We met during our second year of college as we were studying missionary aviation at Moody Bible Institute. We courted and then became engaged during our third year and then married in August 2002 after receiving our A&P licenses from Moody Aviation, Elizabethton, TN. We planned to take one year off from our studies to save money, during which we were surprised to hear that Moody Aviation would be moving to Spokane, WA. The Lord led us to transfer to the Missionary Aviation Program of Piedmont Baptist College where we graduated in 2007.
After graduation, we moved to Ohio and sought the Lord for where he would like us to serve. We followed the Lord as he led us to ABWE and the field of Togo. It was after one year in France for language school that we found out that Dan had cancer, bringing us back to Ohio for his treatments. The Lord strengthened us and was our refuge through that incredible time. Our church in Medina, OH was such a support to us and a beautiful picture of how Christians take care of each other. We praise the Lord that Dan has been in complete remission since January 2014!
With our transition to ministry with Wycliffe Bible Translators, we are excited to see where the Lord will lead us next!
I was raised in a Christian home, so I’ve always known about God. When I was three or four years old I remember praying that Jesus would come and live in my heart, I wanted him to be in my life. As I grew, I learned more about the depth of God's love for me. I was born separated from him by my sin, but He sent Jesus to die for my sins. Jesus paid a price that I could not pay and rose again from the dead as proof that He has power over death. I made the choice to be baptized when I was 10 years old. I wanted everyone to know that I believed in Jesus's life, death, and resurrection.
When I was 12 years old I went on a missions trip to Mexico and felt the call of God to dedicate my life to full time service for Him. I desired to share the Gospel with those who had never heard it. As I considered what passions and interests God had given me in my life, I knew that aviation was at the top of the list. A Sunday school teacher shared an MAF flyer with me around this time that inspired me to develop the aviation skills that I would need to be able to serve as a missionary pilot. The idea of using the airplane to reach the un-reached was and is a burden on my heart that has never faded over the past 23 years.
I sang with my whole heart, “I’m yours, Lord, everything I am, everything I’m not, everything I’ve got, I’m yours, Lord, take me now and see, see if I can be completely yours.” I was around 9 years old when I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior while attending a Vacation Bible School with my cousin. Being a preacher’s kid, I’d heard about Jesus since before I was born, but it wasn’t until after my parents’ divorce that I felt the need to belong to Him. That full surrender of my heart brought peace in such a tough time.
My mom read bedtime stories to my brothers and me nearly every night. It was a special time that we looked forward to every day, especially after mom had to go back to work to support us after the divorce. Most of the time the stories that she read were stories about missionaries, their adventures and how they trusted God for everything they needed. Those stories, especially the story of the 5 men martyred in Ecuador, gripped my heart and made me wonder if I could be a missionary, too.
When I was nearly 13 years old, my two brothers and I boarded a commercial flight from Akron/Canton, Ohio to Charlotte to see our dad during Spring Break from school. That was the first time I remembered flying and I loved the feeling of the big jet accelerating down the runway. I knew right then and there that I would be a pilot when I grew up. A couple of months later, my mom took us to Missions at the Airport in Kidron, Ohio. I sensed right away a nudge from the Holy Spirit that this just made sense for my life—missions and aviation. I was 17 years old at a church camp with my cousin when I dedicated my life to the Lord’s service in missionary aviation.