Our Heartbeat

Creatively Building Relationships

"Shamgar had an ox goad. David had a sling. Dorcas had a needle. Rahab had some string. Samson had a jawbone. Aaron had a rod. Mary had some ointment, and they all were used of God."

One of the main things that has attracted us to the Knysna Hope team is the freedom of creativity for the purpose of building relationships. If you can dream it, you can do it, and use it to share the Gospel! This dynamic of each team member using his/her individual talents and gifts as tools to creatively and intentionally build relationships is very exciting to us. Our philosophy of ministry is to go where the people are- to integrate into the community and become part of the people's lives. We also love hospitality, and look forward to using the home that God provides for us (simply sharing what we have) to bless many on a regular basis. 

Although we are looking forward to the doing that goes along with ministry (as you'll read in the following paragraphs), we are excited most about being with people. Ministry IS people, and that is our strongest heartbeat. Pastoring them is a gift.

Church Planting and Pastoring


Having been in pastoral ministry in two established churches for the past 10 years in Canada, we look forward to launching into a different aspect of pastoring in Knysna- church planting. 

Since 2010, two churches have been started in Knysna, with a third in the planning phase. The 15 year vision of Knysna Hope (2015-2030) outlines the creation of 10 additional churches in this growing, multi-cultural town of 70,000. We plan to move into a community within Knysna and begin building realtionships with those around us. We will also begin a Bible study in our home, which we hope will eventually blossom into a fully indigenous church led by a national pastor. We also look forward to being involved in the training/mentoring and encouragement of these national pastors and their wives. 

Music Education

One of the goals of the Knysna Hope team is to establish an academy of fine arts on the Garden Route in South Africa. There are many needs represented in the communities, the school system, and the townships for musical exposure, education, and enjoyment. There is also a great need for musical training in the local churches- both in practical training in voice and instrumental and in music theology, history, and church music philosophy.

We are excited about using our musical abilities to both bless and teach others on the mission field. Our background of musical training and experience in both classical and sacred music will afford many opportunities for ministry through music. 

Our musical qualifications:

JD is an accomplished pianist, vocalist, and trumpeter. He has led choirs and church music for the past 10 years in ministry.

Leah is an accomplished pianist and vocalist, and is a budding violinist. In addition to being a church pianist and choir accompanist for the past 17 years, she has been a piano and voice instructor for 12 of those years. 5 years were spent with a teaching emphasis on the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum, the highly renowned music program which has its roots in Canada and has gained traction in other parts of the world. She has pursued masters level education in piano pedagogy with the Royal Conservatory of Music and is certified to teach advanced music theory. 

Enrichment Ministry in the Townships

Nearly every town in South Africa has a "township community." These under developed urban living areas represent many economic needs. In addition to church planting in the townships, multiple opportunities for ministry abound. These include (but are not limited to) supplying nutritional meals for HIV infected children, offering skills training to help adults become employable, and aiding a crisis pregnancy center. The relationships we build through these endeavors will open many doors to share the Gospel. We are especially excited to have our children ministering with us in the townships.