Vern & Susan Tompke, Chilliwack Vineyard

Tina-Marie Axenty, Nov 11, 2020, 3:31 AM
Vineyard Canada Global Moderator
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Back in the 80's, Vern and Susan met at Navigators in U.B.C. when they stumbled into Kingdom Ministries led by Gary Best, George Malone, Ken Blue and Andy Park. For them it was a perfect theological home for Susan's Catholic/Pentecostal background and Vern's Evangelical roots. The worship music gave language to their hunger for God and the theology gave freedom to expect God to show up in their daily life! After they got married and naively moved to the Penticton Vineyard assuming they would pursue their teaching careers and live a quiet life! Within a couple years, Hart Loewen invited Vern to join him on the Penticton Vineyard staff and they modified their naïve assumptions so that their life picture now looked like them settled in for the long haul with their young family and this new growing Vineyard church. After about five years on staff, and some strategic prophetic words (including from a Baptist professor!), Vern and Susan felt that God was calling them to plant a church. They didn't know where, they just had the promise like Abraham to start out and that God would show them! The location ended up being Chilliwack and in 1995 Vern and Susan moved there – totaling the van along the way! There was a home group waiting for the Vineyard in the Chilliwack area and Tom and Teresa Paul ended up joining them from Penticton with Tom providing the worship role. Vern and Susan naively assumed that life in the Chilliwack Vineyard would be from glory to glory – and so it has been – if you have a remote control and fast forward through all of the less than stellar times!
For the past 25 years they have seen God do amazing things as they embedded themselves in the community. God's faithfulness and goodness has carried and sustained them through the hard times and left them with some amazing stories of God breaking through with people. Some of their fondest memories have been with the less than "shiny" people who, for them, the Chilliwack Vineyard was the only place they would have ever fit in.
As they are now both nearing their sixties they have increasingly given thought to the next chapter of their lives and the leadership of the local church. They want to brag on God for bringing a great couple to the church (Jeff and Megan Webb) who feel called to step into the role as the next lead pastor couple. Vern and Susan's hope is to continue as cheerleaders for Jeff and Megan and fit in as God crafts a new role going forward. In particular, Susan has resumed her role as a public school teacher working with immigrant children and Vern is transitioning to a role as a mentor and coach for those who are struggling with sexual addictions (