On the ramp
Carly Schroeder (Canada)
Carly was born and grew up in small-town Ontario. Raised in the Church, she committed herself to the Lord at the age of 13 but later experienced a period of spiritual distance. God graciously drew her back into relationship with Himself. In time, she felt God leading her to become involved in cross-cultural Kingdom work, which led her to attend Urbana 2015, where she connected with OMF. In December 2016, she went with OMF on a short-term mission trip to a largely unreached area of Thailand. The Lord used this to confirm that He wanted her to serve with OMF. She attended Candidate Course in October 2017 and is on track to become supported staff as a Missions Mobilizer in Canada.
Melanie Au (Philippines)
Melanie was born in Vancouver, BC, and accepted Christ as her Saviour at a young age. She is passionate about helping children and youth grow in their faith and encouraging others to be involved in serving the community. Her heart for the suffering and marginalized has led her to many short-term missions trips, two of which were with OMF in 2015 and 2016, when she worked among the urban poor in Manila, Philippines. The Lord used those experiences to confirm her calling to the Philippines. In February 2017, OMF accepted Melanie to serve as an Associate-Ministry Explorer for three years. A medical crisis with a family member has delayed her departure, but she hopes to leave for Asia later this year.
Ryan and Katelynn Penner (Philippines)
Ryan was born in Kenya to missionary parents serving with African Inland Mission. His family moved to Langley, BC, after 20 years of service. Katelynn grew up in North Vancouver, BC, surrounded by a family who were committed to their faith in Christ and to teaching her about it. Ryan and Katelynn both graduated from Trinity Western University in Langley, BC, in 2015, Ryan with a BBA in international business and Katelynn with a BScN degree in nursing, and they were married in January 2016. Ryan and Katelynn individually developed a passion for world missions and are excited to join the OMF team, serving in Davao, Philippines. Ryan will use his business background to run the OMF Guesthouse and Training Center in Davao, while Katelynn will have the opportunity to use her nursing skills alongside local ministry teams. They attended Orientation Course in Singapore in April and further training in Manila, Philippines, in May. Pray for them as they adjust to the culture and their ministry.
Kevin and Jessica Teh (Japan)
As a fourth-generation Japanese Canadian, Jessica grew up learning about the needs of God’s people through her upbringing in the Church and various mission trips to Japan and Jamaica. Jessica’s Serve Asia Coordinator role with OMF Canada equipped her and enriched her understanding of the unreached in East Asia. Kevin, who moved from Malaysia to Canada at the age of 6, accepted the gift of Christ at age 27. His health-care work and mission trips to Haiti and Kenya challenged him to respond to the needs of the lost. The two were married in June 2014 and have dedicated their lives to serve the unreached peoples of East Asia. In November 2015, OMF accepted them as appointees for full-time service to East Asia’s peoples. To prepare, Jessica and Kevin pursued formal theological training at the Discipleship Training Centre in Singapore, graduating in May 2017. While there, they also went on a vision trip to Japan, where God placed a desire in their hearts to serve the Japanese people. They are currently working in Toronto while they continue to prepare for cross-cultural ministry in Japan.
Kyle Balkissoon (Japan)
Kyle grew up in Whitby, Ontario. He did not encounter Jesus until age 15, when his closest friend invited him to his youth group. A few months later, Kyle surrendered his life to Jesus and committed to serve the Lord whenever He would lead. He felt a strong calling to ministry at age 17, but it was not until two years after entering the workforce as a skilled tradesman (with certifications from Durham College) that he felt it was time to take the next steps. He returned to school, this time at Tyndale University, graduating with a Bachelor of Religious Education. During his three years of study, he served in church plants in varying capacities: outreach, evangelism, discipleship, music ministry and preaching. He co-led a short-term team of Tyndale students sent through OMF to serve in Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan in 2015. This trip solidified Kyle’s calling to Japan, which had deepened over the years. He now lives in Oshawa, Ontario, working as a machinist but focused on partnership development for his future ministry.
Chelsea C. (Creative Access Nation)
Chelsea was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She grew up in a Christian family and committed her life to Christ at a young age. Her post-secondary education started with a year at Taylor University College and Seminary in Edmonton. She then studied at the University of Alberta, graduating with her BA in linguistics and a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. God used a short-term mission trip in high school to begin cultivating in Chelsea a heart to be involved in cross-cultural ministry. At Urbana in 2012, she felt a clear calling to overseas ministry, and God led her to serve as a speech-language pathologist for one year at Faith Academy in Manila, Philippines. During that time, God confirmed her calling to overseas ministry and also began burdening her specifically for ministry with unreached people in Asia. Currently, Chelsea works in Regina as a speech-language pathologist in the public school system. She is scheduled to attend Orientation Course in Singapore this November.
(Photo withheld for confidentiality.)