Welcome!! Here we are with another fantastic interview I cannot wait to share with you. Craig and I had the chance to get to know Lisa Sukkau when she took our Baptism and Membership class.What stood out was a solid faith, drive for justice and mercy for those she meets and a commitment to be part of our Westwood family through diving in and getting involved.
Lisa, iIt was so great to start to get to know you and I am so excited to hear more of your story!
WW: Let’s start with you telling us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
LS: My family moved to Vanderhoof when I was three years old. When I was seven we moved to Egypt, where my mom is from, and did a three year mission trip with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). We then returned to Vanderhoof where I completed school. I then moved to Burnaby where I did my undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser studying criminology and my law degree at UBC.
WW: How long have you been in Prince George, what brought you here?
I spent the summers of 2015 and 2016 in Prince George working at a law firm for the summer between school years. I permanently moved here in May 2017 after finishing law school. At first when I moved to the Lower Mainland I thought I would never move back to the north but the longer I was there, the more I missed living in a smaller community and well, sunshine.
WW: What can you tell us about your work?
LS: I am a lawyer and work as a prosecutor (Crown Counsel) with the BC Prosecution Service. I love my job. I started with the Prosecution Service in January 2020 and have truly enjoyed the work I do and the feeling of making a difference. I have always been passionate about criminal law and am happy to have found a job that really fulfills me. I am (almost) always happy to talk about law stuff and am blessed to have found something I am passionate about that I can get paid to do.
WW: What do you do for fun?
LS: Other than law stuff? Just kidding. I love to spend time with friends and family, play games, travel, and watch sports (baseball, hockey and a little football here and there). I am a big fan of movies (read “theater popcorn”) and Disneyland. I am known to do a little theater from time to time and really like to make people laugh.
WW: How long have you been at Westwood Church?
LS: I started attending Westwood in July 2017. I set out looking for a church that gave me community, lively worship and on-point preaching. Prior to attending Westwood I was worried that it would be too big and difficult to develop a community. I was pleasantly surprised my first week when I came in and felt very much at home.
WW: How have you volunteered or served at Westwood? How has this participation been meaningful to you?
LS: Shortly after starting to attend Westwood, I started volunteering with the Senior Youth Group. Growing up, my church youth group and pastor, Hugo Reimer, really helped shape my faith and laid a foundation that would take me through university – a time when many Christians turn away from their faith. I so appreciate the time that was dedicated to me as a teenager and love being able to connect with the Senior Youth at Westwood. One of the highlights so far has been our trip to Kelowna for Rush 2020 this past February. We took a group down to Kelowna for a weekend of fun, connection and learning about who God is and the story He wants to write in our lives.
Another Westwood highlight was working with a team to put on the Party in the Park (actually held in Westwood because of rain) last September. I loved the way this event brought our church family and bigger community together. I also loved having us showcase some Middle Eastern food from our Syrian friends!
WW:I love how you dove into life here. What an awesome way to honor Hugo and his impact on your life!! What has life been like for you the last few years?
LS: When I first moved to Prince George and started my career, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was a difficult time and a time when I really learned about leaning on God and trusting in His plan. My Westwood family really helped me through that time. I so appreciate the friendships I have developed with my fellow youth group leaders and at the life group I attend. I have really enjoyed the last year and a half from starting my current job and having an opportunity to meet new friends both in and out of the church. God has really blessed me and I am continuing to learn about the plans He has for me and just how good they are.
WW: What are you appreciating about this last season as the world has responded to Covid?
LS: Shortly after COVID-19 hit my office decided to move everything to working remotely. I took this opportunity to work from home in Vanderhoof and stay with my parents. This has been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with them and I have been blessed to be able to keep working through the pandemic.
I have also been attending a Bible Study with my old church, in Burnaby, over Zoom. I have missed my Burnaby church family and love being able to connect with them despite being far away.
WW: I totally understand the blessing of being able to connect through zoom and missing your Burnaby Church family, it takes time to build that kind of connection. What do you miss about life before social distancing and the Pandemic?
LS: I miss spending time with friends and have been grateful to do that a little more recently. I miss the youth kids and not having to do meetings over Zoom.. “You need to unmute… Can you hear me?” I miss sports and the trips that I had planned and the friends I was going to see on those trips. The other day I went to the office for the first time in months and was very excited to see some co-workers while still maintaining our distance. It’s the little things.
WW: Ah! Zoom is so challenging that way! What have you been learning about yourself and God through this season?
LS: Patience. Kindness. God’s heart for His people. I think this is a time where I am learning to be patient and once again remember God is in control. I am learning the importance of showing kindness and God’s love to the people around me, especially in a time like this when so many people are stressed and scared. I am learning God’s heart for this world. Lately, I have been thinking of the Starfield lyric, “Break my heart for what breaks Yours” as I see some of the things happening in our world and our community. God continues to put a craving in my heart for justice and to do my part to try to bring His healing to where there is brokenness.
Thank you for featuring me this week and for those who are reading! I am looking forward to learning more about my church family as I read your interviews!
Lisa, thank you for taking the time to share with us. May God guide you in your work, give you wisdom and success in achieving justice and bringing grace, love, and healing to the brokenness. Blessings as you continue to draw near to God and bring His love to those you meet.