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Shoaib was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, and is fluent in Persian / Dari, English, and Russian. He has a graduate degree in Law and once worked for the UNHCR.
As a refugee living in Pakistan, he read the Bible in order to learn English. Along with the language, Shoaib also learned the saving power of the Gospel and became a follower of Jesus Christ.
Shoaib loves the way media can reach people with the gospel message in places that restrict religious freedom. “Not only to scatter the seeds,” he says, “but also to disciple those who choose to follow Jesus.”
Shoaib enjoys cycling and playing chess to keep his body and mind in shape. Places he would love to see? The Great Wall of China and the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
Since coming to Square One in 1985, Nora has done all kinds of things. She has found that, whatever the needs, God works it out. She often says: “I love it when a plan comes together!” Nora believes God has called her to support those who preach the Word. “If I can take something off your plate so you can concentrate on what you do best… that’s what I’m here for.”
A favourite vacation memory was visiting Mooloolaba, Australia where she and her husband spent time with the locals. Trip highlights: visiting a koala bear sanctuary and Steve Irwin’s zoo.
Nora finds it easy to build relationships with co-workers, supporters and volunteers because, “we all belong to God’s family. For me, this ministry is about inviting people into that family.”
What she wants to do in heaven is find Beethoven and watch him play piano.
David first heard the gospel at camp when he was eleven. He knew then that he wanted to spend his life sharing the good news of Jesus. He built his first recording studio in his parent’s basement where he recorded and played with many bands. By 2004, David was freelancing at Square One’s Avante Records as a musician and sound engineer.
He and his wife spent a year in Ukraine where they built a recording studio and taught English with Shelter+, a community youth ministry associated with Square One.
David loves inviting people into a deeper relationship with Jesus. “I feel most alive when I’m holding the tools: looking through a camera, setting up a mic, editing and creating a story that engages with people.”
Fundraising and Partner Relations
Sherryl was a young girl when she gave her life to Jesus and began evangelizing the neighborhood. She has been a missionary ever since. Sherryl sees life as an adventure. She lives by the maxim of investing in relationships because they have the best rate of return.
She worked briefly as a landscaper. One customer said, “This is no job for a young woman. You sit, my wife will feed you, and I will complain to your boss.”
Sherryl’s work at Square One began in 2006 with a contract to plan The Glass Slipper Conference for the Beautiful Unique Girl ministry.
Sherryl was intimidated when she was offered her current position. Her sister said, “It’s time you were back to being scared and totally dependent on God.” Now she enjoys being the bridge between those who do the work at Square One and those who support it.
Spanish Ministry Director
Ernesto grew up in Honduras where a Swedish missionary helped him go to school and mentored him in ministry. He completed his theological training in Chicago, and then moved to Winnipeg. In 1994, Ernesto partnered with Square One to produce a radio program for Winnipeg’s Spanish community. Today it airs on thousands of stations worldwide.
Ernesto lives to preach. He uses radio and TV to effectively reach people for Christ. When people give their hearts to Jesus and find hope for their lives, he gives the glory to God and keeps on preaching.
Ernesto especially loves mentoring pastors. “They help me take the pulse of the people and give me tools to be effective.”
A great failure? “I don’t even remember any. Perhaps that is my greatest failing.”
Spanish Ministry Host
As the wife of a pastor, Marina has been ministering to Spanish speaking people for most of her adult life. She and Ernesto have been involved with Square One since 1994. Marina began hosting her own radio program, Encuentro Familiar, in 2016. Marina sees this ministry opportunity as a small seed that was lying under the soil for many years. And when the time was right, God caused the seed to grow so it could produce fruit.
She loves connecting with people. “You can give so much just by listening. And then, to hold hands as we come together before the Lord… this is a beautiful thing.”
A great childhood memory is her father coming home with a box of Delicious apples every Christmas.
The Bible character Marina is most like? Moses. “Because I am full of excuses about why I can’t do what God calls me to.” Her advice for a troubled marriage? “Go to the Lord and your pastor before you go to your lawyer!”
Administrator, Spanish Ministry
Nicole grew up in Switzerland and worked as a nurse in Paraguay before joining Square One in Winnipeg in 2003. She loves that her fluency in multiple languages is so valuable here.
Nicole believes that radio is effective. “People listen to it in taxis, in church, in jail, in remote villages in the Chaco. They may not have internet or TV but radio is everywhere, especially in Latin America.”
She loves seeing the comments that come in on social media from viewers and listeners who respond to the programs by asking Christ into their lives, restoring broken relationships or forgiving long held hurts.
Some great advice she remembers receiving: “When your child is small, talk with your child about God. When they are older, talk with God about your child.”
A great vacation memory was taking her husband and children to Switzerland to visit her family.
Assistant Producer, Spanish Ministry
David grew up living and breathing the ethos of the Spanish ministry at Square One: his parents are Ernesto and Marina Pinto, long-time Spanish ministry directors. David edits the live audio and video interviews Ernesto conducts. He agrees with a former audio engineer at Square One who said, “I feel like I’m the most preached at person on the planet.” As a producer, he combines the live interviews with music and with studio segments. “It’s like putting together a puzzle.”
A teacher by day, David enjoys letting the creativity of editing take his mind to a completely different place. While he works, the many testimonies strengthen his faith.
David began working at Square One in 2002 as a part time job during his University years. He continues his work as a production assistant because he believes in what God is doing through the programs.
Technical Producer, Spanish Ministry
Broadcast engineering is in Grant’s genetics. As a child, his family moved to wherever his father was setting up a new radio station. Grant had not planned to follow in his father’s footsteps. Until, one day, he heard a missionary speak about the impact radio can have in reaching people for God’s kingdom.
He believes a program needs 3 things to be effective: content, creativity, and technical expertise. He is a technical expert, but he loves it that his creative ideas are valued as well.
Grant loves that Square One does not force a North American perspective. “We partner with people from other parts of the world who have the vision and knowledge to communicate with their own people.”
If Grant were an animal, he would be a migratory bird; he has lived in South Africa, Swaziland, Bonaire, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Dominica and Canada. A favourite vacation memory is walking the El Camino De Santiago in Spain with his wife.
Donor Relations and Production
At age 17, and only hours old as a Christian, Eric saw the verse, “Here I am; send me.” He knew this was God’s call to a life of ministry.
He toured extensively in North America and Australia to minister as a professional Christian drummer. Though his international touring days are over, drumming locally is still a major call on his life.
Eric provides voices for many of the cartoon characters in Micah’s Super Vlog and for its offshoot audio podcast, Ned the Knight. He also connects and prays with Square One’s many donors.
Eric, a jack of all trades at Square One since 2005, aims to be flexible and stretchable. “I’m ‘Gumby’ for the sake of getting the gospel out.”
The first thing Eric wants to do when he gets to Heaven is go into Studio “See” and watch the video God made of how things came to be.
Producer and Animator
At the age of 6, Girish gave his life to Christ. At the age of 26, he decided to use his artistic skills for the Lord. His chance to draw full time for God came at Square One in 2012, illustrating Helen Funk’s Low German Children’s Bible Story Book.
In 2014, Square One invited Girish to develop an English cartoon for children. This was no small feat and the biggest project he had ever taken on. Girish sees God’s hand at work in turning this impossible project into a reality by providing the training and people at just the right times.
As a boy, Girish dreamed of working for Disney. Now, creating, animating and producing Micah’s Super Vlog, He is thrilled that he gets to bring God’s truth to children through animation.
Dumb things Girish has done? Boxing with his friends every year on Boxing Day.
Graphic Designer and Illustrator
As a young boy in England, Stu imagined being a garbage collector, “because they get afternoons off.” He soon realized he would rather work with art and dreamed of making cartoons.
Eventually, with a degree in graphic design and illustration, Stu attended an Animation Festival in Winnipeg. He prayed he would meet someone he could eventually collaborate with. Then he sat beside Girish, an illustrator from Square One. They became instant friends, talking about cartoons: watching them, making them, and working on one together “someday.”
When Girish was in the throes of developing Micah’s Super Vlog, he invited Stu to join the adventure. Stu is amazed at the way God led him to Square One where his faith and his passion come together.
A great family memory for Stu is when he and his wife went home to the UK and told his family in person that they were expecting a baby.
Beautiful Unique Girl (BUgirl) Coordinator
As a teen, Kaylyn attended one of the first ever BUgirl events. Learning to see herself through God’s eyes changed the way she felt about herself. In 2011, she prayed earnestly about what God wanted her to do with her life. The next day, she was invited to tour with BUgirl.
“Being on tour – you’re relying on God for everything - that you get where you’re going; that you share His words; and that you have the energy to do it all!” Most amazing for Kaylyn was seeing God come through every single day.
As a kid, Kaylyn wanted to be an entertainer. When she gets to heaven, she wants to sing with an angel choir. Right now, she loves the creative work of writing and producing songs and videos for girls.
Her favourite colour is blue because it looks like hope and happiness. Great advice she received: “It’s okay to be different because that’s how God made you. Trust that God will use you in amazing ways!”
Ingrid has always loved reading, watching or telling stories. She believes that stories are powerful in getting to the heart of things. After many years of freelancing as a writer and playwright, Ingrid joined Square One as a staff writer in 2016.
She believes that words have personalities. Some need to be dragged into the open more often. Some long to be used less predictably. And others are worth saying just for the sound and feel of them.
Ingrid sees evidence of God’s love for us all around. All we have to do is take the time to notice. Each wonderful or difficult thing that happens is an opportunity to learn something new and to ask, “How can I honor God in this situation?”
A motto for life: live the way you will wish tomorrow you had done today. A favourite vacation memory is taking a cooking class in Tuscany. Some things Ingrid can’t resist – water, sunshine and chocolate.
Matt grew up in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. His relationship with Jesus really began to grow in High School. As an adult, he experienced God working in his life and says, “There’s no denying that God is real!” Matt has always felt God calling him to mission.
More recently, he felt God leading him to Square One – this is his ministry. Matt loves that he gets to be creative in his job. It’s a lot of fun for him to use all of his skills in graphic design, web design, and marketing.
A favourite vacation memory was travelling to Newfoundland with his wife. It was his first time visiting the east coast of Canada and the beautiful landscape caused him to marvel at what a great God we have who created all of this!
A great accomplishment for Matt is training for and completing 4 half marathons. The first thing he does every day when he gets home? Change into sweatpants and get comfy.