What is it that has prepared us for and led us to serve as missionaries? This is certainly a valid question -- one we hope to shed some light on as you read on. First, though, we must acknowledge that the primary answer is not what but who. That is, God has prepared us to serve as missionaries and led us to do so. There will always be more to learn and new ways to grow, but we remain confident that as we seek to remain in relationship with Him that He will continue to lead and provide all we need as we serve Him and others.
PETER - "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV)
This verse remains as great of a challenge for Peter today as it did over 13yrs. ago when he served in the first of more than two dozen official ministry roles he has held. Over the years, since accepting Christ in elementary school, Peter has been blessed to be able to serve in a wide range of roles: in the church and with parachurch organizations, in founding & running a ministry and stepping in line as part of a larger teams, in background roles and upfront positions, cleaning toilets to presenting sermons, in areas of gifting and in tasks that just needed hands, etc. It's not the number of roles, the types of them, nor the time in life he did them that matter most though -- it's the combination of all he's been able to learn from God in the successes and failures that matter. Peter has also valued greatly the community that the family of God has been for him -- within the Church overall, and his time in smaller groups within it. Beyond experiential learning, Peter has also had the opportunity to grow through more formal learning. Peter has a double-degree from Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in Ministry (with and Intercultural Studies emphasis) and in Bible. He also earned a Masters degree in Leadership from Denver Seminary, as he pursued the study of one of his greatest areas of passion -- leadership development.
More specifically related to missions, Peter has been a part of numerous missions teams locally, nationally, and internationally. He has spent various lengths of time in varying capacities in eleven nations (and counting) -- spending the most in the Fiji Islands and in Cameroon (in West Africa). His season in Fiji was primarily spent in practical study and experience regarding missions, spiritual formation, community development, and anthropology as he lived and learned in community with other Americans, while also spending significant time among the native people. Peter's half-year as an apprentice missionary in Cameroon allowed him to live and serve alongside local Christians as He interacted in Bible studies, taught Theological Education by Extension classes, spoke at conferences and camps, and investigated & attempted numerous other ministry opportunities.
Peter grew up in the city of Sioux Falls, SD where he enjoyed listening to music, following NBA basketball, writing, photography, and numerous other interests. While these interests still remain, Peter's greatest passion is to see the world (within the Church and outside of it) filled with more godly leaders. Mission service allows an opportunity to learn from leaders of other cultures as Peter continues to grow in his abilities, while also allowing him the chance to speak into the lives of present and future leaders. He's especially excited that in serving with Journey Corps he will be able to assist in the mentoring/discipling of Journeyers in their faith and leadership skills along with the impact he can have among Ivorians. Peter also looks forward to assisting with the overall organizational aspects of the Journey Corps ministry and serve as a communication link between Cote d'Ivoire and the US as needed.
KATRINA - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
This verse has been an encouragement to Katrina for many years, as God has continually worked in and through her in the various circumstances He has brought her into. Katrina has had numerous opportunities over the years to learn in her home church -- having been greatly impacted throughout the years in Sunday School, AWANA, youth group, small groups, etc. Since accepting Christ at nine, she has also had numerous opportunities to serve within the Church and in other ministry endeavors. Some of her most memorable ministry experiences include serving as a leader with AWANA, going on short-term missions trips to Mexico, and caring for and helping those God brings into her life: family, church members, neighbors, etc.
Perhaps the most impactful ministry experience God has allowed Katrina to have was her three summers serving on staff at a Bible Camp, immediately followed by a year as the interim head wrangler there. Her time there provided numerous opportunities to serve God and others, to be stretched in her abilities, to be mentored, to share her faith, and to submit herself willing to the plans of God. This and other life experiences have demonstrated Katrina's contentment in what God provides and an openness to do what He wants -- which will serve her well as a missionary. She looks forward to creating a home in Cote d'Ivoire for our family and in which to host others, something she enjoyed doing in Peter and her first home together as well. These experiences will give her a solid starting point for mentoring female Journeyers as needed.
In addition to these more specifically ministry-related experiences, God has also given Katrina numerous other interests and opportunities which He will undoubtedly use in some way during her service with Journey Corps. Katrina grew-up near the rural community of St. John, KS where she enjoyed crocheting, cross-stitch, horseback riding, etc. -- while the location has changed, these interests remain. Growing up she also worked in her family's garden and since has held various other positions including as a office assistant and web administrator while attending Kansas State University and a database contractor with one of AT&T's regional office. Some of the skills used in these roles will be put to immediate use within Journey Corps as Katrina assists in developing and managing the ministry's on-field bookkeeping and helps where she can with other administrativ and computer tasks. Long-term, Katrina's role with Journey Corps may change and develop, but she is very excited that in joining this ministry she will be able to fulfill her desire to be a help where needed as well as supporting Peter and all those involved.
TOGETHER - "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves
with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive
whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all
these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:12-17, NIV)
Peter and Katrina met each other when they were both serving as summer staff at a Bible camp in Iowa. Their first interaction as co-workers eventually led to numerous opportunities to spend time with other together. Over the summer a friendship began to form, which in the school year following began to grow. During their second summer working together God was at work in their relationship and their friendship became a dating relationship. As they dated they were very intentional about pursuing their relationship in light of whether or not God would have them marry each other -- discussing various questions, learning about one another's histories and personalities, and gaining the wisdom of their mentors. Two years after their friendship began they were married and moved to Littleton, CO (where Peter was completing his masters degree). Then, as they still do now, they enjoyed many shared hobbies, including: playing board and card games, going on walks together, watching movies, baking and cooking, reading books together, spending time with family and friends, etc.
God has prepared them as a couple to be a family in ministry as they have served together in a community-based camp ministry, have had several mentors (individually and together) with related experiences to observe and discuss with, and have a desire to support each other in what God calls either of them to. Together they are excited to see Journey Corps filling a need to train young mission-minded adults by strengthening them as leaders, give them many opportunities to try new things, challenge and disciple them, and help them to learn about new cultures. Peter and Katrina desire to go where God takes them, to serve in the ways He directs them, and to do it all in Jesus' name, giving thanks to God.
Birthdays: Peter -- June 12 and Katrina -- June 4
Anniversary: July 12