Jul7WedJuly 7, 2021 By the TWR Canada Team
This week, we are introducing a new TWR Canada missionary, Julia Schindeler! Learn more about her and her work with us in this e-update.
Tell us about where you have lived and your educational background.
I was born in Toronto but moved to a recreational farm in Lanark County (just south of Ottawa) when I was ten. When my father took a job with the Canadian International Development Agency in Botswana, I completed my high schooling there. Moving to Africa influenced my interest in international development. I studied at Trent University but did my third year of university in Nigeria, where Canadian missionaries I met suggested that I attend Regent College in Vancouver. At Regent College, I completed a Diploma in Christian Studies, and was also baptized.
Where have you worked in the past?
After moving back to Toronto, I worked for World Relief Canada and then became the Executive Director of the Working Group on Refugee Resettlement. I was very involved in the Canadian private sponsorship of refugees program, but media was always my first love, so I went back to university to get my master’s degree in journalism at Western University (London, ON). I worked at CBC as a producer in between years at home raising my two sons. I was also a producer for the TV program Context Beyond the Headlines. Recently, I passed the national Public Relations Knowledge exam.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Ben Chan who has a career in global health with the World Bank. My eldest son, Adin, is enrolled at McGill University and my younger son, Ethan, is in high school. My family and I are active members of Little Trinity Anglican Church in downtown Toronto.
Why did you want to become a missionary? What led you to this calling?
My heart always resonated with Isaiah’s response to God’s question – “Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). I wanted to be “all-in” for God, to be led by his Spirit on a daily adventure of obedience. Life got in my way but that feeling never left. I never imagined that signing my pledge card at InterVarsity’s Mission Conference, Urbana, in my twenties would one day lead me to serve as a missionary with TWR Canada three decades later.
I’ve always loved media communications and I even had a little show on Trent Radio during undergrad. Following my graduation from Regent College, I had initially inquired into HCJB Radio (a missionary radio network now known as Reach Beyond) but I wasn’t ready to take this leap of faith. I accepted Ephesians 4:12, that every believer is equipped to do God’s work in building up the church. And so, with this guiding principle – that you don’t have to be a minister or a missionary to serve God’s Kingdom – I pursued other careers.
For years I secretly envied those individuals who were sent and supported to serve our world. Over the last few years, I’ve been wondering what God had planned for me because I had a growing sense of calling to full-time ministry. And I felt compelled to serve the church. When working in international development back in the ‘90s, I came to realize that, regardless of the available social infrastructure, only a heart transformed by the love of Christ could transform a person’s life. What could I do? What was my passion? When I connected the dots, my quest appeared to have its culmination in the shape of TWR Canada.
I’d been familiar with TWR since my twenties. But McDaniel Phillips’ regular updates to my church about his work with TWR Canada fanned the flames of my interest in media ministry. I asked a group of friends to pray for my application process, that I would be accepted by TWR Canada and that a suitable position would be available. The missions committee at my church came alongside me and supported me. Tears of joy affirmed my acceptance of TWR Canada’s offer to serve them in the capacity of Special Projects, Assistant to the President.
Tell us about the work you are doing for TWR Canada.
As primarily a support to Dan Reese, the President of TWR Canada, my role is to increase the awareness and utilization of TWR Canada’s ministry resources among Canadian churches. My job is to assist the organization in the research, development and implementation of ongoing, new and future-focused initiatives.
I’ll also be working with churches and individuals, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area, to enhance the profile of the ministry. This will include phone calls and visits, and potentially public relations and media campaigns. I see my role within the context of Ephesians 4:16: “As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (NLT)
Please pray Philippians 3:12 for me, that “I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.” (TLB) I’ve learned that the purpose of all missions is to enable others to worship Christ and bring glory to God. Hallelujah!
Join us in a couple weeks as we hear more from Julia and her heart and passion for the ministry of TWR Canada.