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The Good Samaritans of London - Feature Daniel Renzella-Pastor/Volunteer
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Psalm 37: 3-6: 3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
            Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
      4 Delight yourself in the LORD;
            And He will give you the desires of your heart.
      5 Commit your way to the LORD,
            Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
      6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
            And your judgment as the noonday.


These days when people think of the term “pastor” they generally get the picture of a person who is employed at a church, usually preaches on Sunday, and helps with counseling and visiting the sick. While this is technically correct, there are far more “pastors” out there who are not employed in Christian work but fulfill the Biblical definition of a pastor every day. One such Londoner is Daniel Renzella.

Dan grew up going to church but grew frustrated as no matter how often he went he never gained the closeness to God that common people in the bible stories he had read. He peaked at going to church seven days a week but only grew tired instead of closer to God.

At Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo he met his future wife Suzy in a math class. Her roommate, Fran, was a Christian, and Fran’s friends started praying them. One week Fran invited him to go to a Charismatic prayer meeting called Jacob’s Well there in Kitchener, and Dan found a way not to go. He was bothered all week about missing the meeting and made it a point to go the following Friday.

All of our conversion stories are unique, and often times what seems like the simplest things to the outside observer has the greatest impact. Dan had been wrestling for a long time about getting close to God and how God works and when the speaker that Friday said, “God works through you,” things just came together. Dan gave his life to the Lord the next week. That was 41 years ago.

Dan and his new wife went to bible college instead of attending their third year at Waterloo. While biking to church one Friday afternoon, praying about the couples next move, Dan ran into the associate pastor of his church and discussed his options with him. The pastor told Dan, “It sounds like the Lord is calling you to bible college.” The pastor made a call to the president of the bible college he had attended, the president met with Dan the following morning, and Dan was accepted immediately and started bible college two days after that. The Lord opened a door in a day that is process that normally takes several months.

After graduating bible college Dan and Suzy started a church in Belmont, just southeast of London. Dan threw himself into the church with gusto, working 50 hours a week in a job to provide for the family, doing marriage counseling Tuesdays, conducting a sports outreach on Friday nights for the youth of Belmont, renovating the church one night a week and all day Saturday, and teaching Sunday school and doing two services Sunday. In the end it was too much, and Dan stepped down from pastoring the church though staying in the church to support it’s health and growth.

The end of the vocational church work didn’t mean the end of pastoring. Dan has been speaking and ministering to residents at Dearness Home for the last 23 years, is a member of the Canadian Christian Business Federation organizing and leading the monthly breakfast meeting, he is a leading member of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association, and he is about to start leading bible studies at McGarrell Place Long Term Care Home . He does all of this while working full time in his business, SIMPLY by design.

Dan’s secret to staying strong in all his roles is in starting the day with the Lord. Starting at 5am he spends a couple hours every morning, praying and reading his bible. He reads two chapters in the Old Testament, and then one chapter each in the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. In this way, he can work his way through the entire bible each year. “I often find there is a common thread in each days’ reading running throughout the chapters,” says Dan.

Dan’s message to believers in London is quite encouraging: “God works through you, even when you don’t realize it. When you’re with Him, He works with you and through you.”

Thanks, Dan, for your dedication to the Lord and to His people. May others be inspired to pastor where they are as you do.

Psalm 5:3
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
I lay my requests before You
and wait in expectation.

Lamentations 3:22-23
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness