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Dear friends,

Before introducing the two remaining PLT members, let me introduce you to future leader, future Springbok Rugby Player, and future theologian below in Elan van der Merwe. Elan was born to Francois and Marie at 3.15am on Thursday 17 February 2022. He was 4Kg’s at birth and he and Marie are both well. As a family we are incredibly grateful to God. 

Now to the two PLT leaders!

Jessica Pacunayen  was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and has lived in Yellowknife full-time since 2014. She is currently working with the Tłı̨chǫ Government and is passionate about bringing heaven to earth, making communities a safer, greener, and more loving places for everyone.

She currently supports Richard Harvey with the ‘young-not-so-young adults’ group’ and Nicole Sok with the Social Justice initiatives. But she also recognizes that it takes a community, the “Church,” to make long-lasting impactful changes in the community. So, if you have any ideas of how YK Vineyard can help make Yellowknife or the greater Northwest Territories a better and more loving place to live in, feel free to email her at

Jessica lists some random facts about herself:

  • She is allergic to nuts and chocolate
  • She trains and teaches Brazilian Jiujitsu (be careful because dynamite comes in small         packages…)
  • She is a firm believer of the power of prayer and therapy
  • She loves spending time outdoors: camping, canoeing, x-country skiing, hiking, and loves bringing people out for their first time.
  • Jess is grateful to be part of the PLT and is looking forward to seeing where God leads her and the team.

Bright likely needs little introduction to  most, since he regularly welcomes the church and opens Sunday in prayer, preaches and facilitates tithers and offerings. Bright has been serving on the PLT for close to three years and has been a wonderful pastoral support.

Bright is the Director of the Young Eagle’s Orphanage in Zambia that the church supports and has steered the process by which we are currently trying to sponsor two Eritrean refugees into Canada.

Bright was Born in Zambia of Zambian and Congolese parentage. He is the first of nine siblings. He         Relocated to Canada in 2003, lived in Toronto for six years where he met and married Norma. They have lived in Yellowknife for five years after spending eight and a half years in Inuvik.

When they moved to YK, they were searching for a home church and were introduced to YK Vineyard by Ian Ellsworth. They have made it home church since that time. Bright has a strong passion for social justice. His life’s motto is “if not me then who.” This motivates  him to play a role in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

Bright enjoys been a grandparent, loves sport and has been to the FIFA world cup. Fun fact: one of his dreams is to do a road trip from Cape Town to Cairo.

Next week we start introducing some department heads.

Grace & peace