In our last blog post, we introduced newest team member Alycia – here, we wanted you to meet an instrumental couple that has been with Acts 8 since the beginning. Their hearts and service have been indispensable in building up and strengthening our ministries.
Teresa and Bruce have been a part of Acts 8 since it was launched in 2011, soon after they moved to the Seattle area from Denton, Texas. Discipleship and ministry are no strangers to them – in Texas, they were both active in several outreach and ecumenical ministries. As an ordained pastor, Bruce served as a spiritual advisor and director for such ministries as the Walk to Emmaus, and Epiphany Ministry for Incarcerated Youth. Teresa also served in these ministries, as well as in Kairos Outside (a ministry that serves the female spouses of incarcerated men) as a team leader and coordinator. Both have served on several music teams with these organizations, and in churches around the Denton-Dallas area. During their ministry service in Denton, they led a truck stop chapel service for 5 years, and worked in a half-way house for recently released young men.
*Whew!* As you can see, discipling others and actively bringing God’s Kingdom to Earth is as much a part of these couples’ lives as breathing – the above list is only a portion of their journey. When Bruce and Teresa heard about Acts 8, they immediately knew it was something they wanted to be a part of. Teresa been told by God when only seventeen years old that she would go to Africa, and in the Lord’s own timing, it happened! Since 2011, Bruce and Teresa have made multiple trips to Ethiopia with Acts 8, and will lead the team traveling this March.
Currently, Teresa is President of Acts 8 and Director of Give Me Hope. After she “retired” from the practice of law, Teresa found herself in a second career as a pre-school teacher in a children’s day out program, which she later directed, and as a Sunday school teacher and curriculum developer for elementary students in the church they attended. This experience has flowed perfectly into the GMH development and training.
Bruce is a curriculum trainer and presenter for both Give Me Hope and the Acts 8 Discipleadership seminars, and has served as an Acts 8 representative lecturer for Vision Leadership Institute in Ethiopia. As a teacher with a PhD in European History, Bruce has a long experience in teaching high school and college students, as both a classroom teacher and professor, and as a youth pastor and young adult Sunday School teacher.
To conclude, we asked Bruce & Teresa a few questions about their time in Ethiopia. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, as they fly to Ethiopia on March 16th to direct GMH training and several seminars for the local men & women.
Q: What is your favorite part of Ethiopia?
Bruce: How fun the people are that you meet! They are alive, interesting, different, and colorful.
Teresa: If I had to pick one thing that strikes me, it’s the food, definitely the food. Spicy, exotic, unique. It is a taste sensation! But it’s more than that. Ethiopian cuisine represents a unique people, a unique culture, a one-of-a-kind approach to life.
Q: What are your dearest memories there?
Bruce: Realizing how much I had in common with people in another part of the world I didn’t know, and how much they welcomed me into their lives.
Teresa: All of them! No, really, I have so many, it’s hard to single out a few. My dearest moments are things like walking around in the open market, rubbing shoulders with the people on the street, welcoming a new baby into the world, guarding my food from a slick-handed monkey, forging friendships, making children laugh, and being prayed over by some of the strongest prayer warriors in the world.
Q: And your hopes looking forward?
Bruce: To be a part of their lives, and to share in the results of how their ministries grow.
Teresa: I would like to see the Give Me Hope children’s discipleship curriculum in place throughout all of Ethiopia. Not just in churches, but in after school programs, orphanages, street ministries – any place a child in need can get hope.