We recently welcomed Dan & Pam Engel as career missionary candidates. Following their summer outreach with CEF in northern Saskatchewan, the Engels connected with us and expressed their desire to serve long-term among First Nations.
Since graduating from Millar College of the Bible, Dan has worked in several fields, including public education. Pam didn’t grow up in a Christian home, as Dan had, but came to faith in Christ through Bible camp as a teen. She has served short-term in international missions outreaches.
The Engels make their home in Regina, SK while building their prayer/financial support team.
In the aftermath of a fire that destroyed 30-plus homes in the Telegraph Creek, BC area this summer, Al & Marilyn Bailey were granted permission to return with a team from Samaritan’s Purse, providing emotional, spiritual and material support to residents who experienced losses.
The Baileys are NCEM missionaries based in Ft. St. John, BC, with continued ministry to Telegraph Creek, their former station. In God’s providence their residence there, and the newly constructed Christian radio station tower base, were not significantly damaged. As part of their ministry in Telegraph, the Samaritan’s Purse team helped Al & Marilyn clean up the remnants of their destroyed outbuildings.
The entire community, most of them Tahltan First Nation, was evacuated, many to Dease Lake, about 100 kms away. It will be some time before the community is allowed to return.
“It was a blessing to find some encouraged in the Lord, trusting that He is working ‘all things together for good,’ ” say Al & Marilyn, “and see the Lord turning what seems bad into good.” There is thankfulness that no one was injured or killed.
An RCMP member expressed that they wished the planned radio station had been in operation during the emergency, so that they could have communicated with the whole village at once. The Baileys have learned that leaders in another village, who had been hesitant to allow a similar radio station, are now realizing how it could be used in an emergency, and have changed their minds. This could open more communities to the CIAM Radio Network, an evangelical ministry the Baileys have been partnering with in Ft. St. John since 2007.
P R A Y : “Please pray that much good will come from the fire,” the Baileys request, “that, above all, many will call upon the Lord.” Al & Marilyn plan to return to Telegraph Creek in early spring to encourage and help people rebuild. In the meantime, they appreciate prayer for their connections with folks from the community through phone, email, and social media.
“I did not think children were my calling, yet that is where ministry led me – Bible camp and Bible clubs connected to Arrowhead, our NCEM ministry hub in the Maritimes.
“I poured my heart and soul into those kids. Now they are adults,” says Venus, “and they talk about those years as ‘the best!’ That is a blessing because I didn’t always know what impact I was having on their lives.”
Ministry for Venus has really included all ages. These days it takes place mostly on St. Mary’s First Nation (Fredericton, NB) and involves a lot of one-on-one ministry, and includes non-Native people, as well, she says.
“My prayer has always been that the local Native believers would take on leadership of Bible clubs,” she says, and happily reports that they have taken leadership of a teen group that meets each Friday.
“We have at least 14 teens who faithfully come out, and sometimes more. The men do the teaching. It’s nice to be a helper, and not have to take the lead. That has been my heart’s desire and I am grateful.”
P R A Y : Praise the Lord with Venus. She writes: “I am reminded of God’s goodness to me over the years of ministry. This has been a challenging field, but I have made lasting friendships. I knew I could trust God wherever He led me.”
Their ministry revolves around Norway House Bible Church where they are prayerfully thankful for local leadership who are contributing to the ministry of the Church in their community … building on “the Cornerstone”!
The group is now an organized member of Native Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (NEFC). As a church group, the Lytles and fellow believers have a variety of ministries in the relatively large community of Norway House, reaching out to children and teens (including those who attended Bible camp this past summer), Sunday school, AWANA, Care Home services, and more.
Ed & Karen are very thankful for local men who are excited to be part of building an addition to the existing church building. “The first load of building supplies arrived just a few days before our first snow flakes fell,” they report.
Local believers continue to be a big blessing to the Lytles in other ways, too. Recently one of their “bros-in-Christ” dropped off a semi-load of firewood in their driveway.
P R A Y : Ed & Karen appreciate prayer as they launch into a winter of ministry. Pray that the local fellowship will continue to grow in number and maturity. Pray for progress and safety in the church building expansion.
“As a missionary, you might be digging up the church sewer one day, climbing a mountain with teens another, laying a dear one to rest, or preaching a sermon. But it’s all God’s work, and it’s all good!” says Tom Cnossen.
Tom and his wife, Donna, serve at Maskwacis, Alberta (formerly known as Hobbema), an area composed of four Reserves. Though involved primarily with Maskwacis Bible Fellowship on the Samson Reserve, they connect with people from all four First Nations Bands.
The Cnossens are also part of a team that initiated a church plant on the Louis Bull Reserve about four years ago. Mario Swampy, a Band Councillor, serves as pastor.
“What we love about church planting and discipling is watching leadership grow,” say the Cnossens. They are thankful for several couples who have come alongside in the ministry at Maskwacis.
“As we grow, our own local people are stepping up in leadership and service in the churches,” they report. “The Lord is doing amazing work in ways that none of us ever expected! We are a diverse team, but there is unity of purpose.”
Tom continues his leadership of NCEM’s Higher Challenge wilderness camps, taking First Nations teens out each summer. Recently winter weekend camps have been added to this youth outreach.
P R A Y : “Whatever the activity, the main thing is to share Jesus in a real and relevant and relational way,” say the Cnossens. They appreciate prayer for leadership development and official organizing of the Maskwacis Bible Fellowship.
“It is a blessing to see these God given tools used for the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” says Dan.
“It is always great to see the excitement of someone going out on a ministry trip, or who has just returned. It has given us joy knowing that we have had a part in their ministry even though we personally could not be with them.
“In the 36 years since I first became involved with NCEM’s aviation program, we are fortunate to have a great safety record, and have never had an accident due to mechanical failure. We have had two or three emergency landings, however.”
Besides aviation mechanical work, Dan has also assisted in Bible camp work at Pine Ridge, vehicle repair, and other maintenance and construction projects around NCEM.
Dan’s wife, Valerie, is Food Services Manager at the Nipawin Bible College, located not far from the NCEM hangar at the Nipawin, SK Airport. Additionally, each summer Val serves as head cook at Stoney Lake Bible Camp, close to Kinistin First Nation, where a number of campers come from.
P R A Y : “We are so thankful to have a part in ministry to Canada’s First Peoples,” say Dan & Valerie.
“Our prayer is that the Lord would grant safety, that He would bless the work of our hands, and make the teams going out effective.
“We know that it is because of the Lord’s blessing that NCEM has been protected from serious incident and loss of life.”
Erika Calverley passed away in Kelowna, BC on May 14 at the age of 95.
Marshall & Erika Calverley were missionaries with NCEM from 1952-1965 in field and aviation ministries based in Buffalo Narrows and Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.
Erika is survived by her two sons, and was predeceased by Marshall.
Dan Surette and his wife, Heather, and their four children reside in Coronach, SK, where they are involved in their local church. Dan serves with the RCMP. The Surettes were first introduced to NCEM when Dan was employed as a school teacher in Ft. McPherson, NWT.
Robert Losier and his wife, Carmen, are from Alderwood, New Brunswick. Robert brings experience in board leadership through his church and public education involvements. The Losiers are active in their local church and have a burden for reaching the unreached in the Maritimes.
New missionaries Marcus & Kameron Cook (introduced in a previous issue) welcomed their baby boy “Leo Archer” on April 24th! The Cooks have joined NCEM as career members, and will be serving at Arrowhead Native Bible Center in New Brunswick.
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