some of my heroes

image013it’s budget time for Threshold – our fiscal year begins october 1. so our elders’ meetings in august and september are focused primarily on hearing from God, as to where he is leading us for the next 12 months, and then constructing a budget that is faithful to that leading.

monday night, we had a lengthy conversation about our SERVE opportunities. it’s been awesome to see how God has shaken our local tree the past 12-18 month to get us out beyond our comfort zone to love and care for people in other areas. to those of you who have participated in a SERVE trip in the past year or 2, a great big thanks to you! your loving and sacrificial service have and will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people you served.

our budget planning process also involves support of missionaries, and i thought that in today’s post, i would introduce you to them if you aren’t already familiar.

ETHIOPIA: Jon & Kristi Nykamp

i met Jon during the pre-launch days of Threshold. he and his family were living in Charlotte, and were preparing to head overseas at the same time we were preparing to launch the church. we became friends, and since i felt called to support missionaries as a church from day one, it seemed a natural fit. the Nykamps live in Mekelle, Ethiopia, and oversee a youth center in the community. they have made tremendous inroads into the lives of hundreds of kids who previously did not know Christ. they have done such amazing work that the local government now supports them financially! next time they are home on furlough, perhaps we can get them to come to THD and share what God is doing there.

if you have a free minute today, send them a note and let them know you care and are praying for them. two minutes of your time will make a huge difference in their day today!

FRANCE: Dominic and Hillary Rivera

Dom was one of our two worship leaders when we launched in Sept. 2002. he was a recent graduate of virginia tech and was working uptown in the banking world. but Dom is a special guy, more in tune with the Spirit of God than almost anyone i’ve ever known. it was clear to him and to many of us that banking would not be his life. he joined the team in Aix en Provence a few years ago, a team that leads an english-speaking Christian church there. they worship on sunday evenings in a centuries-old church building, a very cool blend of ancient and contemporary. in the past year, Dom has married Hillary, and has also been promoted to primary teaching pastor. the Riveras will be in town in late october and we expect to welcome them at THD on a sunday morning.  Dom keeps a great blog – check it out:

COSTA RICA: Rick & Judith Grossman

Rick and Judith have been international missionaries for many, many years. they served in europe until a few years ago when God called them to the Orosi Valley of central Costa Rica. there, they have been a part of a church plant, a Christian retreat center, and most recently, La Gaviota Blanca, a local youth outreach center. they are our partners and hosts when we travel there for youth discipleship events and our annual bible school in december. our blog has not been recently updated re. this mission, but take a look anyway – you can glean a lot of good info:

WAXHAW: Gerry and Barb Steba

our support budget also includes some local folks. Gerry and Barb are at THD every sunday. Gerry makes sure that my smiling face is well-lighted, and Barb joins the prayer team on their knees for me and you each week. they hail from michigan, from which God called them a few years back to quit their jobs, raise support, and serve at JAARS in waxhaw. the two of them provide important clerical and technical support to bible translators and the aviators who get God’s word to the most remote places on the planet. Email the Stebas a thanks or encouragement:

INDIAN TRAIL/MONROE; Keith and Deb Adams

hopefully you are familiar with The CommonPlace. Keith has a fulltime job in north Charlotte, but because his heart is much bigger than his brain, he also created and directs this amazing local ministry that feeds hundreds of poor and needy people every month. the two food drives we have conducted in the past year have stocked the shelves and fridges of this ministry. beyond the drives, you are welcome and encouraged to join them some saturday morning in distributing groceries in needy areas of union county. for more info, see Keith’s blog: Email Keith a thanks or encouragement:

if you’ve gotten this far in your reading today, thanks. these people are truly heroes of mine – their sacrifices are great, and their impact is immeasurable! i can’t encourage you enough to:

1. pray for these guys by name

2. send them a note to say thanks and to let them know of your prayers

3. to get involved with their work by serving alongside them


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2 Responses to some of my heroes

  1. Cissy Carr says:

    Great blog today, Jeff. It’s good to see our “heroes” get recognition and hopefully thanks from all of us!

  2. lex rogers says:

    so many areas to show the Love of the Lord are right around the corner from our doorstep. Great blog entry, im so glad to be a part of Threshold and what is going on there!

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