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Send a Friend draw winner


Werner De Jong, Senior Pastor at Holyrood Mennonite Church in Edmonton (inset) was thrilled to hear the news of his win via speaker phone. De Jong won a $2000 travel voucher to visit a Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker in any one of up to 31 countries. Al Rempel, Director of Resource Development (left) and Ruth Wiebe, owner of Bonaventure Travel drew De Jong’s winning entry with MC Canada staff as witnesses. The Send a Friend draw was sponsored by Mennonite Church Canada and Bonaventure Travel.

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March 5, 2007
-Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. Werner De Jong, Senior Pastor at Holyrood Mennonite Church (Edmonton) won Mennonite Church Canada’s “Send a Friend” draw on January 31. De Jong plans to use the $2000 travel voucher to visit West Africa.

“The only thing I’ve ever won in my life was a free turkey dinner,” exclaimed the jubilant De Jong over the speaker phone when he heard the news.

De Jong was not aware that sister Margaret had entered him in the draw. She is an international ministry worker in Senegal – one of several reasons he wants to visit West Africa. Holyrood is the home congregation of Lillian (Haas) Nicolson, MC Canada Witness worker in Burkina Faso – another reason to visit. And, “We have a growing population of African refugees at Holyrood from places like Liberia, Ghana, and Sierra Leone. Learning more about their context and culture will be helpful for me as a pastor,” he said.

Visiting his sister Margaret, a trained nurse, has an added dimension. “She suffered a stroke last year and had to return to Canada – we were not sure she would recuperate,” said De Jong, adding that she has made a full recovery and is back doing church work in Senegal.

Entry forms were distributed at the Mennonite Church Canada assembly in Edmonton (2006) inside the new MC Canada ministry directory entitled Forming Disciples in a World of Witness as an enticement for recipients to learn more about ministries they support in Canada and around the world. The travel voucher can be used toward a visit to MC Canada workers in any of up to 31 countries.

Ruth Wiebe, owner of Bonaventure Travel in Winnipeg, donated the prize. “I enjoy seeing people travel with a purpose,” she said. “Working with the prize winners means I can be part of it and I get a vicarious thrill.”

Wiebe said she gets approached a lot for donations, but this is a unique and interesting way to be part of something bigger. “I can give it with joy in my heart, and it’s not an obligation. I just do it because I like it.”