The Rest of the Story

Near the end of 2001, we began talking with a mission agency that focused on remote parts of the world. Desiring the blessing of Bethel, the church we had called home since August 2000, we sought counsel from church leadership. We spent a year being mentored and prepared by Bethel’s pastors and lay leadership. In February 2003, our family was sent by Bethel on a month-long mission experience in Togo, West Africa. Bill supervised construction of a missionary home and we all got a first-hand taste of life and work in a foreign field.

We returned home with a clearer vision for declaring God’s glory among the nations. God instilled us with a passion for serving the remote peoples of Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific. We were thrilled to be appointed as Bethel’s first “home-grown” missionaries in June 2003. Building a critical support team of financial and prayer partners was a stretching but exciting process for us. From November 2003 to May 2004, we completed a three-month internship at the mission agency headquarters in Missouri, followed by a three-month field internship in Vanuatu.

Our family moved full-time to Vanuatu in February 2005. We went back to the US in April 2007 for eleven months. During this furlough (or home country assignment), our third child Maxwell was born (in May); we traveled several states meeting up with our Home Team; we changed stateside mission agencies; and we worked to complete new funding goals. We returned to Vanuatu for our second term of service in March 2008. In March 2009, our fourth child was born in Australia.

We have had subsequent furloughs in 2011, 2015, and 2018. Last year brought big changes to our family-- our son Marcus married Sierra Swets in June, and our daughter Mikaela began studies at a Christian university in August. Maxwell and Malachi continue to live with us in Vanuatu, and they absolutely love it. Although it is wonderful to reconnect with relatives and support partners in the States, Santo Island is the "home" where God's called us!

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