Alumni Profile – Scott T. Lazaros

A Word from a Fellow Grad…

We served with Missionary Maintenance Services from 2007 to 2009. During that time, we were to go on a “Rapid Response” project somewhere in the world that needed a team to focus on an aviation project. We ended up going to Soldotna, Alaska, to help the Missionary Aviation Repair Center (MARC) get a twin engine Piper Navajo repaired; it had landed with the gear up about six years earlier. The original plan was to be there for three and a half weeks with the MMS team working on that project. While we were there, we were introduced to Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). It was during that visit that I felt a tug from God to serve in Alaska. We later went back to intern with MARC for three months to see if we could deal with the cold weather and the prolonged darkness in the winter. During that time, we also served with CEF of Alaska and helped train Native Inuit and Athabascans at a local Christian college to teach their own youth at “Native Musicale” in Anchorage last March.

When we left Alaska last April, we had two options to pray about: 1) full-time service with MARC as an aircraft mechanic, or 2) full-time service with CEF of Alaska as rural missions directors. After much prayer, our family felt led to serve with CEF of Alaska. We are now there and the beautiful thing is that our entire family serves together. We are involved in local Bible clubs as well as building up rural ministries. I will be able to use my pilot’s license in the future as I will serve with MARC on a part time basis, one week per month.

I am once read the book, The Making of a Leader, by Dr. J. Robert Clinton. I have been encouraged as I reflect back through the years and see just how God has brought people and circumstances into our lives. We are very thankful to be in this position and have the opportunity to grow! God is so good!

Scott T. Lazaros (Heritage, 2007)
https://lazarosfamily.blogspot.com

Alumni Profile – Kerem & Buse Koc

From Turkey to Canada To Turkey, “Heritage International Students

I am married to Buse, and we now have a Canadian son, Josiah. I come from a Muslim background; I knew nothing about Jesus Christ. One day while mountain climbing, I fell from a cliff. It was -25 degrees. I was hurt and my body went into hypothermia. That was the first time in my life that I prayed, and I felt someone help me. Most mountain climbers who fall and go into hypothermia never live to tell about it. I didn’t know who helped me, but I started to search.

I read books about religion, and finally one day I visited the church in Antalya. I met a Turkish pastor named Ramazan who told me about the good news of Jesus Christ. He told me about salvation and freedom from sin that I can have because of what Jesus accomplished. After a couple of days, I confessed my sins and gave my whole life to Christ, and started to follow Him. Two years after I came to Christ, I began to work in the church as the assistant to the senior pastor, as well as the youth group leader. Here I met Charlie McCordic.

Now, I am the first international student with a Bible College scholarship from Turkey. When I finish at Heritage, I’ll be one of the first Turks with a theology degree. This is very important for us, because we want to go back to Turkey to share the Good News and train people to lead the church there. I have been very blessed to receive an education here, but many pastors in Turkey will not have the same opportunity. My education here is therefore not just important for me, but also for the Church in Turkey. When I return, I’ll train those who want to be ministers, so that we can take the good news everywhere in Turkey, and beyond.

Kerem & Buse Koc

Alumni Profile – Jeff Kendrick

Graduated from Heritage with a Bachelor of Church Music Degree in 2000.

Prior to coming to Heritage, Jeff had seven years of camp work experience. He is currently the Pastor Of Worship at West Park Church, London Ontario. He has been married to Ellie for 11 years, and they have four children: Caleb(9), Moriah(7), Jadyn(5), Kaelyn(2), and a BIG golden retriever named Smudge.

Q:

What are the key roles you currently fill as Worship Leaders?
I currently have many responsibilities, but to name a few things that I do on a regular basis: I plan most of our services, lead four adult bands, oversee the leadership of our three youth bands, direct our Worship Choir, mentor young men who are praying about full-time ministry, and lead a weekly small group in our home. My role is to equip others to do Kingdom work, so much of my time is spent with other people. We have a lot of technical needs at our church so I have a lot to do with that also. Some of the things we are planning are: the release of a CD/DVD in the coming year, as well as Christmas and Easter Productions.

Q:

How do you build up/connect the members of the worship team “musically and spiritually?”
I believe that the first thing we must do with our teams is to be Worshippers. For us to be effective Lead Worshippers, we must first be Worshippers, and then lead by example. We focus on prayer, Bible reading, and worshipping together. Sometimes this is with us all playing and singing, sometimes just I play… it depends…

After this is taking place, we focus on becoming better at what we do (Psalm 33:3). Play skillfully… We have weekly rehearsals in which we learn music and group technique. From there we move to a five-week rotation of breakout sessions where we work more in depth on skills of a particular discipline – Drums, Keys, Bass, Guitars [Acoustic and Electric], and Vocals. For example, week #1 is our Drum week. After our regular rehearsal of an hour and a half, I let everyone else go and get all of our drummers together to work through a course of some sort. There are a lot of great resources that you can work through with your teams.

Q:

How did your Heritage experience equip you for your present ministry? 
My experience at Heritage equipped me with the biblical and musical knowledge that I need on a day-to-day basis. As I work on preparing and planning services, I check the theology of the music that we use and find scriptures to encourage others in our services. Musically, I learned to be organized, how to work within the guidelines of western music, and how to interpret a piece and present it in a way that impacts people where they are at.

Q:

As a student at Heritage, did you benefit from church, friends, and family prayer and financial support? 
For Sure! Without the church, family, and friends praying for me and helping me through, I don’t know how I would have made it! God used so many people in my life to help me through the good days and the tough ones. I am always encouraged when I see God’s people helping others along on their journey, and especially when it is helping others develop as people who are reproducing themselves as Passionate Followers of Christ!

Alumni Profile – Lee Brubacher

Graduate from Heritage with a Bachelor of Church Music Degree in 1999.

In September 2001, Lee joined the staff at West Highland Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario. Initially his title was “Pastor of Music & Christian Education.” As things progressed, his role was changed to “Director of Worship Arts Ministries.” He is currently working toward a Master of Arts in Worship Studies through Liberty University. Lee is married to Cheryl and they have three delightful children – Sierra (age 8), Kyle (age 5), and Carter (age 2).

Q:

What are the key roles you currently fill as Worship Leaders?

 

My general role is to provide direction to the various ministries that are involved in our worship services. These include leadership of our music and choir ministries, oversight of our drama ministry, and interaction with our technology and service support ministries. Specifically, as the main worship leader, I plan the worship services including music, order of program, and other creative elements. My main goal is to help the people of West Highland (of various ages, nations, classes, and backgrounds) connect with God through the arts. Striking a healthy balance in worship is not easy. However, the challenge is well worth it when we see lives changed for God’s glory!

   

Q:

How do you build up/connect the members of the worship team “musically and spiritually?”

 

Musically. Over time, as people consistently participate together in music, skills are deepened and musical unity is formed. I have certainly seen this happen in my seven years at West Highland. As music conferences and seminars are brought to my attention, we offer them as training opportunities for our players and singers. Every couple of years, we plan our own training work-shops for our artists.

Spiritually. It has been my joy through the ministry of West Highland, in seeing many people won to Christ, baptized, brought into church membership, and involved in ministry service. This “spiritual journey” has been tremendous in our Worship Arts Ministries. Many people have used our adult choir ministry, for instance, as a way of getting to know the church and as a way of making friendship connections. We are intent in making the Word of God fully known in our people and community. A regular part of our artistic ministries is prayer and the study of God’s word. This September, we will be launching a new opportunity for spiritual growth in our Worship Arts Ministries. I will be leading an on-line blog book study using Blackaby’s “Worship “ Believer’s Experiencing God.” I’m praying that this on-line discussion board will allow many, who otherwise could not commit to another weeknight out, to deepen their relationship with Christ and their understanding of biblical worship.

   

Q:

How did your Heritage experience equip you for your present ministry?

 

I have extensively used my Bible, music, and Christian leadership training at Heritage in both of the churches God has led me to. I found the Heritage experience to be an amazing foundation to the practical ministry experience which would follow. The relationships I formed with fellow students, as well as with faculty, continue to give me encouragement and support in the work of the ministry.

   

Q:

As a student at Heritage, did you benefit from church, friends, and family prayer and financial support?

 

I know there were people who prayed for me during my undergrad years. Occasionally, they would remind me of their intercession on my behalf. As I look back, I am amazed at the investment that was made in my young life. There were some kind financial gifts which appeared once in a while. These were always a great blessing and encouragement. My biggest supporters were my parents who, although limited financially, gave sacrificially to see my education continue. For all those who, through teaching, finances, or encouragement, poured into my life during college, I would echo the words of Paul in saying “I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Phil 1:3) I know that God, who has begun a good work in me, will continue it.”

Professor’s Corner – Rev. Charles McCordic

Seeing Our World Through God’s Eyes

Charles McCordic, Director of Global Ministries at Heritage:
“I have such a passion for global missions because God does! World missions is not an option; it is the program – He started it, and I want to be part of it! Come and join the Harvest. It’s what you were created to do!”

If you want to hear a good story, sit down beside Charlie McCordic. Rev. Charles W. McCordic, a missionary kid, the oldest of four boys, raised in Chad, Central Africa, who became a missionary to Chad, now serves as the Eastern Canada Director for TEAM and the Director of Global Ministries at Heritage College & Seminary. Charlie is married to Cindy, another missionary kid from Brazil, and they have three sons – Chad (26), Colin (24), and Cameron (22).

Charlie’s life and education have prepared him well to equip others for cross-cultural ministry. He graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Studies from Central Baptist Seminary, Toronto, one of the two founding schools of Heritage, and then completed paramedic training at Humber College, Toronto. In 1986-87, he studied at the University of Paris and served as an assistant pastor of a French church in preparation for his ministry of training pastors in Chad, Africa. He later received his MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College Graduate School. In 1992, Charlie returned to Chad to co-ordinate a network of vernacular Bible Schools and trained the trainers. Later, he relocated within Chad to the Sudan border area to open up new ministries, while continuing to train field leaders. Because of Cindy’s health, the family returned to Canada in 2001. Charlie’s heart beats for Africa. His energizing passion is to “see the world as God sees it, and getting others out to the most spiritually needy parts of the world”.

What kind of person makes a good cross-cultural worker?

  • Self – esteem – You will need a reasonable dose of self esteem – to be able to accept yourself as God created you.
  • Humility – you do not have all the answers, and you don’t have to be the top dog.
  • Flexibility – able to adapt to other worldviews and value systems.
  • Good listener – Interested in people, good social and people skills.
  • Good questioner – Curious – about people, ideas, cultures, languages.
  • Non-judgmental – able to reserve judgment as you realize that you do not have all the information (and in some case you may never have it!).
  • Risk-taker (somewhat!) – willing to go out on a limb, even be embarrassed. It’s going to go beyond your comfort zone.
  • High “ambiguity quotient” – able to live with not so “black and white” situations.
  • Good “perspectivism” – the ability to see things through other people’s eyes, rather than simply from one’s own perspective.

Tell us about a student experiencing a different culture for the first time.

One of my best memories is of our alumni grad, Jenny Casselman, part of our Global Adventures team in 2006. Jenny had never been out of Canada, nor had she ever even flown in an airplane. I often tease her, because she began to smile on takeoff from Toronto, and never stopped all the way to Turkey. Everyone goes through some kind of culture shock; the process of adapting to a new culture in which one suddenly finds oneself immersed. For Jenny, any of the stress of this process was more than compensated for by the sheer joy of discovery – discovery of another world, and, even more, the discovery that God could actually use her in this strange and fascinating new place. She ended up staying on almost a full month after our two month stay was over, and today has her sights set on long-term cross-cultural service as a missionary nurse.

Professor’s Corner – Dr. Gord Oeste: Recommended Reading

Dr. Gord Oeste, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew

Recommended Reading:  Christopher J.H. Wright’s book, The God I Don’t UnderstandReflections on Tough Questions of Faith, (Zondervan, 2008).

This book contains Wright’s personal reflections on four difficult topics: the problem of evil, the command to kill all of the Canaanites, the “scandal” of the cross, and issues surrounding the end of the world. Wright’s approach is personal, theological, and canonical, pointing towards a way forward without overstepping the bounds of mystery. Wright makes some very helpful observations, such as when discussing the command to completely destroy all of the Canaanites. Wright points out that this command needs to be understood within the context of God’s justice and paradoxically, his larger goal of the salvation of the nations. This can be seen in the example of the Jebusites (the inhabitants of Jerusalem before David’s conquest – 2 Sam 5:6-10), a Canaanite group originally targeted for destruction (Deut 7:1), but ultimately enfolded into the family of Israel. Wright’s approach is both helpful and frustrating, for he often adds valuable perspectives, but falls short of arriving at definitive conclusions, perhaps a hazard of the difficult questions he grapples with. In the end, Wright’s book is insightful, humble, and a helpful aid for both pastors and lay people in wrestling through these difficult questions.

Dave & Martina Brubacher

Graduates… What are they doing now?

My name is Dave Brubacher. I am married to Martina and we have two boys, Nathan and Matthew. Shortly after we were married in June 2000, we spent a year in Odessa, Ukraine, on a missions internship. During our year there we were exposed to many different ministries, needs, opportunities, and great people. Upon our return to Canada we were convinced of two things. We believed God was leading us into career missionary service, somewhere in the Russian-speaking world, and we knew that we needed further biblical training in order to do the work God had in store for us. In preparation for our future ministry we both enrolled in seminary, graduating in April 2005; Dave with an MDiv in pastoral leadership, Martina with an MA in counselling. During our time in seminary, we chose to serve with SEND International (www.send.org) because they have focused work in the Russian-speaking world and are committed to church planting and theological training. 

While working at, and attending, Forward Baptist Church in Cambridge, we were able to raise the necessary support and moved to Kiev, Ukraine, in February 2008. We immediately began studying Russian at SEND’s language school. Our two years of language study were very challenging, but also very fulfilling, both as we increased in our abilities to communicate in Russian and as God showed us where He wanted us to serve after we completed language school.

After much prayer, talking with SEND leadership, and visiting many different fields in Ukraine and Russia, we were invited to join the team in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Some people pray, “Lord, please don’t send me to Africa.” For Martina, who grew up in the jungles of southeast Asia, her prayer was, “Lord, please don’t send me to Siberia!” But that’s where God has called us to serve. We both wanted to serve in a place where the needs are great, where the believers are few, and where churches need help and support – and that is where God led us. Ulan-Ude is a very unreached area of Russia, with 0.1% evangelical Christians. This city of 460,000 has only a handful of small churches. Many of the pastors have received very little biblical training – much less than Martina and I have been fortunate to receive. In addition, this region of Russia is home to the Buryat people group, an unreached people group who are Tibetan-Buddhist. After our visit to Ulan-Ude in the summer of 2009, we knew where God was calling us to serve.

Our move to Russia in October 2010 has not been without its challenges. Documents/visas pose a constant threat to long-term service in Russia. We are currently home in Cambridge, experiencing first-hand some of these visa challenges, after being in Ulan-Ude for only three months. During those three months – from October-December 2010 – we saw God’s hand on our family. We were able to begin developing relationships with several pastors and with our church congregation, which consists of only 25 people. We were able to set up our apartment and begin to find our way around the city, as well as begin setting up the Christian Resource Center, a place where solid Christian resources will be made available to pastors and church members across Ulan-Ude. We have also been able to provide book sets to six pastors. Since Christian resource books pertaining to theology, biblical interpretation, church leadership and ministry, family and relationships, missions, etc., are very difficult to obtain in this area of Russia, we know that these book sets, and the establishment of the Christian Resource Center, will be a tremendous support to the church in Ulan-Ude.

WISDOM FOR TODAY

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.” Albert Einstein

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine.”  Benjamin Franklin

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

“You are never a loser until you quit trying.” Mike Ditka

Professor’s Corner – Cyril Guerette: Psalm Bombing, Beats Meet Bible

Check out a YouTube video featuring our Professor of Religious Studies & Philosophy, Cyril Guerette on 100 Huntley Street.

Synopsis: 100 Huntley Street’s “Full Circle” speaks with Professor Cyril Guerette for a profile of Psalm Bombing — freestyle prophetic prayer and worship that incorporates hip hop elements. Pastor Cyril Guerette of Free Church Toronto or Ill Seer as he’s known in the rap world explains how he feels called to rap and pastor.