As a family man, businessman, and follower of Christ for over thirty years, I never could have foreseen that God's call on my life would move me out of my comfort zone and over 12,000 miles away to the continent of Africa.
I've experienced a good life. A Southern California native, I have been blessed from the very beginning; my parents recently celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary. I met my wife, Frankie, when we were both in high school, and it wasn't long before I attended church with her and saw my need for a Savior. I accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life and embarked on the journey that has led me to this place and time.
Frankie and I have raised two children. Daughter Sarah lives a few blocks away—with her husband, Paul Mittmann, and their two children, Paul Davis and Anna Jane. Our son Sean lives half way around the world and is currently the in-country director for Krochet Kids International in Gulu, Uganda.
I have been the owner of Horizon Heating and Air Conditioning for over twenty years. Five years ago, my life was catapulted into a deeper dependency on Jesus Christ when my dear friend, business partner, and pastor—Chuck Obremski— went home to be with the Lord after a battle with cancer. It was during this time of greater dependence that I clung to the words of Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path." The truths of God's Word took on a deeper meaning as I learned to truly and deeply lean on Jesus to be my all-in-all.
Dependence on the Lord often leads to a loosening grip on life-as-usual. With my wife Frankie's support and encouragement, I traveled overseas to Uganda in June 2008, my first trip to Africa. I was blessed to be able to travel alongside my son Sean as a member of a team sent out from our home church, RockHarbor.
At first, I was uneasy and full of questions: How was God going to use me? What was my purpose for being on this trip? Would I be a help or a hindrance? However, despite my feelings of inadequacy, God began to move through me.
During a church service in Gulu, I responded to a woman requesting prayer. When I went back to my seat, a man approached me with words of encouragement from the Lord. He told me that God was pleased with me for coming to Uganda. This was my introduction to Pastor Ron Munyao. His words brought me comfort, my uneasiness passed, and my questions were being answered. My spirit was lifted, and a sense of peace overcame me. When we met again the next day, Pastor Ron told me that he had spoken to me out of obedience to God, and I am so very thankful that he did.
Other missions trips followed, and I was asked to be a part of the lead team for the Uganda ministry. Although I was blessed during these trips to witness God moving on the hearts of both RockHarbor team members and the people of Northern Uganda, it was during a family trip to visit our son Sean that a deeper relationship developed with Pastor Ron and his wife Joy. Our relationship and our vision of the ministry God has for us grew until it was clear that we had a common bond despite our vastly different backgrounds. It became obvious that both families were called to a common purpose in Christ.
And so began the process of hearts knit together as one in service to the purposes of God for His people. This was the inception of Christ the Center Ministries. Servants of God from Kenya and from the United States joined forces by the Spirit of God to minister with one heart to the souls of Gulu and beyond so that Christ would be glorified and be the center of the hurting, rejected and displaced in Africa.