Bill is a Michigan native who loves playing (and watching) ice hockey, camping, hiking, video gaming and reading. He nearly got an Associate's Degree, but decided to work full time to save up for his wedding after proposing to his high school sweetheart. (and it was worth it) ;)
Amanda was born in Michigan and raised between Michigan and Nevada. She loves musicals, camping, the beach, the mountains, reading, volleyball, and (watching) ice hockey (go Wings!). She graduated from Cornerstone University with her Bachelor's in Elementary Education with a minor in Language Arts.
In the summer of 2006 Bill & Amanda tied the knot, then packed up what they owned in a truck and headed to North Carolina, leaving behind everyone they knew.
Amanda signed a teaching contract with an elementary school in Charlotte, North Carolina and they quickly settled in and found their new family at Freedom House Church. They soon became members, began serving anywhere they could, and then became leaders in the church. Bill joined the Pepsi workforce as a sales rep. while Amanda continued teaching 2nd graders and worked on honing her photography hobby on the side.
In 2011 they welcomed their son, Owen, into their family. Owen is a sweet, mild-natured boy that loves the outdoors, helping others, cooking, reading, playing instruments, singing, camping and riding his bike.
In June of 2012 Bill, Amanda & Owen took a 17-day trip to Tanzania with a team of friends. It was then God revealed that Moshi would be their home some day. (They assumed it'd be about 3-5 years). In February of 2013 they found themselves back in Moshi (completely surprised by God's timing). They came just as a family and stayed for an entire month, really getting a feel for life in Tanzania.
THEY BECOME A TRIBE
In August of 2013, after selling nearly everything they owned, the family boarded the plane yet again for Tanzania- this time to make it home, only 14 months after first experiencing the beautiful country!
They lived in Moshi, Tanzania as missionaries with Global Effect for four years. Bill & Amanda both volunteered their time and talents at Hope International School. Bill taught Preschool, Kindergarten and PE. Amanda taught middle school, junior high and then transitioned to administration as the curriculum and logistics coordinator. Together with the rest of the team they helped Hope transition from a homeschool co-op to a full-on International school with nearly 100 students.
Additionally, they came alongside other missionaries to help with administration, organization, photography and labor efforts on different projects. Amanda led a women's life group and Bill served in a discipleship group aimed at arming national leaders and pastors with tools to help grow leaders within their own churches and communities. They were also involved in a local church and served in the nursery, on the greeting team and Bill was on the church council. Owen loved to go to preschool where he played playground games like Poison Apple, spreading the Word through play. He also loves to help other missionaries, and could often be found entertaining his friends so their parents could get more work done.
During a furlough in America near the end of 2016, Bill & Amanda were given the opportunity to take a four day retreat where they teamed up with some life coaches to help clarify their roles on the mission field. Before the retreat they had already begun to feel the 'winds of change,' but were unsure what/how/where/why. During the retreat they were able to hash out their goals, priorities, needs and wants, and more clearly define their ministry. They walked away with so many amazing things, but the three main ones were:
1) They aim to be a catalyst for transformation in their host country, leaving a legacy that has empowered nationals and changed lives through the love, grace, hope and freedom found in a relationship with Jesus. (they always knew this, but were able to clarify it at the retreat)
2) They are missionaries who equip - they help put legs on the visionary's vision. They're "project managers," of sorts, who come alongside fellow missionaries and/or organizations with a similar mission to help fill the gaps, wrangle the details and strategize to make the vision into reality.
3) They're going to need a bigger map. With the type of role they operate in, they'll be working themselves out of a job. This is a good thing- but it means they are a nomadic tribe. They'll go wherever God calls them to help and serve!
WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT
Bill & Amanda are strong believers in being a living testimony through their daily lives and interactions. Building healthy relationships with nationals and ex-patriates alike and showing others what it looks like to experience the freedom that following Jesus brings into their lives is vital to their ministry. Their desire is that others would see their truly genuine, always-seeking, never perfect, but deeply devoted love to Jesus.
They hope and pray for opportunities to share the freedom they've experienced through knowing Jesus and - even better - to be able to watch others' lives transformed by that same amazing freedom.