Board of Directors
Those selected to serve on the board must demonstrate Christian character, enthusiastically support the work of Bible translation, and be committed to full participation in board work. Using their ability to think strategically and futuristically, with a consistent emphasis on discerning God’s will, the board sets the direction for Wycliffe Canada. The president of Wycliffe Canada, Roy Eyre, and the leadership team under his direction, is responsible for achieving the desired results set by the board.
A director on the Wycliffe Canada board since 2007, Jan presently serves as board chair. Jan has served as pianist or organist in her local church for many years, as well as directing small music groups. She has had an active involvement in Christian leadership development through the Anglican Cursillo movement, where she served as local Lay Director and Chair of the National Secretariat.
In her business life, she has more than 30 years’ experience as a manager, planner, consultant, educator and international speaker. In 1994, Jan founded The Governance Coach™, specializing in coaching boards to implement and effectively use the Policy Governance® model. She has authored several books and is a regular contributor to Board Leadership, published by Jossey-Bass. She was a member of the founding board and is a past chair of the board of the International Policy Governance® Association. Her governance experience allows her to look at issues from a broad, future-oriented perspective.
Jan and her husband Will have been married more than 40 years and have two children and four wonderful grandchildren. Jan considers it a privilege to be part of the Wycliffe team in the life-changing work of bringing God’s Word to people in their heart language.
Susanna grew up in a loving home where “the values of God and the Kingdom were talked about, modelled and called out in me.”
While still in high school , Susanna participated in a summer mission trip with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Following a year of teaching in Korea, she spent two years on the staff of a travelling discipleship school. That experience exposed her to poverty in Canada and in Guatemala, and birthed strong convictions about the role of the Church in standing with people, against injustice and for shalom.
For the next five years, Susanna worked on the staff of Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church.
“I grew in my ability to cast vision and develop teams, and came to love the Scriptures. I saw faithful study of the Scripture in community transform not only young adults, but also the leadership of the church. “
Since 2007, Susanna has been a missionary with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and is responsible for student ministry throughout Ontario. Now based in Kitchener, Ont., Susanna has begun graduate studies at Tyndale University College.
Mitch has served as a director on the Wycliffe Canada board since 2012. His wife Deborah is a registered nurse and they have made their home in the Cornwall, Ontario area since 2009, originating from Alberta and Saskatchewan. They have 3 adult children and three grandchildren.
Mitch works as a leadership coach with his company ON SIDE Leadership Coaching and is committed to “…promoting the potential of people and organizations”. Services provided include executive coaching and operational management support services for CEO’s, boards and management teams where he promotes the disciplines: “Get Clear, Focus, Get There”. Mitch has been providing coaching services to the Cree School Board of the nation of Eeyou Istchee (James Bay region of northern Quebec) since 2007.
Mitch and Deborah have theology diplomas from Eston College (Saskatchewan). Mitch has completed a Leadership & Management Master of Arts degree majoring in Organizational Studies from Briercrest Seminary (Saskatchewan). His previous working experience includes 20 years of management in the financial services industry as well as business.
“Leaders are people who are clear about their person and their purposes… who take initiative to promote their influence with intentionality and integrity.”
Eric has served as a Board Director since 2012 and currently serves as the vice-chair. He is married to Val and has five children and four grandchildren. Eric and Val live in the rectory in Rothesay, New Brunswick just outside of Saint John. He has been the Rector of St. James the Less Church for the past 18 years. He is the chaplain to seafarers in the port of Saint John. Eric serves as commodore for a small boat club and is chairman of the board for Alpha Ministries Canada. He also chairs a small medical mission and is vice-chair of a local zoo. Eric enjoys building small boats and sailing larger ones in the Saint John River system and along the coast of Maine and New Brunswick. His emphasis in ministry has always been on understanding and proclaiming clearly the Word of God, as well as seeing that people are engaged in worship that is life-transforming. Hands-on practical ministry is also something that Eric loves to do, whether that is fixing a water pump on a car, removing ticks from a parishioner’s dog, or building and maintaining a website for a small mission organization.
Born and raised in Kenya, Steve came to Canada as a young man to study at York University in Toronto. He and his family joined the Christian Reformed Church almost 20 years ago as part of a church-planting team of Friendship Community Church in Toronto, where they still serve. Later, Steve served on the board of Christian Reformed World Missions from 1999-2002, and this experience inspired him into the global missions’ ministry.
In January 2012, Steve was appointed as Canada Director of Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). The formal partnership between Wycliffe Canada and CRWM will provide a context for his work on the Wycliffe Canada board.
From 2007 to 2010, Steve served at the Canadian Council of Churches as the co-chair of the Canadian Ecumenical Anti-Racism Network (C.E.A.R.N), a program of the Commission on Justice and Peace. Over the same period Steve also served as adjunct faculty at the Summer Peace-building Institute of Eastern Mennonite University. There he taught curriculum design concepts, and design skills of learning events focused on peace-building.
Steve was inspired in the work of Bible translation by his grandfather, Stephano Kabetu, who almost a century ago became the first Christian in the family, and then worked for several years with the Anglican missionary Canon Harry Leakey on the first Bible translation in Kikuyu, an indigenous language spoken by the largest people group in Kenya.
Steve and his wife Patricia live with their three children in Toronto, Ontario.
Antoinette Van Kuik
Antoinette’s life experience has been characterized by diversity. The daughter of Dutch Reformed parents who immigrated from Holland just before she was born, Antoinette grew up in a Mennonite church and town in Saskatchewan. She met her husband, Dr. Henry Fast, while attending a Christian & Missionary Alliance church and they have been members of the inter-denominational Church of The Way in Winnipeg since 1983. She pursued post-secondary education in piano, sociology, music history, and educational administration. She has lived in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario and travelled in every Canadian province.
After retiring from a fulfilling career as vice-president for college academics at Providence University College, Antoinette now fills her time with volunteer work. In addition to serving at Wycliffe Canada, she is presently on the boards of House Blend Ministries and A Rocha Canada. She serves as secretary for the Manitoba chapter of Osteoporosis Canada and as the volunteer engagement services team lead for the Canadian Diabetes Association in Manitoba.
After a career in the Christian higher education sector, Antoinette is happy to bring her experience to the Wycliffe board. Retirement allows her greater time to cultivate creativity through sewing, weaving and detailed stitching projects. She also enjoys time for visiting with friends and getting to know her two young grandchildren. In addition, Antoinette and her husband Henry enjoy travelling throughout Canada. They have a “bucket list” goal of visiting as many of Canada’s national parks as possible—having supported these parks through their taxes for some time now. She and her husband live in Manitoba.
Henry has been the senior pastor of the Westside Calgary Chinese Alliance Church (WCCAC) since 2010. He came to Canada in 1977 as a high schooler. He graduated from Ontario Theological Seminary (now Tyndale) in 1993 and then served in the Christian & Missionary Alliance as a pastor in Toronto and Waterloo, Ont. In 2002, he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California). In 2006, he became an overseas Alliance missionary and taught at the Alliance Theological College in Taiwan. In addition to conducting annual evangelistic and training camps with the students, he also served as a board member of the US-Can Alliance Field Office.
The mission statement of WCCAC is “Belong to Christ, Follow Christ, and Proclaim Christ”. The church emphasizes disciple-making, evangelism and overseas missions. It financially supports the Alliance missionaries and workers from different missions organizations, including Wycliffe Canada. It regularly commissions short-term mission teams to such fields as Panama, Uganda and Taiwan. Henry also serves as a board member of the Association of Canadian Chinese Theological Education, which is to start seminaries in Canada and train North American Chinese pastors and overseas missionaries. Henry has engaged in Chinese lay leadership training in Panama, Italy, and Spain.
Henry began serving as a board member of Wycliffe Canada in Novenber 2014. He strongly supports its mission of bringing the life-transforming Word through Bible translation, along with fostering literacy, education, and stronger communities, to different language groups worldwide, whom the Lord values and loves dearly.
Henry and Barbara have been married for 29 years. They have a college-aged daughter, Elizabeth.
Deborah Shadd serves in the role of Translation Training and Scholarship Associate at the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship, working closely with the United Bible Societies’ Global Bible Translation team to provide support and training to translators around the globe.
Born and raised in a strong Christian home in London, Ont., Deborah first became interested in Bible translation after attending a ‘Discover Wycliffe’ day during the last year of her undergraduate degree. Her interest and passion for the work grew as she went on to pursue graduate studies, first in applied linguistics and exegesis at the Canada Institute of Linguistics, and then in translation studies at the University of Ottawa. She has been a freelance translator and a teacher at both the high school and university levels. In her current position, she works to develop research and training initiatives in service to Bible translators and other translation professionals, and to facilitate co-operation and collaboration between Bible agencies as we labour together toward a common goal.
Deborah believes deeply in the importance of local church ministry and has been involved in many aspects of it over the years, from leading worship to teaching Bible studies to volunteering in the church office. Now living in Kitchener, Ont., she remains passionate about her involvement in missions and in ministry.
Field Member Advisers
Field member advisers provide information and insight to the board on board issues, from a broad field perspective. They address board issues that could have an impact on field work, or the Wycliffe Canada staff on the field.
Carl Whitehead (full profile)
Carl came to Canada from England when he was 13 and felt God's call to become a Bible translator while in high school, so his undergraduate studies at Trent University were in Greek and anthropology. After joining Wycliffe in 1971 and spending a year at Tyndale University, he met Pat Thiessen (from Winnipeg) while they were both training to go to Papua New Guinea (PNG). They married in 1973, went to PNG in 1974, and are still active members of SIL-PNG. Pat is a member of the Evangelical Mennonite Missions Conference, and they are commended by Brethren Assemblies from Peterborough, Ont. They have five adult children and have officially been Alberta residents since 1994.
Their primary assignment in PNG has been among the Menya people and they anticipate completing the New Testament in 2015. Carl became a linguistics consultant in 1981 and subsequently completed his MA and PhD at the University of Manitoba. He has served as a consultant/trainer to missionaries and national workers in linguistics and the translation of key biblical terms. During home assignments, he taught at the North Dakota SIL school (1984 & 88), Eastern Pentecostal Bible College (1989), Prairie Bible College (1994) and Steinbach Bible College (1999). In PNG, he also helped administer the National Translator Course (1990s), chaired the Children's Education Committee (1990-1993), and served on the Executive Committee (2011-2013).
He and Pat are currently resident in Calgary, with plans to return to PNG in July 2014.
Doug and his wife, Phyllis, served in Asia for 25 years (1981 to 2006) where his primary responsibilities included sociolinguistic survey, linguistic analysis and documentation, Scripture translation, and lexicography consulting. Since 2006, Doug has been teaching translation courses at the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL), where he also directs the Master of Applied Linguistics and Exegesis program. He has been greatly challenged and energized by highly engaged students and staff at CanIL, and is grateful for the opportunity to now serve Wycliffe Canada through involvement on the board.
Doug attended Providence College (1974-77, then called Winnipeg Bible College), and took his linguistics and translation training through the Summer Institute of Linguistics program in Dallas, Tex, and later through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He and Phyllis have three adult children and one granddaughter. He enjoys reading, canoeing, hiking, and spending time with family and good friends.