JV Canada Board
Mel Ellenwood serves as the Executive Vice President of Josiah Venture. Prior to joining JV, Mel served as youth pastor for churches in Peoria, IL and Three Lakes, WI for 10 years. Mel, along with his wife Amy and their three children, moved to the Czech Republic and became missionaries with Josiah Venture in 1998. Since then, Mel has worked in various roles throughout JV, developing a model youth ministry in Czech, leading the camp ministry, and shepherding national teams across the organization.
Jay Sandiford is the Lead Pastor at Willow Creek Baptist Church in Midhurst, Ontario, where he serves with his wife Mandy and his two children Hayden and Parker. Before moving to Midhurst in May 2012, Jay served as the Youth and Associate Pastor at Springvale Baptist Church in Stouffville, Ontario, for 13 years. He is a graduate of Lexington Baptist College (now Boyce College of Louisville, Kentucky) and Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Ontario. Jay was first introduced to Josiah Venture when taking a team from Springvale to Poland in 2009 to lead an English camp. It was here that he felt an instant connection with the vision, mission, and people of JV.
Gord Jackson is the part-time Mobilization Coordinator for Hope Story (formerly Kids Alive Canada), a ministry which serves vulnerable children around the world. After serving as a youth pastor for 8 years in Ontario, Gord and his wife Liz, along with their children, joined a very small Josiah Venture team, arriving in Poland in late 1995. There they engaged in local church ministry. Returning to Ontario in 2004, Gord continued to be involved with JV by connecting Polish national workers with their base of supporters and leading several short-term trips to Poland. He then worked as Associate Pastor at Cedar Creek Community Church for 9 years. Josiah Venture’s strong commitment to JV kids and their families is reflected in the fact that two of Gord and Liz’s children have served as JV summer interns, while the third is preparing to do so in 2018. As well, their daughter Elyse is currently raising support to join JV full-time in Poland.