ONE on One with the Fellers
Jeremy and Teresa have been serving in Ethiopia since 2003. They began their work training church planters and discipling young leaders. They have a heart for the people of North Africa and the Middle East and love seeing Christ transform lives. Jeremy was recently appointed to serve as PAOC’s Regional Director for Africa. Teresa and Jeremy have three children. Timothy, Bethany, and Zoe bring joy, adventure, and brightness into their lives.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Jeremy: Well, from the age of about six, I wanted to be a missionary. I had a sense of calling as a little boy attending Central Tabernacle in Edmonton. Mark Buntain was speaking about his work in India and I knew I wanted to be like him when I grew up.
Teresa: I also knew that I would be a missionary.
Do you view your life purpose more as a traveller along the way or as a tour guide that helps other people experience the most life has to offer?
Jeremy: I don’t take it to be one or the other. I am on the journey into the image of Christ and, by God’s grace, hopefully guiding others into that same relationship and intimacy. I am travelling. I am part of a journey. And, I am also discipling others to be part of that journey.
Teresa: I agree with Jeremy. It is not one or the other - it’s both.
If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
Teresa: I think if I were ever to write a book it would be “Memoirs from an MK.”
Jeremy: I would probably write two books. I have two different passions that kind of come out when I do any research or writing. One is discipleship and spiritual growth, specifically in the lives of pastors or leaders in a cross-cultural context. And, the other one would be about Muslim discipleship. It would be more like an overview of how God has been working and some of the things we are seeing Him do in the lives of our friends.
What energizes you?
Jeremy: Energize? I have a couple things I do to get energized. I love to go for walks and runs in the morning and I listen to audio books. When I finish my run, I feel physically energized. After I listen to a chapter or two in a book, I am intellectually energized. I also enjoy spending time with our local church family. There are a few families that are very, very close to us here. Sitting with them and having interactions and discussions, you know, life stuff, energizes me.
Teresa: Worshipping, singing, and playing the piano is good for my personal wellbeing. Organizing, creating lists, and planning energize me. And, spiritually, like you said, being able to go to church on Sunday and fellowship with our local church energizes me for the coming week and helps me face the crazy that I must deal with on a daily basis.
Describe a great day. What are you doing that makes it special?
Jeremy: A great day for me is having my morning time – where I can have some exercise and some quiet moments. A great day is having some family time on Saturdays. We share that time with close friends. They come over for brunch and we prepare some big omelettes and pancakes. 400 pancakes on one Saturday is our record. We had a day where we scrambled 78 eggs!
Teresa: A great day for me would be when Jeremy’s home and if he gets up early and makes breakfast for the kids and me; it gives me a few extra minutes to myself. I love that! I love a day when we are not running to school doing this and that and we have a few moments to play with the kids and enjoy a dinner out as a family. That’s a great day for me.
"Today, God calls us to be the ambassadors to 3.1 billion people who have never heard [about Jesus]. Today is the opportunity. Will you say yes? There is no better place to be than in obedience to the call of God."
Jeremy Feller | General Conference 2018
When it comes to serving in the mission of God, do you see it as a career choice or a divine calling?
Jeremy: I believe it is a divine calling, but it also happens to be a career for me now, I guess.
Teresa: Both of us felt called by God to serve, so, yes, it’s a divine calling. And, after 19 years living in Ethiopia, it has become our home and career.
Do you have a Scripture verse that has special meaning or encourages you along the way?
Jeremy: For me it would be Proverbs 3:5-6 from my high school days: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” It is a fitting verse for our journey especially because you never have roots and are always moving around; you need to be flexible. Trusting in the Lord with all your heart becomes that enduring principle for my family.
Teresa: For me, it seems like I have a verse for the season and for what is going on in life. Right now, I am in the Psalms. Psalm 4:8 says, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep for you alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety.”
Just the Kids
Who is more likely to climb Kilimanjaro? Your mom or your dad? Why?
Zoe: Because he’s bigger than mommy!
What does your mom do for a living?
Timothy: She gives us chocolate.
Bethany: She is a teacher.
And, your dad?
Zoe: He works at the office.
Bethany: He preaches …
Timothy: And runs. He makes eggs and pancakes and he exercises.
What do you look forward to when you wake up in the morning?
Timothy: I like remote cars and trucks!
Bethany: I like to play soccer!
Zoe: I like to play with Dolly and ride my bike.
What’s a memory that makes you happy?
Timothy: Riding bumper cars at Century Mall.
Bethany: Going for ice cream! My favourite kind is chocolate mint.
Zoe: My favourite ice cream is strawberry and chocolate.
Where would you like to travel?
Timothy: Kenya and Canada. In Kenya, I like to feed the fish. I like travelling to Canada because I can meet and spend time with my cousins.
Bethany: To Canada. I like swimming in the pool.
Zoe: America! And, Kenya! I can see Hazel.
If you could make up a new holiday, what would it be?
Timothy: A costume holiday! I want to dress up as Batman.
Zoe: My favourite superhero is Ironman
Share one thing about yourself that you want to tell people in Canada.
Zoe: I am curious!
Timothy: I like trains.
Bethany: I am generous and I like math.
Do you have a favourite memory verse?
Timothy: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:13).
Bethany: “Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2).
Praying for MKs
Pray for missionary children in the same manner that you pray for your own family.
Ask God to:
- Help them in their Christian walk and guide their spiritual growth.
- Protect their travels and their health.
- Guide them concerning schooling opportunities, providing them with a good education.
- Watch over them as they make choices in life and give them meaningful friendships.
In Ethiopia, the church is experiencing a tremendous harvest, constantly impacting new ethnic groups and reaching into the major religious communities of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian church is a growing force for missions impacting the world.
- ERDO responds to a massive drought related famine
- Don Raymer, ERDO’s Executive Director, and African Director, Gerald Morrison, develop strong partnerships in Ethiopia
- God calls the Rutten’s from Zambia to Ethiopia, the first PAOC couple appointed to Ethiopia
- Strong emphasis on training, church planting to all regions of the country, and outreach to the major religions of Ethiopia and the region.
- Childcare Plus program is established
- Jeremy & Teresa Feller are called to join Teresa’s parents
- They engage in all aspects of the work including discipling young leaders to become church planters
- Many thousands of churches have been and are continuing to be planted. The gospel is impacting virtually every aspect of the country.
- Due to a history of war, drought, and political upheaval, millions of Ethiopians have settled in countries around the world including those resistant to the gospel. They are effective in sharing Christ in these nations.