Christ Church supports missionaries throughout the world. These missionaries give up comfort and proximity to family to serve the Lord in fulfilling the Great Commission.
JAMIE & JENNIFER BURKEMPER – MEXICO
High school sweethearts who grew up outside of St. Louis, Mo., Jamie and Jennifer grew in their faith through Bible studies in high school. Shortly after marrying and moving to South Carolina, they sensed God leading them into missions. Jamie and Jennifer have always had a love for children, working with them in local youth sports programs and through their church, where Jamie served as a deacon. Jennifer taught Sunday school and was a houseparent for an abused children’s home. God used these experiences to prepare their hearts for His work.
The Burkempers have served with Mission to the World since 2005, first in Acapulco, Mexico, working with street children and the Casa Hogar orphanage. They moved to El Paso, Texas in 2010 where they serve the local Presbyterian churches in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Jamie is currently serving as ministry coordinator, working alongside Promesa de Vida Presbyterian Church to establish a new church-planting network in Juarez. Jamie helps to disciple and mentor church leaders in the community outreach and mercy ministry. Jennifer works with him in discipleship and mentoring, specifically with women’s and children’s ministry. Please pray with the Burkempers that God will raise up gospel-centered churches that will transform lives and communities along the border.
CONNECT with the Burkempers
JEFF EDWARDS – JAPAN
Although it has a land mass only slightly smaller than the state of California, Japan is home to 127 million people. Of these, fewer than 0.5 percent are Christians and more than 100 million Japanese have yet to hear the gospel of Christ, making Japan one of the largest unreached people groups in the world. Jeff’s first exposure to Japan came in 1988 as a teacher in a rural Japanese junior high school. Then, after finishing a master’s degree in English, he returned to Japan to teach in a Japanese university. During these years of living and working with the Japanese people, the Lord gave him a burden to see this great nation come to know Christ’s love for them. To this end, Jeff studied at Covenant Theological Seminary where obtained his M.Div. in 2012. Jeff plans to return to Japan as an ordained minister in the PCA. He will serve with Genesis International College, a new two-year Christian college in Osaka (Japan’s second largest city), with a vision to reach the young generation of Japan with the love of Christ. He will serve as a church-planting associate and professor at the college.
CONNECT with Jeff
NATHANIEL & ALICIA GUTIERREZ – PERU
Nathaniel is Peruvian-American, and the third-generation of his family to be MTW missionaries in South America. Growing up in the Andes Mountains of Ayacucho, Peru, Nathaniel knew from a young age that he was called to be a missionary. He left the mission field in 2001 for the purpose attending college and seminary in the States in order to better equip himself to serve the Lord. In 2005 he obtained his B.A. in biblical and theological studies from Covenant College and in 2010 his M. Div. from Westminster Seminary in California.
Alicia grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and was raised in a Christian home by parents who are also in the ministry. It wasn’t until meeting Nathaniel that Alicia felt called to missions. Her first trip with Nathaniel to Peru forever changed her call to missions. Her heart was won over by the people of Peru, and she was eager to begin ministering to Latin Americans. Alicia has B.A. in English and literature and when she is not chasing around three small children, she enjoys writing, and would like to be a published children’s author one day.
Nathaniel and Alicia have worked with Mission to the World for one year in Hispanic youth ministry development, four years in church planting in Escondido, CA and nearly two years in Bogota, Colombia. In December of 2013, the Gutierrez family began a new work for MTW in Arequipa - Peru’s second largest city with a population of over 1 million. Their desire is to see Christ-centered churches established and involved in the work of missions, evangelism, discipleship and works of mercy. Please pray for the Gutierrez family and their team and consider supporting their work in Peru.
CONNECT with the Gutierrezes
AARON & RACHEL HALBERT – HONDURAS
Aaron was born in Honduras and lived there until he was 10. Rachel grew up in Mississippi. They met on a blind date in 2004 and quickly realized they both had a passion for missions. Because of Aaron’s background, he had a desire to one day return to Honduras. Rachel served on several mission trips to Haiti, during which she realized the great need for God’s Word to be preached worldwide. In 2006, they married and moved to Honduras to teach in a bilingual school outside of Tegucigalpa. While there, they became even more aware of the need for churches that teach the transforming power of the gospel (Romans 10:17).
Aaron and Rachel moved back to Mississippi so that Aaron could get an M. Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Jackson. While there Aaron served at Second Presbyterian in Yazoo City as the youth director and intern. Rachel taught at the local Christian school, then later left the classroom to be a full-time mom. The Halberts are currently serving in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. They have recently welcomed their triplet girls into the world and now have five children. Please pray as their family continues to do the work of the gospel in Honduras.
CONNECT with the Halberts
TIM AND CHERI HOKE – UGANDA - AFRICA
Tim and Cheri moved from San Antonio, TX, to Kampala, Uganda five years ago and are working and teaching at African Bible University. Tim teaches Systematic Theology, Bible Greek, and Leadership in Ministry. Cheri teaches World Literature, Creative Writing, and Biblical Womanhood, “Instructing a Child’s Heart.”
Please pray that there would be a continued open door for the Gospel in an ever-increasing Muslim presence. Pray that the Alumni of ABU would deepen the shallow theology of Christian churches in East Africa.
CONNECT with the Hokes
TIM & KRISTY HOLLIDAY – MEXICO
Tim grew up in western Michigan, Kristy in New Mexico, and both began to follow Christ as college students. After 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy submarine force, Tim retired from active duty in 2005 to Omaha, Nebraska.
It was in Omaha that Tim and Kristy began to be involved in mercy ministry, Hispanic ministry, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. After several short-term missions to the U.S./Mexico border region, both Tim and Kristy began to pursue God’s call to serve in cross-cultural missions.
The Holliday family is currently serving with Mission to the World in the eastern region of the U.S./Mexico border, where they work to spread the gospel through evangelism, church planting, and community development. Their hope is to continually use their gifts to serve those in need, to see God’s kingdom expanded along the U.S./Mexico border, and to see His church grow. Their desire is to live as described in Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
CONNECT with the Hollidays
JOSHUA & GINA RIEGER – ENGLAND
Josh grew up in a pastor’s home and began to develop a heart for ministry early in his life. His experience on short-term missions trips and in the Navy as a lay leader created in him a real passion for shepherding and church planting. This desire was cultivated at Reformed Theological Seminary and through interning and pastoring at The First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, MS.
From a young age, Gina wanted to go on the mission field. She has served in the church in various capacities but found her heart drawn specifically to women and children. The last several years of her life have been devoted to teaching elementary and pre-school age students and working as the nursery coordinator at FPC Jackson. The Riegers are currently doing ministry in Hexham, England where Josh pastor’s the Hexham Presbyterian Church. They look forward to seeing the Lord work in a country where the history of His work is long and glorious, but where there has not been a vibrant Reformed church in recent years.
DAL & BETH STANTON – BULGARIA
Dal and Beth were married in 1977 after meeting at Covenant College and have five “out of the nest” children. After church planting in the U.S., their adventure with MTW began in 1992 serving in Ukraine, followed by a few years in Spain to re-establish the Madrid church-planting team.
Dal and Beth now minister in Sofia, Bulgaria. Dal serves as the team leader and both Dal and Beth help to facilitate the “Daughters of Bulgaria,” a ministry to victims of sex trafficking. A great joy of the Stantons is teaching, nurturing, and living in community with Mission to the World interns via “The Well,” a summer internship mentoring program. The Stantons explain their passion for ministry as follows: “We desire to touch real and hurting people, who are impacted by the real and living gospel in our lives.” Please pray for Dal and Beth as they share their passion for Christ among the people of Bulgaria.
CONNECT with the Stantons
KURT & JILL – EUROPE
Kurt’s desire to serve cross-culturally was confirmed while working with Operation Mobilization in England and East Asia. After returning to the U.S., he completed his M. Div. at Covenant Seminary to prepare for career missionary service.
Jill studied at Covenant College and then worked at her church for 10 years leading and discipling junior high students. Her interest in working cross-culturally grew through short-term trips to St. Louis, Guatemala, and Central Asia. While preparing to return overseas Jill and Kurt met and found that God was calling them to similar ministries among Muslim peoples. They married in 2005.
Kurt and Jill serve on a church-planting team in Europe. Kurt began Mission to the World’s work there in 1998. Through the years Kurt has worked with national pastors and church leaders to facilitate church planting in the city. In 2009 he took over the leadership for the team on the east side of the city. Kurt and Jill currently work alongside nationals to develop local leaders and plant churches. Their ministry includes evangelism, discipleship, teaching, and equipping leaders. Please pray for Kurt and Jill as they seek to impact others with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
JOHN & KELLEY – SOUTH ASIA
Though vibrantly colorful and unique, South Asia is a land of immense spiritual darkness and blatant idolatry. The small Christian Church is often infused with poor theology due to a lack of training for pastors and leaders. However, God is faithfully at work in this country, and John and Kelley Beth are grateful to be a part of His mission. John, serving in his home city, will be involved in church planting and theological education while Kelley Beth will be involved with discipleship programs for women and children. Their work will focus on strategizing and mobilizing church-planting efforts to reach the many unreached people groups in South Asia.