After more than 2 decades of life and ministry with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), serving the church in Serbia and Montenegro, we worked ourselves out of our “job”, and returned to the U.S., thinking we would transition back to American life and ministry. However…that was not to be. In 2013 our CEF international ministries leadership sent us to Manila in the Philippines, spending several days with the CEF Filipino National staff, and Hong Kong to attend a regional CEF conference. While running…literally…through the Tokyo airport attempting to catch our connecting flight to Manila (unsuccessfully!), we were struck by how much we felt at home in an airport, in a city, on a continent we had never before visited or lived: British Airways, Lufthansa, JAL, ANA, KLM, Austrian Airlines…we could have been at home in any one of the major European airports through which we had transited so many times during the years.
Upon returning to the U.S., we realized that our hearts and souls were still very much globally focused and we began seeking God’s face as to what this meant. After receiving much encouragement from a counselor friend in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our CEF leadership sent us to the Narramore Christian Foundation training seminar/conference in Turkey. Through the various sessions, interactions, and times with God, we returned to the U.S. hearts burning with a desire and passion to come alongside of missionaries and national staff who are isolated, hurting, scared, lonely, and feel they have no one who understands, cares, or will listen.
In late 2015, Paraclete partner Stuart Rowell encouraged us to contact Paraclete. We did and are grateful that God has opened the door for us to be full-time associates with Paraclete. As God continues to lead, we anticipate ministry to include coming alongside of national mission staff, particularly CEF personnel in the Balkan states of Europe; multi-cultural team building and training; encouragement and listening; and providing Sabbath rest in the U.S. and overseas for national staff members.
Who We Are
We have been married for nearly 40 years, having met at Grace College of the Bible, now Grace University, in Omaha, Nebraska. After two years of studies at Grace, we transferred to the University of Nebraska where Jan earned her RN, and Doug a Bachelors in Music Education. After five years of teaching music in northeast Nebraska and central South Dakota, we began our training and mission preparation with Child Evangelism Fellowship in fall 1986, moving to Vienna, Austria in 1989, joining the CEF European Outreach team, ministering in Eastern Europe. During that time we were introduced to the nation of Yugoslavia and began working in a country experiencing war, implosion, refugees, evacuation, a police state, and the beginning of a growing team of national CEF missionaries and a national CEF ministry program, as well as a realization that God was granting us the possibility to provide times of rest, encouragement, and strength to that team.
After an educational sabbatical, where Doug earned an MA in Intercultural Studies and Jan a certificate in ESL from Wheaton College, we returned to Europe, living in Vienna, Austria once again so our two youngest kids could realize their dream of graduation from the school they had begun attending when younger, Vienna Christian School, now the International Christian School of Vienna. While in Vienna for our last term, we opened our apartment multiple times to our kids’ school friends and teachers as well as our national teammates in Serbia and Montenegro. We also endeavored to continue the ministry of Sabbath rest for the national team, as well as strengthening the work in Serbia and Montenegro. We also volunteered at the school with Jan tutoring special learning needs children, accompanying choirs and musical drama productions, and Doug teaching 6th grade Bible.
In 2012, it was with many tears yet hearts of gratitude that we returned to the U.S., leaving behind a team that is completely national led and staffed, doing great things for our God throughout Serbia, Montenegro, and now Bosnia-Herzegovina.
We have four grown children, all raised in Europe, two of whom are married and have blessed us with grandkids. We are thankful to be close to three of our four kids, as well as many of our siblings and parents. We are also thankful that God has given us the amazing opportunity to be parents, grandparents, and Pastoral/Member Care workers to our wonderful teammates in Europe!