I grew up on a dairy farm in the small town of Silverwood, Michigan. I loved my life on the farm but never felt that it was anything but ordinary. We owned a dairy farm & eventually began our own construction business as well. I did not realize the valuable tools God was giving me until many years later.
I prayed the sinners' prayer when I was seven years old right after my grandma died simply because I wanted to see her in Heaven one day. For many years I struggled with doubts because I felt I had made the decision for the wrong reason. Pride & fear kept me from dealing with those doubts until finally when I was 28 years old (& a deacon in our church!) I went forward during a revival meeting to get it settled. I have never doubted it since!
During my Bible college years, God began to work on my heart in the area of full-time service, but again, fear held me back. I met my wife there, & after we both graduated, we returned to the farm with the intentions of remaining there for the rest of our lives, but deep in my heart I knew that God had other plans. He worked on me for many years as I served faithfully in our church & worked beside my brother farming & building. He had to get me to the place where I was able to trust Him completely & place my whole future in His hands.
One day in February 1994, God got my attention through a farming accident. I lost parts of two of my fingers in a machine & as I pulled my hand out, I told the Lord right there that I would do whatever & go wherever He asked me! Just a few months later, we received a phone call from Pastor Greg Baker in Ajax, Ontario, Canada. "Would we pray about joining the staff of FaithWay Baptist Church & College of Canada?" he asked us. We prayed, fasted & sought godly counsel & God gave us clear direction that this was indeed what He wanted for our lives. It was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made -- leaving family, our family business & a great church that we loved, but God confirmed over & over again that this was His plan.
In 1995, we moved to Canada & for fifteen years God pruned, shaped, grew & stretched us beyond what we ever thought was possible. While my wife was busy serving in many areas, I maintained the buildings & the property, fixed, built, & repaired buses, drove buses, taught in the Christian Day School & eventually in the Bible college. In 2000, we took over the youth ministry as well. God showed us that it is "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God." II Cor. 3:5
During my time as the Youth Pastor, my wife & I had the privilege of leading our teens on eight missions trips. God used those trips to open our eyes to the need for a ministry to aid frustrated, tired & discouraged missionaries who may not be equipped to handle practical daily needs like car repairs, roofing, building & so on. Our pastor counseled me to take some missions trips on my own helping to build churches to see if this was truly what God wanted.
Through a series of circumstances, Scripture verses, sermons & nudges, the Lord directed our steps. It became clear that He was leading us to take another step of faith. In June of 2009, we attended candidate school at BIMI & were accepted as missionaries with the CLAIM ministry.
After two years of deputation raising support for the ministry, we began serving full-time with CLAIM & we love every minute of it! Looking back, we can both clearly see that the Lord was preparing us our entire lives for this ministry!
Our only desire is to use our tools for the Lord so that His work can go on & His name can be glorified.
I grew up in a pastor's home in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where I heard the Gospel early & often. As a result, I accepted Christ as my Saviour at the tender age of four. We were often reminded in our home that we were being raised to serve the Lord, & honestly, that is all I ever desired to do. We were also given many opportunities to gain lots of experience in the ministry. I am so thankful for that!
I met my husband in Bible college, & after graduation, we lived on the family farm for several years & learned many valuable life lessons! We also served faithfully in our local church working in the music ministry, the youth ministry, & teaching Sunday School classes.
Four children & fourteen years later, God made His call upon our lives clear. It wasn't an easy decision, but on January 27th, 1995, we packed up all of our belongings & our four children & moved to Ajax, Ontario, Canada, where God graciously allowed us to serve on staff at FaithWay Baptist Church & College of Canada for fifteen years.
During those years, we gained even more experience in ministry & a greater vision for the need of this world. I have served as secretary, teacher, youth pastor's wife, & drama director. I have also had the privilege of traveling & speaking to ladies, singing & writing music with my sister, & rearing four wonderful, God-honouring children. We are the proud Papa & Nana of fourteen grandchildren, & we cannot thank the Lord enough for His goodness in our lives!
Now He has called us to give back a portion of all that He has given us. Our heart's desire is to be a blessing & encouragement to missionaries all around the world!