About International Teams Canada
International Teams Canada Inc. (iTeams Canada) is a growing, innovative Christian non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the physical and spiritual needs of widows, orphans, and refugees around the globe.
Part of a wider alliance of affiliated national offices providing leadership around the world, iTeams Canada works with twenty programs in Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, and North and South America. Our work is always accomplished in partnership with churches, businesses, and grassroots networks of passionate people investing their time, resources, and abilities.
In partnership with volunteer program champions in Canada, we empower churches and indigenous leaders to transform communities in need through sustainable projects that will, over time, break the cycle of poverty. In some places we provide for the necessities of life, like food, clean water, basic medical care, and shelter. In others, we work in conjunction with many of our partners in the developing world to ensure access to school by providing school fees, building new schools, training teachers and after-school tutors, and offering vocational training and career assistance. In other areas, experienced church leaders and pastors help in training of hundreds of pastors, evangelists, and church planters each year.
Our mission is to help churches and indigenous leaders help widows, orphans, and refugees. To that end, we provide infrastructure, expertise, resources, and services to our partners and programs as we work together to make our vision a reality: lives and communities transformed by the power of God. Our ministry model differs from that of most modern mission organizations in that we do not seek to do the work ourselves, but rather to add velocity to the work of wise leaders with a vision to develop next-generation leaders. Together they are the people best positioned to bring about the greatest transformation.
As a Christ-centred organization, we value the poor, the church, and the indigenous leader. We aspire to excellence through measurable performance and good stewardship. We are a relational organization, characterized by integrity and innovation.
South East Asia Literature Crusades (renamed to Literature Crusades in 1962, and International Teams in 1984) was founded in 1960 by Kevin Dyer. The first short-term team was deployed to Calcutta, India in 1961, after which their work spread to Bangladesh and Singapore. Teams later visited Manila, Philippines; Bombay, India; Bogota, Colombia; and Caracas, Venezuela. Their youthful, innovative approach to ministry spread like wildfire, from South East Asia to South America and eventually to Eastern Europe.
Kevin Dyer described the first group of short-term volunteers as “a bunch of college kids with a dream! A dream that we could reach masses of people with the Gospel. That’s really why International Teams was started.” These young leaders shared a passion for compassion and for meeting the needs of the whole person. They set out to change the world, and they did — their legacy lives on more than 50 years later in the various International Teams partners in Australia, US, UK, Philippines, Costa Rica, Austria, Ukraine, Netherlands, and France, all of whom share a larger vision of “lives and communities transformed by the power of God”. In 1988, Geoff and Jewel Tunnicliffe along with George and Heather Tompkins returned to Canada to set up a fully indigenous Canadian organization with Geoff becoming the first CEO.