Don McAreavy and the Vigilant Minds Ministry in Canada
I must confess that first and foremost my passion is for Biblical doctrine and truth. I hold a Master’s Degree from Ambrose University College and have been engaged in witnessing in some form or another for about 30 years. I worked at the Calgary office of Christian Research Institute for 10 years with Mormonism being my primary area of study. During this time I also worked with former Mormons to establish a chapter of Saints Alive in Jesus. We had weekly presentations of the God Makers video with a Question and Answer session following. Over this is period we also hosted engagements in Alberta with noted speakers Walter Martin, Dick Baer, Ed Decker, Granny Geer, James Spencer and others.
My wife Heather and I have attended Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel since 2006 and are thankful for the support our church offers the ministry. We have a weekly Bible study / discussion group / prayer meeting at our home comprised of dedicated Christians, former Mormons and former Jehovah’s Witnesses. We also entertain a monthly potluck get together where people can bring their friends and hang out.
To further establish our ministry, and get a feel for what’s really happening in the Mormon kingdom, Heather and I went to Utah to re-connect with friends I hadn’t seen in 30 years. During this time we met with Sandra Tanner and spent a couple of days with Dennis and Rauni Higley. We also visited friends in Vernal Utah whom I stayed with so many years ago while involved with the door to door campaign sponsored by YWAM and Saints Alive. We also headed south to Cedar City to visit a family that became Christians as a result of this campaign. It was so good to be in the company of believers who are still living for the Lord and witnessing to Mormons.
Over the years I have been called upon to teach a class on the Trinity, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses at respected institutions like Prairie Bible Institute and Rocky Mountain Bible College. I have also taught a class on Post Modernism at Alberta Bible College. Besides these formal institutions I thoroughly enjoy presenting the class to churches where there is such great interaction with the students.
As for others in our ministry team:
Mark is our specialist on Jehovah’s Witnesses. He has been studying the subject for 30 years and has a very thorough understanding of both the Watchtower and the Church Fathers.
Tiffany is a former Jehovah’s Witness who brought her father to one of our classes a few years ago. Since that time he has left the Watchtower and has become a Christian. Tiffany has a real burden for the lost and has been a real help in getting our website going and maintaining our presence on Kijiji.
Laurel is another former Mormon who we helped in writing her resignation letter. She has a deep concern for her relatives that are still in Mormonism.
Ken is a former Mormon whom I have known for 30 years who has been an invaluable support both in Saints Alive and now in Vigilant Minds. He was born and raised near Cardston Alberta, the only location of an LDS temple in Canada for decades.
Both Ken and Laurel have great testimonies of how the Lord has moved in their lives and are both such a blessing to our group.
Brenda is a friend who has recently joined our group who has a burden for the lost and is a real prayer warrior. She also has a very in-depth knowledge of Christian doctrine.
These are the “pillars” of Vigilant Minds, but we have other friends who also support our cause. It is our mandate to provide an atmosphere where individuals can share their frustrations and concerns, where we can pray for them and minister to their needs. It has become apparent that we need someone with a psychological background that is willing to help. Hurting souls can become so emotionally and mentally ruined in the transition.
Another goal is to slowly integrate those finding Jesus into strong Bible believing churches. We see our home Bible study as the stepping stone between these organized religions to a loving fellowship. We believe we will be seeing a lot of people come and go through our home but the core group will always be here to listen and disciple. We are not a church and do not intend to become one. We see ourselves more of a resting place and there is always room at the Inn to sort out your life. Many people have left both the Watchtower and the Temple but now what? We want to be that environment where they feel loved and can trust someone as they struggle through. Most churches are not prepared to deal with seeking souls and prayerfully through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus we can meet their needs.