TourMagination Tour Leaders
Kathy Bergen has spent the past 35 years working for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis in a variety of capacities—with MCC in Jerusalem for 8 years and with OCSD in Jerusalem for one year, as the director of ICCP in Geneva for three years, as the National Peace Education Coordinator with AFSC in Philadelphia for 12 years, as the program director in Ramallah for 7 years. Kathy was a co-founder of the US Campaign and FOSNA (Friends of Sabeel/North America). She believes that Palestinians and Israelis must find a way to share the land and live together as equals. She has led several educational tours to Israel/Palestine, both when she lived in Palestine and now that she is living back in Canada. She has travelled extensively in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America and written and spoken on the Israeli/Palestinian issues in the Canada, US, and Europe. Upcoming tours with Kathy.
Mark is actively involved in a variety of sports including hockey, tennis, skiing, hiking and biking. He has travelled to Western Canada and the US for ski trips with his family. Mark has also been on mission trips to Peru, Guatemala and Nicaragua. A former CPA for a large industrial company, in his retirement Mark is using his financial management skills as TourMagination’s accountant. At Waterloo Mennonite Brethren church, where he attends with his wife Lesley, he also helps with facility maintenance and repair and driving people to church or meeting other practical needs. Mark and Lesley have three children and three grandchildren. Upcoming tours with Mark.
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.
Len Friesen 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 “Transcendent Love: Dostoevsky and the Search for a Global Ethic” (2016). He was married to Mary (Burkholder) in 1977 (time flies!); together they have three adult children, two “in-laws”, and five grandchildren. Len has been fortunate to see a good deal of this world, though he highlights a year spent with Old Order Mennonites in Wellington Country, Ontario, and another year spent in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Beyond that, Len has led tours across Europe, Russia and Ukraine, and South Africa, many of these with TourMagination where he 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,” Len says. Upcoming tours with Len.
Mary draws inspiration from the beauty of the world around her whether it’s in a cosmopolitan city like St. Petersburg, London or Cape Town, remote hiking on the Inca trail, or in the Swiss Alps or simply visiting with a fellow traveller over local cuisine. She has travelled extensively, enjoyed hiking and has explored many UNESCO sites. She has co-led many international learning tours over the years with her husband. Mary is an educator and currently a Special Education Consultant for the Waterloo Board of Education. She chairs the Board of Directors for the organization, House of Friendship that “walks with” some of the most vulnerable in our community. Mary was married to Leonard Friesen in 1977 and has called Waterloo their home for the last 20 years. Together, they have 3 adult children, two in-laws and 5 grandchildren. Upcoming tours with Mary.
Laura lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she freelances in various capacities, is involved at her church, and hangs with her adorably photogenic dog named Kimchi. She’s compelled to travel wherever and whenever she can. Laura studied Urban Studies in Chicago and has always had a soft spot for cities. After college she went to grad school, taught, went to South Korea for a year, and has worked as a writer/editor. She then spent a good chunk of the last decade working with international students in high school and college in the U.S. In the midst of all that, she squeezed in every ounce of travel she could manage. She wants to take others along with her to explore some of the places she has had the opportunity to experience. She is particularly excited to help travellers try some unusual foods, and zigzag around back allies to find unlikely gems. Upcoming tours with Laura.
Marlin & Barb Hershey
Marlin & Barb have two adult children, two elementary age grandsons and two grand dogs! They live near Lititz, Pa. (Lancaster County) and through Marlin’s careers they’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of travelling. Barb retired from an early career in nursing and then 23 years in child daycare. Besides visiting her elderly father on a regular basis she enjoys being part of a reading program called “READ ALOUD”. This is to mostly immigrant children in a medical office waiting area. Barb enjoys quilting and reading as well. Marlin recently retired from his last career with MEDA(Mennonite Economic Development Associates). Previously he had a career in agriculture marketing and management. Even though he has many hobbies he is doing some consulting and took a retirement job as part-time Exec. Director for Lancaster County Agriculture Council. A new hobby in 2018 has been beekeeping! In between those activities Marlin and Barb’s time is packed with travelling by motorcycle, car or plane. They love a wide variety of music and are involved in activities at East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church in Lancaster. Marlin has led several tours to Africa and Europe. A recent Alaska land and sea tour was a highlight. They are looking forward to returning to Africa and leading a Danube River Cruise ending with a wonderful time in Romania! Upcoming tours with Marlin and Barb.
Rod Hofer is a recently retired Environmental Engineer from Lawrence, Kansas. His interest in Anabaptist history was nurtured within the Freeman SD community where he grew up. After attending Bethel College he joined MCC as a Paxman in Slovenia from 1969-1971. This provided the opportunity to travel extensively within Europe. With his wife Roberta they have returned to Europe numerous times. The family lived briefly in Thailand where Rod served as a water quality advisor to the Royal Thai Government. Rod and Roberta have also travelled extensively within the United States where Rod logged his fiftieth state soon after retirement. Before attending their son Tim’s 2010 wedding in Alba Iulia, Romania, the knowledge that the Alwinz Bruderhof (1622-1767) had existed nearby stimulated an interest in researching the history of the Hutterites in Romania. Their visit introduced them to the history and culture of the Saxon German communities within which the Hutterites and their Carinthian Lutheran converts operated. The importance of the story is accentuated by the fact that the small group of 78 Hutterites that escaped over the Transylvania Alps in 1767 represented the sole surviving members of a sect that had once numbered nearly 30,000. A desire to share what he had learned in researching this pivotal time in Hutterite history led Rod to write Hutterites in Romania – A Brief History and Guide. Having seen where his Hutterite ancestors lived, were imprisoned and escaped over the mountains led to a desire to share those experiences with others and ultimately led to the Romania Hutterite & Cultural Tour. Upcoming tours with Rod.
Allen & Gwenanne Jorgenson
Allen and Gwenanne are married and together they are proud parents of three daughters. Allen teaches theology at Martin Luther University College (formerly Waterloo Lutheran Seminary) at Wilfrid Laurier University. Allen has published several books and many articles and chapters. He loves his job, and finds teaching and research to be profoundly meaningful. Allen served as a Lutheran pastor for 14 years, before beginning his current position. As a parish pastor, he especially enjoyed preaching, teaching, and visiting with people, whose lives and stories of faith he found to be captivating. Gwenanne describes herself as an energetic, industrious and enthusiastic servant. Her Bachelor of Physical Education complements Gwenanne’s competitive nature and interests in sport and movement. Her career has allowed her to lead major international sporting events, specialize in volunteer engagement, and project management. Most of her career has been in support of not-for-profit causes. She currently supports individuals in need of decent and affordable housing with Habitat for Humanity Canada. Gwenanne and Allen have thoroughly enjoyed their travel adventures. The Jorgensons have traveled to Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Russia, Pakistan, India, Australia, Cuba, El Salvador and all of the Canadian provinces. Each location has inspired a love for learning more about new cultures and worldviews. Most of their adventures have focused in the northern hemisphere exploring ancestral routes in Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Iceland. As descendants of Vikings, they are not really sure where they are from! Upcoming tours with Allen and Gwenanne.
Jim Juhnke taught American history and Mennonite history at Bethel College in Kansas (1966-2002). His overseas experience includes two years in Germany as a Pax man; two years as director of the MCC program in Botswana, southern Africa; and one year in western China with the China Education Exchange program. In 2007 he led a tour group to Ukraine, Russia and Uzbekistan to follow the route of the “Great Trek” Mennonites who in the 1880s fled from military conscription and hoped for the second coming of Jesus in Central Asia. Having learned that Muslims in the Khiva area had fond memories of the Mennonite settlement at Ak Metchet, Jim returned to sign a joint agreement between Kauffman Museum in Kansas and the Ichan-Kala Museum in Khiva for the creation of a Mennonite museum exhibit there. The exhibit was completed in 2009, but closed by the government just before it was to open for the public. Now, ten years later, that exhibit has been restored and reopened. Jim sees the Ak Metchet community (1882-1935) and the current exhibit, as emblems of cooperation between Muslims and Christians. Upcoming tours with Jim.
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.
Bernice lives on a farm in southwestern Ontario where she raises and sells golden doodle puppies. She also hosts travellers in three cabins along the river on her property through airbnb. From September until January each of the last 5 years, she and her husband Larry have hosted an exchange student from Brazil. Bernice loves to travel and has been to Australia, the Dominican Republic, and on three cruises—two to the Caribbean and one to Mexico. Bernice loves to read and watch a good movie. She and Larry have been married 28 years and have 5 children, one son-in-law, and are expecting their first grandbaby! Upcoming tours with Bernice.
Hank & Jane Landes
Founder and Senior Advisor with Delaware Valley Family Business Center in Telford, Pennsylvania, Hank Landes has more than 30 years’ experience guiding family businesses through transitions. A graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Goshen College, he has served as a management consultant, behavioral health executive, and board member. Hank enjoys biographies, male spirituality, spiritual formation, travel books and community building. “Travel is one of the best ways to get to know God’s world and his people,” says Hank. Jane, also a Goshen College (BSN) grad, played an important role in launching Delaware Valley Family Business Center. Now retired, Jane is an avid flower gardener. Hank and Jane are members of Salford Mennonite Church in Harleysville, PA. While partners in TourMagination for over 17 years, Hank and Jane led more than 28 tours all over the globe. They have two children and three truly exceptional grandchildren—who will be joining them on the Alaska Cruise in June 2018 as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Recently, they led a Tulip Time tour in the Netherlands and Belgium. Upcoming tours with Hank and Jane.
Bert & Martha Lobe
Born in Alberta but raised in Saskatchewan, Bert Lobe spent half of his professional life working with the Mennonite Church and related agencies (Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite World Conference, Habitat for Humanity, and Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support) and the other half serving as Principal in public, church, and international schools. Together with his wife Martha, Bert’s service with MCC included stints in India, where Martha worked as a surgical nurse and in community health and Bert was the Director of the Mennonite Relief Committee; a decade later Bert served as the MCC India/Nepal Country Representative. They returned to the region in 2005 when Bert became Interim Country Representative for MCC in Dacca, Bangladesh. In between overseas assignments they lived in North America where Bert served as the MCC Asia Director out of Akron, Pennsylvania and then the Overseas Director of MCC Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Bert was also the Director of the Mennonite China Educational Exchange Program and 2007 and 2008 Interim Director of MCC Bi-National. Bert has Arts and Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.A. from the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Using her training as an RN, Martha served for 3 years in community health in India and for 9 years in a variety of community hospitals in Canada. While in Hong Kong for 7 years she worked in a classroom setting with preschool children. More recently she volunteered with her local Hospice organization, relating to elderly and terminally persons. Martha enjoys hosting friends and family (local and international) in their home and is grateful for many relationships locally and cross-culturally. Bert and Martha attend Waterloo North Mennonite Church and have one daughter and three sons all of whom are married. They also have three grandsons and three granddaughters. Upcoming tours with Bert and Martha.
Mark’s love of people and God’s creation comes from travel in 22 countries, 14 years of camping ministry, 7 years of university teaching, an M. Div., a PhD, and licensing as an Ecopastor by the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference. Mark has led many groups in Belize with his wife, Karen, as Co-Directors of Jaguar Creek (2000-2004). Scarlet Macaws were the focus of his doctoral research in Belize and he co-led a birding tour there in March 2018. Not retired, he is serving Mennonite Churches and leading SoCal A Rocha, a new ministry of A Rocha – a Christian conservation organization. Upcoming tours with Mark.
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. Most recently, Jim was 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.
Fred has led tours for TourMagination since 2005. He has co-led “Exploring the World of Paul” many times. He has also been to Uzbekistan twice, to learn about the Mennonite presence there. After 30 years of being a pastor in Lancaster and Floradale, Ontario, Fred is now working for Mennonite Central Committee Ontario. He is married to Shirley Stauffer Redekop, and they live in Elmira, Ontario. They have four children, a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons. His hobbies include cross-stitch, writing, reading, cycling, and cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Upcoming tours with Fred.
Shirley grew up on a farm in the heart of Lancaster County PA. She went on a Medical Group Missions trip to Dominican Republic in high school, and was hooked on travel. She lived for a summer in Scotland with Teen Missions, and then moved to the Netherlands for a year with Intermenno (MCC sponsored), working as an au pair. This is where she met her future husband Fred, from Ontario, who lived in Switzerland and France. Together they lived 3 years in Thailand through MCC, supporting SE Asia refugees moving to Canada. Their first son was born there. Since moving to Elmira, Canada, Shirley has worked for Mennonite Church Canada as Director of Christian Service Ministries, and for the past 14 years works as a Family Outreach Worker with House of Friendship for families experiencing low-income in Waterloo region. Shirley’s husband Fred was a pastor at Floradale Mennonite Church for 25 years where she was youth pastor, worship leader, Sunday School teacher and Bible Study leader. They now attend St Jacob’s Mennonite Church. Shirley is presently President of Mennonite Women Canada. She and her husband have four amazing adult children, one daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Her travels have taken her to Europe, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Central/South America, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, India, Turkey and Greece. Shirley enjoys reading, talking, coffee in outdoor cafes, movies, travel and motorcycling. Upcoming tours with Shirley.
Rennie began his musical career as Principal Violist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. From there he became an educator, training and influencing countless professional musicians, most notably as the Dean of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto followed by more than a decade as viola instructor and orchestra conductor at the University of Ottawa. Along with his wife, pianist Jenny Regehr, he has performed, conducted and taught extensively in North America, Europe and China. He has always been deeply involved in church life in each of the cities where he has lived—in all aspects of music and worship, preaching, plus as a deacon and teacher. Since his retirement in 2017, one of his activities is volunteering on the Palliative ward of one of Winnipeg’s hospitals. He and Jenny have two grown sons and five grandchildren. Upcoming tours with Rennie.
Jerrell Ross Richer
Each year in the winter and spring, Goshen College professor of economics Jerrell Ross Richer and his wife Jane, along with their four children, reside in the Ecuadorian rain forest with the Cofán people. The family works under the umbrella of the Mennonite Mission Network and the Council of Evangelical Indigenous Nations and Organizations of Ecuador. While in Ecuador, they support educational programs for indigenous pastors and church leaders. They also exchange information about creation care, economic justice, social structure and the rights of women and children. In addition, they come alongside development initiatives proposed by members of the indigenous communities. The Ross Richers return to Goshen in the summer and fall of each year to share what they have learned from brothers and sisters in the global south. Jerrell teaches on-campus during the fall semester and leads online courses while in Ecuador. Jerrell has led tour groups who want to experience the beauty of the rainforest stewarded by the Cofán people. Upcoming tours with Jerrell.
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.
Marilyn grew up on a farm outside of New Hamburg, Ontario. After high school, she attended Goshen College and participated in a Study Service Term in Haiti. This trip to Haiti was eye-opening, and instilled a love for exploring new countries and crossing borders and cultures. A year in Amsterdam following graduation, a trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordan with a group of pastors, travelling to Paraguay for Mennonite World Conference, and many trips within Canada and the US have filled out the years since. Marilyn has been a pastor for over 20 years in both Ontario and Indiana, where she has performed her faith through preaching, leading and planning worship, and walking with people in the sacred moments of life. She has sung in a choir for 2 decades, been an avid supporter of local theatre, and finds great joy in quilting and reading. She has spent the last number of years in ministry pondering the changing face of the church and leadership and is intrigued and excited about new ways of being church together. In May 2018, Marilyn will begin as Church Leadership Minister for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. She is married to Allan Rudy-Froese, whom she met when they were both studying at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS). They have 3 children, 2 young adult sons who live and study in Waterloo, ON and a daughter who is in Grade 12 at Bethany Christian Schools in Goshen. Upcoming tours withMarilyn.
John Sharp is a recently retired historian who taught 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. Their family also includes adult children and grandchildren. 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.
Michele Miller Sharp
Michele Miller Sharp has been a teacher, health care provider and administrator. Currently she is a compliance officer at Hesston College and a freelance management analyst. Her preferred free-time activities are reading and spending time with their three grandchildren—one nearby and two in Denver. She is married to John Sharp. Upcoming tours with Michele.
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.
Richard Thiessen is Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, BC. Previously he was Librarian at Mennonite Brethren Bible College / Concord College, and Library Director at Columbia Bible College. Richard’s love for Mennonite history and genealogy have been the focus of much of his volunteer work. He has served as president of both the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada and the Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, and was also active for many years with the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society. For twenty years he has been involved with GAMEO: the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (www.gameo.org). He created the website www.mennonitegenealogy.com in the late 1990s to help make Mennonite genealogical resources available to the public. Richard has a deep love and commitment to the Church, and has served on a number of local, provincial, and national church committees in both Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church contexts. Richard and his wife Karen love to travel and to learn more about the places and people they see and meet. They have visited over 40 countries and have travelled extensively through both Canada and the United States. Over the years they have also hosted numerous exchange students in their home. Richard and Karen have three sons and a daughter-in-law. They believe that one of the best things they ever did as a family was to spend two months in Ethiopia volunteering at the Meserete Kristos College. Richard loves photography, visiting museums, listening to music, collecting stamps, growing lilies, and cheering for the Montreal Canadiens. Upcoming tours with Richard.
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.
Audrey Voth Petkau
Audrey Voth Petkau was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After some years of study at college and university she married Terry Petkau and together they raised two sons. Audrey’s passion for education motivated her to serve in music and children’s programs and then later in education-related committees within the Manitoba Mennonite Brethren Conference. She has a strong interest in family history and has contributed Voth family artifacts to Mennonite archives in Winnipeg. In 1999 her family moved to Waterloo, Ontario. Since joining TourMagination in 2002, Audrey has provided leadership and coordination for numerous tours each year. She loves to create community on tours and to make new friends around the world. Now as the President of TourMagination, she and her supportive, competent team plan to continue offering unique, excellent quality tours while introducing exciting new travel opportunities. Upcoming tours with Audrey.
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.
Steve grew up in an Amish community south of Nappanee, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Business and a Minor in Psychology. For the past 33 years he has provided leadership in the role of Vice President of Human Resources for Wieland Designs, Inc., a furniture design and manufacturing company. Since 2011 Steve has served as a Board Member for Amigo Centre, located in Sturgis, MI. Steve and his wife, Diana, live in Goshen, Indiana. They have two children and four grandchildren living in two separate communities, Nappanee, Indiana and Tremont, Illinois. They are part of North Main Street Mennonite Church located in Nappanee, Indiana. Recently he completed a term as Church Board Chair and now serves on the Administrative Commission. Steve has deep respect and gratitude for the faith values learned within the Amish community and stays connected to several communities in Northern Indiana. He has a personal interest in Anabaptist history, the European Reformation movement and learning more about his family ancestors. Since 2015 Steve has invited Amish friends to join him on tours to Hawaii, Alaska and the Caribbean. Steve also speaks fluent Pennsylvania Dutch. Upcoming tours with Steve.
Rod has spent his adult life in places as diverse as rural Quebec, central California and urban Europe. Each location has impacted his life and worldview. The people he encountered continue to be part of the narratives that play through his heart and come out in his writing, teaching, and coaching. Formerly a Mennonite Brethren pastor, Rod later transitioned to become a German and English language coach mainly for business clients. Following more than twenty-five years in Munich, Germany, Rod lives in California and coaches clients from Munich as well as individuals from other parts of Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Texas, California and points in between. In addition to travelling extensively across large swaths of North America from Quebec City to San Diego and Florida to Vancouver Island, Rod has also explored in Europe—mostly by bicycle and public transportation. Rod and his wife Julia have two grown children. See some of Rod’s writing and photos at https://www.instagram.com/rodzook/. Upcoming tours with Rod.