Tony & Laurie-Ann Copple (October 2017)
Iris Western Cape, South Africa
Tony & Laurie-Ann's Bio:
Tony and Laurie-Ann are from Ottawa. Tony is retired from financial services, and Laurie-Ann is a social media ministry coordinator. When Tony proposed to Laurie-Ann in 1998, she told him that he would marry into the mission field. The time wasn’t right for Tony to join her long-term, but his heart was being prepared for the time he would retire and be ready.
Laurie-Ann’s heart for Africa began in Kenya in 1993, where she worked with Somali refugees. She returned to Kenya several times before Tony joined her on his first short term mission in 2005; and in 2010, Sierra Leone. By this time, Laurie-Ann had been on nine short-term missions, and Tony two. Then came the Iris Harvest School 24 in Mozambique and outreach in South Africa. Both were deeply impacted by different Iris mentors, and were strongly drawn by the ministry of compassionately stopping for the one.
Laurie-Ann has a background in administration, fine art, Christian counselling/pastoral care, teaching, and radio broadcasting. Tony has had careers in the Royal Navy (engineering), computer sales, and as a financial advisor. Both are warm and compassionate in their work with people wherever they go. Both have been very involved in Ottawa with the Alpha Course, prison ministry, local radio work, and many interdenominational ministries.
Both Laurie-Ann and Tony had a series of dreams confirming their ministry in South Africa. However, it was when they reached out in the Robertson townships that their hearts were truly broken in compassion for the people. They knew that they were ‘home.’ They feel called to the township peoples, including the youth and ‘latchkey’ kids that exhibit an orphan spirit. They would be like grandparents to these children, loving them, parenting them, mentoring them like family.
South Africa is a rainbow nation of different peoples – with 17 official languages. This means while they may be more drawn to a certain demographic, their primary ministry is to stop for the one – of any group. They also plan to do art, radio, prison and hospital ministry in the area; as well as involvement and support of Iris Western Cape base in the form of Father’s House Discipleship Schools, administration and missions in other areas of Western Cape. They will also network with local ministries in the area.
The Copple's will be moving to Iris, Western Cape in October 2017.