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Introducing Anson van Delden
G’day to you all! I’m Anson van Delden, that old guy in the family pic (I’m sure you already assumed that). Together with me is my wonderful wife Rachel, and my two boisterous children: Kaya (9) & Joash (7).
When I am required to introduce myself, I am always unsure what to say. I am Canadian: I was born in Burlington, Ontario (1982). I am Australian: I have spent most of my life in Perth, Western Australia (~28yrs). I was also a ‘resident alien’ (!?) of the USA: I lived in Lynden, Washington for 5 years. Perhaps I am best described as a bitza (slang for ‘bits of everything’).
This photo represents what is closest and dearest to me: my family. They were all born in the sunburnt country, the land Down-Under, the wide brown land of Australia. My wife is my closest friend and my pillar of support. Who and what I am (at least the good things) should be attributed to her! And my kids… well, they keep me young(ish)!
After looking at the picture, if you think I look old(er), you’re right. I had a vastly different ‘life’ in Perth before becoming a student. In this matter, I distinctly remember a conversation around a supper table with my family, and the question being discussed was, ‘What are you allergic too?’ When the focus turned to me, my daughter quickly interjected, ‘Dad is allergic to work!’ Truth is, I’m a bitza. I entered the workforce (into the cabinet-making trade) after graduating from high-school, and I remained in that industry for approx. 15 years. My career trajectory changed drastically in 2015 when I began my post-secondary studies as a ‘mature student’ in preparation for pastoral ministry. In 2018, our family relocated to Hamilton, Ontario to continue my studies, this time at CRTS. And now I, or better yet, we, are on the edge of another adjustment – from trade, to student, to pastor. Bitza.
The past four years at seminary been hugely formative for us. The highlights are, without doubt, the pastoral and mission internships. We experienced two amazing internships under and alongside fantastic family friends, Pastor Winston & Berber Bosch, up in Ottawa. We also experienced the same support and affection during our 3-month internship in our home church (Mercy Christian Church) with Pastor Ian & Nadia Wildeboer. Our most interesting (and perhaps most memorable) internship was in Scotland with 20Schemes. We are indebted to these families for the time, energy, love and guidance they have given to us. One other significant highpoint was my appointment (and privilege) to care and serve Mercy Church in the office as elder. I am grateful to my fellow office-bearers (and the Mercy congregation) for their patience in dealing with my shortcoming, and I thank God for the strength given me to accomplish this task.
As mentioned, we stand at another junction. The thought of leaving behind our dear friends and cherished church community is super tough. We love our church. We love our community. Hamilton is home. We want to express our deep gratitude to you all for your support, prayers, love and encouragement. But this season of life as student is almost done, and what God has planned for us in the future we have yet to discover. My intention is to be examined by Classis Central Ontario at the beginning of June in order to become eligible for call. So we walk forward, trusting fully in God good and gracious plans for us.