Meet our Canadian Staff

Jorge Sedaca, Executive Director

Executive Director of Chosen People Ministries (Canada) since the fall of 2010, Rev. Jorge Sedaca brings vast experience in the areas of congregational leadership and planting, missions, leadership development, as well as teaching and preaching ministries.

Jorge was born in Spain and raised in Argentina, Uruguay and the United States. He is the second generation of Messianic Jewish believers in his family. His father, the late Victor Sedaca, was a pioneer in the Messianic movement in the US and Latin America. His brother, David, has been a well-known leader in the international Messianic movement for several decades and currently works with Chosen People Ministries in the US.

Jorge grew up assisting his father in his ministry with the American Board of Missions to the Jews (now Chosen People Ministries).  Part of Jorge’s development as a Jewish follower of Yeshua took place through his participation in Beth Sar Shalom Youth Camps in Pennsylvania, the Bible studies and events held at ABMJ’s Missionary Training Center in Hollywood, CA, and the Youth activities in the Mission that his father led in Pittsburgh, PA.  He also used his musical talents to lead worship services and special events held at the Buenos Aires, Argentina branch of CPM.

Although his first call to ministry was in the area of music and worship, Jorge ultimately surrendered to God’s call to preach and teach His Word, as well as to be a congregational leader and a church planting missionary. In this capacity, he pastored congregations in Argentina, Louisiana, and Michigan. While doing missionary work in New Orleans, he planted the Beth Sar Shalom Messianic Congregation which he led for two years before moving to another missionary position.

As part of his mission work in Michigan, he and his wife, Marta, began reaching out to the Jewish community in the Flint area, holding Bible studies in their home. His passion to reach the lost sheep of Israel and educate the Gentile church to do the same has provided him with many opportunities to speak at conferences, seminars, and workshops in Latin America and the United States. In recent years, Jorge has led an average of 12 Passover presentations per year, most of them involving a full Passover Seder for groups of up to 300 participants.

Jorge has a Bachelor’s degree from the Buenos Aires Municipal Conservatory of Music (Argentina) and a Master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Texas). He is pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree in Missions and Leadership Development from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Missouri).

Jorge and Marta have been married for 34 years. They have three grown children: Alejandro, Julieta, and Daniel. Julieta is married to Nathan Adams; the Lord has blessed them with two precious girls, Isabel and Silvia, and with a beautiful boy, Blake, who is with the Lord.

  

Canadian Ministry Team 

Ben Volman, Toronto Director of Ministries

Ben Volman's role includes assisting in congregational planting, pastoring Kehillat Eyzt Chaim / Tree of Life Congregation and mentoring our missionaries. 

Ben grew up in a conservative Jewish home in Toronto. As a young student of philosophy and English at the University of Toronto, he began to consider the reality of God and the person of Jesus of Nazareth. After reading the Bible, his search for truth led him to a campus meeting to hear the well-known Jewish evangelist, Art Katz. At that meeting in 1976, Ben allowed Jesus to become his personal Lord and Saviour and his life was changed.

Ben became involved with the Messianic Jewish congregational movement and felt led to become better equipped for leadership. He entered Knox College (Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto) and earned his M. Div., including a period of graduate work in Chicago, both at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Spertus College of Judaica. Between 1982 and 1991 Ben worked for three missions, including five years as a Messianic congregational planter for Chosen People Ministries in Toronto.

Since then, Ben has been a senior fundraising administrator with some of Canada’s largest non-profit charities and a consultant to Christian ministries.  He has also been a national board member of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Canada and served on the administrative committee of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance.  He has been a contributing editor and Executive Director of The Messianic Times.  His testimony and articles on Israel and Messianic Judaism have appeared in international publications.  You can read it on his personal blog


Today, Ben has re-joined the staff of Chosen People Ministries as Toronto Director of Ministries, assisting in congregational planting in Toronto, pastoring Kehillat Eyzt Chaim / Tree of Life Congregation and mentoring our Toronto missionaries.  During the summer of 2010, Ben also took on the role of Interim Canadian Director.

Ben lives in Toronto with his wife, Sue, and their adult son, Jonathan.

  

Marcello Araujo, Hamilton Ministry

Marcello Araujo was born and raised in a Jewish family in the South American country of Ecuador.  As he grew up, this nice Jewish boy became a political activist who wanted to change the world through Marxism.  Marcello studied drama and eventually formed a politically-oriented theatre troupe designed to spread the “good news” of the gospel according to Marx.  However, in 1992, Marcello heard the true Good News and was transformed by his relationship with Jesus the Jewish Messiah. 

Marcello has said, “I wanted to change the world through Marxism, not knowing that God wanted me to be part of His world-changing plan, by sharing His love and the true Gospel, the Gospel of life, the Gospel of Yeshua.” 

Today, Marcello uses drama and other creative means to effectively communicate the Good News of Messiah to the lost sheep of Israel.  Following the Lord's leading, he has recently begun a regular Bible study in Hamilton, Ontario; this small fellowship is growing into a Messianic congregation.  Chosen People Ministries (Canada) is pleased to have Marcello and his wife, Diana, on our team in Ontario.  Together, they bring many years of ministry experience and a passion for Jewish evangelism.

 

Charles Hopkin, Toronto Ministry Team

Born and raised in Tanzania, the Land of Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park.  He attended a Roman Catholic boarding school and, later, an agricultural college where he specialized in irrigation.

In 1983 in Dar es Salaam, Charles attended a Bible study group and his life was never to be the same.  That day the leader taught from Jeremiah 17:1-5 and Psalm 1.  Charles could vividly picture himself as a bush in the desert and his life as vanity.  He didn’t know what to do except totally surrender himself to God.

In 1985 Charles and Joan were married.  Their life of miracles, seeing the hand of God work in a mighty way, was just beginning. They began learning in practical ways what it means to walk in faith and be obedient to His call. God led them to pioneer an English Service in their local congregation; it later gave birth to an Ethiopian fellowship and another ethnic congregation.

Working with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in England, Kenya, Uganda and Canada, they attended YWAM’s Discipleship Training School, Basic Leadership School and School of Community Counselling, as well as serving as house-staff, school staff and leading small teams in Kenya and Tanzania in practical ministry.

While in Tanzania, Charles served in a variety of ways, including ministering at a juvenile detention centre, an orphanage, in private and government-run schools, with several Christian organizations.   

Charles has also studied with Bible Study Fellowship International and has done some Messianic Yeshiva studies.

Despite the fact that he has a Jewish heritage, Charles grew up without knowing anything about it – although he was always rooting for Israel. The turning point in his life was during a visit to Jerusalem's Kotel (Western or Wailing Wall) during the Fall Feasts of 1998.  Charles felt Isaiah 11:11- 12 come to pass in his life as one of the dispersed of Israel and the scattered of Judah.  From that point, Charles and Joan began keeping the Biblical feasts of Leviticus 23 in their home in Tanzania.

Eventually God called Charles and Joan to come to Canada - the Land of Immigrants.  Here the Lord has taught them more about Himself, His ways and His plans.  Charles has been on staff with Chosen People Ministries (Canada) since 2008.  He and Joan live in Toronto. 

 

Anna Bortsova, Toronto Ministry Team

Anna Bortsova was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her father coached a Soviet Olympics team and her mother taught English as a Second Language.

After Anna married Vladimir Bortsov, they lived and worked in Kazakhstan, one of the southern former Soviet republics.

In 1991, both Vladimir and Anna accepted the Lord. Vladimir followed the call of God to go into full-time ministry, quitting his job as an airline pilot.  Anna continued working as a teacher and translator. They planted a church in Almaty, Kazakhstan; many people were reached for the Lord.

In 1998, Vladimir began to sense God’s call to go to Canada. They decided to test his leading to see if it was true. They went to Moscow and applied for independent immigration to Canada. Their immigration was approved on the same day, without an interview!

When they came to Canada in 1999, they first settled in Hamilton, but moved to Toronto a few years later as it became clearer that the Lord was calling them to minister in North York where the majority of Russian Jewish people live.

The population of Russian immigrants in the GTA is about 200.000; 65% of them are Jewish!  This group of immigrants has been overlooked for many years, so the need to reach out to them is great.

At this time, Anna ministers with Chosen People Ministries with a focus on discipleship and ministry to women and in the area of evangelism. 

 

Michael Wodlinger, Quebec Ministry

Michael Wodlinger is a Jewish believer who came to faith in Messiah Jesus later in life.  His retirement has become a whole new career in Jewish ministry as our Winnipeg Director of Ministries! 

Michael was raised in a Jewish home in Toronto.   His grandparents immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine in the late 1800s.  Michael came to faith in Messiah Jesus later in life.  Intrigued by the changes in his wife, Chantal, when she first came to faith, Michael’s curiosity and the gentle ministry of dear friends eventually brought him to the Lord.  A Chosen People Ministries staff member had the privilege of praying with him when Michael decided to trust in the Lord.

Michael Wodlinger has been a professional educator for over 40 years, as teacher, administrator, researcher, author, consultant and counsellor.  He has a Masters degree from the University of Toronto and a Doctorate from the University of Alberta.  He has also completed a Master of Theological Study in Spiritual Formation at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto.

Michael has been working with educators in industry, health services, education, and churches.  He has most recently been employed as Associate Professor of Education at Nipissing University.  An author of several books on adult education, reflective practice, effective mentoring and numerous other publications, Michael has focused his professional activities on critical thinking, decision making and mentoring skills. 

Michael began his latest phase of career and ministry by serving with Chosen People Ministries initially in Toronto and then Winnipeg.  As he draws closer to retirement, Michael and Chantal have moved to Quebec where they will continue to minister to local churches and share the Gospel wherever possible.

 


Canadian Administrative Team

Communications 

Director of Communications, Janice Beurling is a fifth-generation follower of Jesus the Messiah.  Following Bible College and Seminary, she worked in several areas of ministry in Southern Ontario.  Janice has also had a long and fruitful music ministry, singing on her own and with a variety of local ensembles. 

Janice is the niece of Canada's greatest World War II fighter pilot, George ("Buzz") Beurling, who died in the service of Israel in May, 1948.  Growing up in a family that is highly respected by the Jewish community and the example of her uncle's life and death commitment to God's chosen people helped to prepare Janice for the ministry to which the Lord called her. 

She joined the staff of Chosen People Ministries (Canada) in 1988 and ministers at Chosen People Ministries' Canadian Headquarters in Toronto as Director of Communications.

 

Administration

Marilou Wilson became our Office Manager in Toronto in 1995.  She was raised in a believing home in Dundas, ON.  Prior to joining us, most of her career was on the administrative staff of Ontario Bible College.  When you phone our Toronto office, you will usually have your call answered by her cheerful voice. 

 

  

  

 

 

Carole Webster is Office Assistant at the Winnipeg Messianic Centre.

 

Finance 

Merle Barboza is our Business Director.

 

 

 

 

 


Church Ministries

Luba E. is Senior Church Ministries Coordinator and Assistant to the National DirectorBorn in Moscow, she came to Canada as a teenager with her family.  Some years later, she came to faith in Jesus and soon became part of the Messianic congregation we had planted in Toronto.  Her energy and creativity are a blessing to our ministry.  Luba lives in Toronto with her two young adult children.

 

Cheryl Alvares is one of our Church Ministries Coordinators She lives in Markham with her husband, Jason, and their five children.

 

 

 



 
Kristen Joyce, another one of our Church Ministries Coordinators, lives in Oshawa with her husband, Geoff.









International Staff Members with a Canadian Connection 

Alan Shore, US Ministry Representative and Staff Writer

Raised in New York City, Alan Shore’s Jewish upbringing included membership in the Jamaica Jewish Center, a Conservative temple, on Long Island.  However, after his Bar Mitzvah, his religious interests turned to Eastern thought and other New Age subjects. 

In 1974, after several years of travel and spiritual restlessness, Alan experienced his own “Damascus Road” in the city of Paris where, after being robbed at a youth hostel, he was befriended by a young Christian who related the story of the Jewish Messiah.  Her witness, combined with a powerful awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit, produced a radical reorientation in the direction of Alan’s life. 

Since then, he has had a variety of ministry-oriented vocations, including pastor.  He has also been Adjunct Instructor in Biblical Studies at Trinity Western University (Langley BC) since 1992; he has taught Introduction to the Old and New Testaments, History of Israelite Religion, and the Book of Romans.  Alan holds a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA) and is an accredited Thomas F. Staley Distinguished Scholar.  He joined the staff of Chosen People Ministries in 1997.

Alan has performed A Chosen Vessel, a one-man drama on the life of Paul, several hundred times in churches and educational institutions across the United States and in Canada.  He is based in Bellingham, WA where he lives with his wife, Kirsten.  Alan is available to speak in churches throughout western Canada, helping Gentile believers catch a vision for Jewish evangelism.

 

 Carole Bahm, Florida Ministry Team

Carole Bahm came to know Jesus as her Saviour and Lord in 1975 through the bus ministry of a local Miami church.  Within a few years she entered full-time ministry as a child care worker at a Baptist children’s home with abused and neglected children and later attended Bible college. 

In 1985 Carole graduated from Toccoa Falls College (Georgia) with a degree in Missiology and received a missionary appointment to Belgium with United World Missions.  During her years in western Europe, Carole ministered in Belgium, France and Hungary.  

Although she had felt a deep desire to share the Gospel with Jewish people for many years, Carole believed that at the age of 56 she was too old to start a new ministry and change mission organizations.  However, the Lord thought otherwise!  Carole soon heard of Chosen People Ministriesand, after participating in our Summer Training and Evangelism Program (STEP), joined our missionary staff in August 1994.

Carole was initially appointed to the Toronto ministry of Chosen People Ministries (Canada) where she was involved in our work of evangelism and church planting.  She then spent most of 1998 in France, taking the first steps toward opening a Paris office for Chosen People Ministries.  When she returned later that year, she continued to minister in Toronto.  However, by 2005, the Lord had called her to our US staff in Southwest Florida, where a large number of Jewish people from Canada and the US have retired.  Carole continues to minister there, primarily to the elderly.

 

Daniel Nessim, UK Director

Daniel and Deborah Nessim are both Jewish believers in Yeshua who have dedicated their lives to introducing other Jews to their Messiah.

Daniel had an unusual upbringing in that both his parents are Jewish believers in Yeshua. Daniel was born in London, England and became a believer when he was just seven years old. A few years later, his family moved to Vancouver, BC where his father directed an outreach to the Jewish community. It was in Vancouver that Daniel studied first in a local Bible school and then for a Master’s degree at Regent College.

After his studies, Daniel married Deborah, who is also a Jewish believer.  Together they established a home in Seattle, Washington where they ministered to Jewish believers and unbelievers, joining Chosen People Ministries in 1998. Several years ago, they were called to direct the ministry in London where Chosen People Ministries, under its UK board, has been re-establishing the historic work of the ministry since 1999.

Daniel and Deborah both have a burden to reach the Jewish people of Great Britain with the news that Messiah has come! Daniel is an accomplished Bible teacher and regularly teaches in churches, making the Scriptures come alive in the light of their original Jewish context.

 

Rachel Goldstein Davis, Israel Ministry Team

Rachel Davis is a missionary kid from a Messianic Jewish family, raised in New York City and Toronto. Her family was focused on reaching their Jewish people and, from an early age, her parents helped instill the importance of telling the Jewish people about their Messiah. Rachel remembers going on visits, handing out pamphlets on the street and gathering around the dining room table for a meal with people that her parents were sharing the Gospel with or discipling. Their example helped guide Rachel to accept Jesus as her Saviour and gave her a desire to reach the Jewish people.

In the middle of her teenage years, a major family crisis struck and Rachel was left to trust in the Lord to be her Rock when everything else around her had fallen apart. She looks back and thinks that she had every right to put aside her faith and ministry calling but, on the contrary, she grew stronger in her walk with the Lord. At 18, she rededicated her life to the Lord and a few years later, entered Moody Bible Institute to study and graduated as a double major in Jewish Studies and Bible/Theology. She thoroughly enjoyed her education and became involved in raising an excitement on her campus for training and experience in Jewish evangelism and culture. Her vision for ministry is gathering people together to teach and train them in Jewish evangelism and culture, resulting in a deeper walk with the Lord and greater confidence in spreading the Gospel.

The Lord led Rachel to join the staff of Chosen People Ministries in March 2002 as Coordinator of Short-Term Missions, based in New York City. Several years later, she made aliyah to Israel and settled down in Jerusalem, working with Chosen People Ministries' Jerusalem Messianic Centre. In 2010, Rachel married Steve Davis, another Jewish believer living in Israel.  They now make Tel Aviv their home and Rachel continues her work there at Chosen People Ministries' Tel Aviv Messianic Centre.