Katie grew up in Brea, CA and attended Taylor University in Indiana to study Communication Studies. Lee grew up in Arroyo Grande, CA and attended Biola University to study film and audio engineering. In 2008, he joined the band Phinehas, a Christian metal band which he has toured with throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
We met in 2010 through mutual friends at a BBQ and got married in November of 2012. Throughout dating and marriage, we have gone through many changes and transitions. Katie has changed jobs four times (coffee shop, non-profit organization, youth ministry and a community college) and Lee has played over 600 shows with the band. In the midst of it, we didn’t always know exactly where God was leading us, but looking back we can how He has been weaving our stories together and making His path clear.
Two homes for us throughout all these transitions have been EV Free Fullerton, where Katie worked as a High School Ministry Girls Lead for two years, and Grace Lutheran Huntington Beach, where Lee has worked as the Tech Director for seven years. We’ve built meaningful relationships, served in the services, obtained wise counsel and received generous donations from the communities of these churches for the missions trips we have done.
The first mission trip we did together was with Josiah Venture in 2014 to the Czech Republic. Katie was working at EV Free Fullerton and we took a team of 20 juniors in High School to do an English Camp. When we did a vision trip prior to that summer, God stirred our hearts towards what He was doing through Josiah Venture. Josiah Venture envisions a movement of God in Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society. We decided if God ever called us to serve longer term with JV, we would be open to it. The summer of 2016, we led a team to do a music camp with Josiah Venture in Ukraine. It was on this trip that God transformed that earlier stirring of our hearts to a calling to a specific place and ministry – EXIT Tour Ministry in Ukraine.
EXIT Tour, a ministry of Josiah Venture, is a music outreach ministry to schools that provides preventative training on issues such as relationships, self- esteem and drug and alcohol abuse. It also brings in a Christian band to do a mini concert after school. After visiting a few schools during the week, a big concert is held at the end of the week for all students where the gospel is shared and students are connected to local churches.
We were excited and overwhelmed to say ‘yes’ to God in regard to this calling of serving with Josiah Venture in Ukraine. We will be living in Lviv, Ukraine helping to pioneer EXIT Tour there, as well as learning the language (Ukrainian), teaching English at a local school and investing in the youth at a local church.