Gene and Grace attended and were actively involved in CRBC from 1998-2007 while Gene worked as Camp Homewood’s program director. In 2007, International Messengers USA contacted them and asked them to launch a Canadian office. They said yes, left Camp Homewood, and moved to Abbotsford, British Columbia.
International Messengers currently has 190 career missionaries working in 17 countries. Its philosophy is this: How has God hard-wired you? What are your passions? How can you use those to reach the lost? Because of this philosophy, IM has many varied ministries—church-planting, ESL schools, university student outreaches, orphanages, homes for abused and abandoned women and children, a day center for children and teens infected with HIV/AIDS, and more. One common ministry, however, is Evangelistic English Learning Camps (EELC).
EELCs offer both a conversational English class and an English reading class (aka Bible class) daily. In Eastern Europe, where most of these camps are held each summer, many campers discover, for the first time, biblical truths about a God who desires relationship with them through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Most of these people have been impacted by alcoholism, abuse, or abandonment and are living without hope—that is, until they discover that God loves them and wants to heal their brokenness.
Gene and Grace recruit, train, and lead two-week mission trips to host Evangelistic English Learning Camps in Eastern Europe each summer. Throughout the year, Gene also arranges for individuals and teams to minister in other ways in partnership with IMs career staff. He’s enabled construction teams, marriage and family counselors, women’s conference teachers, and more to serve in Eastern Europe.
Grace travels extensively to promote IM Canada wherever she speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Most recently, her eighth published book – One-Minute Romance for Couples – has become a key into churches with which they already have a relationship.
Together, Grace and Gene have started hosting fun date nights for couples in British Columbia and Alberta, teaching a presentation called “7 Keys to Staying Well-Married.” This endeavor has strengthened IM Canada’s relationship with more than a dozen churches and seen an increase in couples’ expressed desire to learn more about ministering together in missions.
In October, 2015, Grace will launch a one-day women’s conference called “RADIANT: Creating a Deeper Life.” This conference is officially an IM Canada ministry, and it’s designed to disciple Christian women into a more intimate relationship with Jesus. It encourages them to get involved with missions by providing a two-week overseas partnership with IM career staff.