The Experience Magazine - Spring 2018

Missions Conference Review, Fearless in a Fearful World, No Fear, Snowcamp and Pursuit Updates, Alumni Gathering, Genesis, Alumni News.

I s s u e 4

“ F o r G o d h a s n o t g i v e n u s a s p i r i t o f f e a r , b u t o f p o w e r a n d o f l o v e a n d o f a s o u n d m i n d . ”

2 timothy 1:7

C o n t e n t s

03 04 06 08 10 11 12


A let ter f rom Don Lough, J r .


“Keep Calm and Carry On” is a popular message on t-shirts these days. Easier said than done, right? So many people struggle with fear in their lives. We know that fear paralyzes and imprisons us. Courage and strength have a tendency to evaporate in the face of fear. Our theme this year at Word of Life Bible Institute is – Fearless. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Perhaps you are struggling with fear in some area of your life. In this issue we will examine what it means to be fearless. We trust you will sense God’s courage and strength as you face the challenges of life. It is our prayer that you will sense God’s power and love in your life, that you will be excited about what God is doing in this ministry and that you will be encouraged to engage with us in...Holding






m a j o r c o n t r i b u t o r s Writers | Don Lough, Jr., Dave Wyrtzen, Chris Vickery, Tommy Sewall, Kyle Gray

Designer | Kortni Steltz

Editor | Beth Black Director of Alumni Relations | Mike Bush

Forth the Word of Life. With a grateful heart, – DON LOUGH, JR. (‘84) Executive Director

For reprints, back issues, story ideas or other information email us at . The Experience is a publication of Word of Life. We want to build a community where you can find longtime friends, share testimonies of what God has been doing, encourage others with stories of change, and learn how you, too, can be involved with the mission of Word of Life. ©Copyright 2018 — Word of Life Fellowship. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from Word of Life Fellowship, Inc. To obtain permission, email us at .

2 The Experience

Mission Initiative Word of Life has recently appointed a family to start Word of Life in a restricted access country in Southeast Asia, equipping young people to reach their own generation. More than half of the population is 25 years of age and younger. What an opportunity to reach youth with the Gospel. Currently, preparations are being made concerning the best way to enter, serve and stay in this area to develop the ministry. It is a big challenge, but God is bigger…He will do exceedingly more than what anyone could dream or imagine. Mission boards There were 11 mission boards represented at the Florida Campus and 21 at the New York Campus. Cross Cultural Internship Countries The following countries were represented at the Conference: Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Uganda, Czech Republic, Nicaragua, Paraguay and the United States. offerings The people who attended gave a total of $6,255 in cash, $246 in monthly support and $18,456 in faith promise pledges. invitation response There was a total of 245 people who responded to the invitation at the Florida and New York Campuses.



K r i s S t o u t Vice President of Word of Life International & Local Church Ministries

D o n L o u g h , J r . Executive Director of Word of Life

S t e v e R i c har d s o n President of Pioneers



It was 1933 and the United States was in a severe depression and in the midst of the worst economic crisis in its history. Fear gripped everyone’s hearts. President Franklin Roosevelt in his inaugural speech uttered the words, “. . . the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Why did President Roosevelt make this statement? He knew what fear can do. Fear paralyzes and imprisons. Courage and strength have a tendency to evaporate in the face of fear. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger . . . an anxious concern.” How do we overcome fear? We must recognize the reality of our hearts, embrace the only resource for our help and renew our hope in the Lord. The Reality of Our Hearts God has created and wired us as emotional creatures. Like it or not, one of the emotions which we all respond with is fear. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Responding in fear can actually protect you. Fear is what keeps you on the curb as an 18-wheeler comes barreling down the road. Healthy fear can also motivate us to do the right thing, to obey those in authority over us and to obey God. The truth is that all of us have things we are fearful of, right? If you have a pulse, you have faced fear. We fear uncertainty, hostility, danger and even death. Our hearts are especially fearful when everything seems to be falling apart and out of control. As you have likely discovered, things can change in an instant. You never really know what is going to happen next. The phone rings late at night. Your heart pounds. You can’t believe what you are hearing. There’s confusion, anguish and tears all wrapped up together. As you consider whatever you are facing today and certainly will face, let the words of Psalm 46:1-3 sink in: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah.” These strong words give us the idea that the writers experienced a desperate situation. Most scholars believe that this particular Psalm was penned by Sons of Korah to celebrate the miraculous deliverance of Judah from the Assyrians. Rumors abounded that the Assyrian forces were on the verge of invading Judah, and they would eventually end up at the walls of Jerusalem. Keep in mind that the Assyrians were not your routine enemy. They were well known for their cruelty and barbaric ways. Think of ISIS on steroids! They were the worst kind of terrorists. The city of Jerusalem was eventually surrounded, and the people were trapped. Sennacherib sent a messenger with a letter demanding that Hezekiah surrender. Hezekiah’s next move was not some elaborate military


4 The Experience

“inhale courage, exhale fear.”

maneuver nor did he raise the white flag of surrender. No, he laid the letter before God and cried out with the words found in 2 Kings 19:17-19. God responded and sent one single angel to the camp of the Assyrians and killed all 185,000 soldiers. I love what Robert Morgan writes in his book, The Strength You Need : “If a single angel could rescue a nation, think of how the Lord and His angelic hosts can strengthen you.” i Why would we go to anyone else for refuge and strength? The Resource for Help Imagine a place that is completely safe and secure...a place where absolutely nothing can ever happen to you. It would be nice if such a place existed here on planet earth. If you have an extra 17.5 million dollars, you can evidently purchase an elaborate bunker in Tifton, Georgia. The bunker boasts seven luxury apartments that sleep a total of 13 people, secure internet and a common area with a 15-seat movie theater. It can withstand a nuclear blast up to 20,000 tons. Sounds incredibly safe! ii The truth is there is only one place you can go for absolute safety and help in life’s most tenuous and fearful moments. Consider the words very carefully in Psalm 46:1: “God is OUR refuge and strength.” He is not simply a refuge. It says that He is OUR refuge. That’s Personal Help . The refuge and help that He offers to you is tailored to you and to your specific need. God is our refuge and STRENGTH. There are moments when I feel absolutely powerless. In those moments, our all-powerful God offers strength. That’s Powerful Help . God is our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT help. Our God is not a distant God. He is not the “man upstairs”. He is always with you. That’s Present Help . A very present help IN TROUBLE. The words, “in trouble”, literally mean “in tight places”. Can you relate to that? It’s the place of unbelievable pressure. It’s the place where you feel squeezed. As you probably know from history, cities under siege almost always reached a point where surrender was the only option because of the lack of food and water. Before the Assyrians arrived at Jerusalem, Hezekiah took the wise and practical step of carving out a tunnel that was 1,777 feet long, diverting the Spring of Gihon into it and eventually into a reservoir inside the city walls. That’s Practical Help . We know all of this, but it’s a whole different thing to live in the reality of this truth. Our hearts are so prone to struggle with moments of helplessness and hopelessness. How can we reboot and renew our hope when fear grips our hearts? The Renewal of Hope There are three critical decisions we have to make in our fearful moments. We need to reflect back on what God has already done (Psalm 46:8-9). Do you know what I am learning about

myself? How forgetful I really am. Maybe you can relate. I misplace my keys, my wallet and my phone. Yet, even worse, I am quick to forget the moments when it is so obvious that God showed up. Those times when there is no other explanation . . . God did it! Verses 8-9 are really an invitation to remember, Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. There was no human explanation for what happened to the Assyrians. It was clearly a God thing. The next time you struggle with the thoughts, “I am just not sure I can get through this day” or “Will God ever break through to my son or daughter?” . . . just visualize those 185,000 fierce soldiers surrounding Jerusalem and God wiping them with one single angel. We must stop trying to take control and trust God to be who He really says He is (Psalm 46:10). Listen to the first part of verse 10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Do you know what the words, “be still”, actually mean? They mean, “take your hands off”. That’s graphic! One of our biggest challenges is we are a “hands on” type of people. Our tendency is to manage and to manipulate. We say things like, “If I want to get anything done right, I need to do it myself.” After all, the Bible says, “God helps those who help themselves, right?” Actually, the Bible says no such thing. In those fearful moments, what God wants is for you to take your hands off and to release your grip from the steering wheel of your life. We must choose to live victoriously knowing the end of the story (Psalm 46:10b). I love the future look in verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Not everything that happens is good from a human perspective. Yet, we know from Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good. Even in the midst of a fearful world, we can make a daily choice to live in victory because we know the end of the story.

Don lough, jr . ( ‘ 84)

e x e c u t i v e d i r e c t o r

w o r d o f l i f e f e l l o w s h i p

i Morgan, Robert, The Strength You Need, W Publishing, 2016 Tribute Media Wire. ii “Take A Look Inside a $17.5M Underground Bunker.” 24 Nov 2015, Accessed 4 June 2017.


No Fear


“ T h e l e n s o f f e a r m a g n i f i e s t h e s i z e o f u n c e r t a i n t y . ”

– Dr. Charles Swindoll

6 The Experience

“Why don’t we have our own snow camps right here at Word of Life?”

“Jack, these snow camps that I’m doing over in New Hampshire are reaching a lot of kids. Why don’t we do this at Word of Life?” In 1959 Paul Bubar had just started the first Word of Life Bible Clubs, but, in 1963, only four years into his new job, he was a dreamer and not afraid to ask his boss to try a new way to touch teens with the Gospel. But my dad turned a deaf ear to Paul’s idea. “Jack, Shirley and I are headed up this weekend for a snow camp I’m doing in Sunapee, New Hampshire, at Seminole Point Lodge. Let us take your son, David, along. I’ll even teach him how to ski.” Paul didn’t quit on his idea, and he was clever enough to recognize there might be another way to capture his boss’s attention. I was about 12, and Dad not only let me go but also quickly told Paul, “Take my station wagon. It will give you more room.” Dad wasn’t much on maintaining cars, and he had no idea that a penny test on his tires would have left almost all of Lincoln’s face exposed! We headed up through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, and it began to snow. Raised in Maine, Paul was an expert winter driver, but as we started down an icy hill and around a curve, there was nothing he could do. We started to skid. He said, “Hold on”, and we hit the snowbank hard at an angle. The momentum took us high and to the side. I remember struggling to get out at such a weird angle, and when I did get out, I looked down into a ravine. A couple more feet and we would have been somersaulting into a frozen river. Calmly, Paul checked to make sure Shirley and I were okay. Help arrived quickly, and they pulled us out of the snowbank. After checking the car, we were back on the road for the snow weekend at Sunapee. The place was so packed that I ended up sleeping on a large windowsill. During the night, I could just roll an inch, hit that glass, and instantly know Paul had taken me to the Arctic. In the morning in spite of the bitter cold, we hit that mountain, and he did teach me to ski. At night he taught the teens who had jammed the place how to meet Jesus, and when I went home, I was excited not only about skiing but also about Jesus’ power to give life. “Dad, it’s awesome. What a weekend!” Dad saw my excitement, and the next year he and my younger brother, Ron, went with Paul to Sunapee to experience

for themselves a skiing weekend. Soon after, Dad came to Paul and asked, “Why are we taking all these kids over to New Hampshire? Why don’t we have our own snow camps right here at Word of Life?” Snowcamp had become his idea! In the winter of 1965, the maintenance team worked day and night to winterize the dorms on each end of the new fieldhouse so Paul could begin the first Word of Life Snowcamp. That was 53 years ago, and over 175,000 youth have since attended! The Word of Life Bible Institute students of 2018 are now hosting another season of Snowcamp. I want them to know it’s because the Lord used a young man who showed “no fear” to challenge Word of Life’s founder, Jack Wyrtzen, to try a new idea. Paul was even clever enough to get the boss’s son involved, and my Dad responded. As an older leader, my Dad was not afraid to let his young associate go for it. When the Apostle Paul sent Timothy, his young associate, to pastor a large church in Ephesus, he trusted him and told him, “No fear!”

dave wyrtzen

P a s t o r , t e a c h e r & A u t h o r

A d j u n c t P r o f e s s o r

Connect with Dave by visiting TRUTHENCOUNTER.COM


In the Adirondacks, with winter comes many, snow and, of course, Snowcamp.

More important than all the fun and activities, many campers were introduced to their Savior for the first time ever. In fact, hundreds have accepted Jesus as the punishment for their sin and chose to believe! Trinity said, “I made the decision this weekend to believe in Jesus. He sacrificed Himself for all of us, and now I know that I can be forgiven for what I’ve done wrong in my life. Jesus is my hero. Now I know that I can pray to Him, and He will always be listening to me.” And Jason said, “Before I came to Camp, I was not a believer in Christ. This weekend, I got the chance to learn about who Jesus is and how He really cares for all of us. Through my time at Snowcamp, I came to the point of accepting Christ as my Savior.” One leader shared there was a student in their group who was struggling financially and didn’t have enough money to come to Snowcamp. The camper had received one of the 100+ scholarships that were handed out by Word of Life but still needed help with the remainder of the balance. The church and youth leaders pitched in to provide the rest of the funds. Out of their whole group, that was the one camper who received Christ that weekend. Thank you for praying!

sewall tommy (‘09)

We celebrate again this season as God used the students at the Bible Institute to forever change the lives of thousands of teenagers. They were fulfilling their responsibility to reach their generation with the Good News of Jesus Christ over the course of the cold, snowy winter. This year the theme was Log Out, a fun lumberjack theme that allowed us to talk to the campers about the importance of logging out of this ever-increasing digital world and logging into God’s Word. This year we had a new “activity challenge” where campers went around the camp searching for particular activities like the tube hill and ice chute. Upon completion of the activity, a hole was punched on their activity card. Once a student got five out of the six holes punched, they could redeem the card for a Snowcamp t-shirt. In addition to that new challenge, on Saturday night campers were able to attend an unbelievable illusion and mentalism show put on by Ashton Blackwell.

New York Teen Camp Director

8 The Experience

Pursuit Camp is our Winter Camp version of Snowcamp down here in Florida. God worked in an incredible way. From the very beginning of the weekend, we saw students open to the Gospel. One student came with his mom and grandpa to the registration desk and looked nervous and timid. It was his first time as a camper, and as they moved past the “Welcome” table, the grandpa leaned over to our person sitting there and said with a smile, “That’s my grandson, Austin. I know he’s gonna hear the Gospel tonight, and I’m praying that he comes to know Jesus!” And that night he did! In fact, on that Friday night we got to see nine students make the decision to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior. But, praise God, it didn’t stop there! All weekend long, through personal conversations with our counselors, students came to know Christ. There was one girl who at the end of meeting on Saturday grabbed her counselor by the hand, took her back to the cabin, and said, “Lead me to Jesus. I have to know Him.” Wow! Absolutely amazing. Our speaker was Greg Dyson (‘84) of Cedarville University. He brought the Word with passion and power all weekend long. It impacted all who were there. We had incredible activities such We had an absolutely incredible time at our first two weekends of Pursuit Camp!

gray kyle (‘99 & ‘00)

as Friday night Mufa Pufa, which is a barrage of games played on our soccer field and the penguin slide. The penguin slide is where we take almost 3,000 pounds of ice and dump it both into the trough of our waterslide as well as into the reserve. We try to get it as cold as possible here in this Florida winter heat! Saturday is marked with tournaments, activities, and an evening meeting. But it all culminates on Sunday morning with a Dedication Service. The students were challenged to bring their struggles to the cross. We studied about the paralytic who was brought to Christ by his friends. The question was posed to the students: What are you willing to bring to Jesus? Are you willing to give Him everything? Who are you bringing to Jesus? That day we saw seven more students come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, making our total for the weekend 20 students. Wow! Think about that. Twenty lives reached and changed for eternity. Twenty lives who will go back to impact their homes and communities! We also saw almost all of the 122 campers who came make a personal decision of dedication to Christ. They signified this by tying a ribbon onto a cross that was down front. We cannot praise God enough for all He did during our first weekend. Our speaker during the second weekend was John Armstrong (‘86 & ‘87), and we ministered to 124 campers with 39 more trusting Christ. Pray with us for the students as they go back and change the world around them!

Florida Youth Camp Director & Dean of Ministries


10 The Experience

“ N a t u r e i s G o d ’ s g r e a t e s t e v a n g e l i s t . ”

For many years Word of Life has been sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ through evangelistic productions using the creative tools of music, drama and multimedia. This vision began with Harry Bollback in 1976 with the very first program – Let Freedom Ring . Over the years, the Gospel Productions Tours ministry has become a hallmark of Word of Life, providing unique opportunities to share the life-changing message of Jesus with people of all ages. God has done amazing things in countless hearts and lives as more than 2.5 million people have attended presentations produced and performed live by Word of Life staff and Bible Institute students. Recently, the Lord has opened the door for the development of a

brand new program – Genesis: A Creation Experience . Working in cooperation with Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, the focus will be on the critically important topics of Creation and the authority of the Word of God. Statistics show that the spiritual condition of America is in rapid decline. Less than 1 in 5 adults believe that absolute truth exists and is found in the Bible. The core truths taught in Genesis 1-11 are foundational to our worldview, and many of the cultural problems we’re seeing play out in our country and around the world today are a direct result of the rejection of these foundational truths. America’s core problem is a heart issue, but our hearts and minds are tightly intertwined. In 2016, the Answers in Genesis team completed construction on phase one of a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky- Ark Encounter- now open to the public. Word of Life is very thankful for Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum which stand as a powerful testimony to the reliability of Scripture and the importance of starting with God’s Word, not man’s word, as we seek to properly understand and engage the world around

us. True observational science confirms the reliability of Scripture. We can trust the history carefully preserved in Scripture, and we can trust the Gospel based on this Book as well. The Genesis production is currently being developed and built by our Gospel Productions team at Word of Life Florida and will be presented in the Harry Bollback Performing Arts Center, as well as in churches and schools throughout the country. The production will be heavy on media and special effects, but will also have elements of live music and a storyline featuring Methuselah, Noah and others, as well as modern-day characters. Dave Dorman (‘80) is assisting with the props/set design. Dave has been involved with Harry’s tours since the early days and has worked on many large-scale projects including Sight & Sound Theatre shows in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dave was also part of the exhibit design team for Ark Encounter. Our goal is to launch the program in October, 2018. Stay tuned for more information on tour dates and locations coming to a city near you.


“ F e a r a r i s e s w h e n w e i m a g i n e t h a t e v e r y t h i n g d e p e n d s o n u s . ” – Elisabeth Elliot

alumni News

1970’S Steven DeGroft (‘73) and his wife, Linda, live in Decatur, Michigan where Steve is the Senior Pastor at Decatur Bible Church. Steve is also a Science teacher at a Christian school and an EMT with the local emergency squad. Cindy (Hanlon) Schaefer (‘75) and her husband, Raymond, live in Ocala, Florida where Cindy is helping take care of her parents. Carolyn (Gwyn) Lloyd (‘76) lives in Oklahoma and owns a small business making handmade items specializing in re-purposing. Cherith (Broughton) Hatrick (‘76) and her husband, Gary, live in Zephyrhills, Florida where she teaches English online to children in China. David & Debra (Johnson) Mader (‘77) live in Michigan where Dave is a truck driver and Debra is a receptionist for a Pregnancy Helpline. Kendra (Pliscofsky) Diserens (‘76) ) is married to Jerry and they have four adult children and six grandchildren. She is the wife of an Associate Pastor and has been at the same church in Michigan for 24 years. Judy (Pinckney) Keenan (‘77) and her husband, Tom, have two adult children and one granddaughter. Judy keeps busy volunteering at church and a nursing home. Lisa (Gargiulo) Hamilton (‘77) is the wife of a retired USAF Colonel, Tom. They have three adult children and nine grandchildren ranging in age from newborn to ten years old. They live near their grandchildren in Ohio.

James Dugan (‘77) and his wife, Lynda, have been missionaries with Word of Life in Australia for over 30 years. They have one adult son, Jeremiah, and three grandchildren. Mark (‘77) & Cathy (Knight) Machak (‘78) have two adult children: Caleb and Seth (deceased). They also have three grandchildren. They are both retired. Mark worked for the railroad as a heavy-duty mechanic, and Cathy was a college professor teaching social work courses. She also did clinical social work treating individuals and families. Debra (Sloan) Eberhart (‘78) is retired and lives in Minnesota with her husband, Leigh. Mark (‘79) & Denise (Delithanasis) Stevanus (‘77) have been missionaries in Italy for 29 years. Ruth (Tideman) Brungard (‘79) is married to Bill, and they have an adopted daughter from China, Ellen (15). Ruth is the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Directors for Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East at ABWE in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Allen & Darleen (Snyder) Bacon (‘79) have six adult children: Christine, Carolyn, Benjamin, Daniel, Candace, and Jonathan. They also have nine grandchildren with #10 on the way. Darleen is a Customer Service Rep for Texwipe. Allen is working on his Master’s Degree in Counseling. Elizabeth (Kelly) Tallau (‘79) is married to Steve. They live in southern Maine where she works for a seafood wholesaler serving customers in Maine and New Hampshire.

12 The Experience

Bruce Graham (‘81) and his wife, Penny, live in New Hampshire where Bruce is self-employed as a wood, leather, and stone craftsman. He also makes, repairs, and plays stringed instruments. Renee (Schaffhauser) Keller (‘89) is married to Sean, and they have three children: Susi (27), Tony (25), and Nathaniel (7). They also have two grandchildren. Renee works for a Catholic healthcare system in southwestern Indiana. 1990’S Marty Schubert (’94) and his wife, Jennifer, have two children: Noah and Abigail. Marty is a US Army Chaplain at Camp Humphreys near Pyeongtaek City, South Korea. Nellie (Morrison) Levier (’96) has four children: Seth (17), Sarah (17), Autumn (15) and Nicolas (12). She works for the Parks & Rec Department in Gray, Maine in their Before & After Care Program and as a Summer Camp Director. Rebecca (Weeks) Munse (’99 & ’00) is married to Brian and is a stay-at-home mom to their two children: Jacob (4) and Katelynn (2). Heather (Sheets) Rosenbrook (’97 & ’98) works as a Broadcast Captioner/ Closed Captioner in Michigan. Nathan & Amy (Good) (’94) Carman live in Tennessee and have four children: Abigail (17), Joey (14), Jake (11), and Isaac (9). Jamie Regling (’96) is working as a CNA in North Carolina. Fred Knowlton Jr. (’90) and his wife, Christy, have three children: Victoria (24), Jael (17), and Sophia (10). They also have two grandchildren. Fred is a stay- at-home dad and a Regional Consultant for Ambit Energy. Laura (Bruno) Fiss (’97) lives in Orlando, Florida where she works for Hilton Hotel & Resorts as a chef in one of their restaurants. Heather (Nichols) Pickett (’90) and her husband, Matthew, live in Tacoma, Washington where Heather is an Assistant Manager at a Yankee Candle store. They have three children: Michael (16), Erickson (16), and Zane (11). Doug (’93) & Patricia (Navin) Miller (’93 & ’94) live in White Plains, Maryland where Patricia is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom and plays the piano at church. Sarah (Risdon) Sheets (’98) and her husband, Raymond, have a son, Wesley (7). Sarah is a stay-at-home homeschooling mommy with a small cleaning job on the side. Mandy (Wiernusz) Davis (’99) and her husband, Dan, live in Pennsylvania. They have five children: Faith (12), Cherith (9), James (7), Jack (5), and Joseph (2). She is a work-at-home homeschooling mom. Esther (Ruscillo) Case (’97 & ’98) and her husband, Ricky, have two children: Desirae (7) and DiMaggio (3). Esther is a stay-at-home mom and Worship Leader at Calvary Chapel Chattanooga. Karen Andrews (‘90 & ’92) lives in Georgia. She is currently unemployed after being laid off a year ago from a company she had been with for 21 years. She is a toddler Sunday School teacher and nursery worker at church. Lori (Byrnes) Holbert (’98) and her husband, Bobby, have two children: Levi (10) and Ivy (8). Lori is over the K-5th grade children’s ministry at her church. Jamie Volosin (’92 & ’94) lives in Lynchburg, VA where she is a Junior Mortgage Officer. Michael Aiguier (’92) and his wife, Jennifer, have one son, Joseph (2). Michael works to find employment for those with developmental disabilities. Sandy (Eldeen) McKee (’95) is married to Terry, and they have six children: Summer, Bethany, Laura, Rebekah, Ian, and Seth. She is a homemaker.

1980’S Eunice (Doxstader) Hight (‘81) is a part-time RN and a full-time homeschooling mom. She has six children: Sarah (’11), Daniel (’12), David, Joseph, MaryRose, and RuthAnn. Karen (Fry) Singer (‘80) is married to Brian, and they have two adult sons: Cam and Kyle (’06 & ’07), and seven grandchildren. Karen has worked for the Hempfield School District for 26 years. Currently she works in the Administration Office of the Food Service Department. Laurie(McKim)Smith(‘83&‘84) ismarried toRonald, and they have threechildren: Joanna (20), Ian (19), and Heather (15). Laurie works as a seasonal cashier at a greenhouse, and is a junior church teacher and a lunch lady at their Christian school. Joyce (Sparks) Hayes (‘85) and her husband, Robert, live in New Jersey where Joyce is an Artist in Residence at America’s Keswick and is the Women’s Event Coordinator as well as a part-time music teacher. Kimbra (Huffman) Hunter (‘86) and her husband live near Austin, Texas where Kimbra works in the print industry. Stefani (Brewer) King (‘88) is married to Daryl. She has two children, Eathan Cameron (24) and Nathaniel King (8). She is a public school elementary teacher. Shawn & Janeen (Kauffman) Rafferty (‘84) are living in Ontario. They have five grown children: Christine, Sharon, Jason, Chela, and Jenna and three grandchildren. Tim & Darlene (Harnig) Brotzman (‘87) live in Macedon, New York. They are the parents of three boys: Timothy (’10) (27), David (20), and Joseph (’18) (18) {currently enrolled}. Tim works as a Senior IT Director. With God’s strength, Darlene faces lupus and Addison’s disease daily. Donna (Snyder) Morris (‘84) and her husband, Dan, have four adult children: Daniel, Raymond, Adessa, and Mitchell. Donna teaches high school English and Spanish in a Christian School in Ohio. Trena (Mullins) Wilbur (‘87) lives in New Brunswick, Canada where she is working on her Master’s in Biblical Counseling. She has three sons: Trent (20), Clay (16), and Coleton (16). Amie (De Goat) Cavallaro (‘87 & ‘88) is married to Steven, and they have four children: Jadon (12), Eli (11), Micah (10), and Asher (7). She is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, and teaches exercise classes at the YMCA part time. Vinnie Tumia (‘87 & ‘88) is the Executive Pastor at First Bible Baptist Church in Hilton, New York. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kelly, and they love life together. In his words, he has three awesome daughters, two sons- in-law, and a really cool grandson. Robin Joye (Strope) Coules (‘80) and her husband, John, are missionaries in France serving at the International Chapel of Montpellier. They have three adult children: JD, Tiara, and Ariana. Dale Miller (‘89) is married to Nancy, and they have one child, FaithAnne (14). He works in Managed Senior Care in Michigan. Bob & Kelly (Murray) Treisch (‘80) have two adult children: Nathan and Alyssa. Bob is a roofing foreman, and Kelly is the Director of Nursing at a memory care facility. Ruthie (Ashcroft) Pearson (‘86) is married to Royden, and they have two children: Samantha and Royden IV. Ruthie is a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. She is also the church pianist and choir director. Patricia (Moores) Cliff (‘87 & ‘89) is married to Michael and they have four adult children: Abigail Leick, William, Aaron (’16 & ’17), and Lee (’17). She is a nurse at International Christian School in Hong Kong. Her family spends the summers in Maine. She is also a volunteer summer nurse at Living Waters Bible Camp. Celia (Galev) Horter (‘89) and her husband, Steven, live in New Hampshire and have two sons: Alexander (15) and Jorge (14).


Jeremy (’94) & Tracie (Williams) (’96) Spencer have two daughters, age 16 and 13. They live in Virginia where Tracie works as an Insurance Commercial Account Analyst. Amee (Haneman) Schnarrs (’99) is married to Aaron. They live in New Jersey where Amee has a quilting business and also homeschools. Dan Munson (’96) and his wife, Angela, live in Alabama where he works at Lowe’s. Steven Bergen (’94) and his wife, Jennifer, live in New Jersey and have three kids: Jared (17), Anthony (15), and Nicole (10). Steven works for the FBI in Philadelphia. Micah (Robitille) Munroe (’94) is married to Michael, and they have two children: Moriah (9) and Mikayla (5). She is homeschooling and teaching in a homeschool co-op. She and her husband are in the process of becoming foster parents. Beth (Langford) Wright (’91) and her husband, Victor, have three children: Eden (15), Shea (13), and Abel (11). She is a stay-at-home mom and foster parent. Julie (York) Downer (’93) is married to Rodney and lives in Maine. She is the mother to an adult stepson, Rodney III, and a daughter, Kelsey (16). She is finishing her degree in Psychology after working as a sales rep for 20 years. Mandy (Rillo) Smith (’98) and her husband, Jamie, are missionaries in Zambia with IBMGlobal. They have four children: Lorelei (13), Jorja (10), Warrick (9), and Chola (7). Joy (Mervyn) Brown (’94 & ’95) is married to David, and they have two children: Ronnie (11) and Troy (9). She is a legal assistant at a bankruptcy law firm. She also travels in a music ministry, Souls Harbor, with her husband and father-in-law. Laura Gilpatric (’95 & ’96) is married to Ian, and they have two children, Anna (15) and Isaac (13). She is an Admissions Specialist at a local hospital. Cris (’94) & Jacey (Leeson) (’96) Rury have three children: Madison (18), Carter (15) and Olivia (12). Cris is the Executive Pastor and Pastor of Family Life at Compass Church in Salinas, California. Jacey is a pastor’s wife and stay-at- home mom. Brian Jennings (’99) is married to Kari, and they have three children: GiGi (6), Harper (4), and Nolan (2). He is the Youth, Children, and Family Pastor at Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Fairfield, Ohio. Kevin Starling (’91) and his wife, Cynthia, have two daughters: Kimberly (17) and Jennifer (14). He is a retired security officer. He has visual impairment (legally blind) due to glaucoma. Kevin stays busy as a Sunday School Director and also provides pulpit supply. Sarah (Brasure) Hankinson (’98) is married to Josh, and they have two children: Sabrina (12) and Summer (9). She is a 2nd grade school teacher in Bedford County Public Schools in Virginia. Karen (Johnston) McCaslin (’90 & ’91) is married to Andreu and works as a Cashier and Warranty Administrator for a Ford Dealership in Pennsylvania. Her sister was diagnosed with cancer right before she started at the Bible Institute. Then in October of that year, her sister also got pneumonia and almost died. Karen remembers that the support she received from her fellow classmates was overwhelming. Update: Her sister is doing great and has been cancer free for over 25 years! Lori (Albert) Irelan (’97) is married to Shawn and is a stay-at-home mom. They live in Florida. Bradford Sanders (’95) and his wife, Destiny, have two children: Aniyah (10) and Lucas (9). He works from home in customer service for HSN. Abiel (Jorstad) Øvrebø (’95) is married to Magnus, and they have two children: Brage (9) and Olaf (7). They live in Norway where Abiel is a Nurse in a nursing home and is studying to be a Nurse Practitioner. Matthew Allen (’98) is working as a Chef at a retirement home in Pennsylvania.

Heather (McAllister) Morton (’97) is married to Darin, and they are the parents of Hannah (9). Heather works for the State of Ohio as a Clerk in the Social Security Disability Determination Office. Greg (’96 & ’97) & Amanda (Young) (’96) Cintron live in Florida and have a son, Ezekiel (8). Amanda is a homeschooling mom. 2000’S Ryan Casavant (’00) is the Veteran Outreach Coordinator for Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program. He works with veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. Ryan served in the Marines from 2002 to 2006 with 1st Battalion 6th Marines Weapons Company. He served two combat tours: Afghanistan in ’04 and Iraq in ’05. Ryan was honorably discharged as a Sergeant. Since leaving the Marines, he returned to college while working at South Shore Hospital and graduated with a degree in Psychology & Sociology from UMass Boston in 2013. After graduating, he worked for the Wounded Warrior Project as a Project Odyssey Coordinator. Tim Lyttle (’03) is married to Stephanie, and they have two children: Aiden (5) and Zahariah (3). Tim works for Catholic Charities. Tricia Edwards (’05) works as an Office Manager in a chiropractic office. Kristi Osborn (’05 & ’06) is the Training Director at her local Chick-fil-A in Delaware. Tori (Kline) King (’07) is married to Taylor, and they have three children: Benaiah (3 ½), Lydia (2), and Anna (4 wks). Don Johnson, Sr. (’01) and his wife, Debra, have four adult children, three of which are also alumni: Don III (’06), Eric (’08), Stephen, and Rachel (’13). Don works for CA Technologies as a computer software support engineer. Don also works for a ministry called Books for Pastors (http://booksforpastors. com) providing teaching and reference books to pastors throughout Latin America. Lyndsay (Longon) Brittin (’06) and her husband, David, have one child, Liam (4), and they live in Michigan. Lyndsay works as a Phlebotomist and volunteers as the church secretary and youth Sunday School teacher. Erick (’01) & Jennifer (Starkweather) (’02) Sessions live in Naples, Florida and have six children: Riley (11), Harrison (7), Theodore (6), Garrett (5), Samuel (3), and Tobias (1). Erick works in a family business that sells office furniture, and Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom. Hope Wilkins (’03) lives in New Hampshire where she is a live-in caregiver for her father who has Parkinson’s. Renee (Westlake) Dyjak (’00 & ’01) is married to Brian, and they have three children: Brody (6), Adelyn (5), and Everett (3). She is a stay-at-home mom. Timothy (’04 & ’05) & Krista (Samson) (’06) Seybolt live in Port Richey, Florida they and have two children: Lily (6) and Mark (18 mos.) Krista is an Administrative Assistant at First Baptist New Port Richey. Hillary (Myers) Bowen (’06 & ’07) is married to Frank, and they have two children: Luke (3) and Anna (1) with another one on the way. She is now a stay-at-home mom after working as a Behavior Consultant. Nathan & Jenny (Livingston) Miller (’02) live in North Carolina where Nathan is a pastor, and Jenny is a homemaker and mother to their four children: Josh (9), Hannah (8), Will (5), and Becca (1). Laura Bogyos (’00) lives in Pennsylvania where she works as a Purchasing Coordinator. Rachel (Tarbell) Martelle (’01) is married to Jordan, and they live in Vermont with their four kids: Tyler (9), Daniel (7), Ava (5), and Hannah (3). William (BJ) Speer (’00) lives in Tennessee where he is a Nashville Gospel Music recording artist.

14 The Experience

Emily (Drexler) Spicher (’00) is married to Jeff, and they have three children: Kendalyn (7), Avery (6), and Maddon (10 mos.) and another due in March. They live in Indiana where Emily works as a nurse Kristina (Pepe) Dearden (’07) is married to Timothy, and they have one child, Miles (1) and another on the way. She is a stay-at-home mom. David & Rachel (Schubert) George (’05) have four children: Elijah (9), Silas (7), Judah (5), and Jovie Ray (3). David is the Children’s Ministry Pastor at LifeBridge Church of South Haven, Michigan. Derek Gilbert (’08) and his wife, Sarah, have a son, Ian (2) and live in the greater Binghamton, New York area where Derek is a Multi-Unit Office Manager for H&R Block. Rebekah (Howdyshell) Glockner (’08) and her husband, Seth, live in Ohio and are expecting their first child. She is a stay-at-home wife and mom. Amy (Rattin) Lutz (’00) and her husband, Simon, have three children: Talitha (6), Judah (4), and Micaiah (2). She is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. Monique Ouellette (’08 & ’09) is a missionary in Colombia, South America. Heather (Gladden) Muzilla (’07) and her husband, Brandon, are expecting their first child in May. She is working as a Clinical Medication Coordinator. Leonna Elam (’05) is a stay-at-home mom to her two adopted children, Levi (2) and Evie (1). Sara (Frey) Manry (’05) is married to Jordan, and they have two children: Adalyn (5) and Julianna (2), and Jesse (newborn). She is a homemaker and part-time photographer. Juan & Tara (Davis) Valdez (’07) have two children: Cattleya (3) and Cato (2). Juan is a carpenter, and Tara is a stay-at-home mom and coaches middle school volleyball. Lindsay (Hardin) Dahlgren (’05) is married to Andrew, and they have two children: Lincoln (3) and Miles (1). She works as an X-Ray and CAT Scan Technician. Joshua & Lisa (Monje) Twiest (’01 & ’02) live in Michigan and have three children: Hannah (11), Tori (7), and Eli (4). Besides raising their children, they have been involved in the youth pastorate and Josh is a chaplain in the Army National Guard. David (’07) and Sarah (Wright) (’07) Graham live in Pennsylvania with their three children: Grace (8), Melody (6), and Jenna (2 ½). David is a firefighter, and Sarah is a homeschooling mom. Melissa Carmer (’11) is a Preschool Teacher in Michigan. Jocelyn Garcia (’14 & ’15) works as a Monitor in a Christian school. Brittany Lowd (’11) lives in Sherbrooke, Quebec where she works as an Event Coordinator for Delta by Marriott. Nathan (’12 & ’13) & Danielle (Stone) (’07 & ’08) Martin are serving as missionaries with Word of Life in New Zealand. They have a 6-month-old son, Liam. Amber (Erb) Turner (’14) and her husband, Eric, have one child, Ethan. They live in Northville, New York where Amber is a stay-at-home mom. Margaret Truxell (’01) lives in Orlando, Florida where she works as a Food Service Manager at Pioneers. Kassia (Lent) Thomas (’01) is married to Michael, and they have two children: Joshua (3) and Lillian (1). Kassia is a stay-at-home mother. Christopher Roth (’02) and his wife, Rebecca, have three children: Jordan (15), Alyssa (11), and O’Neil (7). He is a VP at Bentley Seeds in Cambridge, New York. 2010’S

Find us on Facebook! Look up WORD OF LIFE BIBLE INSTITUTE ALUMNI AND WORD OF LIFE FELLOWSHIP. Update your alumni profile online at WORDOFLIFE.EDU/UPDATE. What is God doing in your life? How has He led, helped, or comforted you? If you have a testimony to give, a story tip to pass on, a ‘remember when,’ or ministry update, we would like to hear about it! We can accept high-quality photos, 300dpi or higher. Email us at ALUMNI@WOL.ORG. Brandon (’15) & Shannon (Kirkpatrick) (’14) Medina live in Ellington, Conneticut where Shannon is a volunteer puppy raiser for Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. Lindsey (Wooler) Loch (’12) and her husband, Daniel, live in Pennsylvania where she works as the music director and teacher at the Meadowbrook School. Emily Ross (’13) is an Office Manager for a small private school in Florida. She is also one semester away from having her Bachelor’s in Psychology from USF. Chelsea (Rowell) Magwire (’15) is married to Dylan and works as an Assistant Retail Manager. They live in Vermont. Rebecca (Sandison) Sibary (’10) is married to Nathan, and they live in Michigan. She is a manager of a local coffee shop. Kristin Hurley (’16) is a student at Liberty University working on her degree in Elementary Education. Sarah (Fedora) Lauter (’09 & ’10) and her husband, Robert, live in Louisville, Kentucky where Sarah works as a nanny. She and her husband are 4th – 6th grade Sunday School teachers and are part of a pro-life ministry called Speak for the Unborn. Annamarie (Perry) Trott (’05 & ’06) and her husband, Sean, are missionaries with Word of Life in Bermuda. Karen (Grenier) Clayton (’13) is married to Nathaniel (’13). She is working as a Housekeeping Supervisor at a hotel. Hannah Strayer (’10) is a missionary with ABWE, specializing in media (photo/ video/audio). Her goal is for language school in mid-2018 and to be on the field in Africa sometime in 2019. Mercedes Conway (’11 & ’12) lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania where she is a photographer for Lifetouch Studios. Abigail Ledford (‘14 & ’15) lives in Lynchburg, Virginia where she is a Teaching Assistant for a Genetics professor. Marisa Carr (’11) lives in Florida where she is teaching in a Christian school. Brandon (’12 & ’13) and Victoria (Adkins) (’12 & ’13) Eger live in Michigan with their two children: Sophia (3) and Aiden (1). Melanie Abernathey (’11) lives in Virginia where she is working as a nanny. Ellie (Odhner) Mayor (’12) and her husband, Cameron, live in Virginia where she is a Real Estate Business Manager for two agents and is working on her real estate license. Susan Wilkins (’12 & ’13) is working in housekeeping at a resort in New Hampshire. She has written five Historical Fiction books that include a Gospel message. She is currently living at home and providing care for her dad. Bryndon & Jane (Wallenwine) (’12) Helton live in Indiana with one child, Morgan (2), and another on the way. John & Rebekah (McCarthy) (’15) Jordan are both full-time students at Clarks Summit University studying Biblical Counseling. They are both also working for the school.


16 The Experience

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