New Life News


I recently sat down with Justin Dudney, our new Life Group pastor here are New Life. I had some questions to ask him about his journey and passion for Life Groups. Many of his answers surprised me and were filled with great depth. I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I did conducting it.

So give us a brief overview of your life.

Well, I was born in Pennsylvania, USA. However, when I was only 5 years old, my parents answered the call to the mission field and moved to Costa Rica. So from age 5 to 18 I lived in San Jose, Costa Rica as a MK (missionary kid). I basically grew up there. After graduating, I moved back to the US where I studied for a couple of years in both Kansas and Nebraska doing pre-recs for med school. I originally wanted to be a doctor, but while in university, for a short while I started going down dark pathways, and made some bad choices. Thankfully, during this time God intervened and this was a huge turning point in my life. I then headed back to Costa Rica at age 21. I turned back to my relationship with God and over the next few months decided to make a radical change. After signing up for YWAM, I headed for Australia.

How many years did you spend at YWAM, and at which bases?

I did my DTS at Brisbane, Australia in 2002 and then shortly thereafter joined the staff there. It was there that I met my wife, Nicole, and we were married in 2006. After that, we served at the same base for two more years. Then, In 2008, we moved to India to pioneer a base there with a small group of people. We came back to Canada in 2010 to have our first baby, Levi, with full intentions of returning to India. However, when we tried to go back all of our pathways were blocked, our visa’s didn’t work out, and we found out that a family member was sick so we stayed here in Canada.

You started out as an intern here at New Life, correct? Where have you served and in what capacity?

I started out as unintentional intern in 2011 in the areas of Young Adults and Missions. For the first three years I spent here, I did my LDN (a CRC pastoral studies course) and I have been here ever since.

Why do you do what you do? Help us understand the heart behind what motivates you.

Ever since I have been an adult Christian, my passion has been to get to know the Father better, and then to help others do the same. In short, my personal motivation is to have a deeper relationship with Christ, and my external motivation is to introduce and disciple others into that same journey.

What is the greatest joy in the work that you do?

Seeing others take significant steps to further their relationship with God

What is the greatest joy in your personal life?

Without question, my family. I love spending time with them, falling deeper in love with wife, and raising our four amazing children.

What are your greatest struggles, things that make you sad when you see them?

It makes me sad when I see people make choices that I know are going to cost them dearly in the future; decisions that I know will produce bad fruit rather than good fruit.

From your personal experience, if you could suggest one thing to another person when it comes to the pursuit of God, what would it be?

Above all else, remain in the vine. Your relationship with the Trinity (Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is everything. It is where you will find direction, strength for your tasks, joy, and motivation to help others. Outside of that space, you will have little to offer.

What are your hobbies?

I love playing sports, especially soccer. It is no secret that I am an avid soccer fan. I used to do a lot of surfing, I enjoy fitness, have a fascination with carpentry, and dabble in cooking.

Your job description at New Life is changing this fall. Rather than leading our Young Adults and Mission’s departments, you will now be heading up Young Adults/Life groups. How did this change come about?

We have spent a lot of time in the past couple of years developing a Future Ministry Plan here at New Life. Along with this plan, came a lot of discussion about our priorities and which areas of ministry we, as staff, would like to champion. One of the areas on the potential list of ministries that needed leadership was Life Groups. I began a conversation about this area, and out of that came the shift.

What is your heart for Life Groups?

I have always deeply valued the idea of life groups. It was an intricate part of my time at YWAM, but even before that, it was a constant in my faith formation and my years growing up as a missionary kid. I believe that in order to be a part of a church body, Sunday service is not enough. It is essential that we get into a small fellowship where we are vulnerable, accountable, and can intentionally seek growth in our faith life together with others. It is necessary for church growth as well as our relationship with God. In the church of Acts, they gathered together, fellowshipped together, and prayed together. However, even when numbers grew, they still met together in small groups. In YWAM India, there were eight of us that met together every day before going out, Then, every night we would come back together to pray and share what had happened. I would like to see that same passion for Life Groups released right here in our church – New Life.


Hello everyone, after a lot of contemplation (as in – deep thought, mostly from Pastor Koen), research (as in – the city park board isn’t really cooperating), and weather speculation (as in – the weather man insists it is gonna’ rain again!), we have decided to re-think our Sunday picnic. The new vision all started with Taylor – it’s no secret folks, she loves her ice cream! Then Cyndi got involved – she is ultra-passionate about toppings! After that, Pastor Nathan chimed in – he loves the idea of hanging out and serving people. Once the rest of the staff factored in, it was all settled. What was supposed to be a re-scheduled church picnic, will now be an ICE CREAM SOCIAL, this Sundae (that is not a typo), September 16, after the service. Please be prepared to stay around, hang out, have fun, and get sticky sweet because our pastors and Life Group elders will be serving up the best sundaes ever! Cheers all – see you there!


It’s coming! June 6th 7:30 PM. Our AGM, Future Ministry Plan update, and more!! Save the date.


To our New Life Family,

For the past two Sunday’s, May 6th and 13th, we brought a need before our church community. In specific, we asked you to give to our Summer Outreach program.

In the past, this program has been funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program, a grant given by our Federal Government to help hire students for the summer months. We would apply to this program each year and usually be awarded enough funding to hire two interns. These interns, would then, become a critical part of our Summer Outreach program, helping to staff and facilitate all of the various activities.

This past year the Federal Government made some major changes in the application and approval process for this program. In short, we were required to attest to some things in the application form that presented a major moral dilemma for us. These things included us agreeing to support abortions, among other things. Because we could not attest to these issues, our application was denied, leaving us (and approximately 1500 other organizations across our country) without funding to hire our interns.

We made our initial appeal for support to our New Life family on May 6th. Then after one week, we closed out our appeal with one final reminder. Our goal was to raise $8000.

We are happy to report that your response far exceeded our expectations, putting us well above our goal. In the end, you gave a total of $14,150 towards our Summer Outreach Program. In addition, we applied for, and were awarded an extra $2000 from another program unrelated to the Federal Government grant, giving us a total of $16,150 to work with this summer.

We thank you for responding so beautifully to this need. Your response has not only given us the necessary funding to reach out to our community kids this summer, it has also given us the flexibility to do certain things that would have been restricted in the Federal Government program that we worked with in the past. We are now in process of firming up our plans and putting out job postings for our summer intern positions.

We ask that you would pray for our Summer Outreach. We are stepping out of our comfort zone, and reaching into places that we have not gone in years. Together, we believe that our Summer Outreach will bring much fruit into the Kingdom.

For Christ and His Church,

Mike VanderKwaak

Executive Pastor, New Life Church


Dear Congregation

There is a notable staffing change at New Life Church that we would like to share with you. Effective in September, 2018 Pastor Koen Beugelink will be shifting his duties at New Life Church to fifty percent (50%). This will allow him at that time to begin a half time role at Abbotsford Christian Secondary School as Director of Faith Formation.

After 15 years of full time faithful service, Pastor Koen’s transition will be a significant adjustment for both he and us. We are grateful; however, that Pastor Koen will remain in leadership as a pastor at New Life Church, involved specifically in Switchlife (Youth) ministries. In the following months we will be deciding how to staff other areas of ministry in which Koen has been involved.

Pastor Koen and his family remain passionate about the New Life community and will continue to be vital members of New Life Church. We are grateful for Koen’s tremendous ministry, and his desire to remain part of the New Life staff team. Together, we are confident that this change will be an exciting opportunity for Pastor Koen, a challenging new direction for New Life, and a fruitful development for the larger Christian community.

Serving Christ together,

Pastor Nathan


Hello New Life – here it is!! Our second annual Chilli cook-off. This is part of our yearly ‘volunteer appreciation” celebration. If you would like to enter the chilli contest, please go to the attached link, fill out the NLV form, and begin perfecting your recipe. It’s going to be fun folks … save the date!!


To Our New Life Family

For the past many years, New Life has had the privilege of reaching out to our community each summer with a VBS kids program. You might recognize these outreaches by familiar names such as, “Mega Sports Camp,” or “Athletes In Action Summer Camp.” Over the years, the lives of hundreds of kids have been touched by these programs. We look forward to running these outreaches each summer, we believe strongly in them, and they are the focus of much of our creative energy throughout the year.

One key factor in making this life changing week available to our community has been the Canada Summer Jobs program. This is a program run by our Canadian Federal Government that gives grants to organizations wishing to hire students over the summer months. These students typically work for New Life starting in June, and then continue their employment through the rest of the summer. For New Life, the hiring of summer interns has become a critical and timely component to our summer outreaches.

As many of you might be aware, this past year, our Federal Government made some drastic changes to the approval process for the Canada Summer Jobs program. In short, they denied all applications that didn’t attest to supporting abortions – amongst several other important moral issues. New Life has made application this year but we have been denied approval for any summer student funding. We are not alone in being denied in this process. Over 1500 churches and religious organizations nationwide are in the same situation this year because of these changes.

This summer, we have an amazing plan for an outreach within our city and in city parks. All of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together, we are excited, and we are already on our knees praying. However, we have been left without critical funding due to the circumstances explained above. Without our summer interns, it will be very difficult to move ahead with our plan. The Canada Summer Jobs program usually funds us to the amount of $10,000 which is enough for two summer students. The good news is, we have applied for an alternate grant and have been approved for $2000. This leaves us short approximately $8,000.

We are putting this need in front the New Life family, knowing that God accomplishes His purposes through His people. This Sunday, May 6, we are asking you to prayerfully consider giving an extra, one-time gift above your regular giving towards our summer outreach. We are fully convinced that as a church, we are called to reach out to our city parks and streets in this way. We thank you in advance for your generosity.

For Christ and His Church,

Mike VanderKwaak

Executive Pastor, New Life Church

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