God's Call to Missions - Jack and Ella's Story

Tags: Canada, Story
Called to a New Career

The Sailors were enjoying their jobs in Regina, Saskatchewan. Jack was working as a police detective and Ella as a legal assistant. Then things began to change.

During the summer of 1971, the Sailors enjoyed ministry for a month in Alaska. It was during this time Ella became convinced that God was calling them into full-time ministry. Jack, however was not of the same mind. They returned to their work in Regina, but God’s calling was not lost on Ella. She tried to talk to her husband about serving God full-time but Jack was not open to even discussing it. Realizing that it was all in God’s hands, Ella left it with the Lord.

In the fall of 1971, the Sailors attended revival meetings.  It was during one of these meetings that Jack yielded to God and what He was calling him to. 

Jack had just committed himself to full-time ministry, when the Chief of Police offered him the position of Detective Sergeant. When Jack informed the Chief that he would not accept the position, rather he was going to resign to enter the ministry, the Chief was stunned; he could not believe what he was hearing. Ella’s employer likewise expressed utter disbelief. However, by this time, the Sailors were sure of their calling and would not be deterred.  

Embarking on Studies

They sold their home, and in the fall of 1973 the Sailors enrolled at Briercrest Bible Institute. What encouraged Jack and Ella was that their children did not oppose the move; they could see what God was doing in their parents' lives. God had prepared their hearts as well! With the proceeds from the sale of their house and individuals generously sending money to the Sailors (not knowing their need) Jack and Ella had just enough to see them through to graduation. 

During the summers between school years, the Sailors were involved in camp ministry in the Yukon.  The believers in Dawson City heard of them and invited Jack and Ella to do church work upon graduation. The Sailors joined SEND International, and in the Christmas of 1976 made the move up north.

A New Life Begins

Jack Visiting with Gold Miners

Jack (right) visiting with goldminers.

There were ministry adjustments during their initial months in Dawson City. However, one of the biggest challenges for Ella was seeing their children gradually leave home to begin their life as young adults. This was a “heartbreak” she had to work through. 

Bible studies were held in various homes; what a great joy to see people yield their lives to Jesus.  During the Sailors' 11 years in Dawson City, over 80 people came to know Christ as their Saviour. 

One of these people was Randy* whose wife, Lorraine, was already a believer. Randy, an RCMP officer, met the Sailors when they were involved in an accident.  The following month Randy and Lorraine were invited to attend a New Year’s celebration. Randy thoroughly enjoyed the event and was touched by the love of the people. He began to attend a Bible study and came to know Christ as his Saviour. They are still enjoying their walk with God.

God does not call all of His followers to leave their jobs and enter full-time ministry; however the Sailors knew that this was His will for their lives.    

Jack went to be with the Lord in 2014. He is with the One he loved so much and was so faithful to.  Ella is back in Regina and enjoying her family as they come to visit. She continues to be in contact with her former employer, who, at the time, thought it totally ridiculous for the Sailors to enter the ministry. Yet, only God knows the total impact they have had on people’s lives for eternity.

 * This is a true story, but some names have been changed for security purposes

Watch Videos About Life and Ministry in the North

Learn about Summer Camp Ministry Opportunities in the North.

Listen to Podcast Episode "How Can I Know God's Will for Me?"

Merla Gogel serves as a mobilizer for SEND Canada. She served in Japan for 12.5 years as a church planter and now serves in the Canadian office

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