Laurie-Ann and Tony are members of St. Paul's Hazeldean-Kanata Anglican Church. Laurie-Ann came to St. Paulís in November 2000 and Tony joined her in June 2002. They are members of the St. Paulís healing ministry team. Tony also is in the Prayers of the People team and is a Reader. Laurie-Ann has helped with the junior youth group in the past, and is a server-crucifer. They both help run the Kanata Community Alpha Course, at the Mlacak Centre in Kanata.
Tony is involved in Anglican Essentials Ottawa, runs the Sunday afternoon Alpha Course in the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre on a weekly basis (Laurie-Ann is also on the team) and is an Alpha advisor with Laurie-Ann.
Laurie-Ann is a radio host on Carleton University's CKCU 93.1 FM for her weekly folk music show Window of Opportunity (Fridays 3-4 p.m.) and on a monthly rotation on Over My Head (Sundays 8ó9:30 a.m.). She grew up in the United Church and her faith came alive in 1988 at a Dennis Bennett seminar. She has been involved in various denominations before coming 'home' to St. Paul's. She attended art school in her youth, and felt called to mercy ministry (counselling and missions) in the late 1980s. She returned to school, received a BA at Trinity College, U of T (Religious Studies and Sociology) and an MDiv (Counselling major) at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. She hopes to use her radio skills in a further career in broadcasting, which would be useful in Christian outreach.
Tony grew up in the Church of England, received an engineering degree from Cambridge University, and was in the Royal Navy until shortly after the birth of his son James. During that time he fell away from the church into atheism, but returned to faith at a Luis Palau mission in 1984. Tony worked for Data General for 17 years and is now in his 12 year as a financial planner with Investors Group in Ottawa.
Laurie-Ann met Tony on the Internet while researching for an apologetics essay. Upon her graduation from Tyndale Seminary they were married in June 1999. They also have a shared ministry of the Kenosis worship band at Christ Church Ashton. Laurie-Ann has been the secretary of Anglican Renewal Ministries Canada since July 2000. She has travelled on past mission trips to Kenya (to work with Somali refugees in 1993, Marsabit in 2001 and 2003), and Northern Ireland. Laurie-Annís teaching was a success in the Marsabit Kenya missions in 2001 and 2003, where she also brought materials to Ďseedí Alpha into northern Kenya.
In October 2004, Bishop John Okinda of the Migori Worship Centre in Migori, Kenya came to St. Paulís and a home group in the Copple home to share his heart for ministry. See report.
In turn, Tony and Laurie-Ann were asked by Bishop John to come minister to his people in the Migori area as well as to help plant the Alpha Course there.
Their fellow congregation member, Meaghan Kidd, 22, and Alanna Box, 19, from Russell Ontario also received a strong call to go to Migori this summer to work in preparation for Bishop John's orphanage for children whose parents have been lost through AIDS. Meaghan and Alanna arrived in Migori about June 8 and stayed three months. Tony and Laurie-Ann were there at the mid point of the girls' stay for ten days.
They were asked to bring encouragement, teaching, and healing prayer ministry as well as Alpha to Migori area clergy and lay leaders. Tony and Laurie-Ann spent much time in prayer discerning if this was the right time to go to Kenya, and in the meantime Laurie-Ann received other invitations. However, the need, and the timing were good and they felt at peace that this was the right mission at the right time. They flew from Ottawa on Sunday July 3 through Philadelphia to London, then from London through Amsterdam to Nairobi. They returned July 22. See correspondence with Bishop John about the nature of the mission, and teaching.
Some specific prayer items included:
-health (water issues, getting enough sleep, reaction to malaria medication), safety, travelling mercies, open receiving hearts, for God to do something special, connecting with Alpha Kenya, stretching of financial resources, patience (cultural differences and communication), for Tony (culture shockófirst time mission in Africa), for Tonyís clients and secretary who would miss him, and the ARM. office while Laurie-Ann was away.
If you felt called to pray, you were asked to contact Lorna Brule at firstname.lastname@example.org, or e-mail Laurie-Ann at email@example.com. Please pray for the list above and anything else the Lord lays on your heart. Thank you for being a part of this mission - Tony and Laurie-Ann looked forward to representing St Paulís to the people of Migori.
For those dear friends who were led to contribute financially, here were our requests and vital needs we had been asked to help with in the community:
For Kenyan (kiSwahili) Bibles, bicycles for pastors so they can visit villages other than on foot
We suggested contributing tax-receiptable gifts through St. Paulís Anglican Church, 20 Young Rd. Kanata, Ontario, K2L 1W1. (613) 836-1001, (firstname.lastname@example.org), cheques to be made out to St. Paulís and marked KENYA-COPPLE.
Help with our travel and immunization costs
The cost of feeding the 200 expected to come from far and wide for this mission is more than $Cdn 4,000
Help for Bishop John to pay the US$ 971 per week for his new Christian radio broadcasts.
In the event this appeal raised more than $7,000 for the above needs, and others perceived by generous donors. The air fares did not come from this money, but from our own savings. If you were one of these donors we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, as do the people of the Migori Worship Centre. Although we know who most of the donors were, because they gave us their cheques, which we passed to St. Pauls for tax receipting, we received more than $1,000 from anonymous gifts left in the St. Paul's plate, and for reasons of confidentiality, the church won't tell us who gave. So please forgive us if you were one of these, and we don't acknowledge it. You are specially blessed for your generosity.
Approximately 120 Alpha courses are now running in Kenya. The first edition of Kenya Alpha News was produced in December 1999 from the Alpha Office in Nairobi. The Alpha Manual has been translated into Kikuyu, Kikamba and Luo. The book Questions of Life is now available in Kiswahili.
Journal - click to read...
It's June 30. We leave in a couple of days. We have been so blessed by the generosity of friends, particularly in our church congregation, and Alpha. We will be able to bring some desperately needed help to Bishop John's community.
This jounal, which was updated regularly during the trip, will give you in detail most of what happened. If you are an Apha leader who would like to lead a short mission, using Alpha material, this may give you valuable information. Laurie-Ann single-handedly accomplished all planning and administration for this trip, from air travel arrangments to medical innoculations. Tony's role was to design and prepare the Alpha teaching elements - a smaller task!
Tony - Mailbox web site
Kenya Alliance blogspot - set up 2008 to document the terror.
Letter from Bishop John
Christian radio in Kenya
Bicycles Wheels for God's word
Massacre in Marsabit, 12 July 2005 - during our visit
Our article in AFR - September 2005
Please remember the plight of the orphans, for whom sponsorships are available for $35US per child per month.A powerpoint presentation
The two websites; this one and the journal. These are off line versions and can be used
by people who have no on-line access (like Bishop John Okinda). The journal has 35 pages of text with
photos and sound recordings from Migori.
49 short videos with sound shot by Alanna and Meaghan which add greatly to the atmosphere.
Alpha materials that would help someone planning to run a course, including preparation
used for Alpha teachings.
We are ready, willing and able to talk to groups about our experiences in Kenya. Our next talk will be in our home on Saturday October 8, 2005. If you would like to come, call or e-mail - space is limited!
We have prepared a CD Rom which is available for $15 + $1 postage. From each disk bought at least $14 will be sent to Migori for their work in the Lord. The CD contains:
Counter started May 1, 2006
If you have read down to here, and the journal, you will have the flavour of the situation. A true man of God, with the gift of evangelism, Bishop John Okinda is gently seeking help as he brings his community into Christ. How can we ignore his call?
Bishop can receive financial gifts via the following US address:
Bishop John Okinda
Please be generous!
145 S. Union Street
P.O. Box 184
Leesville, OH 44639, USA