Dana and Brandi Bates
Romania - New Horizons Foundation
Dana and Brandi Bates serve in Lupeni Romania, a coal mining town in the Carpathian mountains, in 1999. They developed the first adventure camp in Romania and have been giving over 600 youth the "week of their life" and helping them grow in faith and the love of Christ. In 2002, they pioneered the "IMPACT" youth service-clubs that have spread all over the world - with over 150 clubs in Romania and now in 20 countries through World Vision. IMPACT clubs engage in fun, learning, and community service and thus help youth make their faith real by putting it into action through neighbor love (youth-led community service). Dana and Brandi's more recent projects include Brandi launching a national reading campaign, and Dana helping his area through ecotourism and mountain biking. Dana and Brandi have two children, Briana 13, and Gabriel, 8, both of whom go to Romanian public schools. Dana and Brandi are on staff with Young Life and Dana (PhD 2008) is adjunct professor at Northwestern College in Orange City Iowa, a Christian liberal arts college.
Czech Republic and Amsterdam
Chris has been on the mission field sent out by First Presbyterian Norfolk since 2010. He currently serves as a missionary in Europe. He previously worked as a missionary in Nicaragua and in The Netherlands. In 2014 he moved to the Czech Republic. There he works with "Ta Cesta" ("The Way") - a Czech-speaking church plant affiliated with Tim Keller's Redeemer City-to-City Europe. The congregation averages about 30-40 people, mostly Czechs. Also, Chris works with Scripture Union in the Czech Republic as an English teacher at its Christian camps for youth and college students, and he leads a weekly small group Bible study for university students in his home. In addition, he serves as adjunct faculty at Tyndale Theological Seminary, just outside Amsterdam, The Netherlands, commuting weekly or monthly from Prague during the school year. He teaches intermediate New Testament Greek and advanced Greek exegesis as well as ESL courses. Beginning in September 2018 he will be working on his PhD in New Testament at Evangelische Theologishe Faculteit in Leuven, Belgium (though still living in Prague). Chris has been a member of mission teams from First Presbyterian Norfolk sponsored by Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International to take the Dunamis Course to Estonia and Belarus. Please email Chris to subscribe to his monthly mission update email.
Hollman & Karelia Mendoza
Nicaragua - Vida Joven
Hollman Mendoza is married to Karelia with two children, Ivonne (10) and Gabriel (8). He grew up in Nicaragua in the middle of a civil war. When he was 18 years old, he started playing basketball in a league run by a North American Young Life leader in Esteli, Nicaragua. He met Jesus through being invited by that leader to Young Life Camp in 1998. He began to serve as a volunteer leader for many years. In 2002, he became part of the Young Life staff. In 2011, God called him to serve as National Director of Nicaragua. There he oversees a large ministry of more than 90 neighborhood clubs, led by over 40 staff people and 450 volunteers. Hollman's passion is that every kid will get a chance to have a relationship with Jesus and grow in that relationship.
Andre and Leonore Kotze
South Africa - OM (Operation Mobilization)
We are a missionary family working in South Africa. My wife Leonore is a part time worker and our main financial supporter which allows for me to focus on teaching and discipling young black teenage boys from previously disadvantaged communities. The aim is to see Jesus change their lives and bring healing to their communities. Sport ministry, specifically soccer is the main way to attract and engage them but we know that it is the gospel they really need. We also have two teenage boys, Michael and Neil who we expose to our ministry hoping that God calls them into missions one day. Praise the Lord for those seeds sown and some of the fruit we already see…we need help …Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest field! Please also keep us in your prayers.