Praying to be on Amazing Race

A couple of local pastors have an amazing idea; they want to become participants on a reality TV show, Amazing Race Canada. They’ve already submitted an application video that showcases what they believe to be a unique type of competitor.

“I thought it would be an interesting dynamic to have two pastors together, because they always want to have interesting pairings,” says Mike Penninga, who along with his good friend of 15 years Joel Feddersen are both involved with Kelowna church groups.

“They have people from all different walks of life and journeys and situations so we thought of putting together a team that might surprise people. When you say pastor, people have an impression of what that is and we thought we could change people’s impressions for the better – of what pastors look like, sound like and race like.”

Mike is a senior pastor at Kelowna Gospel Fellowship Church and Joel is a youth pastor at Willow Park Church. After working together for nine years, the two have experienced many adventures in their travels and feel those experiences have only galvanized their friendship – perfectly suiting the pair for whatever could come next if selected for the Amazing Race.

“We’ve done a lot of crazy kinds of activities leading others and then together,” says Mike.

“Joel started a house boating camp on the Shuswap, so we’ve had a lot of crazy adventures from that – the very first day the roof blew off in this crazy wind and the thing about Joel that I love is that he is so laid back and relaxed and I am very much structured, planned and organized.”

When described like that, the two sound like the odd couple – which could fit right in with what producers from a reality TV show would typically look for in contestants.

Anyone who has seen Amazing Race knows it is viewed as an endurance test brought on by jet lag caused by the rigorous travel schedule and built up tension between competitors. Mike is anticipating the challenges to be both physically and mentally demanding, but doesn’t foresee anything putting a strain on Joel and his friendship.

“I don’t see Joel and I arguing or fighting or getting on each others nerves mainly because he’s such an amazing guy,” says Mike, before adding his biggest worry comes at the expense of his family, whom he would have to leave for up to one month.

“We’re both husbands and fathers; I have three kids and Joel has two. We would have to be away for up to four weeks during the shooting.

“My wife is so supportive of this and I’m glad of that and my seven-year-old daughter told me I won’t win because I’m the slowest in the family,” he laughed.

Mike, who is turning 40 this year, is looking at the opportunity to race against other pairs from all over Canada as a sort of bucket list, and hopes to cross Niagara Falls off his, if given the chance.

In the meantime the two pastors are boning up on their French and waiting to hear if they will be selected.

The contest deadline for submissions is Feb. 28 and pairings are expected to be announced sometime in March.

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