Donna was raised in a non-Christian home. She recalls, “Although my parents did not attend church they insisted that we as children attend a church of our own choosing.”

While in elementary school and living in Ontario, Donna attended a mainstream church. It was at this point in Donna’s life that she realized there was a God.

Photo of Dave and DonnaWhen Donna was 10 years old, her father left the Air Force and the family moved to Calgary where she began attending a Fellowship Baptist Church. It was while attending a girls’ club at Killarny Baptist Church and then Christian summer camps that Donna became aware of her need to accept Christ as Lord of her life. Donna writes, “It was during a youth event at age 16 that I understood that God desired a relationship with me. At this point I gave my heart fully to the Lord and was baptized. I became involved in setting up a prayer time in my public high school. My youth leaders at the time encouraged me to think about attending a Bible College.”

After graduating from high school, Donna attended and graduated from Northwest Baptist Theological College. She then went on to study at University of British Columbia where she graduated as an RN.

Dave was raised in a loving Christian home in Campbell River, BC. Dave writes, “Part of my upbringing was our active participation in our local Fellowship Church. Duane Harder, my pastor, led me to the Lord at the conclusion of a crusader boy’s meeting. Shortly after that, I was baptized.

After high school graduation and a year at UBC, I enrolled at Northwest Baptist College to prepare for future ministry. The first day on campus I met Donna, and although both of us had determined not to form any romantic relationships that year, we found each other’s company incredibly attractive!”

Dave and Donna were married two years later and began to dream about the exciting things that God was preparing for them. They share, “We received good coaching as we served in various churches in our college years.” Harold Duckworth was their senior pastor in their first church in Kamloops, BC. While Dave served as Harold’s associate, Donna began nursing at the regional hospital.

It had been pastor Duckworth’s vision to see a second daughter church planted in Kamloops. A year after arriving, and under the umbrella of BC Fellowship Church Planting, the Marttunens began that new daughter work. With six adults and 17 children (from a bus ministry in the area), a church plant was begun in the basement of their first home. They stayed with Westsyde Baptist Church for the next 10 years and watched it grow. Their three children, Jonathan, Sarah and Ruth were all born in Kamloops.

In 1989 the Marttunens relocated to Parksville to lead the Fellowship Baptist Church there. It was in January 1990, five months after their arrival, that their son, at nine years of age, died tragically after being struck by a car. As Dave and Donna worked through this incredible loss and recognized the uncertainty of life and the parallel urgency of pursuing their dreams, the Lord opened a door to short-term missions for them. They write, “The Indus Christian Fellowship in Pakistan asked that we start a voluntary six-year term of pastoral care to their field. This request included a residency of three months and trips every two years thereafter. Our church supported us by giving us leave and continuing our salary. We traveled in November 1992, nine months after Desert Storm, to Pakistan. Our lives would never be the same. Our views on life, ministry, mission and culture were deeply shaped through this assignment. What began in part as the means of reconciling our grief and developed into an opportunity to pursue our dream of being involved in a short-term mission has now transitioned into a full-time placement with FEBinternational.”

Dave and Donna serve as Co-ordinators of Field Personnel Care. They have endeared themselves to our mission family in those parts of the world they have visited and have been instrumental in bringing hope and encouragement to each one they have touched.

Dave and Donna have a rich experience as church planters and many years in effective pastoral ministry. Their wealth of experience in local church work enables them to assess and assist our missionaries in their church planting activities around the world. As they travel to our fields providing on-site care for our personnel, they will also be well placed to offer assistance in matters relating to local church ministries.

The Marttunens from time to time will be asked to explore and open new fields for FEBInternational. Presently commissioned to South Africa, they will be living and ministering there for at least their first two years. From this location they will travel several times a year providing our missionaries with the above mentioned member care. This initial placement in South Africa allows FEBInternational to develop our vision for this part of the world as well as establish partnerships with quality nationals. Wherever their placement in the years to come, Dave will be exercising his preaching and teaching gifts with special focus on national leadership development in various contexts cross culturally.