I (Betty-Lou) was born in Norway, but came to Canada as a baby, with my parents. My husband, Neil, was from Manitoba, but moved to B.C. as a teenager. We were both blessed to have a Christian upbringing, as well as one that recognized the importance of Israel in the Bible and its prophetic significance today in world affairs.
After finishing our studies (Neil as a psychiatric nurse, and I as a teacher) and getting married, we spent a year in Europe with YWAM. Part of the program included a 3-month Middle East field trip that culminated in 2 weeks in Israel – which influenced the direction of lives forever! We immediately felt a great affinity to the Land and the People of Israel, but realized that we actually knew very little about it at all. We both experienced a great desire to learn more – to study Hebrew, to meet Israelis, and to understand more about the Jewish roots of our faith. That love and sense of identification has continued and grown, to this day. We attend a Messianic congregation here, which is a great blessing to us.
A profound influence in our lives has been our association with Merv and Merla Watson, who have lived in our Abbotsford area when they were not in Israel. Their dedication, creativity and passion for blessing Israel has been a constant inspiration to us, and it was through them that we were first introduced to the vision of the ICEJ and the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles – back in 1979! For a few years, we were even part of the very first Canadian board of ICEJ.
We have been blessed to go to Israel 9 times in all, and have been involved in various pro-Israel ministries over the years. After Neil’s retirement 10 years ago, we began officially serving as reps for ICEJ Canada. In 2017, we participated in week-long Holocaust Educational Program for Christian Leaders, sponsored by the ICEJ’s Christian Desk at Yad VaShem. This powerful experience motivated us even more to stand up for Israel and the Jewish people, as we see antisemitism increasing once again. We are focused on researching, writing, speaking and teaching about Israel and our connection as believers to the Land and the People. We enjoy Israeli music, dance and culture, and my husband is also a talented artist.
We have four grown children and six grandchildren, and our greatest delight is sharing with them (and our friends) some of the spiritual insights and blessings found in celebrating the biblical Feasts.