Celebrating Years of Faithful Service

Tags: Canada, Story

On June 23, 2016, SEND celebrated the retirement of five individuals who have faithfully served both overseas and in the home office of SEND Canada. We are so thankful for the commitment of Jim and Ruth Andrews, Laverne Fehr and Jake and Lillian Leyenaar in taking the Good News to the nations, and for the fruit of their ministries. 

Stuart Lightbody, Director of Operations, welcomes the guests of honour, their families and churches and SEND staff to the retirement festivities.

Ed Vencio, Director of Mobilization, reads words of greetings and thanks from the SEND International Director, Warren Janzen. Fun fact: Ed and his wife, Marlu, were mentored as a young couple in the Philippines by Jake and Lillian, some of the evening’s honoured guests!

Canadian Director, Rob “Mags” Magwood, shares a reflection from Scripture:

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain." 

1 Corinthians 15:58

Flowers and plaques were presented to the guests of honour, acknowledging their service both overseas and in the home office.

Laverne Fehr served in the Philippines from 1977 to 2001, first studying the language and then being involved in church planting.  She also served in the SEND field office and as a registrar at Faith Academy, an international school. 

When Laverne returned to Canada in 2001, she joined the Personnel department in the SEND Canada office. In 2013, Laverne transitioned to a new role as Project Assistant to the Director of Operations.  Laverne retired on January 31, 2016 and SEND is incredibly thankful for the impact she has had on the organization and her teammates, at home and abroad!

Jim and Ruth Andrews have faithfully served together in Alaska since 1978. Jim was involved in a radio ministry and Ruth served as a nurse. They served together in Alaska, in many different capacities, until 1988, when they joined the home office team in Toronto, Ontario. 

They have faithfully served in the SEND office, moving with it to London, Ontario.  Ruth retired last year, and Jim's official retirement date was January 31, 2016, although he continues to work part-time, helping the office transition.  Thank you Jim and Ruth for your many years of dedication!

Lillian moved to the Philippines in 1966 and two and a half years later, Jake arrived for a short-term position with SEND.  Jake and Lillian were married in 1972 and returned to the Philippines together where Jake served as the Business Manager for the field office.

Jake and Lillian have also served in the SEND Canada home office.  In 2007 they had the opportunity to return to the Philippines to launch a new program and now this program is booming in classrooms all around the Philippines.

In 2011, Jake and Lillian returned to Canada.  Despite being ‘retired’ they continue to volunteer their time working with immigrant students.  Thank you Jake and Lillian for the incredible example you’ve been!

A prayer of blessing by Pastor Phil Butler, from Westview Baptist Church for Laverne, Jim, Ruth, Jake and Lillian.

Thank you Andrews, Leyenaars and Laverne! Your many years of dedicated service are appreciated more than words can express!

Learn About Jake And Lillian's Lessons From The Field

Read Jake Leyenaar's Story

Read Lillian Leyenaar's Story

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