Butch's Testimony and Profile

I was saved as a young child at age eight and raised in a Christian home by godly parents. I grew up in church where my father was the pastor and have been involved in local church ministries all of my life.  After graduating high school, I left for the army where I served in Korea after my boot camp and advanced Power Generation Equipment Repairman training.  After the tour in Korea, I returned home to Ohio and married Lesi and we headed off to Fort Hood Texas to finish my active military duty.  Our son Casey was born at Fort Hood.  After my completion of active duty, Lesi and I returned home to Ohio. I went to Akron University for Elementary Education with minors in Math and Computer Science.  I continued my military career with the Ohio Army National Guard.  God continued to bless and our family with two daughters, Colbie & Caitlyn.  While I studied through college, worked full time and served in the Guard it was an extremely busy chapter of our lives.   I qualified for Officer Candidate School (OCS) and graduated OCS and then went to Officer Basic School for training as an Ordinance Officer. I stayed in the Ohio Army National Guard, and worked as the Director of Information Technology for a telecommunications distribution company in Wadsworth, Ohio.  My service in the military helped to shape and prepare me for service in the Lords Army. 

We attended Bethel Baptist Church (http://www.bethelchapel.com/) in Savannah Ohio where Pastor John Bouquet is the Senior Pastor.  Lesi and I served in a variety of positions and capacities - adult and youth Sunday School Class Teacher, Youth Worker, Deacon, Nursing Home Ministry, and  Worship Leader.  Pastor John became my Barnabas and we met as accountability partners each week for over ten years.

My family served actively at our Ohio church. My life became increasingly busy as I became a volunteer fire fighter, worked part time as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), studied in college and lead a family.  At this time, I realized “if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”  God kept me focused and called Lesi and I to search for a lifetime ministry.  We considered numerous ministry opportunities until the Word of Life door opened.  Once lead to Word of Life, we knew God’s specific direction was to the Short Term Mission ministry.

In 2000, God sent us to Nigeria on a short term mission trip.  That trip directed us into full-time ministry with Word of Life in 2003.  When I started at Word of Life, I was asked to direct the leadership of the Nehemiah Network.   My assignment was to develop, coordinate and administer Short Term Mission Work and Health Care Trips.  Also, because of my technical background in the Information Technology field, I was asked to serve as the Director of Information Technology Services for Word of Life. 

When I first started, Word of Life sponsored three to four Short Term Health Care or Work Trips per year.  In just a few short years, the Short Term Mission department grew annually to 25-30 trips per year.  Word of Life’s Short Term Mission Opportunities included, International Health Care Teams, International Work Teams,  and International Ministry Teams for students, adults and families.   Short Term Mission trips offer unlimited ministry opportunities for Work Teams, and Health Care Teams to support the needs of people and missionaries around the world.  Lesi and I have been excited about the opportunity to serve God through the ministry of Short Term Missions.  My whole family has had the opportunity to invest our lives in world-missions.

It has been through the 65+ Short Term Mission trips that I have had the pleasure of leading which God has used to burden our hearts for Brazil and the remote river communities.  There is a fine line between a burden and a calling.  We have felt a burden for every country we have been to because of the ministry opportunity, seeing the needs, falling in love with the people and directly being part of ministering in the lives of people.  However, the burden for Brazil has been ever growing with every trip back to the Amazon jungles and the remote river communities.  This burden has grown to a deep passionate love and calling for these very precious people.  They will not have an opportunity to hear about Jesus unless someone goes and tells them.  These unreached river communities need someone to go and tell them about Jesus.  We are excited that God is allowing us to be part of the ministry team reaching out to these unreached communities. 

Watch these video from a Health Care Trip and see why I love my ministry so much!

Video from our Annual Fishin' Mission on the Amazon River:

Videos from Fishin' Mission Trip:

WARNING!  This is a real TEAR JERKER!.  We had just dropped of fish we caught in one of the villages where Word of Life has ongoing ministry.  While the boat was backing away to cast off, veteran Amazon River Missionary, Rick Parker, began telling this story:

What we do to pass time at night on the Amazon River Health Care and Fishin' Minisitry Trips: