EMCC has credentialed ministers scattered throughout seven provinces across Canada… and one in England.
Sam Paul and his wife Vasanthy emigrated to England in 1993 in response to an invitation to pastor from a group of Sri Lankan Tamil people in Surrey, a densely populated urban centre. The couple’s two girls are now grown and married and live nearby. And they have two grandchildren to enjoy.
In 1999 Pastor Sam moved on, and planted a new independent evangelical church in Surrey called New Grace ministries. In addition to his years of pastoral experience, he had previously worked with Back to the Bible and Bible Club Movement and learned much from both of these organizations, but he also recognized the need for a formal credential. It was when speaking with his friend, Pastor Solomon Arumainayagam from our Christian Family Worship Centre in Toronto that he came to hear of The Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada. Introductions were made, and in the due course of time he was able to be ordained with EMCC in 2011.
Pastor Sam serves a church of approximately 90-100 Sri Lankan Tamil and Indian Tamil families. His passion is next generation ministry and they have developed Gravitate, specifically designed for children, teenagers and young adults. During the pandemic Gravitate, worship, prayer meetings and Bible study groups are all meeting by Zoom. Ordinarily they utilize a rented space. And these days he is connecting more often with the congregation by phone. Another area of ministry that he is excited about is a 1⁄2 hour a week Tamil TV program that he is able to offer under the umbrella of New Grace Ministries.
Sam would be grateful to his EMCC colleagues for prayer for his congregation and their various ministries. He relates that in their area openness to the Gospel is seldom seen amongst those holding fast to their traditional religion. And amongst those who have abandoned their religion and adopted a secular viewpoint there is little interest in exploring a new one.
As is the case for many churches during the pandemic, finances are also a pressing issue. Even so, Sam is trusting God for the future. “We are totally depending on God,” he says. “I have always believed God will provide and I am thankful to still be able to do church work.”