Sitting on the back porch of our family’s dairy farm in Kansas at the age of 5, listening to a Christian radio drama, I was somehow made aware of my need for a Savior. I knelt by the radio with my older sister and prayed to put my trust in Christ. I was baptized shortly thereafter, and again at the age of 17, when I reaffirmed my faith.
I worked hard at serving the Lord, in response to what I still believe to be a legitimate call on my life, but mainly with an attitude that I was “helping God across the road like a little old lady,” as U2’s Bono puts it. I had the idea God called me into ministry because He needed me. And to be honest, I still default to that false notion from time to time.
I was in my mid-30s when I finally began to see my spiritual self-sufficiency for the crippling enemy that it was. I began to press deeper into gospel-centered community and allow other men to call me into account for my sin, my Christian walk and my time in the Word, and as a result I finally began to trade my self-sufficiency for a deeper dependence on Him.
My career with East West Ministries International started as the Communications Director. By the late ’90s, my wife Ann and I were leading teams to Russia, ministering to orphans. In 2004, we launched a ministry to orphanage graduates, and in 2005, we moved to Russia to launch Hope House. A team of Russians now carries on the ministries as we cheer them on from the sidelines. While continuing to support the work in Russia and mentoring leadership there, I am now also leading teams into other fields to plant churches among the unreached.
In 2014, Ann and I became Covenant Members at the Fort Worth campus. Ann teaches in Little Village, and I serve on the Production team. Together we lead a Home Group. We have two sons, Aaron and Ben.
Hope for The Village Church
My hope for The Village is that we would be known as a safe place to be real with one another, accepted for who we are, but never content. And that our safe place would never become a fortress to shelter us from the world, but on the contrary, an outpost sending warriors to the front lines, rescuing the nations from darkness, binding up the brokenhearted and setting captives free.