Encounters with God: Craig and Mora Bundy

March 18, 2024 | 15 minute read
The Alliance Canada


Our Early Years


My parents came from farming backgrounds in Nova Scotia. Their parents followed Jesus, and one of my grandmothers led the missionary society at her Presbyterian church. When they got married, Dad worked for an extension program out of a university, and Mom was a nurse. Dad had accepted Christ as his Saviour as a teenager. Evangelistic meetings in their local church led Mom to make the same decision four years after they were married. By then, they had two children. I am the third child out of seven, meaning they were both committed to Christ when I was born. 

Shortly after my birth, Dad changed jobs and began work at an insurance company, moving us to Moncton, New Brunswick. A neighbour of ours was leading Youth for Christ in the area. These neighbours, along with our local church, stimulated our family’s spiritual growth.

After one particular Sunday evening service at our Baptist church, I came home, went to my bedroom, confessed my sin, and accepted Christ as my Saviour. I was seven years old. Shortly after that, we moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, again due to Dad’s job. Friends of ours were attending the Alliance church and offered to give all nine of us a ride since we did not have a car yet. They made a couple of trips to accommodate all of us! 

At this point, my spiritual life really began to grow. One occasion had a significant impact on me as a child; our pastor challenged the congregation to give a Thanksgiving offering. The challenge was to give a month’s salary and see how the Lord would provide. Malachi 3:10 says, “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, “’and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” 

It was an exhilarating Sunday evening service on the first of October. The treasurer was on the platform with an adding machine entering in all the pledges that came in. It was a time of celebration. But the real celebration came four weeks later when it was testimony time. One after another, someone would stand up and say how God had supplied ALL their needs that month. I was in awe! Dad was one of them; remember, there were nine mouths to feed in our house! I was overwhelmed with God’s goodness, His provision, His faithfulness, and His love. He was totally worthy of my trust! 

When I got to high school, my relationship with Christ really deepened. Living in Regina, Saskatchewan, where the Canadian Bible College (CBC) was, meant their students were very involved in our church. They were my leaders in Sunday school and youth group. The youth conference was a highlight each year at the Bible college. These students were wonderful role models for me and had a significant influence on my life. They challenged me in my Christian walk, encouraging me to become a leader with Christian character. 

Youth for Christ in Regina had an active quizzing program, which involved memorizing entire books of the Bible. I remember having my Bible open on the kitchen counter, memorizing portions of Scripture. It got God’s Word into my heart. 

A highlight of the church calendar as I was growing up was the weeklong missionary convention. I loved listening to their “God stories” and seeing their pictures; I could not imagine a more exciting, fulfilling life. 

When I was in high school, Mom was diagnosed with bowel cancer. This period was a considerable faith journey for our entire family. She felt God was going to heal her. She shared her testimony with the doctor but also told him she agreed to have surgery. Miraculously the surgery removed all the cancer, though she did have a colostomy for the rest of her life (almost fifty years). Mom’s faith and trust in God spoke volumes to me. 

As a teen, during a youth conference, I told the Lord I would do anything and go anywhere He led me. I wanted to follow Him wholeheartedly. I felt my natural next step was to attend Canadian Bible College, and I loved it! 

During my third year at CBC, I was on the missions committee, leading the “prayer bands” for different areas of the world. The committee conducted Friday’s mission meetings, where attendance was compulsory for students, faculty, and staff. Missionary Victor Oliver was our faculty advisor, and he had a considerable impact on many of our lives. He was full of energy and totally committed to reaching the nations for Christ. Craig was the president of the missions committee, so we worked closely together. He was a leader, committed to God, and a lot of fun. Our relationship began to blossom. 

Following graduation from CBC in 1969, I went on a two-month summer mission trip to Colombia, South America. This was my first experience in another culture and language setting. I was out of my comfort zone. I had to depend on God and not on my own abilities, another huge step in my commitment to God. 

Upon returning, I began nurses’ training in Regina. I was president of the class for those two years and was chosen as valedictorian for graduation. As I look back, I feel God was guiding me into leadership roles, but I am now more of a “collaborative” leader. I lead better from “behind” as a support person, an encourager. 

Craig graduated from CBC in 1970, and we got engaged the same weekend. He returned to the Seattle area to work, so we were separated for our entire engagement, briefly seeing each other twice over the year. Phone calls were expensive, so we learned to write letters! The week following my graduation from nurses training, we were married. 


I have no idea where, how, or when the thread of God’s grace first became visible in the fabric of my family, but those who knew us best would agree that it was freely given and most definitely unmerited. 

My father was seventeen, and my mother nineteen when they married early in 1945, just months before World War II came to an end. My only sibling, Dianne, was born late the same year, and I came along in 1947. 

My mother came from a Methodist and farming background in western Kansas and went to Burns, Oregon looking for work. There she met my father, who grew up on a ranch in southeast Oregon. His parents had moved to Burns so he could go to high school. They met, got married, and Burns is where I spent the first eleven years of my life. 

My father was an ‘all-in’ kind of man. His philosophy was if it was worth doing, it was worth doing it in-depth and wholeheartedly. When he connected with Christ at the small Nazarene church in town, it radically changed our family schedules and atmosphere. I was about three or four when it happened. Suddenly we were up early every morning for family devotions and at church whenever the doors opened. 

Our small church had testimony opportunities every Sunday evening service. Even when I was about six years old, I remember wondering whether those testimonies were really indications of God at work or mere coincidence. A critical incident in my life soon brought things into sharp focus. 

My dad had a prized red-handled pocketknife, which he always kept razor-sharp for carving. It was strictly ‘hands-off’ for me. One day I borrowed it while he was at work and somehow lost it. Knowing that I would be in serious trouble from my dad, a strict disciplinarian, I decided it would be a perfect time to test the power of prayer. I would diligently search until I heard the mill whistle blow at the end of the shift, which would be at least ten minutes before my dad arrived home. Then, if not found, I would do some serious praying for Divine intervention. 

When the whistle blew, I was traumatized by my lack of success in finding the knife. I sat down on the small patch of grass in our yard and fervently prayed that God would help me. When I opened my eyes and looked down, I spotted that red-handled knife in the grass right at my feet! I had not yet committed my life to Christ, but I knew then and there several vital things about this God of grace. He heard my desperate prayer, He cared, and He was powerful. I was deeply impressed! I gave my life to Christ a couple of years later due to the influence of the Sunday school teacher assigned to our rowdy boys’ class. 

On my eighth birthday, I was given the book Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor, and it captured my imagination and heart. I read it many times and later to our children. Years later, I read the original, The Pilgrim’s Progress, written by John Bunyan some 350 years ago, and still marvel at his pastoral insights into human character. 

The summer I turned eleven, our family passed through Seattle on a summer road trip. One of my great-uncles worked for the Boeing Aircraft Company and suggested my dad apply for a job. He was hired on the spot, and we quickly returned to Burns to sell the house and move. No one was interested in buying. God provided in an unusual way when the owners of the house my parents wanted to buy near Seattle offered to take the Burns house, sight unseen, as a down payment. This extraordinary provision was a great faith-boost to our family! 

I graduated from high school in 1965, when the war in Vietnam was ramping up. All male students in my class had to register for the military draft (conscription). Since I liked the water, I naively decided to join the navy rather than the army. I went to the recruiting station, passed the physical and other exams, but because I had a good job, they suggested I wait until my draft notice arrived before entering. I had heard if one stayed in the military for twenty years, he could get out with a pension, so I decided to make the navy my career. 

Our family had migrated to a small Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) church by this time. The volunteer youth sponsor called me one day and suggested that I consider applying for a one-year student deferment from the draft and take a year of Bible college somewhere. He thought it would be helpful before entering the military. I said I would pray about it but did not expect a favourable response from the draft board. I decided a good test of God’s leading would be to tell them I wanted to go to a Bible school in Canada. Some who tried to avoid the draft were crossing into Canada to hide from the military. I was sure my application would be rejected. 

A few weeks later a letter arrived which genuinely shocked me. My current draft card rated me as ‘1A’ (Healthy—Approved for military service). I had applied for a one-year student deferment card, which would be a ‘2S’ rating. What arrived in the letter was a new draft card rating me as ‘4D’. The military draft board had decided I was already an ordained minister and so ineligible for the draft! I was not even interested in vocational ministry. 

When I told the youth sponsor the draft board had ruined my career plans, he asked, “Did you pray about it?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Well, go to Bible school for a year, and if you still want to join the navy, you can apply for a change back to ‘1A’ status, and I’m sure they will be glad to accommodate you.” In the Fall of 1966, I began studies at Canadian Bible College (CBC) in Regina, Saskatchewan. 

At the end of that first year at CBC, I received a note from the Seattle draft board telling me to go for a second year. The same happened a year later, telling me to go for the third year. During my third year at CBC, my priorities and life goals changed while serving as president of the student missions committee. I applied to be an ‘approved candidate’ for missionary service with the C&MA and was accepted. Following my decision, I never again heard from the draft board, who had classified me as an ordained minister five months before I ever set foot in a Bible school. 

Mora Matheson was on the third-year student missions team and responsible for the student prayer groups. Victor Oliver and the student team worked very hard planning missionary services every Friday evening for faculty, staff, and students. I was very impressed with Mora, who had also been accepted as an ‘accredited missionary candidate’ with the C&MA. Our first date was to a hockey game at Briercrest. I have no idea who won the game, but I already knew she was the woman I wanted to marry. It took her longer to come to the same conclusion, but it was a decision I always thank God for! We were married Labour Day weekend in 1971, a week after her nursing school graduation. 

Our joint faith journey began immediately after our wedding, but the joy of facing it together made it much more fun. King Solomon was right when he said an excellent wife is far more precious than jewels! The goodness of God combines perfectly with his sovereignty and power. 

A year of grad-level mission studies was required before deployment, and preferably a master’s degree. So, a week after our wedding, we headed to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. During our three-day honeymoon, we made a decision that continues to affect our lives fifty years later. 

We were confident that God was directing in the move, but we had only enough savings for about one month of living expenses. God would need to provide in very unusual ways for us to survive the cost of driving down, renting an apartment, paying for tuition, books, food, and utilities. Mora needed to get a working visa in addition to rewriting her nursing exams in the States. Who knew if she could get a job? 

We reviewed Malachi 3:8-11 together and decided we would accept God’s challenge to “test me in this” and begin married life by giving a double tithe of anything God provided. We were determined not to go into debt. If we started to go into the ‘red,’ I would quit school, find a job, and conclude we had misread God’s leading. The whole enterprise seemed so risky we would need unusual provisions to even get started. We also decided that if things got worse economically, we would increase our giving to make sure we were listening carefully. 

Within twenty-four hours of our honeymoon, God began a series of such unusual, surprising provisions we were left stunned. We started to take notes! Not only did God provide in unexpected ways, but He also eliminated expenses, and He never stopped. 

Within the first year of grad studies, we decided we needed to increase our giving because of God’s generosity rather than worsening financial condition. We have had to do that several times, and God has never ceased to amaze us all these years. Our faith’s growth resulting from one critical decision enabled us to take many other seemingly risky choices, but once we knew God was leading, we also knew that He would enable and provide. It alleviated many concerns. 

One year of studies expanded to three while I completed my M.A. in Missions along with a Master of Divinity degree. I became the youth pastor at Edgewater Baptist Church in Chicago. The senior pastor was Erwin Lutzer, ordained by the C&MA in Regina. This irregular arrangement was approved by the C&MA district superintendent, so I ended up being ordained by the C&MA in a Swedish Baptist Church. My job evolved to being an assistant pastor and then interim pastor before we went overseas in mid-1977. 

Mora got a nursing job almost immediately, providing us with some income; she took some classes on her own, typed numerous papers for me, and helped in ministry with student wives as well as at church. Our first child, Timothy, was born in 1976, a year and a half before we deployed to Costa Rica for a year of Spanish language study and then on to Buenos Aires, Argentina. 


Our initial assignment in Buenos Aires was to assist with a new church plant in a high-rise apartment complex in Villa Lugano. Six months into that assignment, our second son, Peter, was born in 1979; one week later, Mora nearly died from a massive hemorrhage at home. She had no blood pressure when we finally got her to the hospital. They had to do surgery to locate a vein to give her blood. Our missionary careers came within minutes of ending right then, but God intervened and delivered her from death. Once the bleeding was stopped and she received several transfusions, she regained strength quickly but sustained some organ damage due to blood starvation. 

I was teaching classes at the Buenos Aires Bible Institute when the missionary who served as academic dean and field director left for home assignment. I was asked to step into those roles for the remainder of our first term and quickly discovered overseas learning curves can be sudden and steep. One often gets to experience tasks that would never be considered back home. 

Argentina was in turmoil during our first term. The right-wing military dictatorship waged a ‘dirty war’ on any suspected left-leaning subversion, and an estimated 30,000 people were murdered. The economy was in ruins, with inflation spiking as high as 5,000 percent. To get peoples’ minds off the internal problems, the military invaded the British-held Falkland Islands, which Argentina claimed as their own (Malvinas). This brief but bloody war with England created further tragedy and ended several days after we left for our first home assignment in 1982. The people were hungry for change, any change. 

Mora was expecting when we left for home assignment. Her Argentine doctor was ecstatic because he was confident that this pregnancy would repair latent organ damage caused by massive blood loss three years earlier. Sara was born in Regina in 1982, and the doctor was right; symptoms of the earlier organ damage disappeared. 

The urban-focused Encounter with God movement of the C&MA in Lima, Peru, was exploding with church growth during the late 1970s and 1980s. Argentine evangelists who saw few results at home were amazed by the response to ministries in Lima and wanted to transplant the focus to Buenos Aires. Upon returning for our second term in Argentina, I was asked by the C&MA in Canada to coordinate an Encounter with God program for Buenos Aires, which they would support financially. A team was formed to implement an aggressive strategy of mass evangelism and church planting. 

In the Fall of 1984, our son, David, was born in Buenos Aires and our family was complete. 

That second term of four and a half years seemed ‘frenetic on steroids.’ God demonstrated His power in changed lives, providing properties for church planting, leadership development, and ministry vision growth. The primary focus of our ministry was evangelism and church planting while attempting to disciple the new believers. This culminated in planting the Vicente Lopez church, which eventually gave birth to several daughter congregations, a student internship program, a 24/7 radio program, and other ministries. 

Home assignment came due again in mid-1988. When we returned to Argentina for our third term, we continued to lead the Encounter with God program and focused on the Vicente Lopez congregation. During this term, Tim, our eldest son, went to the Alliance Academy in Quito, Ecuador, for high school. I finished a Doctor of Missiology degree in 1991. 

During the following home assignment, we returned to Regina to become the missionary-in-residence at the Canadian Theological Seminary (CTS) from 1993 to 1996. We were relatively confident that we would not be returning to Argentina at the end of those three years at CTS, but we had no idea what would follow. My CTS role ended in the Spring of 1996, and we remained in Regina for an additional year until Peter graduated from high school. I filled in as missionary-in-residence for the Canadian Midwest District for the year. 

John Piper’s book, Let the Nations be Glad, came out in 1993 and radically adjusted my motivation for missions at a critical transition in our lives. Before this, my reason revolved around two valid and adequate reasons—the lostness of humankind and obedience to the Great Commission. Piper’s focus was to do missions, not so much because people need God but because God is supremely worthy of their worship! This elevated vision was a sustaining anchor in ministering among the unresponsive and antagonistic. 

The CANAL Project 

The General Assembly of the C&MA in Canada was held in Regina in 1996. During Assembly, a decision was made, which became our primary ministry focus for the next 15 years. A joint venture with a sister national church was mandated to focus on a new least-reached region. The partner chosen was the C&MA of Latin America, and the selected new focus was the upper Sahara region of Africa. The initial title given to this venture was the CANAL Project. Neither partner had experience in that region, putting both on equal footing. 

Mora and I moved to Quito, Ecuador, with Sara and David in mid-1997 to prepare a Latin team for the project. God designed the move down to the last detail. Sara and David enrolled in the Alliance Academy in Quito, and God gave us a place to rent two blocks away. 

For some reason, the frequency of observable ‘God moments’ took a quantum leap upward, as did elements of spiritual opposition. The only explanation I can think of is God was delighted for someone to focus on the least-reached of North Africa, so He did all He could to encourage the process! The stories of unusual provision, protection, rescue, and other surprises are too numerous for this space, but they became frequent. 

We worked with the Latin American wing of the Alliance World Fellowship (AWF) to: identify quality candidates throughout Latin America, secure training for those candidates, assist their national churches in figuring out how to finance and send their candidates, and how to support their international workers once deployed. This was the ‘launching pad’ aspect. 

The first candidate to be deployed was a single woman from Venezuela who was already a translator in Spanish, French, and English. She quickly began learning Arabic. Highly qualified candidates were numerous in the C&MA churches of Latin America, but financial support was a huge challenge. 

We spent six years working on solidifying the sending base from Latin America. During this time, both Sara and David graduated from the Alliance Academy. When a married couple from Colombia was ready to deploy, we turned the files over to the AWF Latin American leadership, disbanded the temporary CANAL entity and moved to North Africa to lead the Canadian/Latin team spread across that upper region. 

Before relocating from Quito, I spent several weeks each Fall and Spring in North Africa trying to prepare the ‘landing strip’ for incoming personnel. The task included identifying visa options, language schools, living quarters, budget estimates, safety nets for potential emergencies, partnership and employment options, medical facilities, etc. 

Although fear and chaotic conditions are endemic in the region, the unusual ‘God moments’ kept piling up! Our son Tim was getting out of the U.S. Marine Corps as I began one of the survey trips, and he travelled with me for the month. He was curious about these ‘God moments’ he kept hearing about and wondered if he would get to see one. He did, and it was focused on him! 

God provided an ideally located apartment for us in a large North African city, which served well as a travel hub for connecting with team members scattered across the region. We lived there nearly seven years; provision turning into a blessing not only for us and the many who visited but also for several other international worker families who followed us. Team and ministry attrition in the region is high for numerous reasons, but the ‘toe-hold’ that God provided evolved into additional ministries we never expected. 

While we were there, Tim graduated from Azusa Pacific University, Peter graduated from the University of Calgary, Sara graduated from Azusa, and David graduated from the Annapolis Naval Academy. They all worked very hard, and God provided for each of them uniquely, so none had student debts when they finished. That was a family miracle considering the high costs of university training in today’s world. God also provided each of the four with a wonderful spouse, for which we continue to praise Him! They, in turn, have provided us with thirteen grandchildren! 

Continuing Ministry 

In 2010, Mora’s parents, Lloyd and Kaye Matheson, were in their early nineties and needing help, so we moved from North Africa to Calgary looking for a house where they could live with us. God provided an ideal bungalow close to First Alliance Church, where her parents attended. We moved in one day, and they moved in the next, remaining with us until they went to be with the Lord. 

The sudden change of focus, culture, location, and ministry for us was brusque but timely. Mora was transformed into a full-time caregiver, which she managed with love and grace. I was invited to join First Alliance staff as missions pastor and team leader of outreach ministries, where I continued until retiring in June 2019. The provision of the role was a huge blessing in multiple ways and was a very helpful ramp into new relationships in Canada. 

Many times we have felt our journey has been more of a blessing for us personally than for those we ministered to. God has taught us so many valuable lessons about Himself and about trusting Him. He has displayed His multi-faceted attributes in undeniable ways as He patiently directed our path. Every time we thought we were stepping way out on a limb, we discovered He was already there waiting for us. 

This is an excerpt from the book, On Mission Volume 1. Download your free copy today.



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