Each Wednesday, TWR Canada provides a brief update on a project or ministry from around the world. Learn about many different aspects of our global ministry, and be encouraged by stories of lives that have been transformed by the power of the gospel.
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Nathan and Megan Dunlop, from High River, Alberta, arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa two years ago. They're home now, their term complete, but they're hoping to raise enough support to return as career missionaries.
With a degree in audio engineering, Nathan had hoped to work in Christian ministry but instead found himself working on a film set in Vancouver. "I felt that I had to defend my faith everyday in that industry and it was spiritually draining," Nathan recalls.
In Alberta, Nathan worked for a large sports facility and coordinated their audio and visual systems for television broadcasts, weddings, conferences, etc. But he wasn't happy. "I came home one day and belly ached about it one day to Megan," Nathan said leaning back in his chair. "This is not what I’m supposed to be doing. I want to help grow the kingdom of God."
Megan had a heart for missions and was the one who always attended the local missions fests. "When Nathan said what he wanted to do, I said OK what’s out there?" She spent most of that night trying to find a ministry that could use Nathan's skills -- and she found TWR Canada. They sent an application and received a reply that TWR Canada's President, Ray Alary, would be nearby the following week and wanted to meet.
At the time, TWR had an opening on the US-governed Pacific island of Guam east of the Philippines. Megan laughs when she remembers that she told Ray, "I’m not going to Africa." Plans were set in motion for the family to go to Guam, even though the job there wasn't a perfect fit for Nathan's skills.
The family overcame a few obstacles in order to raise their support, including a disastrous flood in High River that destroyed their home church building. In the end, the Dunlops were denied visas by the American government which meant Guam was no longer an option. "We had been talking about Guam, and familiarizing ourselves with the island and culture," Nathan says. "I even had a Guam sticker on my car." They were frightened and unsure if the mission field was actually where God wanted them after all.
Then God stepped in and an opening for an audio technician came up in Johannesburg, South Africa.
"God backed me into a corner," Megan says with a smile about her feelings toward moving to Africa. The family had planned to move to Guam in January, so in December Nathan quit his job. They had put all their belongings into storage, had raised the required support, and were staying in a condo.
"We felt unprepared," Nathan says of the move to Africa. "We didn't know what to expect."
God stepped in again and provided more than they had hoped for. "All the things we’d wished we’d had in Canada (like a house with a yard) God provided in Africa," Nathan says with a smile.
Two years later, Nathan has had the opportunity to upgrade the production studio to now use fully digital equipment which interfaces with multiple software. Nathan also upgraded the recording studio, so TWR Africa is now able to produce video content.
"The standard at which I produce my programs is higher than they were capable of in the past," Nathan says, reluctant to talk about himself.
Nathan edited (added the finishing touches, sound effects, etc.) for a contract program series that retells scenes from Jesus' life using African voices. Produced for English-speaking countries in the southern portion of Africa, independent FM stations have begun to express interest in broadcasting the program. Along with TWR Canada missionary Kirk Baskin, Nathan is working on a youth program. The funds for this program had been secured, but TWR Africa had lacked the capacity to get the production phase up and running previous to Nathan arriving.
Why do the Dunlops want to return to South Africa? Their house in Johannesburg has been broken into, there was a significant death in the family, they've had trouble keeping their house in High River rented, and the sinking Canadian currency means even more support is needed. It would be easier to return to Canada.
Nathan doesn't flinch at the question. "I don't feel I've done all I'm meant to do. I feel there's a greater purpose and project that's ahead -- I don't know what that is yet, but there's more to do."
"I don't feel I've done all I'm meant to do." Nathan Dunlop
For more information about the Dunlops support needs, call our office at 888.672.6510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Nathan will join our team in April on the Alberta Ministry Tour for three stops on the 8-city tour.SaveSave