Folks at First – Dell & Sue Bornowsky

An interview with Dell and Susan Bornowsky

Here is some of their story that they shared with Annabel Robinson…

You can read more of Dell and Susan’s story that was included in our October 2019 newsletter.

Did you grow up in Regina?
Sue: No. I grew up in Calgary. My father was involved in various committees at First Baptist Church, Calgary, and my mother worked part time in the office. That was at the time when Howard Bentall was Senior Minister. When I was in High School some school friends lured me into the occult, and for about five years I was involved in
that. But I didn’t have any real friends.
Dell: I was born near Lesser Slave Lake, in northern Alberta, on a subsistence farm. My father was a Roman Catholic and so I was brought up to learn the catechism. I was told I had to know it, but nobody ever told me why I had to know it. My mother was an agnostic and encouraged me to ask questions. I figured that the priests were paid to believe all that; that was their schtick.

So where did you meet?

Dell: I came to SAIT in Calgary to take a course in Radio and TV. This was the time of the “hippies” and the “Jesus people” and I felt comfortable among them. No one came and evangelized us. Young people became Christians just through talking to one another. I’m not sure how that happened.
I never did work in the field of broadcasting, my course at SAIT. There was an opportunity to do some construction work at Olds, so I went there and did a carpentry apprenticeship.
Sue: Meanwhile, a friend at FBC invited me to come to the Youth Group, during Harold Mitten’s pastorate. The youth leaders presented 5 evidences of the resurrection that night. It all made sense to me immediately and I committed my life to Christ that very night.
Then I got hit by a bus, broke my hip and spent some time in hospital, and couldn’t get involved in Youth Group activities. But the Youth Group was also involved in going out to rural Baptist churches. I got to know Dell at this time.
Dell: We knew each other for some years as good friends. We finally realized we were meant for each other. I took Sue out one evening to propose to her, not realizing that the path we were on ended up at the garbage dump. So I proposed to her at the dump.

Tell us something about what you did then.
Back in Olds we were involved in various different churches, not ever really fitting into any of them. Friends at Olds Baptist church encouraged me to attend a Bible school in Peace River. I suggested Sue join me. In the second semester she was able to attend the Bible school.
We got married in 1977 and built a house in Olds. Eli was born in 1980. At that time we were attending an independent Pentecostal church, which was involved in prison ministry. I enjoyed visiting in the prison, often taking Eli along. The inmates loved seeing a baby. We also had inmates stay with us in our home when they were on
parole. We also attended Catholic charismatic meetings and were involved in a number of different denominations.
Then First Baptist Calgary celebrated its centennial in 1988, and as a centennial project, renovated the building. I was invited back to head up that project. While we were there, I got involved in the Mustard Seed ministry, and started a Certificate in Ministry through Carey in its outreach program. I met Axel Schoeber (Kayely’s father) who was directing that.
There followed some hard financial years. Carpentry opportunities collapsed. I wasn’t able to complete the C. Min program — let alone move to Vancouver to do it on site.

What brought you to FBC?
We were attending an Anglican church in Regina when Sue received the city-wide invitation from John Nelson to sing in the seasonal choir at First Baptist. Their parents had known each other in Calgary. When she came to FBC she found it so warm and welcoming that she decided to make it her church home. Meanwhile I could see the writing on the wall for my job at the Anglican church and decided to hand in my resignation. For a few months I was free to join Sue at FBC and got involved in a number of its ministries. Particularly meaningful was the small group that met weekly in Annabel’s home to read the Old Testament. I could share my gifts and made some deep friendships. I also valued the invitation to teach a class for Learning For Life.
I needed a job, and although I was offered two different positions in Calgary, Sue and I both felt strongly that we should stay in Regina. Most recently I’ve accepted a part time position with the Anglican church in Lumsden. This enables us to stay here and worship once a month at FBC, as well as being involved in some of the mid-week events.

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