Jason and Grace both grew up in immigrant farming families on opposite ends of Canada. They met at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, ON and later married. Grace began work with Youth for Christ in Tillsonburg, ON for 3.5 years while Jason discerned his calling into ministry working various jobs. Jason graduated from Western Theological Seminary in 2004 with an M.Div. and served as pastor of a church for 4 years in British Columbia. During this time their 3 children were born.
Jason felt a continual calling to missionary life and left the pastorate in 2008. After being unofficial missionaries in Canada for a few years, Jason headed back to school in 2011 at Regent College in Vancouver where he graduated in 2014 with a Masters of Theology in Global Christianity.
While in Vancouver, they met a family from Zambia and through their connections travelled to Zambia in June 2014. Jason and Grace served as chaplains and farm supervisor for one year with a small mission organization that takes care of orphans in Ndola, Zambia. Grace enjoyed an effective ministry with high school girls and sharpened her photography skills.
God redirected them to ACTION in June 2015 and the family moved to Lusaka, Zambia. Jason and Grace began learning how serve in the Pastoral Leadership Development (PLD) ministry of ACTION Zambia until placed on home assignment to find support.
New Chapter in Canada
While raising support to return to Zambia, God revealed he had different plans in mind. Through a challenging year of discernment and saying goodbye to Zambia in Nov. 2016, God is now writing a new chapter for the Van Ankum’s to serve in Canada. They began to remember the needs of the local church to participate in God’s mission here at home. So often the church is expected to send their best people and resources overseas while the church in North America is shrinking and struggling to engage in the multicultural mission field on our doorsteps.
As newly appointed Ontario Regional Representatives of ACTION, Jason and Grace will grow a new ministry over the next 5 years focusing on:
- Teaching Scripture interpretation and ministry skills by facilitating Veritas College curriculum (see http://www.veritascollege.org)
- Equipping and mentoring churches and small groups in discipleship practices
- Bridging the church to mission within Canada through immersion experiences in urban centers
We are excited to establish new partnerships with schools, churches and individuals to both strengthen our understanding of the mission field in Canada and equip the church to reach out effectively in our own neighbourhoods and urban centers.