Sharing Our Story

Making Disciples Among the Tamil Population

Authored by: 
Bev Raimbault

“It was my wife who first connected with the Mennonite church,” explains Pastor Simon. “She was driving down a road in Markham, saw a church and walked in. She met Bob and Cheryl Wideman and asked if she could attend. ‘Yes we’d love to have you join us’ was the answer.” Simon Pathmanathan and Joseph Savarimuthu are pastors of the Markham Christian Worship Centre (MCWC), a thriving congregation of Tamil immigrants, many of whom come from a Hindu background. Ada* grew up in a family of Hindu priests. When he became a Christian, his family was furious. They would not allow him to pray, threw away his Bible and no longer invited him to any family celebrations. However, he was persistent in his faith and was baptized. The support and relationships within this faith community are extremely important to new Christians like Ada. The people of MCWC believe they are called to share God’s love with the Tamil population in Toronto. When the chaplain of a nearby hospital shared the spiritual and language needs of the Tamils who make up thirty percent of the patients, the congregation grasped the opportunity to show God’s love through weekly visits to the hospital. After attending Wideman Mennonite Church, Pastor Simon wanted to know more about Mennonites. “I enjoyed the relationship with the congregation and their pastor, Ken Wellington, encouraged me to learn more. I starting reading everything I could about Mennonites. I shared this information with the MCWC by leading a class where I used drama to explain how a Mennonite would react in certain situations.” With enthusiasm he states, “We will be the first Tamil Mennonite church.” *not his real name