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. Between 2007-2009, we had two more sons, the last one born in Australia.

We returned to the USA in 2011, 2015, and 2018 for the wedding of our son Marcus to Sierra Swets, and to get our daughter Mikaela settled into university. In late winter 2020 we made an earlier-than-planned trip to the USA, due to the passing of Christina’s dad followed by the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down international travel. We look forward to the birth of our first grandchild, and to Marcus and Sierra bringing their baby to Vanuatu where they will be part of our field team. Maxwell and Malachi will 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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