We were married in June of 2010. A year later, we felt God calling us to love and care for troubled and vulnerable children. An opportunity at a youth home in the states arose and we became house parents to six boys. We absolutely loved the little family God had blessed us with, but knew God was using that time to prepare us for something different. After our time at the youth home was over, we felt God leading us to pursue global missions. The first step in obedience was to plan a short-term mission trip. We both felt whole heartedly that Africa was where God was calling us. In the process of researching the needs of different countries, we came across a little country called Swaziland (now called eSwatini). We learned that eSwatini has the highest percentage of HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis in the world, and because of that, has a staggering amount of orphans and neglected children. Many of these children have no one to love, protect, and care for them. After much prayer and consideration, we decided to go in July of 2013 for three weeks to Swaziland and serve. There were many painful things witnessed during that first trip, but those things only served as a reminder that as Christ followers we are not to ignore the least of these. Upon our return to the states we began to explore what it would look like to do mission work full-time in eSwatini. After a few months of thoughtful consideration and prayer, we decided we were ready to take the first steps in becoming missionaries. We began by being mentored and trained by the leaders in our church community. Our church then partnered with a sending agency called CTEN (Commission to Every Nation) to send us onto the mission field. In October of 2014 we returned to eSwatini for a two-week trip to serve with a local orphan ministry and to further explore where God might be leading us a couple to specifically serve in country.
In January of 2016 we attended Children’s Ministries Institute at CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) headquarters where we developed in-depth knowledge of CEF’s curriculum and methodology. We learned how to effectively teach young people the gospel, but also how to effectively train teachers and leaders to do the same. Then in May of 2016 we received cross-cultural training in Colorado at Mission Training International, a highly acclaimed missionary training program, where we learned many skills on language acquisition and lots of knowledge on how to exit and enter a new culture. The skills we learned at MTI enabled us to effectively navigate the difficulties of living cross-culturally and how to cope with those difficulties as a couple. Finally, in June of 2016 we moved to Africa to begin our lives as missionaries to the beautiful country of eSwatini. Since our arrival we’ve been privileged to be able to serve in several different local communities. Many young people have come to know the Lord as Savior, and many have come to understand that being a Christian is about much more than going to church on Sunday. Christ calls us as disciples to make disciples, not keep our faith to ourselves. Being born again is about living a new life in Christ. One that is “on mission” for Him and His glory alone!