From Phil: I was raised in a godly Christian home in southern Michigan. My parents trained me from a very young age about the importance of placing God first in my life. When I was 5 years old, I asked the Lord to come into my heart and save me. When I was in 7th grade, my family began attending Faith Baptist Church in Davison, Michigan. It was here that the Lord began to get a hold of my heart and give me a passion for missions. After mission trips to Mexico, New York City, and Montreal, it was quite apparent that the Lord was directing my heart to the mission field.
In 2003, I asked my Pastor (Dr. John Lewis) if he could recommend a Native American missionary with whom I could do an internship. After consulting Dr. Bob Jones III, he recommended Regeneration Reservation. In 2004, the summer of my sophomore year at Bob Jones University, I spent two months working and training under the Regeneration team. It was that summer when God called me to work with Native American people.
In 2006, I married my wonderful wife Bethany. Upon completion of my MA from Bob Jones Seminary in 2008, the Lord opened the door for us to move to Arizona and join the Regeneration team. The Lord provided work in the Fort Thomas school system, which has 95% Apache enrollment.
In 2010, the Lord led us to join Baptist World Mission in order to fulfill the full-time ministry and church planting call that God has placed in our hearts. While we already live on our mission field, we are greatly looking forward to completing deputation and being able to give all of our time and effort to minister with the Apache people.
From Bethany: I was born into an evangelist family and grew up traveling around the country. As I was in church nearly every night of my childhood, I heard the Gospel many times at a young age. I asked the Lord into my heart at the age of four. The importance of ministry was always stressed to me by my parents. Through evangelistic ministry I received experience in music, children’s ministry, and people skills. While traveling on the road I had many opportunities to see God work and provide needs. As a young teen, I felt God directing me to mission work. I went to Bob Jones University in 2002 and graduated in 2006 with a degree in church music.
Living on the Native mission field has been an eye opening experience. I am learning patience every day as I encounter the mindset of a culture so different to my own. At times it seems that the obstacles are insurmountable. God has been showing me that it is impossible for me to evangelize the Native people. He must do that through me as I trust Him.