John was born in Quebec, the youngest of five children in a nominally Protestant family. He grew up with both English and French, speaking both languages in the home, French in the street, and English at school. Upon graduating from high school John visited an evangelical youth centre in Quebec City, where he came to know the risen Christ and his life was completely turned around. From that moment on he was not able to really interest himself in any career that would not involve serving the Lord by speaking for Christ. He remembers that at the age of 10, at a summer camp, he spoke up in a meeting, saying that as an adult he would “travel from place to place, teaching people about Jesus”. At that time he could not figure out why he had said such a strange thing. It seems to have been prophetic.
Lise was also born in Quebec, oldest of six children, to a Roman Catholic family. When she was 13 years old when an evangelist visited their home, her father came to a saving knowledge of Christ, and some time later Lise followed suit. After going through some “drifting” times as a teenager, Lise rededicated her life to the Lord, and began to be involved in Christian service. She attended Bible school, and after graduation, she married John, who had graduated from the same school two years earlier.
John was founding pastor of the church in Chibougamau, where he remained for eight years, leading the church to financial autonomy and purchase of a building. John and Lise then served for 18 years with Fellowship International in Spain, while raising their five children. They saw two churches planted, and John was involved in two different systems of training workers: a decentralized Evangelical School of Theology, and an evening Bible school in Zaragoza. He translated some courses from French to Spanish, and produced some courses of his own.
In June of 2003, John and Lise, now empty nesters, returned to Canada, to work in Quebec. They joined Daniel Marcoux in planting a church on the north shore of Montreal, then moved back to Chibougamau (northern Quebec), in order to try and “revive” the weakened church in that town. During the last year in the Montreal area, and the four years that they spent in Chibougamau, John and Lise travelled each year to Honduras, originally to visit their daughter, Melodie, and then, as well, for the children in the Home in which Melodie works (their “grandchildren”!) The first year John had the opportunity of teaching a course to the Baptist pastors, in the context of LeadersFor. During these visits, John and Lise became aware of the tremendous need for Christian knowledge in Central America, and for the proper training of pastors. Much successful evangelism is being done, churches are springing up, but there is a great need for trained Christian leadership. Finally, after talking with a Honduran pastor, and consulting with leaders here at home, John and Lise became convinced that they should rejoin Fellowship International to work in the context of LeadersFor.
John’s ministry will involve teaching, mentoring, and helping in the coordination of courses taught in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and possibly eventually in other parts of Central America. They will be based in Siguatepeque, Honduras. Lise hopes to be able to gather pastors’ wives to encourage them, as well as helping in the humanitarian work of the church in Siguatepeque.