Family: Abby and I were married in October of 2008. Our family quickly grew with the birth of Ellie in August of 2009, Violet in June of 2011, John in March of 2014, and Louis in September of 2016.
Personal History: From birth to around 6 years old, I grew up in Alsip, then moved to Tinley Park around the age of 7. I attended Peace Memorial Church in Palos with my parents, soon after moving to Tinley Park. After several years of regular attendance, my parents and I became members. In eighth grade, I was confirmed, and also became involved in Altar Boy service. My relationship with God in my early adolescent years was one of belief, but not one of much understanding or connection with God. My life changed for the better on December 31st, 2004 when I met Abby. Not long after dating, Abby asked that I start going to church with her. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God put Abby in my life to make me more aware of Him. I really enjoyed going to Peace Community with Abby. It was such a breath of fresh air going there with her, and such a change of pace for the church going experience I was used too. I started realizing that for the first time in my life I really enjoyed and wanted to attend church. When Ellie was about a month old, Abby suggested we give Missio Dei a chance. MDC quickly became the right choice for both of us for a multitude of reasons. The weekly reminder of the Gospel, the warm connections we quickly made in the church and the amount of children that our own children will grow up loving Christ with, were all very key for us. Abby and I both really love the closeness we feel with so many of the others attending MDC. Becoming members of the church grew my connection to God even further, in that it helps keep me accountable in my walk with Christ. Missio Dei is, and continues to change my life daily…..or better yet, God continues to change my life daily, through my connections at Missio Dei.
Favorites: I love my wife and children, and typically find Mondays difficult without them after enjoying my weekends filled with our activities. I’m a little obsessed with the success of the Chicago Bears and Cubs, and their overall performance affects my mood far too much. I really enjoy music of all kinds, except smooth jazz, that’s just weird. I love all sorts of food, I enjoy a cold beer on a hot day, or a cup of coffee (or three) any day. I also do love my career as a graphic designer, although the long days sitting at a desk can become tiresome.
History: John married his wife Leah in 2005 and currently has two children: Rachel and Sarah.
Favorites: Gospel Music, Running, and playing the guitar for his daughters.
Family: I married my wife Amanda in August of 2012. Together we have two children, Jackson (2018) and Simon (2020).
Personal History: I was born and raised in New Lenox, Illinois and for 18 years of my life, I went to Catholic Church with my family, every Sunday.
In my junior year of high school, I started dating a girl that was in the Peace Community Church youth group (Ground Zero). It was during this dating experience that I was brought to the sex series that Paul Vroom was giving. It was during one of the messages that the Spirit tugged on my heart a little harder to surrender my life to Jesus Christ because of His work on the cross. I quickly got into Bible studies and even started leading my own. I quickly grew a love for more knowledge and understanding of this “Christian Life”.
This experience then led me to Trinity Christian College, where I spent 2 years as a Biology Major, and hating it. I just barely got by in my classes and hating showing up to my classes. I would rather have been in classes with my roommate where he was learning about John Calvin, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Church history. I had a desire to think through the sanctification process and figure out what life with God was like.
It was through this education process, and becoming more and more involved with Missio Dei Church, that I eventually switched my major to Theology, and for the first time in my life I had made the Dean’s list, twice! Understanding more and more about God helped me in my relationship with God, but also helped me better serve the congregation as a member of the Road Crew and Worship Team.
I now work full time as a program assistant at Camp Manitoqua and Retreat Center. I blessed to serve in this Christian ministry where I get to use the gifts that God has given me.
Favorites: Being around my wife Amanda, reading any sort of book, serving, playing my acoustic guitar, making food, enjoying a good beer or whiskey, and Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!
Personal History: I grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois. My younger brother and I grew up in the church and our faith in Jesus was a constant in our household. We originally attended a Methodist Church but some issues with the local pastor caused us to leave. We had no regular church for a while until we found a brand new church that had just been planted the year before. At first, I hated going to church with my family. It wasn’t until 6th grade when I started attending the youth group (just for fun of course!) that I began to really feel God’s call on my life. By the end of my 7th grade year, I had decided to make my profession of faith in front of the church and that I would be going with the youth group on a mission trip to Costa Rica. God really used those experiences to allow me to have real and impactful encounters with the living God!
My faith grew throughout high school and I was on the leadership team for my youth group. I loved helping to plan the lessons and teaching the younger students all that I knew about the Bible and God. My faith was very vibrant but I wouldn’t realize until later how shakable my foundation was. My time in college was a period of growth but also of discouragement. I had a plan for my life and God had another. In the spring of 2009 God opened a door for me to begin working at Camp Manitoqua, where I still serve as the Outdoor Education Coordinator. My move to Frankfort opened up the need to find a new church. I had been churchless for almost 4 years when I came to Frankfort. Eventually, through my connection to the Phillips family via Manitoqua I began going to their house group during the week. Eventually, I began attending regularly at Missio Dei Church and also joined the worship team. I still faithfully serve on the team today! Not too long after that, I became a member of the church.
Through my time serving at Manitoqua and living among my brothers and sisters at Missio Dei Church I have learned so much about what it means to live a sacrificial life in light of the sacrifice that God made for me. The biblical teachings and hard lessons that we hear regularly from Paul on Sunday mornings are consistently convicting and challenging me to be a better follower of Christ. Paul led us through the book of Exodus as a church and I cannot express how foundational for my faith that sermon series was. Through our time in Exodus God showed me that my faith is secure in the unchanging and totally faithful promises of an Almighty God! It is not based on what is going on around me and most importantly is not dependent on me. God is sovereign and in control and I will trust in him now and forevermore!
Favorites: I love quiet time and helping others. I love spending time with my Mom, Dad, and Brother. I enjoy spending time in nature, hiking, biking, or just relaxing. I also enjoy time indoors enjoying the latest video game, movie, or TV show that catches my interest! I especially love spending time with my Church and Manitoqua Families.