Marketplace & Development Enterprises is grateful for its Board of Directors, men, and women who because of their heart, experience, and vision are qualified to help guide our organization. Warren Janzen was instrumental in the founding of MDE.
Before the idea of a gap year was cool, Warren Janzen took one after his sophomore year at Columbia Bible College to teach English as a second language in Japan. His dad’s travel to Japan to purchase construction equipment had piqued Warren’s interest in the country. Having grown up going to church and believing the gospel at an evangelistic rally at age 8, Warren loved the idea of missions.
But when he came home from Japan, he knew one thing:
“I never wanted to teach ‘this is a pen’ again.”
Warren was done teaching English. So, he enrolled at the University of Manitoba to finish his undergraduate degree and work toward a medical program. He had no intentions of returning to Japan. But his group of non-Christian classmates had a unique fascination—obsession, even—with Japan.
“It kept me talking about Japan,” Warren said. “God used them and the next six months to turn my heart back to Japan.”
Convinced that he was headed back to Japan but not in medicine, Warren enrolled in a Bible and missions degree at Providence College, where he met Dorothy. She had just returned from a two-year term as an RN in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal.
Warren and Dorothy married and moved to Japan to be church planters with SEND International. They learned the language and the culture and spent 16 years in Japan, where they raised three sons.
Japanese culture is influenced by Buddhism, which means many people are deeply religious in practice but not in belief. Christianity is considered a foreigner’s religion, and Warren and Dorothy swam upstream.
After serving two terms in Japan, Warren attended Trinity Western Seminary and earned a master’s degree in Christian Leadership. Having already been on the field, he knew exactly what questions to find real-time answers to and how to incorporate them into ministry.
The Janzens worked in two church plants and one established church in Japan, and they eventually became the country leaders for SEND. In 2004, the Janzens returned to North America for Warren to become SEND’s International Director. In that role, Warren sets the direction for the organization, determines yearly themes, oversees mission alignment, and supports the global network of field missionaries. Dorothy started the SEND women’s ministry team and is now working on the COVID-19 Response team for SEND.
The Birth of MDE
In 2010, Warren invited several SEND members and supporters—including MDE’s own Mark Canada—to a Summit that focused on Business as Mission (BAM). At the time, the Canadas were SEND International missionaries in Ukraine. The summit highlighted the work being done by a handful of SEND members, and the need to develop support structures that would better facilitate these BAM missionaries and more to come.
SEND’s vision of BAM didn’t change its message of missions. It broadened their methods for missions, encouraging the integration of a Christian’s everyday life and ministry.
“Jesus as Lord has to radiate to every aspect of our living and our being,” Warren said. “The Gospel affects every part of our lives. Every activity we do is aimed at pointing people to an encounter with Jesus.”
In 2013, Mark was asked to direct the development of BAM for SEND International. In 2015, Marketplace and Development Enterprises of SEND International was established as a separate 501(c)3 with a goal to expedite development and allow MDE to serve those both inside and outside of SEND.
Warren was a part of the MDE launch, and remains an integral member of the Board of Directors. Warren is passionate about missions to unreached communities, and he understands the needs of missions workers globally. In bringing his missiological experience to the MDE Board, he joins a team of business development experts, ministry veterans, and professionals from around the world.
Warren and Dorothy live in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada and have been married for over 35 years. They have three adult sons and two grandkids. Someday, he’ll tell them about his gap year, and he might even teach them what a pen is — in Japanese.
Article by Emily Gehman