Tributes to Pastor Lorne for 50 Years in the Ministry
The following tributes arrived in celebration of Pastor Lorne's 50th year in ministry.
From: Ashlee McGovern (Australian Exchange Student)
To "The Father" (Lorne)
I am so blessed to have met you and your family, to be included in such a wonderful life and testimony. Your Faith amazes me, through all that you have been through, you still hold on to the truth and the Love of God. It is a testimony to everyone around you.
*side note* I recently met a lady named Sarah from a church I visited and had the opportunity to pray for her. I was reminded of Sarah in the Bible who thought she was above the age of bearing children but God miraculously brought about the deepest desire of her heart. I want to pray and believe for you also Lorne that even though you may think you have already seen much in your 50 years of ministry, God can still bring about those deepest desires of your heart and the things that you may have thought were forgotten. You are not above the age of bearing fruit!! Even until your old age God will use you for his purposes, to bring blessings upon others and to bring Glory to his name. I want to encourage you to believe for more wonderful blessings and favour in your life, and remember all the treasures you have stored in heaven because of your work for the kingdom, your heart attitude and love for God.
Miss you all much. I am very blessed to be a part of your lives!
Love from Ashlee.
From: CSR Wolf Creek (Saskatchewan)
Congratulations Lorne on an achievement that few people have accomplished in life! How inspiring it is to hear that you have been actively serving the Lord for five decades. It is indeed an accomplishment to do anything for 50 years, especially in a society that seems to have a need to
change various components in their life on a regular basis. Your consistency, and stability in being a servant of God is truly a testament to your personal faith, not to mention the goodness and faithfulness of God.
I understand that over the years you have contributed significantly to various ministry groups including the P.A.O.C., The Christian Cowboys, and of course Circle Square Ranch. In addition to these tangible forms of service, I believe that one of your greatest forms of ministry comes out of the remarkable witness and consistency of character that you present everywhere you go on a day by day basis! I think that almost anyone that has come into contact with you would acknowledge the fact that you consistently demonstrate the fruit of the spirit in the way you interact with others and conduct your affairs. It reminds me of story that Colin told me once ...he was telling us that "Dad never gets mad. I don't think I can ever remember him getting mad, except for one time when he was working under the combine and our goose snuck up behind him and hissed at him. Dad jumped and smacked his head on the combine and he got so mad he chucked a wrench at the goose and hit it in the head. And then he just went calmly back to work."
I'm not sure if this story is totally true or not, especially knowing Colin and the way he liked to tell stories. But the fact remains that you are a man of Godly character - the kind of character that is the same when people are watching and when they are not.
I recently heard a man preach from 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 which says "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calls you who also will do it." The preacher reminded us that it is God who calls us and sets us apart for His purposes and His work in His kingdom. This passage tells us that not only does He call us, but that He is faithful to set us apart for, and keep us in that calling and preserve until Jesus comes. Your life in ministry helps me to see how God is faithful to use each one of us in a way that we were created to be used for. God has been faithful to set you apart for His work and you have been faithful to respond to His call, and because of that many people have been blessed!
Included in that group would be the staff and campers at Circle Square Ranch. Please know that we greatly appreciate the role you have played at Circle Square over the past 25 years. You have been
a part of this ministry since it began and yu have always been around to help as a neighbor, as an advisor, as a Pastor, but most of all as a friend of the ministry. Thank you for being odedient to the Lord and for allowing Him to use you. Thank you for being an example of godliness and righteousness everywhere you go, and thank you for letting God's light shine through you. The effects of your willingness and obedience will only be fully realized once we get to heaven.
Robin and Barb Exner
Wolf Creek Circle Square Ranch
From: Arnold Manske (Canada)
Congratulations to Lorne on the milestone that he has achieved and is celebrating today.
I don’t know when the Lord’s calling first came on Lorne but I have witnessed a strong anointing and calling on him as long as I have known him. I first came to know Lorne the year he became President of the Saskatchewan Fellowship of Christian Cowboys. That was somewhere in the early 80’s if I’m not mistaken. I still remember and have notes from a few words of sharing that he gave at that annual meeting in Moose Jaw. He quoted the verse of scripture from John 3:30, "He must increase but I must decrease." I believe Lorne was making a declaration of his own future and as I reflect on that, he truly is and has lived up to those words.
Lorne is a very tender hearted man of God who really has made the Lord first in everything he has done in his life. He breathes it, he speaks it and most of all he lives it. I have a very deep respect for Lorne and have witnessed a soft, quiet man continuing to live his life with ministry being the largest driving force through some very difficult circumstances over the years.
I want to offer from the Canadian FCC Board our congratulations and the Lord’s blessing on this day for Lorne and Dianne and pray that their future will continue to reflect the Holy Spirit’s direction on their lives.
Arnold Manske, Canadian Fellowship of Christian Cowboys
From: Don Scheske (United States)
It hardly seems possible, but, it's true! 50 years! God has had his hand upon your life from the time you were born to take the gospel to your generation. You have done that faithfully travelling hundreds of thousands of miles, in most cases at your expense, to preach in tiny church buildings to large rodeo stadiums, to audiences large and small, in all kinds of venues. (Remember those street meetings?) No matter who asked, or how far, in all kinds of weather, you took up the challenge. You are loved and appreciated by thousands of people in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and regions beyond, because of your sincere commitment to the cause of Christ and your desire to proclaim the gospel.
I have always admired you for your gentleness and positive friendliness toward your community-neighbors, denominational and ministry leadership, family, and the followers of Christ everywhere. You have been a positive influence on scores of young people who are in ministry today because of your faithfulness and consistent godly lifestyle.
May the Lord bless you and keep you strong and able to take his love and compassion to even more people in your community, church and to distant parts of the world. Your children's commitment to loving God and serving people exemplifies the how you have lived your life.
I love you, my brother-in-law! You have been a great blessing to our family!
From: Greg and Michelle Dueck (Saskatchewan)
50 years of ministry.....WOW !
On behalf of the Saskatchewan Fellowship of Christian Cowboys we would like to congratulate you! And for all of your straight from the word Salvation messages that brought MANY to the saving knowlege of Jesus Christ we thank you!
Loading your vehicle up early Sunday morning, sometimes travelling into the next province to get to a cowboy church service we thank you.
To your family who either came along and helped or had to be with out you we send a big thank you.
As one of the founding members of the FCC we owe a debt of gratitude to you! Thank you for paving the way, and always being so ready to help someone to wet there feet in ministry. Thank you for the opportunities you have given to me, Lorne. To me you will always be the Billy Graham of the Cowboy world!! Many Blessings to you and your family!
Greg Dueck, Fellowship of Christian Cowboys in Saskatchewan
From: Jim Guskjolen (Missionary)
It is a privilege to be called upon to offer a tribute to my friend Lorne Bonk. I have known Lorne personally for over 30 years and knew him by reputation before that.
I have been in ministry for over 30 years and have served as a Pastor, Bible College teacher, District Superintendent and currently serve as Regional Director of Missions in Latin America and Caribbean. Colleen and I have had a very fulfilling ministry. I have publicly stated that all the “success” I have had in ministry is attributable to two men. One of these men is Lorne Bonk.
Lorne taught me many things. Among them were the value of patience, the power of the gentle nudge and what the heart of a true Pastor looks like, sounds like and feels. He, also, showed me how to revel in personal “imperfections” and trust in Godʼs grace. Without the influence of Lorne Iʼm not sure if Iʼd have had the confidence, or recognized an ability, to prosper in ministry.
Lorne never criticized me, though he likely had ample reason to do so. He never pushed me in any specific direction. He let me grow as a Pastor and leader without pressure. He trusted that I could, would and did hear from God. I always got the impression Lorne honoured me as his Pastor and later as his friend. The fact that a man of his stature would do that gave me confidence that I was actually called of God to the work of the ministry.
It is always hard to know what to say to someone who has had such a profound influence upon ones life. I suppose there would be some nice quote I could find or a story I could tell but all that would seem to fall short of what I would want to say. I have only been able to come to grips with one thought:
Thank you Lorne for your investment in me. I owe you my ministry.
From: LaFaun Millar (Saskatchewan)
We were so happy for you when we heard of the celebration held for you. 50 years in ministry is a truly wonderful accomplishment. It is a huge encouragement to me to stick with it and not give up. I hope you were blessed, and wish we could have been there to join in with the celebrations. On occasions like this I realize what a big province we live in and how God's placement of each of us, while perfect in his wisdom for ministry in a dark world, also mean that we are far away from each other. At any rate, I hope to be able to attend the celebration held for you when it is in honor of 75 years of faithful service. And that we can all get together in eternity to celebrate the Lord whom we both serve, AND the combined years of
service from a grateful church.
LaFaun, Fellowship of Christian Cowboys Saskatchewan
From: Martin and Susanne (Germany)
With great joy I take the chance to offer you my congratulations and good wishes on this for you very important event of the 50th anniversary of your ordination. Half a century you took place in the selfless ministry in Christ with the inspiring and fruitful work you did.
I believe we can do this work, which is not our own choice to do it, only with great belief and confidence. Just like the prophet Jonah there was a voice that came to us, telling to go to the people and announce the words we got from our living and mighty God. And just like the prophet Jonah we are in no way able to evade – wherever we may go, we will hear: Go to my people and tell them what I will say to you. Having heard these words we know what to do and can trust in the Holy Spirit to lead us.
You, Lorne, have followed the voice of God fifty years as a preacher, now also for a lot of years in the Church on the Hill. You succeeded in missionary outreach combined with constant concern for the people you had to care for and you have put forward the necessary spiritual charisma.
With joy I remember the time Susanne and I were allowed to stay with you in the summer of 2006. This happy event of the 50th anniversary of your ordination is a favorable opportunity for me to reiterate my deep gratitude to you for the spiritual and physical community with you and the people in your church. It was a great thing to see your engagement for your church and the spirit of your work in it. Thank you another time for the nice stay we had. We saw your endeavor to call every man and every people to the obedience of faith. We also remember with grace the time Eva spent with you, she also got a lot of spiritual impressions and stimulations from you.
In John 15:16 Jesus says: “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” May the Lord lavish his rewards upon you! We therefore pray the Lord for the choicest heavenly favours for you, for your ministry and for all your loved ones.
We wish you a blessed Sunday while celebrating your 50th anniversary and we hope to see you again in Germany. We’d like to show you our country and invite you and Dianne heartily.
With lovely wishes and the wish that God may bless you all we send greetings to you and your family and to all the members and visitors of the church the Lord gave to you.
Martin and Susanne Albrecht, Germany
From: Norm Bonk
Big Brother, I know I can not describe the significance of your public ministry in a few words. Not sure if I heard your first message but I am sure I was privileged to hear some of the very first and was also priviliged to ride along and you would have me sing - thank you for affirming me even though I was really nervous and found it very hard.
For me, your ministry has always achieved the highest standard of gentleness, sincerity, truth and grace on a firm Scriptural foundation.
As a teen you were my greatest Role Model and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are more than deserving of the congratulations, thank you's and accolades any or all of us can give - but just wait until you see The King of Kings and He shows you the many, many faces of all those who will want to say "Thank You"! Jesus through you has impacted your family, community, province, nation and the world.
Don't forget you still have 50 years to go if Jesus doesn't come sooner!!
Sorry Peggy & I couldn't be with you for this great celebration but we send our love. God Bless and may He cause you to keep dreaming great dreams!
From your Little Brother, Norm
From: Pauline Daku (Saskatchewan)
Dear Pastor Lorne;
It is with great joy that we of the Calvary Baptist Church of Kipling, bring you greetings on your many years of ministry.
The Lord has and is blessing your faithfulness as you continue to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We wish to leave you with this encouragement as found in Phillipians 3:14 "I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus".
As you faithfully serve Him, God will bless according to His will and time.
Calvary Baptist Church Congregation
From: Phil Marshall (Australia)
Wow Lorne, 50 years, mate you must be getting old :).
I feel the title of SIR should be used, not mate, but I am very honored to be able to call you my mate!
You have been used of God in the life of our family in so many ways, and I am confident in the lives of multitudes of others.
Scripture promises your reward to be great, I am sure you have and will continue to enjoy increase in your rewards.
I am thankful to the Lord for the privilege in knowing you and having had the opportunity of working with you, I look forward to again enjoying time together, hopefully in the near, not distant future.
I look forward to hearing of your continued influence in individuals lives and the life of Canada.
May you experience His increase and continue to see His kingdom extended through your life and ministry.
Bless ya heaps, Phil, Janice, Natalie, Rhyse and
Destiny Marshall - Australia