“Certified Fishing Guide and Registered Chaplain.”
That’s the text featured on Andrew Turkstra’s business card. Turkstra is the owner of Reel Time Fishing Charters in Nanaimo, B.C., as well as an ordained pastor who recently began Breakthrough Ministries.
Breakthrough is a bi-vocational evangelistic and discipleship ministry currently funded by Christian Reformed Home Missions.
As part of his ministry, Turkstra personally knocks on the doors of local businesses throughout the city of Nanaimo. The idea is to establish relationships and share the gospel through deed, but also through word when the opportunity presents itself.
On the first visit, he simply introduces himself and finds out as much as he can about the business owners, managers, and employees.
On subsequent visits, he works to deepen relationships. His ultimate goal is to launch gospel communities within these places of work.
In less than a year, Turkstra has visited nearly 400 different businesses with an overwhelmingly positive response. About half have been open to the idea of a visiting chaplain—someone with whom to discuss personal and vocational concerns as well as explore spiritual issues or questions.
“For most of these people, going to church is not an option. But they have questions about God and no one to talk to about them. They are blown away when I show up at their door,” said Turkstra.
A few months ago Turkstra was en route to one of his visits when he drove past an outdoor recreation shop. He felt a tug on his heart to go in, even though the shop was not on his list for the day.
“I had been there before but had never had spiritual conversations with anyone yet. But that all changed this time. I spoke with an employee who could not believe that I came on that day; he needed someone to talk to about his marriage and finances.
“We continued to chat for over an hour about these issues. We prayed together, and it was such a blessing.”
In addition to bringing change to his community, Breakthrough Ministries has also changed Turkstra personally. “God keeps reminding me that this whole thing is about people. I see people differently now. What is changing in me is a greater love for all God’s people.”