I was born in far northern New York State (almost to the St. Lawrence River) and have lived in California, Texas, Ohio, and now in Florida. Prior to being a missionary my formal training was in banking. From there I became the administrator of a large church in Southern California where Greg Laurie is the pastor. That was followed by a time with the Billy Graham team setting up the crusade in Anaheim stadium in 1985. I then served for two years as the press secretary to a US Congressman followed by ten years with evangelist Dave Roever during which I traveled through the US doing assemblies in middle and high schools on HIV. For about five years God took me out of full time Christian service and I was a salesman in Ohio until He called me back to being a missionary. We moved to Fort Myers, Florida, to join a mission agency there and later joined Equip.
I never wanted to be involved in HIV ministry. But, in 1985, God put me in the office of a congressman who was a leader on the Health Subcommittee. Knowing that as his press secretary I would be handling a lot of questions about the recently identified disease of HIV/AIDS, he assigned me to become his expert on the subject. That led to spending the rest of my life studying and teaching about the disease. Though I didn’t want to be involved, I can now not imagine doing anything else. After being part of two other agencies, I took the CHE training in Marion through which I came to be aware of Equip. When God made it clear that it was time to change agencies, I got back in touch with Harold and joined Equip.
In 2016 I was blessed to facilitate my 74th HIV Educator Seminar. He has had me travel to 23 countries on four continents with His message of hope and empowering believers to motivate people in their cultures to make choices that will slow the spread of the virus, replace stigma, and bring the Gospel to those living with HIV.
Seminar participants develop creative new ways to present a biblically based HIV education. God has chosen to ordain me as a minister of His Gospel and serve in vocational ministry for most of my adult life in the local church, evangelism, and as a missionary. My wife, Kathy, and I live in Fort Myers, Florida, and have five children and nine grandchildren.
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Jack Dody has studied alternative technologies and has built many houses using those technologies over the last thirty years. Currently, a handyman, Jack continues his study and accumulation of knowledge about ways to provide clean water, reliable power, and comfortable housing for people living all over the world. He teaches others about these subjects in classes for Equip, Inc. and Mission Training International in Colorado. He is also involved in reaching out to his local community in Rush, Colorado. It is one of the poorest places in Colorado and there are many opportunities to serve and share Jesus. Visit his website at www.abundaculture.org.
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Hunter: I currently work as a Physical Therapist Assistant, and I’ve been employed since my graduation in March of this 2018. I attended South College of Asheville for my degree and am currently looking into the process of continuing my education to obtain my full license as Physical Therapist. I have a huge passion for the body and helping others stay healthy in theirs. I love spending time with kids because of my large family and hope to pass on the knowledge and excitement I’ve gained for these things with the people I work alongside.
Emily: We were married in 2016, and we have since grown together in our love of the Lord, each other, and our first son, Judah. We share a passion for the body and health as well as children and babies. Staying active and making memories is important to our family, and we love adventure and new experiences. Moving to another country and culture will test us in many ways, I know, but we continue to feel led in the direction of Uganda. It is our hope that our vision will remain stayed on that common horizon and, that through our adoration of it, others may catch a glimpse of what it is we are working and living toward.
Twenty years ago we left our native land, the Republic of the Philippines, where we worked in the Bible school founded by my late father, the Rev. Santos Tuzon, and for over twenty-five years we trained young people for Christian ministry. We thank God for the opportunity to have helped our own country develop mature Christians and leaders who are now 'out in the field' proclaiming the good news of the Gospel to our own Filipino people, not only in the Philippines, but also among the Filipino communities in the islands of Hawaii. And the work goes on and we also moved on...
In 1996, we answered the call to go to Brazil and work among the street children. It was not easy to pack up and leave again. This time leaving our children here in the US, but the call of God cannot and must not be ignored. From language school in Campinas, Sao Paulo, we left in 1997 to go to Curitiba, Parana, where we joined the work with what was then Casa de Jose that worked directly with street children - going out at night to look for them, inviting them to come and join us in the activites geared for them. The city government helped us with a bus called "Resgate Social" (Social Rescue), picking up and bringing the kids to the project where we did a lot of activities with them. The best part was singing praise songs for the Lord and doing Bible lessons with them. Teaching them about God and His love was the most fulfilling endeavor for us, but even more fulfilling was seeing souls saved and left the streets to start a new life in Christ. So, this was what we did for the length of time we were in Brazil. During the time we were in Curitiba (1997-2008) we cannot report of hundreds saved, but the Gospel was shared, we "planted the Seed" and whatever child that came to Christ, they were faithfully nurtured to become mature Christians. Three boys especially inspire us because of the change that happened in their lives through God's grace and mercy - they now have their own respective families, all are working, and faithful in their Christian walk.
In 2008, our agency (Equip) reassigned us to the US. It was not easy for us to leave Brazil and all the friends and kids that we had bonded with. We arrived in Florida, but we did not know where we were going to do our ministry, but in our hearts we were very happy for now we can be doing our mission work closer to our family. Through a very good friend and benefactor, he invited us to visit LaBelle, Florida, a small community with only a few thousand people compared to the million and half people then in Curitiba, Brazil. But LaBelle is only 103 miles north of Pembroke Pines where our family lives. It is here in LaBelle where God has blessed us with a cross-cultural community, reaching the different ethnic groups, particularly the Hispanic community. Being fluent in Portuguese, it is much easier for us to learn the Spanish language - although Spanish is not quite the same as Portuguese.
Volunteering at the Salvation Army Service Center here in LaBelle has brought us closer to our target group. Helping in interviewing clients to qualify for food assistance, giving out food for them, doing the Bread Day every Wednesday morning with a devotional both in English and Spanish - all these make our mission acitivity very fulfilling. And visiting clients whom we have shared the Gospel with and inviting them to church, distributing Gospel tracts at the flea market, visiting a nursing home, hosting fellowship dinners, as funds are available - all these add to our mission activity.
Through the years in ministry, it has not been easy for us, but thank God for your prayers and financial support, as we continue to be encouraged and inspired to give our all to the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Forty-five years in the ministry, we still go on, and as God gives us His strength and wisdom, and as you, our dear friends and readers, continue to pray for us and partner with us, by His grace we keep on doing what He wants us to do - sharing the Gospel and demonstrating His love to everyone!
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