We are children of God, saved by grace through faith in Christ.
We have been journeying through life together since 1999. Rusty is a born-and-raised Oregonian. Laura spent the first 18 years of her life in Kenya, East Africa where her parents were missionaries. We have four precious children, born on four different continents -- Alex (12) in Asia, Stephen (9) in North America, Benjamin (6) in Europe, and Elizabeth (4) in South America! We are truly a family of global nomads who have lived and traveled all over the world.
We are both graduates of Cascade College in Portland, OR.
We spent four years teaching English and serving as vocational missionaries in Japan -- 3 years as AET's (Assistant English Teachers) for junior high schools in the city of Mito, and 1 year at a private English conversation school, World English Center, in Hitachi.
Rusty earned his master's degree from Harding School of Theology (formerly Harding Graduate School of Religion) in Memphis, TN. During this time, he spent two years working as an associate minister for the Thyatira Church of Christ in northern Mississippi. We also led a Let's Start Talking Team to Kampala, Uganda in the summer of 2003.
Also while at Harding Graduate School, we joined the Angola Mission Team. We spent 4 years with the team as we prepared for long-term service in the African nation of Angola. Two years were spent stateside fundraising and going through Mission Resource Network's team preparation process, and two years were spent in Portugal studying Portuguese, the national language of Angola. In July of 2011, our teammates headed to Angola while we remained behind in Portugal for the birth of our third son. We planned to join them as soon as we could, but as the months passed, it became evident that God was leading our family in a completely different direction.
We are now serving as missionaries in the South American nation of Ecuador. We arrived in Ecuador in April, 2012. For the first year and a half, we lived in Quito, did language study, and worked with an organization called Operation Ecuador and the jungle ministry at Kumanii, an old eco-tourist lodge on the Cayapas River in the northwest region of the country. Rusty coached and mentored local evangelists and church planters working in the villages along the river. He also assisted with a variety of short-term mission campaigns that complemented those evangelistic efforts.
In October of 2013, we moved to Tabacundo (about an hour and a half drive north of Quito), where we now administer a Christian camp, Camp Bellevue. We oversee a small staff, host groups for retreats, camps, and short-term mission projects, and run an after-school program for children of low-income families in the community. Additionally, we work with several area churches to encourage and equip them to serve and evangelize their communities. Rusty is trained in the DISC, a personality inventory, with Personality Insights. He also counsels couples as a certified facilitator with Prepare/Enrich. We were both trained to coach church-planting teams using the PATH (Periodic Assessment of Team Health) through Culture Concepts Consulting. We enjoy using all of these tools to bless and equip church-planting teams to work together and relate to one another more effectively. We believe that healthy marriages and teams are foundational to healthy church plants.
For more information on the Bellevue Foundation, click here. Visit Camp Bellevue's Facebook page in English here or in Spanish here.
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