Author Spotlight: Leander Rempel
By Leander Rempel
Leander was a little nervous as he sat in his office in Glennallen, the headquarters and hub of SEND International of Alaska. Looking over his shoulder was the reason for the tension in his body. The man was a retired Detroit engineer and businessman who had been responsible for the legitimized sale of millions of dollars of software to a foreign government.
But what connection does selling millions of dollars of software have to do with writing Brought to a Place of Abundance? Before Leander served as Area Director of Canada, he served as Alaska Area Director. From the time that he went to Alaska, as the youngest Area Director in the history of the mission, these Christian executives felt they were duty-bound to impart to Leander some of the training they had received while guiding this huge corporation through their stormy seas. This imparted knowledge, including honing writing skills, was lapped up by Leander like a thirsty dog emptying his bowl of water. Christian men from the business world read his reports and memos, often asking for clarification, and this couldn’t help but influence Leander in the area of leadership and writing.
Alaska was one of the larger fields of SEND International, with 104 missionaries working under four major ministries: the Hospital, the Bible College, an AM radio station, and a church planting division. With such a broad ministry to be held responsible for, it was impossible to touch base with each individual missionary. Leander had to hone his writing skills some more. He put his experience to good use in Brought to a Place of Abundance, pulling in all his managerial and writing skills. He is grateful to God for the training He put into him and to the men who invested in his life.
From ministry in Alaska, God led Leander and his wife Louise to assume the leadership of the SEND Canada home office.
Dr. Leander Rempel is a graduate of Briercrest Bible College and the University of Detroit, and later received an honorary doctorate from Briercrest Theological Seminary. As a visionary, man of prayer and faith, and skilled counsellor, Leander is a servant leader whom God has used in both the pastorate and mission leadership. He and Louise have three married children, all of whom are involved in active Christian ministries. The Lord has blessed them with seven grandchildren.
Interview with Leander Rempel
WAP: What inspired you to write Brought to a Place of Abundance?
LR: Rob Magwood, current Canadian Director of SEND, encouraged me to write the book so that there would be a written record of how God brought the Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (FEGC), and through it, SEND Canada, into existence. I likely wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t persistently encouraged me. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience once I got into it.
WAP: It looks like a lot of research was put into this book. How long did it take to put all these materials together?
LR: It took about three years, but there were breaks in between. Some of the information came through my own memory banks. A lot of it came through poring over the minutes of bygone board meetings. Other areas required piecing together information from communications and other documents.
WAP: This book has so many great stories from missionaries around the world. How did you gather all these stories?
LR: Laverne Fehr emailed the missionaries with a few potential questions and ideas. The missionaries voluntarily submitted their stories, which were then edited with their approval. The missionaries were glad to be telling what God was doing.
I felt it was important to include missionaries and their ministries in the history of SEND Canada, since that is why we exist. We are not simply an organization; we are people seeking to carry out the Great Commission.
WAP: Do you have a favorite “era” from the history of SEND Canada? Can you tell us about some of the most pivotal moments in SEND’s history?
LR: I thoroughly enjoyed working with Gordon Stimers, the Board Chairman. My monthly meetings with Gordon were a sheer delight because of the interest he took in the mission.
Another highlight was my moves into different offices, necessitated because of the need for more space. The mission grew from right around 30 missionaries to close to seventy. The Canadian office of SEND exists for one main purpose: as a service agency to support the missionary in his endeavor to fulfill the command of Jesus.
WAP: What are you hoping readers will take away from this book?
LR: That the awesome God whom we serve controls everything, is faithful in all ways, and is at work in our lives to shape us and mold us to make us profitable servants for Him.
WAP: What was the most difficult part of this project? What did you learn along the way?
LR: During the process of writing the book, it was difficult to relive the pain of saying goodbye to people who had separated themselves from the mission for one reason or another. It was also difficult to know what to leave out and how to connect all the parts.
I learned that God is a great and awesome God and that He is always working to fulfill His will.
About this Contributor:
Dr. Leander Rempel is a graduate of Briercrest Bible College and the University of Detroit, and later received an honorary doctorate degree from Briercrest Theological Seminary. As a visionary, a man of prayer and faith, and a skilled counsellor, Leander is a servant leader whom God has used in both the pastorate and mission leadership. He and his wife Louise have three married children all of whom are involved in active Christian ministries. The Lord has blessed them with seven grandchildren.