All of us have been shaped by a number of experiences. Here are some that have shaped me.
I had the blessing of growing up in a home where I learned about Christ and saw faith expressed in tangible ways by my parents. As with all childhoods mine was far from perfect but I saw the people around me struggle to make their faith real in their lives. In this environment I began expressing faith in Christ myself at an early age.
Ellen and I met while working at Warm Beach Camp in 1985. We were engaged the next June and married in August of 1987. She is still my best friend and greatest support and a sounding board for my life. We have three sons, Tom, Ian and Isaiah and one granddaughter.
Following high school I attended Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta. I graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Religious Education degree and moved back to Bellingham and got my feet wet as a youth pastor. Later I attended Western Evangelical Seminary which transformed into George Fox Evangelical Seminary while I was there. I graduated in 1994 with a Master of Divinity Degree.
The Church transcends culture. In 1986 I began a short term missions assignment in Tokyo, Japan where I pastored Machida Gospel Center. In 1987 Ellen and I were married and returned to Shimizu Japan where we spent two years doing outreach through teaching English and ministered in support of a local Japanese pastor. More recently I’ve taught in Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and the Philippines. We have many friends here and overseas from other cultures. Eastside has hosted two Spanish speaking congregations and is currently partnering with Apostolica Iglesia de la Fe en Cristo Jesus.
Accountability and Community:
Early in my ministry God showed me in painful clarity that I could not survive on my own. Over the years I have had a number of mentors and peers who have been part of my accountability and support team along with our church board and leaders in the Oregon Conference of the Free Methodist Church.
It has been through the most difficult experiences of my life that I have grown the most and subsequently become more understanding of others. These experiences include facing a serious setback in my education, the death of my brother from AIDS, having someone close to me commit suicide, being financially destitute but having God provide to name a few.
I am currently a Deacon at Eastside and most recently received my Local Ministerial Candidate License. I have enjoyed serving in various positions at Eastside; Women’s Ministry, Sunday school teacher and leader of the Wednesday night children’s program. I have also served outside Eastside on the conference women’s retreat committee for the past 20 years. All of these positions have given me great joy has helped me shape a closer relationship with God.
I love working with other women and encouraging them to grow in their relationship with God but also in encouraging them to grow in their own personal life and to follow their dreams.
Being a Sunday school teacher has taught me one very valuable lesson; be prayed up and come prepared! Children are incredible little “sponges” that will trust everything you say but will question everything you say! Children want to experience the “whole story.” They want to know what people wore, what all the words really mean and to be shown exactly how things were done in the bible. Working with the children on Wednesday night and Sunday morning has given me one-on-one time with the children and in return they have blessed my heart greatly.
My personal Mission Statement
My mission that I feel God is asking me to accomplish are three things; to know Him in a more personal intimate way; willing to be humble in my behavior and to lead others into a more personal intimate relationship with Him.