A Manitoba family is getting ready to set out from their small hometown in Westman to share the Gospel and farm coffee in Southeast Asia.

Killarney family, Ryan and Nadine Smith with daughters, Ara and Salome, have started a new chapter in their lives, beginning with 10 weeks of orientation in Winnipeg with Multiply’s TREK Central Canada program.

TREK Central Canada is a discipleship and leadership development program run by Multiply, the mission arm of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Canada and the U.S.   Their mandate is to help multiply disciples, churches and missional leaders in 65 countries around the world.

The Smith family has devoted the next year to discipleship and mission outreach, with sites on the country of Myanmar where they will be hosted by long-term missionaries and the local church while serving together.  Their mission term began one week ago, from August 31st to next June 2021.

Ryan Smith says the 10 weeks of discipleship training includes worship and teaching, team building, and ministry preparation with 14 other people.  “This will eventually lead us to an assignment somewhere in the world, providing travel restrictions lift up,” says Smith. 

“Pretty much everybody who’s in this community is going to a different place in the world.  Some are staying fairly close to home here, some are involved in churches within Manitoba, the majority of us have our eyes on an assignment throughout the world from anywhere from Thailand to Myanmar.  We, as a family, are hoping and praying that restrictions are lifted in time for Myanmar in November.”

The placement team at Multiply recognized the Smith’s spiritual gifting, and Ryan’s own strong business background and strengths, and has partnered them with a missionary couple in Myanmar who are originally from Canada and are involved in a coffee farm there.  “So, they’re looking for me to step in as a business consultant and to see what I can bring to this business over there.”

“In terms of leading,” adds Smith, “it's in terms of the local people and training them up so they can have a sustainable and profitable business.”

Smith hopes the restrictions will loosen up by the time they are to travel to Myanmar.  He says things are slowly starting to loosen up over there.  “And we’re in prayer and we have faith that things will open up,” he shares, “but, for whatever reason, if they do not, there is always a Plan B and that will be discussed as we get through our 10 weeks of training here.”

The Killarney family is planning on being seven months abroad after their discipleship training in Winnipeg.   “God willing, when we get to Myanmar we’ll have our own apartment to call our own, but a lot of the time we’ll be out within the coffee fields, the coffee farm, and getting to know the locals who are involved in that and seeing what we can bring to the table.”

Feeling the call to short-term missions started some years back for the Smith family.  However, a mission trip for Ryan and his daughter Ara, to Guatemala with the Lakeside Christian School earlier this spring solidified God’s call on their lives.