Our story becomes “Our Story” in 1994 at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. Todd had come from Indiana and was starting his Junior year. Amanda came from Ft. Walton Beach, FL as a freshman. We met later that semester and by the same time the following year were making wedding plans. We were married in December 1995 at Niceville A/G in Florida.
For the next few years we were both students– Todd at AGTS and Amanda finishing Evangel– and Youth Pastors. We ministered with the young people at Calvary Temple in Springfield under Pastor Larry Meeks, who we will always be indebted to for “giving us a shot” being so young. Several years later we had the privilege of welcoming a new senior pastor, Earl Creps. This time at Calvary gave us a heart for missions, discipleship, and revival. God was so good to us. We had the opportunity to take our first group of students on a missions trip, under District Youth Director Darin Poe, who was also a wonderful mentor of ours. Eventually we both graduated and immersed ourselves even deeper into understanding the disciple-making life of the church.
In 2000 we were invited to return to Todd’s home church, Lakeview Christian Center in Indianapolis, IN, as Sr. High Youth Pastors. The next four years continued our heart for missions, leading two teams to Nicaragua and El Salvador. We also learned more about the life-giving dynamics of the church, small group relationships, and the teamwork it takes to make it all happen.
In 2004, we felt drawn to church planting and missions, but continued to pray for clear direction as to the right opportunity. It was during that time we received an invitation from Robby & Tracy Bradford, veteran missionaries who wanted to plant a church in The Netherlands.
After hearing about the miraculous doors that were opening, the need and purpose of this project impacted us. It was a place with dark shadows, but full of hope. God’s hand in their history is clear, and God’s hand on their future is equally clear. The effort was focused in Hilversum, a suburb of Amsterdam where young professionals are gathering– from across Europe, and every other continent. We found many to be open to the life change that Jesus Christ will bring.
We committed three years of “Our Story” to this effort– one year of preparation, and two years of ministry service. With God’s help, and yours, now we have moved to raise up a “Bridge” in Paris where people come to know Christ, and spread his love into the surrounding community! Read about The Bridge here.