Sarah and I were married in 1985. We have four children, ages 25, 23, 21, and 19. Two live in Virginia, one lives in California and one is a missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and for the past 3 years been either in Colorado or Uganda.
My background is oceanography and environmental engineering. Many years ago we looked at going onto the YWAM Mercy Ships, but we really weren't ready for that at the time. So, I worked for the State of Virginia in several different environmental agencies for almost 20 years. During that time, we worked in several different ministry positions in whatever church we were with: youth, children, puppets, etc. I also have been working on obtaining a Master's of Theology, but haven't finished that yet.
My scientitific/environmental background never really fit into any ministry we were involved with, so I gave it all up to try and go into full time ministry. For the past seven years I also worked in several small churches in our area and we have had a home group in our house. But nothing seemed to really work.
Our daughter in YWAM was leaving Colorado to go to Uganda, so we packed up the car and headed west to see her off. After she left, we kept going to Los Angeles. We had no plans for when we got there. All we had arranged was a place to stay for a few weeks while we looked for work and a place to stay.
Within three days of being in Los Angeles we were placed in contact with Brett Curtis. Brett has been with YWAM for almost 30 years and was with the Mercy Ships when they were still part of YWAM. Brett was just in the beginning stages of organizing YWAM Ships-Orange County. He referred me to Mountain and Sea Educational Adventures (MSA). MSA teaches marine science to middle and high school students through science adventure camps on Catalina Island. So a week later, we were on Catalina and I was teaching high school students oceanography.
The reason Brett knew about MSA is that they are partnering with each other to develop an Environmental Stewardship Ministry that can become part of our YWAM ministry.
We finished up the season and came back to the mainland moving in with YWAM Ships-Orange County in Hutington Beach. We worked helping to organize the base and it's up coming training sessions.
The shorten version of all this is that everything I have ever done, and gave up, and everything that I have wanted to do, has all come together. As of today, we are in need of funds to be able to go through our training and to be able to help run and support the ships and needs of the people we are helping. Afterwards, we will be working with YWAM Ships, what ever and whereever needed
That is my story and Sarah's is just as amazing.
Sarah is an artist and has never found an outlet for the type of art that she has always envisioned, until now!
The best way to describe what she does is "integregated portraiture." It combines photos, written word, art, etc. to teach others about a person's culture, not just a picture of a person.
I will let Sarah further explain her story on another post.