Growing up in Christian farm families, Jon and Evelyn Siebert had much in common. Both learned early about God’s love and the need for His mercy; about the value of hard work, responsibility and caring for others. They learned about missions from the many missionaries who visited their churches and homes. Both are grateful for their parents’ training and example.
“At about seven years of age, I became concerned about my soul’s welfare,” remembers Jon, who soon after trusted the Lord for salvation. Evelyn admits she was often under conviction in her pre-teen years. During a period of sickness at 13 — and fearing death — Evelyn surrendered her life to the Lord. A hunger for God’s Word and a desire to please Him saw her through her struggles and doubts during her teen years.
Jon’s desire to be an obedient witness led him to memorize Scripture on the long bus rides to school. Missionary books and conferences resulted in a burden to pray for persecuted Christians. He became active in a high school Bible club and children’s work on an Indian Reserve.
At Prairie Bible Institute, Jon joined the North American Native prayer group. During his last year at PBI God used a visit from NCEMer Bud Elford as a turning point. “He spoke of God’s faithfulness to provide,” says Jon, “and I started to look for a mission (to join).” When Jon’s father called one day with an invitation to join him in business, Jon replied, “Dad, that’s not my niche in life.” Jon was already familiar with NCEM with his parents supporting two NCEM missionaries.
Evelyn first heard of NCEM at Prairie High School and asked about the NMTC summer program. “I was devastated to find out I needed one year of Bible school first!” she recalls. But with a growing burden for Native people, Evelyn went on to PBI and took NMTC. “Though there were difficult times that summer, God [showed] me He wanted me in missions to Native people,” says Evelyn. Graduating in 1983, she joined NCEM the following year and God brought Jon into her life. They attended “MDP” training that fall, were married the next spring, and assigned to the Sturgeon Lake (AB) Reserve.
“I joined NCEM because they had ministry to kids,” explains Jon, “and our ministry (initially) was almost exclusively in camps and Sunday school.” Then in 1992 the Sieberts and their three children moved to Key-Way-Tin Bible Institute to teach adults — a ministry far from their minds when they first joined the Mission.
Jon says 1 Timothy 3:1 (“If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task”) impacted him as a teen and is now being fulfilled as he provides leadership in NCEM’s Central-Field.