Dr. Sadiri ‘Joy’ Tira was born in the Philippines in Tupi, South Cotobato, and immigrated to Canada in 1981. He married Lourdes Tira in 1977 and they have two adult children and are expecting their first grandchild in September 2005. Joy was raised by Christian parents whose faith was the result of protestant missionaries to the Philippines. He accepted Jesus Christ as a young boy and rededicated his life to Christ at 16 as a first-year university student in Manila.
Dr. Tira recalls… “I first responded to the call to serve God in full-time service at the Asian Students Missions Conference in Bagiuo City, Philippines in 1973 (a conference similar to URBANA). Soon after graduation from FEATI University, in 1975, I joined Operation Mobilization and sailed on the MV Logos as Senior Marine Engineer until 1977. After our firstborn, Lorajoy, was born we rejoined the ship as a family in 1979. We served with OM until 1981, as Engineer and Lourdes serving as nurse. As a Christian traveler to so many different parts of the world, I came to see the world through the eyes of Christ. OM trained me in areas such as evangelism, and prayer.”
Desiring further training for vocational ministry, Joy applied to several seminaries around the world and was accepted at Canadian Theological Seminary (CTS) in Regina. In 1981 Joy packed up his family and moved to the “wilderness” of Saskatchewan where they stayed until 1984 and he received his Master in Missiology. While Joy studied in Regina, In 1983, Millbourne Alliance Church in Edmonton decided to hire an intern from CTS in order to start a fellowship among the growing community of Filipinos in south Edmonton. Joy was the only Filipino on campus eligible for this internship, so their young family (along with newly born Tonyvic) moved to Edmonton for the summer. Joy connected with a vibrant and growing Filipino community over that summer and then returned to Regina in the fall to finish his last year at CTS.