Interview with Pastor Pekka
Pekka and Neea Perho
Pastor Pekka, tell us about your experience at Thunder Bay and Saalem church?
We landed here in October of 2006 and have been part of Saalem ever since, first as youth pastor, then as pastor of the English speaking side, and now as lead pastor. Both me and my wife enjoy Saalem tremendously. We like Thunder Bay and really love our church. It is a privilege to be part of Saalem and what God is doing here.
Give us some background information about yourself… What did you do before before you moved to Saalem Thunder Bay?
I was born and raised in Trollhättan, Sweden. My parents had immigrated from Finland a couple of years before I was born and even though we lived in Sweden, the first language I spoke was Finnish. After high school I went to a Discipleship Training School (DTS) and then a Bible school in Sweden. When I was 22 years old, I moved to Helsinki to join the worldwide missions organization YWAM – Youth With A Mission. I spent the next four years serving as a full-time faith-based missionary, staffing and leading discipleship training schools, outreaches and various missions endeavours. I was in Bihar, northern India, on one of many missions trips, when my phone rang. The call was from Marko Selkomaa, who was lead pastor of Saalem in Thunder Bay at the time. He invited me to move to Thunder Bay and join Saalem church. After spending considerable time in prayer and discussions with my wife-to-be Neea, we decided to get married and move to Canada.
What do you hope to be able to give the people of Saalem Church of Thunder Bay?
My simple hope is to bring more of Jesus to our church and city. In Jesus we find love, compassion, wholeness and forgiveness of sins. I believe that as we experience life in Christ, we are changed. God moves us from hopelessness to hope, from stormy struggles to inner peace and from complacency to compassion. My hope is that everyone who attends our church would experience the Grace of God. That is the starting place to finding our purpose in life.