TourMagination Tour Leaders
Rich & Gloria Bucher
Rich and Gloria Bucher are both retired pastors with almost 60 years of experience between them. Rich has travelled with TourMagination five times and Gloria has made three trips. In addition to seeing the world, Rich enjoys sports and reading Westerns, while Gloria enjoys observing the natural world and reading mysteries. They are looking forward to sharing Alaska in August with friends old and new. Upcoming tours with Rich and Gloria.
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 & Mary Friesen
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 or Leonard & Mary.
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 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.
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.
Fred & Shirley Redekop
Fred and Shirley Redekop are experienced TourMagination tour leaders. Fred was a pastor at Floradale Mennonite church for more than 25 years. He also writes columns on faith issues for the local newspaper. He serves on the Board of Conrad Grebel University College. Shirley is the President of Mennonite Women Canada. She 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 the Redekops 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.
Scott & Ingrid Reichard
Ingrid and Scott Reichard are experienced Holy Land tour leaders. Ingrid is a popular Bible teacher and speaker. She served as full-time Bible teacher with Solid Ground Ministries for 7 years and has been a pastor for 11 years. Ingrid has chaired or been a member of several boards of Mennonite Brethren organizations—including the Board of Faith and Life and the MB Biblical Seminary. She is an influential leader in the Canadian MB family. Her seminary education at Heritage Seminary and McMaster Divinity College focused on biblical studies in the Old Testament. She also has a DMin (cand.) in Spiritual Formation from Tyndale and is a trained spiritual director. Ingrid is appreciated for the depth and relevancy of her teaching, as well as her warmth and sense of humour. Her husband Scott is an IT manager with a large insurance company. He is a thoughtful worship leader. Scott will bring his guitar on tour and lead us in worship in the land of the Bible. Upcoming tours with Scott and Ingrid.
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.
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.
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 is the president of TourMagination and together with a very supportive and competent team she plans to continue TM’s excellent quality and unique 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.