Feb4FriFebruary 4, 2022
When Global Workers Dan and Anne-Marie Chapple learned of their Covid-mandated return to Canada from Mexico in March 2020, they were less than enthusiastic.
“At the time, we didn’t want to come,” says Dan. “But in retrospect, we realize we needed to be here. It has been a good move for our family and is opening diverse opportunities for ministry to global workers and to other ministries in Southern Ontario. We are also anticipating a multiplication in the numbers of pastors training others, and being trained, in Mexico. I am working online with three nationals who will take oversight of the classes and much of the ministry I was responsible for.”
On the horizon for the Chapples, is an expanded World Partners assignment involving the National Churches in Latin America: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Mexico. Still in the planning stages, the intent is to work alongside with Keith and Ruth-Anne Elliott to grow relationships and find strategic ways that the Canadian Church can be involved helping to strengthen and equip the churches in Latin America.
“We want this to be mutually beneficial across the countries. We will also be working with their leadership to identify how the Latin American Churches can impact the Canadian Church.”
Speaking more about reciprocity, Dan says, “The Latin American Church has a lot to offer. In future, I’d like to take pastors and other key people from the Canadian Church with me to see what they are doing there, and then come home to encourage and inspire others. I think it would be refreshing for Canadians to see their level of commitment to ministry. Most of the pastors are bi-vocational, and don’t make enough money to live on. They are there solely because God has called them. It is a tremendous reminder of why we do what we do. Not for the job; it’s for the Kingdom, service to the Lord.”
COVID’s toll in Ecuador meant money was useless in some areas for a period of time. The citizens in one town needed to trade with one another to obtain food. The problem was, they didn’t trust each other. In response, the local church started a bartering trade market and soon became the Centre for trade in the community. The citizens trusted that they wouldn’t get cheated at church. By helping in this way, congregation members built relationships with people who would never have come into the church under any other circumstances.
Dan and Ann-Marie Chapple have been World Partners Global Workers serving in Mexico for 19 years. At the invitation of the National Church, Dan has implemented a training program used all over Latin America to facilitate classes for bi-vocational pastors in dire need of biblical knowledge and ministry skills. Most have rudimentary education. Besides overseeing the training, Dan often travelled to their homes to talk about ministry, chatting about practical matters, and theology. Anne-Marie has served in a supportive role, often at home with their children while Dan travelled.
“I enjoyed connecting with pastors’ wives, being a listening ear, and praying for them,” says Anne-Marie.
“If we were still there, we’d be doing things the same way, but eventually one person can’t do it all. Now, I’m working with three men, all of whom have been going through the training material with me. Each will be responsible for overseeing the classes in their area, and will start new groups.”
Dan works with them online, mentoring and discipling them, and providing pastoral care. “I am praying they will build relationships with the other pastors in their areas, and be seen, not as powerful leaders, but as servants, and that they will serve and equip the church.”
Dan will still be somewhat involved, but wants to hand over as much as he can to them. “This shift to nationals overseeing the classes will allow us to train more workers and reach more areas. And it is healthy for them to grow in their leadership capabilities.”
Dan and Anne-Marie are excited about new ministries God is opening to them. Since returning they have been active in MissionPREP, an organization that helps to equip, care for, and debrief missionary families for more than 50 mission agencies. MissionPREP offers three programs, Dan and Anne-Marie have been involved in all three doing producing, teaching and debriefing. The necessity of holding MissionPREP online has brought some advantages that will remain part of how things are done in the future. People will be able to do some pre-reading before they come for in-person sessions, and do the follow-up portion after the in-person sessions are over. “Participants will be able to connect over a much longer timeframe, extending the benefit.”
Anne Marie was named Assistant Co-Director of the children. She co-directed the children’s program, and helped put it online. “I have a growing passion for MKs, being one myself, and our own kids as well.”
Dan has just recently discovered another exciting avenue of ministry. At the invitation of a man who runs a ministry to Spanish-speaking migrant workers on farms, Dan has twice visited farms where groups of men meet on Saturdays or Sundays for help with English, and a time of Bible Study and prayer. On Dan’s second visit, this time to four farms, nine men accepted Christ after the Bible study that day! On return visits the new believers will be discipled. It is unknown what will be the extent of this ministry for Dan, but the opportunities seem endless. There are many thousands of Latin American migrant workers employed on Ontario farms.
To read more about the Chapples, their ministries, prayer requests, and to see photos and videos, follow their blog at www.chapplesmexico.wordpress.com