Fred Desharnias joined with Sanctuary Interfaith in May 2015. Through the volunteering of his time and services, he was soon promoted to deacon and then most recently to Minister. Fred showed his ability right away. The quality work of his work is his unmistakable signature.
Soon Minister Desharnais will be joining Minister Joe Monte in the Sanctuary Interfaith Israel mission. Fred has showed his ability and dedication when he chose to come to Baja California, Mexico as a volunteer. He has proven himself as a natural at what he does and is a strong addition to our team. His personal background has prepared him for taking on most anything. His ability to interact in our diplomatic assignments has been quite impressive, which no doubt lends to his life experience. We have all the confidence in the world about Fred taking on mission projects on his own for this very reason. We have been blessed to have such a capable and fascinating soul added to our Sanctuary family!
Fred grew up in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. Minister Fred Desharnais was brought up by a single mother. From then on, it was just his mother and Fred trying to get by, as his father was not able to contribute through child support, alimony, and general finances. His mother was determined to keep the house they had just purchased when the divorced took place when he was only the age of 3.
Before his father left, they had no other choice than to work long hours and often forced to come home late, sometimes past midnight. His mother insisted that he grow up in a good neighborhood, where there were many families and children present, and that is why she chose to do this. From the age of eight onward, they could no longer find babysitters willing to commit to stay late with uncertain hours of when his mother would come home. At that point she ceased acquiring the services of babysitters.
Eventually Fred would begin taking care of himself. He would come home from school at 3 p.m. , prepare his own meals for dinner, and go to bed before his mother would come home from work. This period of time is when he developed the importance of responsibility, which has shaped him into what his is today. At age nine he retained his first job clearing snow from driveways. His mother told him, that if he wanted to keep those clients he had to be sure the driveways were cleared before they go to work in the morning. The street plows would block the end of the driveways so it was easy for vehicles to get stuck. He would get up at 4:a.m. and begin his job to ensure by 8: a.m. they would be able to get out. This is what shaped him in the importance of maintaining a high work ethic. He made $1000.00 that winter season.. Not bad for a nine year old!
At age ten, Fred purchased his first BMX bike with the money that he earned clearing snow. That is when he got into competitive racing. In the five years of racing he competed in two world championships, first one in Bordeaux, France and managed 13th place out of 260 riders, and the second World championship in Mol, Belgium managed to get 16th place out of 230 riders. He had to later quit racing due to health issues. However, managed to get over the health issues three years later. Thanks to racing and having a chance to travel to various countries, this is what gave him the interest in travelling.
At nineteen he left home and went backpacking all over Australia and New Zealand for a year. He came back to Canada and decided he wanted to work in the travel industry. After finalizing his studies at a College that specializes in travel, he was not able to secure a job in the industry, at that time. He was able to find a job working for the railroad on Canada’s trans-continental train, working between Montreal and Vancouver. He would be gone for 4 -5 days on the train working 18 – 20 hour days. This lasted 4 years before he was able to find a job as a Travel Agent. He further became an Agency Manager, then a supervisor for Canada’s largest tour operator.
In those 20 years in the industry, including his travels in racing, he has now visited 25 countries and over 280 cities, towns and villages. These travels is what has given him the appreciation of many different cultures, and respect for them, too. He has been to very poor countries, war stricken countries and rich countries. And in all these places, he has met wonderful people… far more good people then bad. People willing to help me out in any way, just for the fact he has an appreciation for their country and their culture. This is what has helped shape him to never judge people from where they’re from or how they may look.
He was never a religious person growing up and in his adult years. But it was during his travels in Thailand in March 2014, when he discovered the Lord. Since then he has been committed to following the Lord and his teachings. Fred quit his job as supervisor and joined the Ministry in May 2015, and he is now committed to serving full-time. This has been a life changing endeavor and he does not regret it one bit.