Elissa Teichrib: Apprentice in Toronto
Elissa Teichrib is a young woman with a big heart – for engaging in God’s mission in the world, and helping young leaders to engage in that mission.
Having spent the past five years learning alongside and serving young leaders globally through Youth With A Mission (YWAM), Elissa has now felt the call to her home country (Canada) and to Toronto specifically, in order to grow vocationally.
Through an apprenticeship with New Ventures and Envision, Elissa has been invited to use this coming year as a space for discernment and learning. In Toronto, one of the most strategic multi-cultural cities in the world, she will have a unique opportunity to live on mission while clarifying her sense of calling to create new, multicultural communities of faith and equip young leaders.
Elissa celebrates her official start as a New Ventures/Envision Apprentice today, August 1, 2018.
We are excited to welcome Elissa! Get to know her and learn about how you can get involved in supporting her through this interview.
Introduce yourself in a few sentences.
I am originally from Manitoba. Over the years I’ve loved being involved with some camps, youth and college ministries. The last few years were spent serving in Denver with YWAM. After spending time as a student with YWAM I returned to Colorado as staff. For over four years I worked with young people, teaching and mentoring in Denver and through a number of international short- term outreaches.
About a year and a half ago, the Lord started stirring my heart for the needs within our own country. I read through lots of research and found the statistics very compelling: although 74% of Canadians would claim some sort of Christian affiliation, only 8% would claim an evangelical worldview. Plus, about only 4% of Canadians aged 18 and under hold a Biblical worldview. Due to immigration, Canada is home to people from 50 different unreached people groups and half of Toronto’s population specifically was born outside of Canada. The potential and need for the light of Christ is huge. That, combined with my love of working with youth and young people, has me really excited to pursue a year of learning-while-doing with the Alliance.
What do you consider to be your greatest areas of skill and gifting?
Walking with young people, and really just spending time with people of all backgrounds – I’ll usually get along with anybody. I love teaching and discipling.
What does the idea that God does new things mean to you?
Nearly three years ago, I returned from Indonesia and my family encountered a tragedy. Through this event I had to wrestle with God in the face of suffering. I saw God bring comfort in ways that I never expected. God has people all around the world that are dear to his heart and haven’t heard about him, and He uses our stories in the lives of other people to bring life.
What are you most excited about learning and doing in the course of your apprenticeship with the Alliance?
I’m excited to get on the ground and learn. In my experience, we can have expectations of what God will do, but God often has something better for us in store as we trust Him – and I’m excited to be a part of that with other people. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, whether it’s in our Alliance family, students, or newcomers to Canada.
What or who inspires you most in the world?
When I was 16, I read David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade. I was very inspired by the story of his journey to launch Teen Challenge. People like Amy Carmichael and Gladys Aylward are also very inspiring to me. They had the courage to be obedient – to act counterculturally and to take on things that were challenging. They did what was the right thing, they went to hard places, and God was faithful.
Do you have any secret talents?
I make amazing popcorn.
What is the most surprising thing about you, according to your social circles?
I can be task-oriented and lead in an extremely organized way... but my desk itself might not necessarily reflect that.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It’s a toss-up between ice cream - plain vanilla or cookie dough - or homemade pizza.
If someone were to visit your hometown with you, where would you take them?
Excited by what God is doing through Elissa?
Pray for her.
For ease with the final logistics of moving to Toronto.
For strength and increased ability to adapt as she prepares to serve in this new role.
For strategic ideas as she works with students from York University.
For clarity and provision as she continues to communicate her needs for support.
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