SAM Ministries is always looking for men and women of character who are competent, called and willing to invest their lives in others. Although short-term commitments contribute toward meeting needs, it is life investment which results in the relationships and longevity that best enable transformation in lives.
The following are the full-time staff who are the hands, feet, hearts and minds committed to serving with SAM Ministries using their unique training and gifts.
SAM Ministries is honored to have a leadership team who represent a broad range of experience and skills. These dedicated and successful people have backgrounds in business, medicine, architecture, law enforcement as well as Christian pastoral ministry and Christian missions.
Gary Peckham (Chair) – Gary was involved with the original incorporation of SAM Ministries, however he was not part of the Board until 2011. In 1984 he was one of the original supporters of Mount Horeb in Brazil. Since coming on the Board, Gary has held positions as Director, Vice President and Chair. Gary retired from the Government of Alberta in 2010 where he had been employed for 34 years. Since his retirement he has stayed very busy; he runs his own communication company and he serves as a Public Member on the Transportation Safety Board where he adjudicates license suspension matters. He also serves on the Strathcona Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.
Rev. Steve Lagore (Vice Chair / Secretary) – Steve was born in South Africa to missionary parents. He graduated from Temple Bible College, served as youth pastor and music pastor and is now senior pastor of Crossroads Christian Assembly in Edmonton. Steve is married, has three children and lives in Leduc. He spent his first 18 years of life in Transkei, South Africa and his return visits to South Africa and Mozambique has uniquely qualified him with an understanding of life and ministry in this part of the world.
Bob Guzak (Vice Chair) – Bob is a retired businessman whose business background was in the Oil Industry, running a service rig company, which was the family business. He has held a private pilot’s license since 1980 and had the privilege of assisting in ferrying the mission aircraft from Canada to Mozambique in 1996. In 2013, Bob and some of his family spent a month visiting our mission in Mozambique where he undertook numerous tasks. Bob has been involved for many years with SAM Ministries.
Rev. Arthur Lagore (Advisor to the Board) – Arthur is a founding member of SAM Ministries. He has over 50 years of experience in Christian missions and pastoral ministry. He served in Transkei, South Africa for 38 years before returning to Canada. He was the senior pastor of Heimdahl Community Church for 10 years before becoming the associate pastor and seniors’ pastor at Crossroads Christian Assembly in Edmonton. He served SAM Ministries as chairman of the board for 10 years. Arthur is an amazing man who serves the Lord in everything he does.
Erin Vandenbrink (Director) – Erin is a loving wife and mother to two awesome kids. Her children are very active in sports which means her and her husband are busy driving to and from gymnastics, ball hockey and swimming each week. Even with her busy schedule she makes time to be a valuable member of the SAM Ministries’ Board. For many years Erin and her family have been dedicated to the Child Sponsorship program which she is passionate about. She knows that feeding a child both physically and spiritually has an amazing impact on the child and the child’s family and friends. She is an interior designer and has used those skills to design floor plans and house construction plans. She is also actively involved in her local church as well as shipping clothing to the Ukraine and other countries which she has done for several years. Erin is a very busy lady that loves God and lives to touch the lives of others.
Evelyn Fisher (Director) – Evelyn became involved with SAM Ministries while attending Westerose Gospel Church. God tugged at her heart after hearing Ruth and Earl Trekofski (missionaries with SAM Ministries) speak at her church. She has had the privilege of going on a mission trip to Brazil where she saw first hand the work that is being done there. Evelyn is a very special individual who brings a very loving and caring heart to the Board. She is always willing to step up and do what ever is necessary to serve where needed.
Lyla Living (Director) – Lyla has served on the board of SAM Ministries since 2014. She serves as an elder on her church board and is retiring after working for 40 some years in healthcare as a physiotherapist. Once retired she plans to spend even more time with her grand children, do lots of travelling and explore what God has in store for her in the years to come. We don’t think that retirement will be a quiet time at all for Lyla since she is a very busy lady who likes golf including spending time with friends family and working for God’s glory.
Gordon Forseth (Director) – Gordon is an architectural technologist and is presently a project coordinator with an architecture and interior design firm in Edmonton. Gordon has just begun a transition to retirement and has reduced his working week to being four days. He is a strong prayer warrior for SAM Ministries – his passion is to build a strong hedge of protection around this ministry with prayer. Gordon has been on the board for several years.
Chris Peckham (Director) – Chris has been a long time supporter of not only SAM Ministries but also Mount Horeb when it first became a mission in 1984. She retired as a consultant with the Federal Government in 2013 after serving in various roles for 23 years. In addition to being a fantastic gramma, she volunteers as a Victim’s Advocate for the Strathcona RCMP Victims Services Unit. Chris spent 4 weeks on the Mozambique mission – an experience that will always be a highlight of her life – God works in the lives of so many.
Matthew Christenson (Director) – Matthew’s love for God’s people came at a very young age and grew even stronger when he became a believer at the age of 23. With SAM Ministries he hopes to bring fresh ideas and perspective and give as much time as possible on the home front and looking forward to making short term missions to Mozambique with his wife a reality.
Patti is a member of Richfield Christian Fellowship where she assists the treasurer and serves wherever she is able. She has served in the office of SAM Ministries since 2001. Patti along with her husband Bill felt it a privilege to travel to Brazil with our missionaries in 2004 and have a strong desire to visit the mission field in Mozambique as well. Patti says, “no one can describe the mission field, you must experience it first hand, and when you do, you will never be the same.” It is the commitment of our missionaries to the people they serve that encourages others to help in whatever way they can.
Heather Neufeld served with her husband Rick with SAM Ministries in Mozambique for more than 8 years. Rick now serves as lead pastor of Grunthal Abundant Life Fellowship, and Heather has taken on the position of regional representative in a volunteer capacity.
Primary Responsibilities: Field Team Leader
Dwight is a graduate of Temple Bible College and Prairie Bible Institute and along with Lynn his wife and two children, founded the SAM Ministries work in Mozambique. Dwight is also a commercial pilot with instrument rating. He is presently SAM Ministries’ Field Team Leader for Southern Africa and is also President of ASAM or Love Mozambique, SAM Ministries’ agent in Mozambique. Dwight’s passion is training leaders to equip and motivate them to bring about transformational development. His total commitment is to see people restored to a relationship with their Father God through Jesus Christ and is confident that all true development flows from this relationship.
Primary Responsibilities: Health Program, School Child Sponsorship
Lynn was born in Canada but raised in Brazil as an MK (missionary kid). She returned to Canada at the age of 18 and graduated from Grant McEwan College (Edmonton, Canada) nursing program in 1982. Lynn is married to Dwight and mother of their two grown children. Lynn’s passion is to provide quality health care for the rural poor who would otherwise have no other medical help. Besides her hands-on curative efforts, she is committed to the training and equipping of Mozambicans who can provide compassionate and competent care for their own people.
Primary Responsibilities: Agriculture, Aviation
Andy Kuret is a missionary from Switzerland who grew up in Bolivia as an MK (missionary kid). After a career in farming and sales, he took commercial pilot’s training at Prairie College of Mission Aviation (PCMA) in Canada. In January 2011, Andy was seconded to serve SAM Ministries in Mozambique through Mercy Air Switzerland.
Primary Responsibilities: Mission Farm Management, School Director, Pastor’s Farmer Associations
Joao is a Mozambican who joined the team as a missionary after volunteering with SAM Ministries and receiving sponsorship to study. He completed a degree in business management in Maputo and joined the team full time in 2011.
Primary Responsibilities: School Child Sponsorship, Administrative Assistant
Missions has been a passion for Janette all of her life. Janette is a graduate of Living Faith Bible College and throughout her life has enjoyed a wide variety of ministry and mission’s experiences. Janette has a passion for children with child sponsorship holding a special place in her heart. She served SAM Ministries initially as a volunteer helping the child sponsorship program, then went on to serve as a director on the board. In 2014, Janette joined the Mozambique team as a missionary. Her role will be to coordinate the Child Sponsorship Program and assist with administrative duties.
Primary Responsibilities: Leadership Training, Mentoring Young Women, Hospitality Ministry
Shannon was born in to a large loving family, 4 boys and 3 girls in Squamish, BC. At the age of 22 she accepted the Lord as her savior while at a Chinese church conference in Vancouver. Three years later she packed up and moved to Three Hills Alberta where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural studies at Prairie College. Following that, she headed for beautiful Otterburne Manitoba and took her Masters of Arts in Counseling and Psychology at Providence Theological Seminary. For the past 16 years, Shannon has been the Director of Student Development for Women at Prairie College. She has a passion to see young men and women grow in their faith and knowledge of the word of God. She loves helping to equip them to face the challenges and transitions of life in ways that bring honour to God.
Primary Responsibilities: Field Team Leader
Earl was born and raised in Alberta while Ruth (below) was born and raised on the Canadian prairies. Earl graduated from Northwest Bible Institute in Edmonton. He married Ruth (nee Schalm) in 1955 and had three children. He is a licensed mechanic and worked in a small town in British Columbia for 10 years where he served in the local church as Bible teacher and board member. In 1968, he, with his wife and family moved to Dallas, Texas, where they spent two years at a special Missions Training College. They left for Brazil in 1970 for their first term of service and spent the next thirty years there as missionaries. Earl along with his wife Ruth founded the ‘Mount Horeb Training Centre’ in the small village of Itaperucu in Parana, Brazil, which began as an orphanage and grew into much more over the years. Earl’s passion is to serve God by serving people with his many talents and gifts. He now resides in Salmon Arm, B.C. and continues his involvement in the work in Brazil with a yearly visit to help in any way he can, as well acting as president. Earl and Ruth also travel to churches in Canada promoting the ministry in Brazil.
Primary Responsibilities: Field Promotion
Ruth married Earl Trekofski in 1955 and had three children. In 1968, Ruth and Earl moved to Dallas, Texas where they enrolled in a Bible College for a special two-year course in missionary training. They left for Brazil in 1970 with their three children for their first term of missionary service. It became their home for the next thirty years.
Together, Earl and Ruth Trekofski founded the ‘Mount Horeb Training Center’ in the small town of Itaperucu, Parana. What began as an orphanage grew into an extensive ministry that now includes many other aspects of service to the community. Ruth and her husband Earl now reside in Salmon Arm B.C. Canada, but continue their involvement in the work in Brazil with annual visits to provide oversight and encouragement.
Director: Mount Horeb Training Center