Our Story

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:14,17 (NIV)


Three years ago, God set us on the path of this adventure. We weren't expecting anything more than to continue our comfortable, "normal" life here in central Ohio. But God stepped in and changed everything. Seven years before, our church sent out a church planting team to Amsterdam. We started a little "joke" that if they ever sent a team to France, we'd think about it. The church never did, but God took our "joke" seriously. After Kristy offhandedly mentioned it to a friend and our missions pastor overheard, we found ourselves in his office shortly after learning about what God is doing in France.

That meeting began a change in our life direction. Over the past three years, this new adventure has been pulling us further from our comfort zones and out into the unknown. Here's a little more about who we are and how we got to where we are now. If you want to read more about the start of this journey into missions, Kristy wrote a blog post about it, part 2, and part 3.

Rob grew up interested in Europe because his parents liked watching Rick Steves shows. His first degree was in photojournalism, and he seized the opportunity to do field school in Scotland. A short time later, he had the opportunity to go to Germany on several occasions and made some German friends.

Kristy’s mom used to speak a few French phrases to her as a child, and she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to learn French in middle school. She ended up studying French through high school and minored in it while majoring in chemistry at Texas Christian University.

Neither of us dreamed that we would be called to do missions. As adults, we seemed to look at many missionaries with a reverent sort of awe. We placed them in an echelon in which we were not. Truth be told, at that time we weren’t spiritually ready. But now we’ve sensed the call to be missionaries and have recognized that God often uses those in the Bible who seem the least likely. Why? We believe it’s for God’s glory, so that we can’t boast.

When we talked with our senior pastor about our calling, and he asked us about our spiritual gifts, one thing he mentioned in that conversation was something to the effect of “you can’t be who you’re not.” Sometimes as Christians we get this sense that we should be doing some type of position in the church we’re not doing or have some type of spiritual gift we don’t have. In other words, we seem to place a hierarchy on certain types of positions and gifts. But Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:7 says, “But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”

Later in chapter 12, he says,

4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 12Just as the body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’”

We don’t need to be who we aren’t. But we should be who we are—who God created us to be—and be that to our fullest extent. We are not perfect people witnessing to perfect people. All humankind is on a journey. We serve an amazing God, who has blessed us to be the people whom we are. God uses people where they’re at, calls them to higher places, and is with them in their story. Our stories are part of the bigger story—His creation and redemption story.

Kristy

I remember sitting in front of the sanctuary, out in the hallway, in church as a young elementary-aged kid writing stories on the church bulletin. That’s the earliest memory I have of being a writer. My love of writing came back as a graduate student, where I wrote a few chapters of a forensic suspense novel before my research in explosives and my social life took over. It wasn’t until I was married that I would start a new novel, write another one, and begin a third. Writing has become a necessary part of life for me. Like oxygen, I need it to stay healthy. It’s my way of connecting with God and people and connecting people to God.

Outside of writing, I have many hobbies and interests. I love spending time being, exploring, and playing with my family, swimming (I swam for TCU once upon a time), cycling, running, triathlon, and weightlifting. I also love watercolor, reading, studying spiritual formations and theology, connecting with God in nature, singing, and playing guitar. From chemistry to writing, I am a good mix of technical and creative.

I value authenticity and depth. I am an extroverted introvert. It takes me a lot to get out and about, but when I do, I can really be out there. I’m vulnerable, and I invite people into that vulnerability by giving them a listening ear, questioning mind, a safe space, and a loving heart. People share their stories with me because they know I’m not perfect and that I’m open about my experiences. I provide people a safe space to vocalize their struggles.

Rob

Ever since high school I have been drawn to visual communication. Starting with photojournalism, I soon was drawn to video production as well. The ability to tell stories through images was something that was very powerful and meaningful for me. I knew I wanted to use visual media as a way to share the gospel with others. Effective communications can make such an impact for the Kingdom, and my passion and desire is to use my skills to help enhance and expand ministry communication effectiveness across France.

Outside of media, I love cycling and being outdoors. I loved being able to see part of a stage of the Tour de France this past summer! I also enjoy running, cycling, and just enjoying God's creation. I enjoy playing guitar and singing. I have an odd sense of humor, according to Kristy at least. I love watching foreign films, comedies, and "quirky" films.

I'm a fun mix of technical and creative. I love having things planned out and organized, but also trying new things, taking risks, and exploring adventures. I like to think of myself as a Swiss-army knife. I've gotten experience in so many different areas and I learn new things—especially technical things—very quickly, so I know a great deal about a lot of different things.

Our Kids

We have three awesome kids: 8-year-old twins and a 6-year-old. We love doing things as a family, like swimming, bike rides, hiking, putting puzzles together, and watching the Planet Earth series (seriously, if you haven't seen either Planet Earth 1 or 2, you really should. It's an incredible look at God's creation. I'm pretty sure we say "Wow!" at least a dozen times each episode!).

All three of our kids are energetic, fun-loving, and good-natured. They all love swimming, cycling, skate boarding, Legos, science and/or art, and making "contraptions" with the various building sets we've accumulated. They're inquisitive, curious, creative, and scientifically minded. They all also love Jesus and want to learn more about the Bible and are curious to learn more about how to hear God.

 

 

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