Eulogy Peter Michael Jordan 27 March, 1934 – 22 May, 2019
Peter Michael Jordan was born on the 27t h of March 1934 in the city of Chefoo, China, now known as Yantai, a coastal city on the shores of the Yellow Sea, to parents Laurence and Margaret Jordan. Dad’s parents had been called as missionaries to China where they raised their family on the mission field. Dad was preceded by brothers John and Ted and sister Ruth.
Historically this was a troubled time for China, suffering a protracted civil war, only to be interrupted by Japanese invasion and World War 2. It was during this time that at the age of 8, Dad and his family were imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp for 3 years. Dad once told me that as a child he thought it was exciting, being able to watch the fighter aircraft fly overhead on a daily basis, fueling what would be his lifelong passion with aviation.
The end of WW2 brought the end of the Japanese occupation and the Jordan’s freedom. However during the internment Margaret had developed breast cancer which granted the family passage on the Red Cross ship out of China to Vancouver where they then travelled by train to the east coast and on to England.
The journey across Canada had an impact on the now 12 year old boy, dreaming that one day he would return and become a fruit farmer…must have been summer at the time! On arrival in England he was enrolled in Moncton Comb boarding school where he developed a love for rowing and rugby, his father returning to the mission field in China, leaving ailing wife and family behind.
Upon graduating at the age of 17 and fulfilling his childhood wish, Dad returned to Canada with just a few dollars in his pocket and the name and address of one of his father’s associates in Toronto. He settled into life in Canada meeting other Christians and getting involved with summer camps as a camp counsellor.
At the age of 19, Dad met the love of his life and knew from the time he laid eyes on her that she was the one for him, but at 15, Donna, or her father, were not so sure! Upon some stern advice from the fore mentioned father, Dad returned to high school, obtained his diploma and enrolled at Western University to study physical education. He soon realized that this life course was not for him and although the fruit farm may have been calling, his other true love of flying became his next pursuit. Dad joined the Canadian Airforce becoming a fighter jet pilot flying the CF100, a subsonic interceptor. He was also slated to be among the first pilots to fly the revolutionary CF105, a supersonic delta wing aircraft, but amidst political controversy the program was scrapped and Dad was forced to move into air traffic control.
But perhaps this lifestyle was more conducive to settling down and raising a family. After finally winning over his first love and her father, Dad married Donna, who was now a registered nurse, at Waterloo Bible Chapel, Ontario in the winter of 1960. Not long after that, at least 9 months, the girls arrived, Laurie in 61, Julie in 64 and then their favorite Michelle in 67, the love of my life! It was 1970 when not quite satisfied with the 3 girls; they chose a son and named him Peter, adopting him into their family.
Dad eventually left air traffic control to pursue a sales and business career at a printing business where he excelled, gaining a promotion which sent the family to Montreal Quebec. In 1976 they became involved with a missions organization involved with the 1976 Montreal Olympics, none other than Youth with a Mission. It was during this period that while having a lunch break in his plush Montreal office, God spoke clearly to Dad, calling his name audibly. He soon came to know that his destiny was not business but somewhat ironically the mission field. Packing up their family in obedience to God’s call, they left a comfortable secure existence, home, extended family on their burgeoning faith journey to join YWAM in Kona Hawaii. In Hawaii they served in the islands and on to many nations, leading discipleship training schools. Dad also served as personal assistant to Loren Cunningham, YWAM’s founder, for 9 years.
43 years after his first visit, in 1988 Dad returned to Vancouver, only this time with a wife and kids and as a missionary himself. He was tasked to pioneer a new ministry YWAM Associates International, a more pastoral venture with the aim to re-connect with YWAM’s alumni. He developed another passion, writing, and authored two books, “Re-Entry” and “The Last Thing I Would Ever Do” as well as his much loved monthly “In Touch” and “E-Touch” newsletter ultimately reaching over 30,000 YWAM Associates in 160 countries. Peter and Donna also facilitated hundreds of associate gatherings in many nations.
While still in Vancouver, Peter and Donna met Pastor Bob Birch, David Demian and Gideon Chiu and together Peter and Donna became part of the Founding Fathers and Mothers of Watchmen for the Nations.
In 2000, Peter and Donna felt clearly led by God to move to a strange little town known as Medicine Hat where they were warmly welcomed here by Wes Reinheller and Marlies Wirzba.
Sadly and unexpectedly, Dad’s much loved son Peter Junior passed away in Vancouver in 2015.
Dad continued the work of YWAM Associates refusing to retire, continuing to write and reach out to YWAM associates even from his hospital bed. Finally, with loved ones surrounding him early in the morning of 22n d May 2019 Dad passed from this life and into eternity. I will confess that at times I became frustrated with Dad when on a number of occasions he was faced with personal injustice and unfairness; I wanted to respond like Rodrigo Mendoza, the reformed mercenary and slaver in the movie “The Mission” a movie that Dad just loved. I wanted him to rise up in righteous anger and smite his enemy, but of course he did not, instead always displaying in true humility the fruits of the spirit love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and I will throw in wisdom and compassion. It later dawned on me that Dad was a true representation of how Jesus treats us. What a great example of God’s love he was to us all, the true definition of a great man.
He loved Donna, his kids and grandkids with an undying love and his girls were completely devoted to him.
Dad died as a father not only to his 4 children, 3 sons in law, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild, but as a father to many thousands in the nations of the world.