAM & JOURDAN (ECHTLE) GRAY 2015 BA Church Ministries (Will) 2016 MA Global Studies, TESOL (Jourdan) Will and I married in 2017, and our first child, Asher, was born in February 2019. After Providence, I worked with refugees as an ESL teacher in Winnipeg, and Will served for four years as Family Ministries Coordinator at St Aidenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Anglican Church. In July 2019, we moved to Vancouver, BC, and Will began his Master of
Divinity at Regent College. He is currently on staff at St. John’s Anglican Church in Vancouver serving in Children’s Ministry. I am serving with TeachBeyond as the TESOL and Intercultural Studies Intern Coordinator. At Providence, we were challenged to grow in our faith, we matured as people, and we were equipped with knowledge and skills to serve God, as well as our communities, in the vocations He led us to. FRIEDA MARTENS 2017 MA TTESOL After graduation, I continued to teach English to international students and immigrants. Before COVID-19, I worked as an associate staff member with International Student Ministry Canada providing meals and teaching English to international students and immigrants on Friday evenings. Now our Friday nights are on Zoom. I was and still am teaching people from other countries on Skype. In addition, I am working on a pronunciation manual for Chinese Mandarin speakers. I am thankful for the training I received in TESOL and TTESOL. Thank you to Dr. Elfrieda Lepp-Kaethler as well as Dr. Gus Konkel and Dr. Ed Neufeld for the Biblical Studies teaching.
RANDY & MYRIAM (GAUDREAU) JANZEN 2011 BA Business Administration (Myriam) 2018 MA Educational Studies: Youth Leadership (Randy) Randy moved to Quebec, my (Myriam) home province, after graduating in 2018. We got married on June 1, 2019. Randy is ministering as a full time missionary at the Quebec House of Prayer where he is passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone. We are hosts of two YouTube channels: on “The Janzen Journal” you can find sermons, Bible studies and chats, and “The Janzen Journey” consists of weekly vlogs as we share what life with chronic disabilities looks like when Jesus is our Saviour and constant Helper. JOHN TELMAN 2020 DMin, 2012 MA Christian Studies Two years ago, Carole and I moved to Ottumwa, IA to serve Hickory Grove Community Church as their pastor couple. Carole is about to begin her PhD dissertation in Old Testament from Evangel University. Our son and his wife are expecting a baby girl in August, and we could not be happier. I wrote a paper that will be published in a journal this coming June. Next June, I am scheduled to teach a 3-week course at Immanuel Bible College in Cebu City, Philippines. God is good and we truly do love Providence.
JOHN TELMAN 2020 DMin, 2012 MA Christian Studies
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FOLLOWING GOD’S CALL TO ADVENTURE Bruce Peters was named Providence Theological Seminary’s 2020 Alumnus of the Year. He graduated in 1978 with a Master of Divinity and then worked for 38 years at Providence as the Director of Bookstore Services. Under Bruce’s management, a small “Book Nook” flourished, and at its height, generated sales of more than $600,000 a year. Inevitably, university bookstores began to lose sales to online vendors, and the store was closed in 2014. Bruce then went on to join Advancing Indigenous Missions (AIM) at their Canadian headquarters in Winnipeg, MB and frequently travels in Southeast Asia training pastors and missionaries. He lives in Kleefeld, MB with his wife, Elaine.
BRUCE’S STORY When Bruce Peters was 10 years old, he heard a missionary ask a question: “Since every believer has to be involved in the mission of Christ, and since the mission of Christ is to reach the world, what is your place in it?” Though young, Bruce took that question seriously and he prayed. In answer to that prayer, he remembers receiving a vision from God of a man short in stature with a warm brown complexion. Then he heard a voice, asking, “Will you help this man?” It was a simple question, and as a child, Bruce remembers answering “yes” to God. Bruce grew up in a Mennonite church on the corner of Stafford St and Carter Ave in Winnipeg (later known as Bethel Mennonite). Although young, he read everything in his church library, including many stories about the Missionary Greats from the past—Hudson Taylor, John Wright, Mary Slessor and David Livingstone. As he grew up, his mother invited missionaries to their home, and he heard about their adventures around the family dining room table. EYE WITNESS | Prov.ca | 39
CLIFF HEIDE Cliff Heide is Providence’s University College’s 2020 “Alumnus of the Year.” Since graduating from Providence in 2001 with a BA in Youth Leadership, Cliff has served with Youth for Christ Winnipeg for the past 19 years. Cliff first worked at the Edge Skatepark for 15 years and has spent the last five years serving in senior leadership roles in YFC both locally and nationally. In January 2020, Cliff moved into the role of Executive Director of YFC Winnipeg, leading with support, vision and mission focus. He attends the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard Church where he serves as an elder with his wife, Krista. Together, they have three children and live in Winnipeg.
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“Through the years of working in a ministry vocation, I’ve often marveled at how unique ministry work is; it is truly a ‘job’ like no other. The call to devote your life and service towards nurturing the spiritual journey of others is a significant undertaking, and it carries a large responsibility. At the same time, we recognize that first and foremost this is God’s work, and any sort of role we play in this work is only because God chooses to use broken people to extend His love and care to the world.” “This picture of how we can all be involved in sharing the hope of Christ with one another is quite a beautiful thing. Many times, I am drawn into deep gratitude, marveling that I’ve been able to serve in a job that, though it may be challenging and messy at times, is also rich with meaning. There is a unique level of fulfillment that comes from being able to show love and care for others in the name of Jesus. In my work with YFC, I feel both humbled and honoured to think that God is using me for His purpose in a place He has called me to.”
Cont’d from Pg. 39 All the while, his childhood vision stirred inside his heart until he met an international Providence student named Lian in the fall of 2006. Lian came to Providence from Southeast Asia to study for his Master’s degree. After a year of studies, Lian returned home to start a mission in his hometown.
dictionary, he translated English scripture into his own language to improve understanding. He then prayed scripture aloud in English, starting with the Psalms, to practice. Later on, he used this same technique when teaching his students. After teaching on a portion of scripture, he led them in reciting the passage in English so they could learn and practice their pronunciation.
In 2008, Bruce joined the AIM Board of Directors. He was drawn to their mission of empowering indigenous people to minister in their own countries. Lian was a natural fit for AIM’s work overseas, and before the end of December 2009, he partnered with AIM to reach his country in SE Asia with the gospel message.
At a conference in Singapore, Lian met a man named Jim Reimer who was headquartered in Toronto. Lian shared his story with Reimer and how God told him he would study in another country. Reimer said he would sponsor him for a year in Canada and asked if he would like to attend Tyndale or Providence. Lian chose Providence.
As Bruce’s relationship with Lian grew, it wasn’t long before Lian invited him to his country to hold a conference. The trip that ensued in 2012 was monumental in Bruce’s journey. He led seminars and preached to people who were hungry to receive teaching in God’s Word. He witnessed God’s protection of their conference in the face of police interrogation. “I remember realizing that we really were in a restricted country. Anything could happen at any time. We were totally dependent on God for our safety and invisibility.”
Since graduating, Lian has purchased land in his home country and started a Bible College and orphanage. Today, he networks with 50 evangelical pastors to plan outreaches together for their nation.
“When I came back, I think everybody knew that I was sold out to missions work. The overseas trip reignited a fire in my heart. I already had a pretty good idea that Lian was the man in my vision.”
LIAN’S STORY Lian grew up familiar with ministry life. His father worked for Voice of the Martyrs, a ministry serving persecuted Christians. Like his father, Lian followed into mission work. Early on, God told him that he would reach his nation, receive training in another country and learn to speak English. Lian traveled to India to attend Bible School where they taught in English and in a dialect he didn’t understand. He became determined to learn English. With the help of a
PLOWING, SOWING AND REAPING Through AIM, the Lord has brought people around Lian to encourage and support his work. Bruce remembers when Lian presented plans and blueprints to build more campus facilities. The financial need was $100K. Bruce remembers saying, “I have no idea who, what or how but I can pray.” Together, he and Lian dug a hole in the ground, laid some bricks in it and prayed. (Bruce called it ‘planting bricks for God.’) It was only a matter of months before AIM received a donation from a local Manitoba business family for the full amount of $100K for Lian’s building plans to move forward. It’s been 50 years since God first gave Bruce his vision for missions. Now the time is ripe—in what could have been his retirement years—for him to step out into his calling to overseas missions in SE Asia.
KATHRYN MULOLANI Director of Marketing
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A LASTING IMPACT
CLOSING REMARKS FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT EXTERNAL RELATIONS Our lives are filled with people, places, events and seasons that leave a lasting impact. We hear again and again that Providence is (or has been) one of those places and experiences for our current students and alumni. The institution’s ability to infuse learning with the Christian faith forms and equips our students with the knowledge, character and skills to engage in a variety of vocations and to participate in God’s creative and redemptive work in the world. The stories you have read across these pages are a tribute to the work of teaching students to grow in knowledge and character for leadership and service of Christ in a changing world. Not only have they been impacted by Providence, but Providence has been impacted by their contributions to our community. You, and thousands of others alongside you, have played a role in this work. Through prayerful and financial support, Providence’s friends and alumni are able to play an active role in making our students’ experiences possible.
Would you help us to reach our goal? I invite you to prayerfully consider a gift in support of the Providence Fund, allowing us to pour into students who will have an impact today, tomorrow and for generations to come. All gifts to the Providence Fund help us get closer to our goal, no matter their amount! Join with hundreds of others who are investing in future leaders. By investing in Providence, you are having a direct impact on Providence students. You become a part of the Providence impact. By the grace of God, Providence is able to impact its students and we remain deeply humbled and grateful for the committed community of friends and alumni, like yourself, who help to make this work possible. Thank you.
SAMANTHA GROENENDIJK Vice President External Relations
More than 1,500 donors have given over 10,000 gifts equating to $14.1 million to Impact 2020: The Campaign for Providence. With only $400,000 dollars remaining to reach our goal of $14.5 million, we know that this total is within reach thanks to our generous partners. Each day, we are able to provide educational excellence to our students largely in thanks to the dedication of these alumni and friends.
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