LET US SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT OURSELVES
I was born in Pontiac, Michigan to a single-mom who dedicated her life to raising me right. I was given a moral, but not a Christian upbringing. I learned from a young age never to lie, cheat, or steal (but I did them all). When I was seventeen years old, I dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Navy. I served for twenty years as a helicopter crew-chief, rescue-swimmer, and survival equipment mechanic. I was nearing the end of my career in the Navy, teaching water-survival to student Naval Aviators, when a co-worker began to invite me to church. After many attempts, I finally agreed to attend. I first heard a clear presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ on December 7th, 1999 in the Campus Church at Pensacola Christian College. I didn’t get saved that day; but the seed was planted, and I immediately began to wrestle with spiritual things that had never troubled me before. I began to attend church regularly, even attending in a church singles retreat. I still recall being under deep conviction a number of times but my moral upbringing kicked in; I just couldn’t accept that I was a sinner who deserved death and hell. It was at that singles retreat that I met Kari; in fact, over coffee one evening she got out her Bible and shared the Scripture that the Holy Spirit would use to bring me to salvation: Acts 26:28 “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” That night, I couldn’t sleep! I knew that this verse described me; I was almost persuaded to be a Christian! I placed my trust in Jesus Christ the next morning, and have never doubted Him since. A year and a half later, I retired from the Navy and married Kari in the same weekend. We moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where I spent the next four years serving as a Sheriff’s Deputy and attending a wonderful soul-winning church. During these years, our burden for world missions grew and I was challenged to pursue a Bible education. We returned to Pensacola, Florida in the fall of 2005 when we accepted positions on the faculty at Pensacola Christian College and I enrolled in seminary. In our eight years there, the Lord continued to work in our hearts towards missions, giving us the opportunity to serve as leaders on short-term medical mission trips with a gospel focus.
My parents were in Bible College in Indiana at the time I was born. I began hearing the gospel regularly long before I could comprehend what I was hearing. After asking many questions of my mom regarding Salvation, she used my baby sister as an illustration in our living room of how we are born as sinners and are headed to hell because of our sin. At the age of four, I realized that I too was a sinner. I believed that Jesus Christ died for MY sins and I asked Him to forgive me and to save me. When I was five, my parents began deputation as missionaries to Mexico. I absolutely loved the years we lived in Mexico as missionaries. It was during my early adolescent years that I surrendered to being a missionary. I felt called to train as a nurse so that I could use medicine to help reach people’s physical needs as an opportunity to reach their greatest need—the need of a Savior. I graduated from Pensacola Christian College in 1997 and worked as a nurse in Pensacola after graduation. In 2000, I met Jim while attending the Campus Church. We were married in 2001 and moved to Michigan, where we lived for four years. The Lord moved us back to Pensacola in 2005 to teach at Pensacola Christian College. During our latter years of teaching, I returned to school to train as a Nurse Practitioner so that I would be better equipped to serve medically when we took our short-term mission trips. In August of 2013, I began working as a nurse practitioner in a hospital setting. It was in the fall of 2013 that the Lord confirmed a calling to full-time missions for our family. Here in Paraguay, I stay busy as a wife and homeschool mom. I also serve in ministry teaching children’s classes at church, playing the piano and singing, and leading ladies Bible studies.
About Our Children
MATTHEW Matthew is our oldest, born October 14, 2003. He graduated high school in May 2021 and returned to live in Milton, FL. He is working in the Milton area and serving faithfully in our home church. AMELIA Amelia was born September 9, 2006. She is artistic and enjoys writing. She enjoys helping Kari with children’s ministries here in Paraguay. SOPHIA Sophia is the baby of the family, born February 22, 2010. She is full of life and is very generous. She makes friends easily and is a blessing to our home and ministry.
OUR CALLING AND VISION
We are a family of Bible-believing missionaries sent out of Victory Baptist Church in Milton, Florida. We are under the compelling call of God to serve Him as church planters here in the country of Paraguay. We began our ministry here in 2017 and the Lord used those first years to deepen our burden for these sweet people and increase our fluency in the Spanish language and Paraguayan culture. We have seen people saved, baptized, and growing in the Lord and praise God for His goodness towards our family. We began the Iglesia Bautista La Victoria (Victory Baptist Church) in April of 2022. Our calling is to win souls for Jesus Christ; disciple them as the Bible commands, then help them to establish Bible-believing churches.
Our Core Beliefs
I believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. I further believe that the Holy Scriptures have been completely and perfectly preserved for the world in the Authorized Version (1611 KJV) of the Bible. I believe that all other versions, excluding none, are perversions and corruptions of the true Word of God and, therefore, will not be used in any part of our ministry. I believe that the sixty-six (66) books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to man (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
I believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Ghost – each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26).
The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
I believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that he might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14; 9:16; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
I believe that Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-26; Rom. 3::24-25; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
I believe that He ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
I believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, indwelling them and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
I believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures, and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
I believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; 28; Eph. 4:7-12).
I believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, and ultimate deliverance of the body through sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22).
Depravity of Man
I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but, that in Adam’s sin, the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19).
I believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
I believe that the great blessing, which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification; that justification includes the pardon of all sin, and the promise of eternal life; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood.
I believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties and inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and relying upon Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.
I believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, through the appropriated means of the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
I believe that all true believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption; that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
I believe that the Church is entirely made up of the called-out assembly of born-again, baptized believers and that Jesus Christ is its head. I believe that Christ has ordained the local church to accomplish his purposes in this dispensation. While not replacing Israel in God’s purposes, believers in the church share the task of Israel of sharing the truths of God with the world. I believe that the church should exist as an autonomous body, free of any external authority or control.
I believe that the only scriptural offices of the church are the offices of pastor and deacon, whose qualifications are defined in the Epistles of Timothy and Titus.
I believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the scriptural ordinances for the church in this age. I believe that Christian baptism is by immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that baptized believers are to commemorate together the sacrifice of Christ by observing the Lord’s Supper.
I believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
The Second Advent of Jesus Christ
I believe in the imminent, bodily return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, at which time He will rapture His church out of the earth. I believe that immediately following will be the seven year Tribulation period, after which, the Lord will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, which was promised to the nation of Israel (Psa. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10; 11 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-26; 20:1-6).
The Eternal State of Man
I believe in the bodily resurrection of all men; the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
I believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
I believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment and torment (Matt. 25:41-4; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).