Dave and Donna Marttunen
Home Church: Calvary, Guelph, ON
Dave and Donna come from different family backgrounds and yet both found their way to Christ while at home. Dave's family was heavily involved in their local Fellowship Church in Campbell River, and his Mom 'carried him' to worship before he was born. Donna found her way to a Fellowship Church in Calgary through the invitation of friends. She was supported by the church youth and sponsors, camp leaders and a host of friends. Both determined to attend NBTC where they met and then married two years later.
In 1989 the Marttunens were called to serve at Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church. The family quickly settled into life and ministry in their town until tragedy struck with Jonathan's death in January 1990. Plunged into mourning, Dave and Donna reflected on the uncertainty of life and the importance of pursuing their dreams. One of those dreams was for them to be involved in missions outside of Canada. Following the drawing of the Holy Spirit and with their church's blessing they explored opportunities which eventually resulted in a six-year assignment of pastoral care to our Fellowship field in Pakistan. The posting required a three month residency in-country and a return of up to five weeks every second year with contact by phone, letter and email. Dave and Donna comment: “This was a 'game-changer' for us”. Their views of the local church and their definitions and opinions about the work of missions were challenged, morphed and changed. Donna summarizes the impact this way: “Before Pakistan, I believed we did church 'the New Testament Way', but after Pakistan I realized that we were 'doing' church as North Americans and I now know that there are many ways that the Church can be formed and function in various cultures around the world.”
The Marttunen's experience in Pakistan enriched them and continued to motivate them to be involved in ministry to missionaries. Believing that others should have this experience they encouraged the Pakistan field to ask others to pastor them as they had. In 2000 an opportunity to do similar work in Japan came to them and that has stretched to 14 pastoral visits and continues to the present. They also resumed their ministry to our Pakistan field.
Dave and Donna concluded their ministry time in Parksville, BC in 2003 and joined our Fellowship International team, as Coordinators of Member Care along with a mandate to open new fields for the mission. They were deployed in 2004 to Johannesburg to form a partnership with the hope that Canadians could team up with Africans in Southern Africa. While in this role they traveled extensively adding 22 countries to their passports.
Completing this task, the Marttunen's answered a call to be the Lead Pastor at Central Baptist Church, Victoria BC in January 2006 where they served until August 2014.
Thirty-eight years of marriage and 36 years of pastoral and mission ministry in the Fellowship has been the means of God's ongoing formation for them both. They are grandparents, leaders, and ministry partners. Donna has worked full time as an RN in a Geriatric Consult Team at the Royal Jubilee Hospital after completing her BscN in 2011, but is foremost Dave's partner in life, marriage and ministry.