It's difficult to write about oneself. Our tendency is to exaggerate the good or the bad. It's easy to pretend we have it all together (I most definitely don't!), and it's easy to portray a false modesty. Add to that the fact that we don't even know our own motivations half the time, and it is difficult, if not impossible to write truly about oneself. So, this drivel will be my best attempt at the truth, but take it for what it is.
I was born and raised in Victoria, BC, Canada. It's still my favorite city in the world. There I grew up attending Central Baptist Church, where I was also baptized when I was about sixteen. I completed high school at Mount Douglas Senior, before heading off to Briercrest Bible College for a four-year BA in Biblical & Theological Studies. Upon graduation, having worked each summer at a camp, I found myself in Hedley, BC, at One Way Adventure Foundation, working with troubled teens (and staff!) and running camp programs. This was followed by four years with Youth For Christ / Youth Unlimited, in Abbotsford, BC. It was there, in Abbotsford that I met my wonderful wife, Leanne Suderman, and we were married a couple of years later in 1996.
While Leanne enjoyed her second maternity leave, I began working on my Masters in Theological Studies at ACTS Seminary / Trinity Western University, which I completed in 2005. Though intending to become a Bible school prof, I was asked to direct Timberline Ranch, a camp and retreat center in Maple Ridge, BC. We accepted this "eight month interim position" somewhat reluctantly, as I felt entirely inadequate. That was in 2005, and I'm still there. We live there year-round and raised our two children, Ben and Lorelle there. Here are some words which I believe best describe the passions of my life:
1. Jesus-Follower Really, there is nothing more important in my life than the life I live in Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. He rescued me from my selfishness and rebellion, and He guides my every step . . . or at least when I'm paying attention. Though I often fail Him, He is with me wherever I go, leading, guiding, comforting, convicting me. I look forward to the day when I will be with Him in eternity forever. Want to know Him? I'd love to help make the introduction!
2. Husband I have been married to my best friend, Leanne, since June 29, 1996, and it has been one of the best decisions and privileges of my life! One of my greatest fears in life is that I will screw up as a husband and drive the one I love away, but thanks to a patient wife and the grace of God, we've done well, and we still love each other and enjoy being together. Any good relationship takes work, commitment, and dedication, and I'm so glad for the journey we have been on together.
3. Father One of the greatest joys of my life has been raising two amazing children, Ben and Lorelle. Due to some health issues I had, Leanne went back to work when they were little, and I was at home with both kids in diapers (the kids, not me), and I have been able to always significantly be involved in their lives. Since I have lived where I work, since they were four and six years old, and since we home-schooled them for most of those years, I was able to spend tons of time with them. By the way, children (all people, really) spell love: T-I-M-E. Invest in your kids' lives, and the dividends will never end.
4. Camp Director Yes, I do actually work. I am the Executive Director at Timberline Ranch in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada, where I have served since 2005. It's a 73 acre horse ranch with capacity for 200+ overnight guests. Most (non-COVID) years, we see about 14,000 - 15,000 guests come through here in one capacity or another. I am very fortunate to serve alongside some wonderful, godly staff. My favorite part of my job is training the young "Leaders in Training" each spring, seeing God working in their lives and causing them to grow.
5. Fun-Lover I have too many interests to have time to pursue them all. I particularly love travelling with my wife and/or family. I thought I might never get to travel much, but in the past few years, God has opened that door for us, and we have gladly stepped through it. In 2016, I received a three-month Sabbatical, and our family was able to spend seven weeks in Europe, mostly driving all about, and visiting eight countries. I love to hike, play a variety of sports, write, read (fiction and non-fiction), play European board games, play guitar, and write songs. I also may play the odd computer or video game. There is to much to do, too little time, so I recommend starting with a nap!