I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I came to BC in 1990, starting in Vancouver, then setting in Abbotsford in 1992 to raise my family. I’m married to Al and have four sons, ages 20 to 28. We enjoy family get togethers, cooking, and camping. I’ve worked in various capacities and industries (communications, parks and recreation, project management, social services) but have been always drawn to loving people and making a lasting impact in lives and communities.
I began my journey with Teen Challenge in 2010, hearing about the ministry at a church outreach. I sat in the pews thinking, “Those women’s stories are my story. I want to care for the brokenhearted.” God planted a seed of love and connection that transformed into more than I ever imagined. At the time, I worked at a Christian Adoption Agency, imparting the hope and restoration that adoption brings to broken individuals and families. That has always been my true passion – bringing hope to the hopeless, bringing restoration to broken people, especially women and their children.
I began volunteering at Teen Challenge wherever I could be of help. As relationships grew, I began mentoring. Once I saw my first “life transformed” over the course of a year, I couldn’t contain my excitement for what God was doing through Teen Challenge. I had to shout it from the mountaintops! And so, I did, as I worked part-time in Community Engagement. My two days a week turned to four, quickly. I pinched myself every day, “Lord, do I really get to do this every day?” I still feel that way!
I then became the Centre Director of the Abbotsford Women’s Centre where I served for 5 years. I am currently the Regional Director of Donor Relations and Women’s Ministries. My passion remains the same – to be a messenger of hope, to love women back to life and to reclaim God’s precious daughters to the lives they were designed to live – healed, whole, restored to God and their families.
Favorite scripture: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
My introduction to the Adult & Teen Challenge program was as a student in the fall of 2007. I had grown up going to church but never understood how to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. When I was 23 years old, my addiction hit crisis levels, and I was no longer able to support myself, and I asked my parents for help. They flew me out to the Okanagan Men’s Centre where my life was radically transformed. In October of 2008, I graduated from the ATC program and have been working with them ever since.
In September of 2012, I married my best friend, Sera. Together we have two beautiful children. Grayson was born Christmas day 2014 and Quinn was born in July of 2016. We live in Kelowna and love to visit the beach and Big White.
During my years at Teen Challenge, I have helped them create and expand some of our social enterprises. In 2009 we started a vehicle donation program and a few years later opened the first of its kind non-profit motor vehicle dealership in BC. Through our motor dealership, I became a licensed salesperson and a certified personal property appraiser. I specialize in appraising motor vehicles but can put a dollar value on anything you could imagine that would be donated. I have worked in the work experience department and expanded our firewood program as well.
In June of 2015, I became the Centre Director for the Okanagan Men’s Centre. After working as the Centre Director for a few years, I transitioned into a regional director role for the Okanagan Valley. I believe I have found my true calling and love working in the promotion of God’s work. The regional director role means I spend a lot of time in the community championing the life transformation that happens in a safe environment with a focus on Jesus.
I am incredibly excited about the new social enterprises, skills training opportunities, and plans for expansion we are working on right now. My goal is to help put hope within reach on every addict.
John 8:31-32 “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
I have been with Adult and Teen Challenge as the Director of Finance since December 2017. At the time I was in a different season in life when I felt a strong urge to look for a job. I had other plans but as usual God had better plans for me. I could not shake the feeling so I decided to honor His nudging but only insofar as applying for one job; this one. God has blessed me with being a part of this wonderful ministry. I am excited to be a part of this Christ driven ministry that helps people find freedom and transformation from life controlling addictions. I am thankful to be a member of a team that is very motivated, invested and passionate about our mission. Our vision of opening a Women’s and Children’s Centre in the Okanagan is something I look forward to seeing come to realization. Expanding our care to children and giving mother’s an opportunity to be near their children during the restoration process is exciting to think about. My favorite scripture is Psalm 17:8-9 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.
In 2010 God called me to work at Teen Challenge in Winnipeg Manitoba, and little did I know what an adventure that would be. I started working at the Administration office in the vehicle donation department, and for two years I took donation calls and set up vehicle pick ups. I then moved over to work in the Winnipeg Men’s Centre as the Program Coordinator for one year, accepting the job as the Program Director when the former one moved on. I eventually oversaw the entire 40 bed men’s facility in the heart of downtown Winnipeg as the Centre Director. It is unusual for a woman to oversee a men’s facility in Teen Challenge. But, another woman who had also been one of the few to direct a men’s centre, told me without hesitation that I could do it. I put my confidence in the Lord and accepted the challenge.
In the summer of 2017, I was asked to let my name stand for Executive Director of Adult & Teen Challenge Society of BC. Although the hesitation wasn’t long lived, I did momentarily think about having to leave my parents, 3 siblings, their spouses, as well as my 4 nephews and 2 nieces in Winnipeg. It was tough leaving a place where I had family dinner at least twice a week. But God…..He was calling me to take on this new challenge and He would be my source. He would also provide many friends and colleagues quickly upon my arrival, who I now consider friends.
This last 20 months in BC has been a learning curve. I’ve had to learn a new culture, the unique needs of people in British Columbia, as well as see how much worse the drug crisis is in BC over other places in the country. My passion is to see people transformed, from the inside out - that people going through the program will grasp their identity as a child of God, set a Christ-likeness standard for themselves and hold themselves accountable. Where they love others and put others first, and where they are able to evaluate their own behaviour and make changes, if it isn’t reaching the Christ-likeness standard.
I’ve recently moved from Abbotsford into Yarrow and on August 2, 2019 I will marry John Oige from Winnipeg. We will continue to serve at Adult & Teen Challenge Society of BC.
Colossians 2:6-7 “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”