Elizabeth grew up in the church,but it was not until college that she fully committed her life to Jesus andbegan following him as her Lord. The influence of other believers and studying God’s Word in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship during her first year in college (1989-90) were instrumental in herchanged life. Jeff grew up in thechurch, and likewise was called to make a profound decision to actually follow Jesus as Lord during his first year of college (also through the fellowship andScripture study of IVCF at his college).
Elizabeth grew up in the church, but it was not until college that she fully committed her life to Jesus and began following him as her Lord. The influence of other believers and studying God’s Word in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship during her first year in college (1989-90) were instrumental in her changed life. Jeff grew up in the church, and likewise was called to make a profound decision to actually follow Jesus as Lord during his first year of college (also through the fellowship and Scripture study of IVCF at his college).
Educational and Professional Background
Elizabeth majored in political science (earning her BA from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA), then went on to obtain her Master of Arts in Health Education from Southeastern Louisiana University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), a trained lactation consultant, and homeschooling mother of eight! She taught in both public and private schools in New Orleans prior to raising children, as well as working in the medical field as an EMT and in an urgent care clinic. Jeff graduated with a BA in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University in 1993, then from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (1999), concurrently with his M.D. from Tulane Medical School in New Orleans (1999). Jeff went on to complete a Christian Family Practice Residency in Tulsa, Oklahoma (In His IMAGE) in 2002. The family (then with 3 children) moved to La Junta, Colorado, where Jeff worked for 9 years. He served as the Medical Director of the Arkansas Valley Region of Valley Wide Health Systems, a community health center serving the medically underserved and migrant population in rural southeastern Colorado as well as working in the Emergency Room at Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center.
Past: During college, Elizabeth led Bible studies in the dorms with IVCF and discipled others. She has worked in children’s ministry in various settings such as East Palo Alto, California (summer mission during college), Hollywood Urban Project (10 months—1993-94), and New Orleans—Irish Channel Christian Fellowship (1996-1999; included 2 years of organizing VBS for over 100 inner city children). In Tulsa, she and Jeff initiated a community health worker outreach through an inner city church, in conjunction with a mobile medical clinic. Throughout college and beyond, she consistently discipled other women and has been active in the work of the local church. Jeff also led Bible studies in the dorms at his college with IVCF, discipled others, and participated in short-term mission trips. He went to Yucatan, Mexico for two months in the summer of 1992 and helped lead VBS in several small towns. He did youth ministry and incarnational ministry along with Elizabeth as part of the City Dwellers internship in Hollywood (1993-94). During medical school, he was very active in the local church (ICCF), serving as men’s group coordinator, Sunday School teacher, janitor, and secretary, while living in the church apartment until he and Elizabeth were married. He also was part of the leadership with the Christian Medical-Dental Association in medical school. In residency (Tulsa), he was the Domestic Missions Coordinator, as which he worked and scheduled other doctors to work in a free mobile medical clinic, helped with planning and expansion of services, and started the community health worker outreach with Elizabeth as described above.
Prior to leaving for South Sudan...
Elizabeth was active in several women’s Bible studies in the local church and community. She and Jeff served in the church nursery, occasionally led worship together, and cleaned the church on a rotating basis. Her primary ministry was and is discipling 9 children! Jeff occasionally led the adult Sunday School class and men’s Bible study, as well as daily ministering to both the physical and spiritual needs of his patients. In 2007, the whole family (except Alex, who is in college) went to Southern Sudan for a month to explore the possibility of helping expand the medical ministry of Harvesters Reaching the Nations.