Lem Mundorf is not the kind of guy you’d pick out a lineup of former gang members, but he knows the life. He grew up running in a gang and doing things he now regrets.
Although he sports a black hat, his winsome smile and gregarious personality reflect the good guy that he has become.
Lem is the poster child for turnaround stories.
Running with the Boyle Street Boys
Lem’s father moved his family to Edmonton in 1960 after five previous moves. The next time Lem saw his dad was 30 years later when he was dying.
His mother raised Lem and his four siblings on her own, in the Boyle Street area of Edmonton inner city.
He grew up running in a gang. Many of his closest friends at the time have since served time in jail as adults for robbery and assault with a weapon.
What made the difference for Lem?
Men involved in a church outreach program spared Lem from a similar outcome. They came to his home and asked his mother if she would send her kids to their youth program
The program was in a warehouse on Jasper Avenue and 95th Street. A van came to pick them up every week.
Soon they were bored. They disappeared whenever the van came to pick them up.
Wally Sczebel, the director of the outreach program, determined to regain their interest. He invited them to a Valentine’s Day party. Lem could never resist going to a party.
Small things do make a big difference.
A few years later, Wally and his wife Rosanne set up a summer camp, “Teen Time,” near Moose Lake, Alberta.
Lem’s mom couldn’t afford the $8.50 for the 7-day camp, but someone paid his way. He says that was the best investment anyone made for him. His life radically changed that summer. It was there he responded to an invitation to believe on Jesus and become a Christian.
He met the Lord at that camp. He also met his beautiful wife, Karen.
Lem served with the PPCLI where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant.
During his service he studied at the University of Alberta to obtain his degree in Education. In 1981 after retiring, he volunteered with the 49th Battalion, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Association, where he still serves today.
In 1974, Lem and Karen gave back to the ministry by becoming the volunteer Directors of Teen Time. Land was purchased to build a ranch for kids. The camp hosted an attractive two-storey lodge facility and summer cabins on a 350 acre site.
The Mundorf’s four children Ryan, Chad, Sarah and Amanda have been a part of the camp ministry since they were born.
Lem had highly respected career as a Junior High teacher.
He rose to the rank of Administrator in the Edmonton Public School system.
“I am blessed that so many young people committed their lives to our wonderful Lord at both school and Teen Time Camps. I have been involved volunteering for Teen Time for close to 53 years. Karen and I have been married for 49 years and we support the Teen Time program.
Teen Time celebrated a 60th anniversary of sharing God’s Love with teens. God has been good!!”
Teen Time Camps are operated by Teen Time of Edmonton, a registered charitable, non-profit, non-denominational, Christian organization. Teen Time encourages wholesome physical, social, intellectual activities, and spiritual development in young people through recreational programming, social interactions, and by teaching scriptural principles.
Please leave a comment for Lem below. Thank you.
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It always amazes me how God works in the hearts of his people. It’s inspiring to see people care enough to do something, to act, to show the love of Christ by getting involved in something that will last. What a beautifully encouraging story about courage, leadership (influence), and passion.
An amazing story what wonderful god we serve. People can really change by god all mighty. Thank you lord. Amen
I’ve known Lem for 25 years. He is one of those “never-forget-them” kind of people. Genuinely interested in others, thoughtful and encouraging – great qualities of leaders.
Lem has seen lots of teens’ loves change by the love and grace of God, just like his did. Thanks for commenting, Janie.
I always enjoy reading/hearing stories of the changes in people’s lives as they surrender their lives to Jesus. Lem’s story was another reminder of what can be accomplished as one reaches out in love to others with the gospel message.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story about a truly amazing gift of God to our community! I taught with Lem a couple years and even worked with Karen at her school for a short time too! Lem had a huge impact on his students and he was loved dearly by his colleagues! Lem always had a smile and asked how you were doing every morning. I hold up my actions as a teacher to, “What would Lem do in this situation?”
He spoke often of his love of his wife, children, God, teaching, and his service to Teen Time.
God bless you Lem and Karen!
Thanks for commenting, Patrick. I passed on your comment to Lem. I know he will appreciate them. God bless.
Thank you Keely. Lem has acquired a fan club, which is awesome!
Lem, (Mr. Mundorf) was my teacher in grade 7 and 8 at Westminster jr high, way back in 1987-88. I was one of the “disturbed” kids who was steeped in darkness and pain. I really respected Him, but I hid it out of pride. I bought into the deception that I had to be a “tough girl”, and showing appreciation in my eyes was a sign of weakness, so I acted cold. I remember He always wrote “God bless you” at the bottom of my marked assignments. I appreciated that, but I was again too proud to show it. I appreciated every act of kindness he offered. I really wish I was the person I am today, back then! Well long story short, when I was 20 years old, I finally came to the end of my wretched self and my destructive ways, and had an encounter with God. Soon after, I gave my life to Jesus! I often tell people when I give my testimony: ” Before I met Jesus I was clinically depressed. Now, I am clinically happy!” Lol! Mr. Mundorf, If you ever read this, I apologize for every bit of grief that I may have caused you in those years. Please forgive me! Your kindness did make a difference in my life, and You are a part of the reason I am a Christian today. I have been wanting to tell you that for a long time. God bless you sir! I am at peace now in my life, joyfully, and humbly serving Jesus. (Most days) lol.
Take care, thank you for being you
Thank you so much Heather for your comments about Lem. He is one of my favourite people as well. You are a kind person and good at relationships. There will be people who reflect on your influence on their lives as you have reflected on Lem’s influence in your life. God bless you.
Hello Lem, I am sharing Teen Time’s story today in church and was wondering how you were doing. It was great to see your story here. All the best to you and your family
Which church are you in today, Dianne?