We are missionaries to the emerging youth culture of Panama. Upon visiting Panama in 2008, we sensed a stirring among the young people of this progressive country. They thirst for fulfillment in their lives that cannot be met by the booming commerce so rapidly changing the face and economy of this small nation. Within their collectively spiritual culture, they seek to grow that spirituality. Through high school assemblies and presentations, we offer Jesus as the only one who can quench their thirst.
As a result of our ongoing presence in the high schools of Panama, an even deeper matter has emerged. Many, too many, of the students with whom we have the privilege of praying, recount stories of horrific abuse that has deconstructed their identities and has left them purposeless and hopeless. Believing God has brought us to Panama to minister to these broken-hearted, we are launching El Refuge, an outreach center that offers resources, counseling, hope, and healing.
We met on Tara’s 20th Birthday at Templo de Fe, a bilingual church in St. Paul, while attending North Central University. It became quickly obvious that we were destined to be a ministry team as our dreams and passions were the same. We dated 2 1/2 years before getting married on August 16, 2002. We’ve been enjoying the journey together ever since.
Upon graduating from North Central, we had the amazing privilege of serving on the youth staff of Emmanuel Christian Center in Minneapolis, MN, for two years before beginning our missions journey. It was there that we were intensely mentored and challenged in our call to ministry.
We left ECC to begin our Missionary-In-Training term in El Salvador, mentoring under Don & Terri Triplett. They are the founders of King’s Castle Ministries, an international ministry to children that has extended its reach to 32 nations. It was under their guidance and blessing that we were called to Panama to launch our own last harvest ministry.