TourMagination Tour Leaders
Al Doerksen became serious about photography with the purchase of his first SLR in 1970; in the early years, he had to turn the washroom in their one bedroom apartment into a barricaded darkroom. Some 45+ years later he is still an avid photographer. Retiring from his various careers as an international management executive allowed him to morph into a full time street and event photographer. Al likes to photograph people, their dress, day-to-day activities, cultural expressions, emotions, modes of transport, work, etc. Al has published two photobooks, With Open Eyes and Going to Market—both include selected photos from Asia, Africa, and Central America. He currently publishes a daily photoblog at www.blipfoto.com/raspberryjefe. Al & Agatha have Manitoba and Alberta roots. They have also lived in Mexico, India and Germany, USA (Colorado) and now Ontario. He uses Nikon cameras. India has long been a favorite destination. Al & family lived in Kolkata from 1981 to 1984. While working with iDE from 2006 – 2012 he made at least 15 return trips to India visiting many states from north to south. Upcoming tours with Al.
Dave & Joyce Eshleman
Dave and Joyce Eshleman have ownership in Christian radio stations WBTX and WLTK in the Harrisonburg, VA area. Dave was born to medical missionary parents in East Africa. After graduating from Eastern Mennonite High School, he received his BA in radio from Bob Jones University and began his radio career at WBYO, Boyertown, PA in 1965. Joyce grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and also graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School. She worked for a number of years as administrative assistant to the director with Mennonite Media. She also worked at Eastern Mennonite University as administrative assistant in the Masters in Counseling program. Dave and Joyce love to travel and have led a number of group trips to Europe, the Middle East, and Australia/New Zealand. They are members of Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Upcoming tours with Dave and Joyce.
Ayold lives in the Netherlands and works for a Mennonite congregation in Haarlem as a custodian. He enjoys adventure travel—including an annual snowshoe trek in Norway. Through his theological studies at the Dutch Mennonite Seminary, at the VU University in Amsterdam, he became interested in European Mennonite History. Wanting to share this interest, he began organizing Mennonite Heritage Tours. “For me a Mennonite Heritage Tour is not just a heritage tour, but also a spiritual journey into the faith and life of our forbearers,” says Ayold. His tours help people explore what early Anabaptists discovered about Jesus, that would make them want give up their homesteads and their lives. Upcoming tours with Ayold.
David Friesen was born and lived most of his life in Mexico. He enjoys leading TourMagination tours to Mexico. David enjoys sharing his stories about Mexico and the life, faith and culture of the Mexican people. In 2002, he and his wife Trudy moved to Manitoba where he was a chaplain until end of October 2013. He takes up teaching assignments in the Mennonite school in Blumenau, Mexico. He teaches Anabaptist theology and history to grade 10-12 level. Prior to moving to Canada, they worked for MCC in Mexico and in the 90’s ran a travel agency. In Mexico both he and Trudy taught school and David worked with the youth at the church they attended. Presently, they attend the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church. They have one son, John Howard David, who works with his wife Irene in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico. David enjoys meeting people and has an interest in historical theology and Mennonite history. Upcoming tours with David.
Leonard and Mary Friesen have traveled extensively, enjoy hiking and have explored many UNESCO sites on this earth. Len is a history professor and the founding Chair of the Global Studies program at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is the author of several books including most recently Transcendent Love: Dostoevsky and the Search for a Global Ethic (2016). Mary is a Consultant with the Waterloo Region District School Board with special responsibilities in Special Education services. Mary is also the President of The House of Friendship in Kitchener, an important organization that works with the most vulnerable in our community. Mary (Burkholder) and Len were married in 1977 (time flies!) and have three adult children, two “in-laws”, and five grandchildren. They are members at Waterloo North Mennonite Church. Len and Mary spent a year studying in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. They remember with fondness many trips back to that part of the world as well as across Europe and even to South Africa where they’ve been several times. Len has led a number of TourMagination tours and always appreciates the informal interactions with those who sign on. “It’s unlike any other tour company I know; it really is travel with a purpose. TourMagination builds community in life-changing ways, and we’re delighted to be associated with it.” Upcoming tours with Leonard.
A love for justice, ministry and culture led Katrina to become involved with the non-profit Christian charity Global Shore Opportunities (GSO) in 2006, a ministry that operates a school in developing Guatemala. Having begun as a participant on one of GSO’s short-term trips, involvement quickly progressed to seasonal leadership roles and eventually led to full time employment; Katrina just recently resigned as the director of the organization after close to eight years in this role. Her years with GSO brought her all over the beautiful “land of perpetual spring” that is the country of Guatemala and she retains many rich friendships and connections along with a deep understanding of the culture, language, people and history. With experience hosting over 35 teams of visitors to Guatemala, she has a passion to facilitate new and enriching experiences for people that will provoke thought and change. Upcoming tours with Katrina.
Dr. Robert A. Kelly is a native of Southern California who is Professor Emeritus of History, Theology and Ethics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in Waterloo, Ontario where he has served since 1985. He began leading groups of students, pastors and lay people to study the Reformation in Germany in 1983, the 500th anniversary of Luther’s birth. A question that motivated Bob to study and teach theology was, “What would happen if Lutheran people lived as if they actually believed that we are justified by grace through faith?” Through his teaching Bob sought to “communicate an understanding of radical grace.” He wanted his students to join with him in “becoming a community of theological deliberation, a community of convivial theologians who together through friendly and committed conversation explore the meaning of the Gospel for the lives of real people.” Bob will foster this same spirit of lively but respectful inquiry and dialogue among tour members. Bob and his wife, Pastor Nancy Kelly, met as students in Heidelberg, Germany in 1967. Upcoming tours with Bob.
Nelson Kraybill is pastor at Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indiana, and president of Mennonite World Conference. He taught high school in Puerto Rico, pastored a church in Vermont (1983-1987), was program director at the London Mennonite Centre in England (1991-1996), and served as president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (1997-2009). A frequent speaker in congregational and conference settings, Nelson has taught widely on issues of mission, allegiance, early church and the book of Revelation. He received a PhD in New Testament from Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Virginia and is author of the book Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics and Devotion in the Book of Revelation (Brazos: 2010). He and his wife Ellen are parents of two adult daughters. Follow Nelson’s blog of pictures and commentary on biblical sites at www.peace-pilgrim.com. Upcoming tours with Nelson.
Hank & Jane Landes
Founder of Delaware Valley Family Business Center in Telford, Pennsylvania, Hank Landes has more than 30 years’ experience guiding family businesses through transitions. Hank has served as a management consultant, behavioral health executive, and board member. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, AMBS, and Goshen College. In his quest for continual learning, Hank reads biographies, investigates male spirituality, travels, and engages in community building. “Travel is one of the best ways to get to know God’s world and his people,” says Hank. Jane also studied at Goshen College and was trained as a nurse. She played an important role in launching and building Delaware Valley Family Business Center. Now retired, Jane is an avid flower gardener. Jane has a special connection to the Netherlands, since a cousin married a Dutch man and has been living there for more than 50 years. For 17 years, Hank and Jane were partners in TourMagination, during which they led over 28 tours including many to Europe and Holland. Hank and Jane are members of Salford Mennonite Church in Harleysville, PA. They have two children and three truly exceptional grandchildren. Upcoming tours with Hank and Jane.
Helen Loftin is the Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications at MEDA. In this role she leads MEDA’s corporate communications and oversees multiple and diverse communications & marketing initiatives that serve a range of clients – both internal and external. In her previous role in programs, she led MEDA’s projects around the world that empower women & youth to reach their economic potential and reap financial and social benefits for their efforts. Helen designed and directly managed several women’s economic development programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Ghana; she was based in Pakistan for 3 years. Helen’s experience includes enhancing women’s economic empowerment in Myanmar/Burma, Libya, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Haiti, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mozambique – and in Canada. Upcoming tours with Helen.
Luke Martin and his wife Mary were missionaries to Vietnam with Eastern Mennonite Missions from 1962 to 1975, and have returned many times in the past several years, including leading several TourMagination tours. Before retiring, Luke worked many years as a caseworker for Vietnamese clients at a social service center in Souderton, PA. He is now writing the story of the Mennonite work in Vietnam from 1954 to 1975. Luke and Mary are the parents of three adult children and have six grandchildren. After thirty-eight years in Allentown, they have just moved to Lititz, Pennsylvania, near other family members. Luke’s hobbies are photography, biking, gardening, family genealogy, history, and Vietnamese life and culture. His travels have taken him to more than 30 countries in North America, Europe and Asia. Upcoming tours with Luke.
Wilmer Martin was born in 1945 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Wilmer married Janet Ranck in 1965. He has two grown children, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Wilmer holds join US and Canadian citizenship. Between 1964 and 1991, Wilmer served as the pastor of the Chambersburg Mennonite Church, the Tavistock Mennonite Church in Tavistock, Ontario, and the Erb Street Mennonite Church in Waterloo, Ontario. Wilmer graduated from Ontario Mennonite Bible Institute in 1968, received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo in 1980, a Master of Theological Studies from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in 1989 and attended the Canadian Association of Pastoral Education. Wilmer has served on numerous church-wide Boards in North America. He was the CEO and President of Habitat for Humanity Canada from 1991 to 2000. Wilmer was the President of TourMagination until his retirement in 2016 and continues to serve as an occasional tour leader. In 2009, Wilmer’s book of reflections on 40 years of TourMagination tours and his own travels, Building Bridges, was published. Wilmer enjoys spending time with his family, gardening and travel. Upcoming tours with Wilmer Martin.
Bob & Margaret Nally
Margaret and Bob Nally were born and raised in Ireland and immigrated as a young couple to Canada. They have maintained strong family and cultural connections with Ireland. They visit Ireland yearly and organize traditional music and cultural events in Ontario. Margaret and Bob have a keen interest in Irish history and current affairs. They have volunteered with Corrymeela, the peace and reconciliation centre in Northern Ireland. Margaret, a trained and practicing Spiritual Director, is committed to her work in K-W in shelters and community kitchens with those experiencing poverty and homelessness, and currently serves as chair of MennoHomes, which builds supportive affordable housing. Margaret served as a director of both MCC Bi-national and as chair of MCCO. Margaret’s education includes a degree in religious studies and Spiritual Direction and she has studied and led retreats in Celtic Spirituality. Margaret is an associate member of the IONA community. Bob, an engineer by profession, and a businessman, works with early stage and startup up technology companies focused on clean or green environmental solutions. Bob works as a volunteer on helping to reset the relationships with First Nations peoples and also on refugee and interfaith concerns. Bob and Margaret have traveled extensively in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America including study and learning tours with MCC and MEDA. They are members of K-W House Churches and attend Erb St. Mennonite Church. They are the parents of two children and have two grandchildren. Upcoming tours with Bob and Margaret.
Jim Pankratz first became interested in India while studying Religion at McMaster University. He completed a Master’s degree in Buddhism and a PhD in Hinduism. He and his wife Goldine lived in Calcutta for two years while he did his doctoral research and during that time they travelled widely in India. Later they lived in Bangladesh for three years and travelled to India frequently. He has led tours of India for Canadian and American university students. Throughout his career he has taught courses and done research in world religions, Indian history and culture, Christianity in India, and Gandhi. India changed his life. He still finds it intriguing, challenging, and enriching. Currently Jim is the Interim President of Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. Previously he was Dean of the College for nine years. Upcoming tours with Jim.
Terry Petkau has worked for Habitat for Humanity Canada since 1999 and currently acts as National Director, Safety and Building Programs providing expertise and support to Canadian affiliate operations. Terry has travelled extensively with Habitat across Canada, the US and internationally and has also led groups to various countries with TourMagination. He enjoys building and renovation projects and also enjoys long distance cycling, both for pleasure and as a means of fundraising for different organizations. Terry is married to Audrey Voth Petkau; together they have two married sons. Upcoming tours with Terry.
Audrey Voth Petkau
Audrey Voth Petkau was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After graduating from Bible College, she married Terry Petkau and together they raised two sons, Tyler and Evan. As a family they worshipped at the Fort Garry Mennonite Brethren Church where Audrey served in music and children’s programs until their move to Southern Ontario. She joined TourMagination in 2002 and has provided leadership and coordination for numerous tours each year. Audrey recently purchased the remaining shares of TourMagination and together with a very supportive and competent team she plans to retain TM’s excellent quality and unique tours while introducing exciting new travel opportunities. Upcoming tours with Audrey.
Fred & Shirley Redekop
Fred and Shirley Redekop are experienced TourMagination tour leaders. Fred has been the pastor at Floradale Mennonite church for almost 25 years. He also writes columns on faith issues for the local newspaper. He serves on the Board of Conrad Grebel University College. Shirley works as an Outreach Worker for families experiencing low-income in the Waterloo region. She leads worship and teaches Sunday School at Floradale Mennonite. Together they are the parents of four young adult children, one daughter-in-law and a grandson. Their travels have taken them to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (with Mennonite Central Committee), Europe, Central/South America, Turkey and Greece. Fred enjoys bicycling, reading, current politics, golf and cross-stitching, while Shirley enjoys reading, movies, travel and motorcycling. Upcoming tours with Fred and Shirley.
After nearly two decades in pastoral ministry in Manitoba and Ontario, Allan Rudy-Froese went back to school to complete a Ph.D. in homiletics – the art and theology of preaching. He has been professor of Christian proclamation at AMBS in Elkhart, IN for five years. Allan teaches classes in preaching, vocal communication, worship, ritual, biblical storytelling, and pastoral leadership. Recent research interests include God’s grace in Mennonite and Lutheran preaching, stage fright, and Christian persuasion (witness?) in various mediums (song, architecture, theatre, preaching, and visual art) from the Reformation era to the present. When not on the AMBS campus, Allan enjoys leading workshops and seminars in Canada and the USA for on oral communication (most recently in Winnipeg with high school students), worship leading, storytelling, and preaching. He leads and teaches with humor, warmth, and plenty of interactive games and exercises. Allan enjoys cooking, reading sci-fi novels, listening to classic rock and roll, and taking voice and acting classes. Allan lives in Goshen, IN with his wife Marilyn who serves as pastor at Berkey Ave Mennonite Fellowship. Their young adult sons are students at University of Waterloo; daughter Abby is in high school in Goshen. Upcoming tours with Allan.
John Ruth was born in southeastern Pennsylvania and has been a Mennonite pastor since 1950. He holds a PhD in English from Harvard and was a professor of English at Eastern College in St. David’s, Pennsylvania 1962-1975. His many books, articles, and documentaries offer an informative look at the lives of Mennonites, Hutterites and the Amish. His 2007 book Forgiveness considers the legacy of the Amish response to the killing of young Amish girls at the West Nickel Mines Amish School. In 2013 TourMagination co-published his memoir entitled Branch. His current project treats the coming of Mennonites onto the Indian-owned land in southeastern Pennsylvaia (1683-1747). John has been married to Roma since 1951 and together they have three grown children. They are members of the Salford Mennonite Church in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. John has led numerous TourMagination tours since 1973 as a gifted storyteller, bringing insight to tour members. Upcoming tours with John.
John & Kelly Schroeder
Tour leaders Kelly and John Schroeder own Valleybrook Gardens / Heritage Perennials—a well-known national nursery company headquartered in Abbotsford, British Columbia. While John manages the business, Kelly is a landscape designer and avid gardener. Their work together has been featured in newspapers and magazines and won multiple awards. Kelly’s latest project is a French inspired ornamental vegetable garden providing food for body and soul. They are also keen travelers, having led tours and visited garden destinations on every continent. John and Kelly are also long-time members of Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). Upcoming tours with John and Kelly.
John Sharp is a historian who teaches at Hesston College, in Hesston, Kansas. He is a former director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives. John holds an M.Div. from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and has 15 years of experience as a pastor. John is an instructor of Road Scholar (Elderhostel) courses on Amish life and culture, a frequent lecturer for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, editor of the Mennonite Historical Bulletin, and has written and edited various publications. His most recent book is My Calling to Fulfill: The Orie O. Miller Story, released in 2015 by Herald Press. He has led a variety of TourMagination Mennonite heritage tours to Europe and Central Asia. He is married to Michele Miller Sharp, a physician assistant in family practice. They have three adult children. John says, “There’s nothing like hearing stories on site. I eagerly anticipate the stories, landscapes, and fellowship that await us. I am already savoring the rich blend of culture, history, and scenery!” Upcoming tours with John.
Lorne Smith lives on the family farm that was purchased in 1917. His granddaughters are the fifth generation living on this property. Lorne is a lifelong member of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Unionville, a church begun in 1794 by one of his ancestors. Lorne has serve as the church Treasurer since 1977 with a five year break. He had a career in education and worked for the Ministry of Education in Ontario for 25 years. He has been the official Historian for the City of Markham since 1993. He is deeply involved with his community including Markham Fair, Markham Historical Society and the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario. He also manages a 300 acre forest and is involved with the Ontario Woodlot Association. He has been married to his wife Carol since 1962 and together they have three children and six grandchildren. Lorne has been associated with TourMagination for 25 years and is an experienced tour leader. Upcoming tours with Lorne.
Ervin and Bonita Stutzman
Ervin and Bonita Stutzman have enjoyed travel to many countries in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. Since 2010, Ervin has been the executive director for Mennonite Church USA. Before taking on that role in 2010, he served as Professor of Church Ministries and Seminary Dean at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA. He has also served the Mennonite Church in the roles of pastor, district overseer, mission administrator, conference moderator and, from 2001 to 2003, as moderator for Mennonite Church USA. Bonita is an artist in mixed media and stained glass, as well as cloth. After serving many years as a hospital chaplain, she now serves as a spiritual director. Bonita and Ervin both have Masters degrees from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and he has a Ph.D. from Temple University. Together, Bonita and Ervin like to speak of the “couple power” they experience when they manage to align their differing gifts in pursuit of the same goal. They are enthusiastic members of Park View Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In his spare time, Ervin squeezes in some time for writing. His numerous Herald Press publications include From Nonresistance to Justice, a book that traces a 100-year trajectory of peacemaking in the Mennonite Church, Tobias of the Amish, a story of his father’s life and community, and Emma, A Widow Among the Amish, the story of his mother. His latest books are historical novels—Jacob’s Choice, Joseph’s Dilemma, and Christian’s Hope, a trilogy about the interaction between his early Amish ancestors and Native Americans in eastern Pennsylvania. Ervin and Bonita have three adult children and four grandchildren. Upcoming tours with Ervin and Bonita.
Jack and Irene Suderman
Jack and Irene Suderman have been mission workers in Bolivia and Colombia and speak Spanish fluently. The Sudermans, along with others from Mennonite Church Canada, have worked with the Cuban churches in leadership training for 28 years. The Sudermans have gotten to know and love the Cuban people as they have visited the country many times. As part of a team from Mennonite Church Canada, supported by Mennonite Central Committee, Jack began teaching leadership development to Cuban Christian leaders from a broad spectrum of churches in 1992. Jack has a PhD in Biblical Studies from the Universidad Pontificia Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and has worked in teaching and administration in the church for 47 years. Irene has a music degree from Emmanuel Bible College. Jack was the former General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada. Irene worked for many years in palliative care and in spiritual care for Seniors in the church. Jack and Irene attend First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario. They have three adult sons, three daughters-in-law, and 5 grandchildren. Upcoming tours with Jack and Irene.
Darrel Toews’ call to pastoral ministry was nurtured in the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference, serving as Youth Pastor in a rural Manitoba congregation (Bagot) and Gospel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. In 1989 Darrel received a call to pastoral ministry within Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and ministered with the Tavistock & Breslau congregations in Ontario for a total of 25 years. 2014 found Darrel accepting a call to become lead pastor of the Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Darrel holds a Bachelor of Religious Studies from Steinbach Bible College, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Winnipeg, and a Master of Divinity from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries. Darrel is married to Lucille who worked as a Human Resources professional for Ten Thousand Villages and is now the Director of Administrative Services at the Wellington (Revera). Celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, Darrel and Lucille traveled with TourMagination on a Mennonite Heritage Tour (Europe, 2004) and were additionally privileged to participate in an Eco Adventure Tour (Australia and New Zealand, 2013). Darrel participated in the Jerusalem Seminar study tour (Israel/Palestine/Jordan, 1998) with Bethel College/MCC, and led a Holy Land pilgrimage in 2014. Besides traveling, Darrel and Lucille enjoy reading, music, theatre arts and ballroom dancing. Darrel and Lucille have three adult children, two sons-in-law and four grandsons. Upcoming tours with Darrel.
A serial entrepreneur, Drew Unruh’s work as a photographer, videographer, web designer, and new media professional has taken him across the globe. From producing television in Italy to capturing unique images in Sydney, Australia, Drew sees and reveals the intrinsic beauty in each story that he helps to tell. Through his recent focus on social enterprise, Drew has helped to spread the word about NGOs and nonprofits in Honduras, Ecuador, Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, Uruguay, and throughout North America. Drew’s passion is to use media to reveal similarities among people around the world. Through his company, Made by Frame, Drew and his co-artists frame companies and their projects in a way that captures the imagination of all who encounter them. A passion for working in and experiencing other countries and cultures has also taken him to Panama, Jamaica, England, Ireland, Mexico, and Shanghai with many other places already in the calendar for 2017. Upcoming tours with Drew.
Tom Yoder Neufeld
Tom, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies (New Testament) at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, retired in 2012 after three decades of teaching Bible. In addition to university teaching, he is frequently involved in preaching and teaching in congregational and conference settings, both locally and internationally. He has been a pastor as well as a hospital and prison chaplain, serving both the national church and the Mennonite World Conference. He and his wife, Rebecca, are deeply involved in the life of First Mennonite Church, Kitchener. Tom enjoys museums, films, painting, hiking, and participating in choral music. Some of the many countries included in his travels are Egypt, Israel, Palestine, most of Western Europe, Central America, Colombia, Japan, and Korea. In addition to a commentary on the letter to the Ephesians (Believers Church Bible Commentary; Herald, 2002), and Recovering Jesus: the Witness of the New Testament (Brazos, 2007), Tom’s most recent book is entitled Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2011). Upcoming tours with Tom.