Dan and Melodie Isben
Our God Story
We are here to mentor the next generation of workers into mission, and to see the Kingdom of God established amongst the local population of this community.
Dan grew up in the Spruce Grove area of Alberta as the second son of seven children. Melodie was born in Saskatchewan and grew up in Medicine Hat and Edmonton, Alberta. Dan and Melodie met at the University of Alberta and were married in 1976. Dan taught school in Edmonton until they went to Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina. Soon after graduating, they became the first resident pastors of Westlock Alliance Church.
In 1985, they were appointed to Nigeria with The C&MA in Canada, but they were asked to do French language study in Quebec instead because they couldn’t attain visas. In March of 1986, the regional developer for the Desert Sand region asked them if they would consider going to Guinea, which had just opened to the Gospel after seventeen years of being closed to missionary effort.
The Ibsens left for Guinea in the fall of 1986, lived in Conakry for two years, and then served a smaller community in the interior called Gueckedou for five years. They returned to Conakry in 1993 and served there until 2009, when they moved to their current location in Mamou, Guinea.
Together, they have four adult children: Corilee, Charles, Kyle, and Kerrianne. They are all either working in missions or preparing to serve.
The Ibsens currently live and work in the Fouta Djalon region, a mountainous part of central Guinea. The climate is more moderate than the coastal region of Conakry, where the Ibsens lived for most of their career.
This is the heartland of the Fulbe people—the largest people group in Guinea. Among the 3.5 million Fulbe, there are only about 150 followers of Christ. Almost 100 per cent of this people group are of the majority religion. The Fulbe are a very proud people, who are on top of the socio-economic ladder in Guinea. They often see themselves as the carriers and keepers of Islam to Guinea.
Dan and Melodie initially served in leadership development. Their first project was assigned by the national church to develop a lay workers training program for Guinea called TEE (Theological Education by Extension). When they moved back to Conakry from Gueckedou, they were asked to develop a discipleship training program for MBBs (Muslim Background Believers).
From 1998 to 2008, Dan served as the team leader for the Guinea team before moving to their current ministry in Mamou. Melodie established the homeschooling program for IW families, became the literature coordinator for the team, and served as bookkeeper and business administrator.
The Ibsens’ current ministry is training and mentoring new workers, interns, and apprentices in language, culture, and mission principles. They are also working with their local C&MA church to try to reach out to the majority population of this community.
There are a number of ways you can become involved with the Ibsens’ ministry:
1. Give to the WAVE approved special, the internship program.
2. Subscribe to their monthly prayer update by contacting them.
3. Become part of a special prayer focus with weekly requests for the city of Mamou.
4. Join a short-term handyman team to do odd jobs in and around Mamou.
5. Join a prayer team—email for details.
6. Join a construction team for a short-term trip—email for details.
Least-reached People Group (LRPG)
We work with a unique group of LRPG’s called the Susu & Fulani – Fouta Jalon. You can learn more about the Susu & Fulani – Fouta Jalon by visiting our LRPG page.
The Global Advance Fund covers our support and living expenses. All donations are tax deductible. Make cheque payable to “C&MA Canada”.