When first meeting people, a common question is, “Where are you from?” I’m finding it increasingly difficult to answer that question. I was born and raised in Michigan (Go Blue), lived in Southern California for six years after getting married, lived in North Carolina for three years while working on my Masters of Divinity in International Church Planting and Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies and working with refugees, then moved to East Asia for four years and have recently returned to the PNW to join the team here at Westwood. For my wife, this is coming full circle since she grew up here at Westwood.
For me, this adventure of moving all around the US and living internationally started one evening in El Florido, Mexico while overlooking the city lights. I remember sensing God ask me if I trusted Him and would follow Him anywhere to serve those often forgotten and neglected people. Saying yes to that question started my wife and I on a journey to move to Africa soon after being married. A bad car accident changed those plans, but landed us in SoCal where I was a youth pastor for 6 years, leading short-term mission trips and engaging the diverse culture that makes Southern California so unique. While in North Carolina our family got involved in serving the fast growing population of refugees in the Raleigh/Durham area, and in 2011 we moved to East Asia to serve one of the poorest and most physically and spiritually oppressed people of that area.
I’ve learned that being on mission with God isn’t about a location, it is about being aware of the needs wherever we are at, and looking for intentional ways to cross the barriers that divide us and keep us from bring God’s Gospel renewal to these lives. I’m excited to be a part of the team here at Westwood and take all that I’ve learned from my experiences and studies and lead our outreach ministries.
And it wouldn’t be a complete bio if I didn’t mention my love for sport and competition. I’ve completed four marathons, participate in CrossFit, and love basketball, soccer, hiking, kayaking and just about anything else active and outdoors. But more than anything, I love spending time with my wife, Shawna, and playing with our three kids. You may see us out and about in the community at football, taekwondo, basketball, or chasing our cute little girl around. Our family loves finding good local ethnic food, and hanging out at the Olympia Farmer’s market.
I look forward to meeting you!