David and Debbie Tombe met during senior high school in 1978 and married in 1982. This February not only marks forty years of marriage, but it figures prominently in their personal testimony. It was during their pre-marital counsel sessions with that they welcomed Jesus into their lives. Debbie shares that, "From that day when Reverend John Wood led us in prayer and we encountered the Spirit, we have never looked back."
David and Debbie have three children. And while the teenage years presented with challenges, God's love prevailed. Followers of Christ to this day, the two oldest children have themselves married and welcomed five our their own children into this world.
The tug and calling of ministry began early, the development of the same was years in the making. Not unlike the lay-leaders and elders who invested so much of their lives into them, the Tombe's home factored hugely into their shared lives; it was a place of life-on-life discipleship, friendship, and ministry. Over the years, the couple developed as lay-leaders in the church. Reflective of a long obedience in the same direction. David and Debbie have just kept developing in their ability to listen for the voice of God, and summoning the courage to do what He asks. Who they are, and how they have determined to present Jesus have been uniquely imprinted into them from the moment they encountered the Father's heart through their Vineyard family.
From their first encounter with the Father's love, a deep inner knowing of having finally come home fosters so much of what they live out. Their journey into the faith and worship awakened a long-surrendered love of music. In 2004 David was invited to oversee worship at the Campbell River Vineyard. After serving as the church's worship pastor for seven years, and having worked over two decades as a graphic designer and illustrator, David and Debbie laid down their vocations and sold their family home. They said goodbye to their extended family and friends, and accepted an invitation to take on a full-time calling to the Kamloops Vineyard. This August the church celebrated a decade of service as the community's lead-pastors. As a pastoral couple, nothing encourages the Tombe's more than stewarding the orchestrated work of the Holy Spirit among the church family and seeing the saints ministering out of their shared love for Jesus.
From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the church has surrendered both it's decades long heritage church building and off-site office. They leaned into personal connections and transitioned into online and outdoor gatherings. God willing, the church will be back into a healthy rhythm of gathering and home fellowship. And while it's been a season marked with setbacks and loss, the church has also seen shifts and gains in their fellowship. In the season ahead, David and Debbie have discerned a renewed calling to heed the words of Jesus, 'Keep your hands to the plow, and your eyes firmly fixed on Me, and on the way ahead'.
David has a passion for Jesus and for the object of God's unwavering affection, people. His fervour for all things worship is almost certainly fuelled by His growing love for God's word. David is always wrapped up in something constructive around the house, but he is more often stirred by the beauty of the outdoors; one day he will get back to drawing and painting what he sees.
Debbie has a passion for prayer and for seeing people healed and walking in freedom. In this past year, Debbie has taken two levels of training with Elijah House Prayer Counsel; presenting her with tools to pursue the stirrings of her heart and to invite others to train up and join in. When she's not occupied with so many things administrative, pastoral and musical, Debbie is pursuing some of her greatest joys; being the world's funnest grandmother, cooking meals, creating in her sewing room and hosting people in their home.