In 2000, we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in one of our favorite places on the East Coast–Bar Harbor, Maine. And we went with a bold goal: to seek God’s will for what He would have us devote the rest of our lives to. We arrived not knowing what we would hear, if we would hear anything, but we left one week later astonished and thrilled that God had answered us. He even sent us home with the name of the ministry—Forget-Me-Not Ministries.
Early on in our marriage, we developed a love for world missions; however, instead of being drawn to a particular people or region or ministry focus, our hearts were consistently drawn to issues that concern the well-being of missionaries. It wasn’t surprising at all to us when God moved us to launch a ministry that would serve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of His oft isolated, battle fatigued warriors who leave all behind to serve Him on the front lines of the mission field.
We realized soon after the Bar Harbor trip that the vision God gave us there was only a glimpse of an even larger work that He was preparing for us. That initial glimpse was for Forget-Me-Not Manor, a unique respite designed especially for missionaries. But God was also asking us to become missionaries ourselves so that the extent and impact of our ministry to them would be undergirded by an experiential understanding of what their lives are like.
We spent the first five years training and forming Forget-Me-Not Ministries part-time. It was during that time that we discovered how God was using us to bring about healing, restoration, and reconciliation wherever we went, particularly among missionaries and ministry leaders. God was developing in us spiritual senses to see and hear the hurts and struggles that individuals, families, even whole communities were encountering, and He was giving us the ability to lead them to healing and freedom.
We entered full-time ministry in 2005 when Tanie, who was employed as a software developer and consultant for a major industry leader, was laid off during a company takeover. Despite an offer of “the job of a lifetime,” which came only three hours after the lay-off notice, we chose to step out in faith, believing that the time had come when God was turning the page to the next chapter of His plan for us. Since then, we have devoted our lives as missionaries who care for and serve the needs and well-being of other missionaries throughout the world. Our friends affectionately refer to us as “Missionaries to Missionaries.”
Our journey over the years, learning from our own experiences and engaging myriad lives around the world, has led us to develop a discipleship program known as Yovel: In Pursuit of Spiritual Maturity, which has become a key component for teaching both seasoned missionaries as well as those who are training for ministry. The objective of the program is to build strong, healthy, mature missionaries who in turn disciple strong, healthy, mature followers of Christ, resulting in Forget-Me-Not’s overarching goal of igniting the exponential growth of God’s Kingdom in the earth.
Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.