The Mansvelds have been ministering on the streets of Montreal with the French Fellowship of Baptist Churches since 1997, first with their local church, and then as street missionaries for the French Fellowship.
There are between 5,000 and 15,000 street kids in Montreal. The moral, ethical, and spiritual needs of these youth are immense, not to mention the emotional, physical, and social needs.
Broken homes, suicide, violence, prostitution, homosexuality, and drug addiction are the symptoms of a life that desperately needs a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. The Mansvelds reach out to these kids using Jesus’ ministry as an example, creating trust relationships with the street youth and helping them respond to the problems they face everyday.
The Mansvelds also work closely with the local churches in Montreal and envision creating small groups within the local churches that would welcome and disciple street youth. Duane and Miriam also share the vision of a street church that would be a light for the marginal community.
Duane was born and raised in Pembroke, Ontario, and has known the streets since age 15. At the age of 18, Duane accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Through Duane’s prayers for his friends on the street, the Holy Spirit blessed him with the burden and call to reach out to the youth on the street.
In 1993, Duane began three years of street missionary training in Montreal, and it was there that he met his wife Miriam.
Miriam is the youngest in a family of five children. Her parents came to Quebec as missionaries from Europe in the 1950s, and Miriam accepted the Lord at the age of 6. She was introduced to the streets by friends who lived there.
During that time, God showed Miriam His heart for the street youth, their needs, and their incredible potential. It was then that the Lord gave Miriam the call to minister to street youth full time.
Both Duane and Miriam are currently enrolled in a youth intervention program at the University of Montreal and follow theological studies at the Seminaire Baptiste Evangelique Du Quebec.
Duane and Miriam were married in June of 1996. They have been blessed with one son, Jeremie.