For Steve, one of the passages that sets the stage for global ministry is Revelation 15:4, “All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” What’s going to bring the nations to worship is the righteousness of the Lord, revealed through his people who are compelled by the love of Christ as in 2 Corinthians 5:14.
Steve says, “If we could see the church as I think Jesus really envisioned it, we could see people from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, not only worshipping together but accepting one another fully as brothers and sisters in the Lord. But, that’s challenging because there are both language and cultural barriers.” Our strategy is to start with our international members. “They remember how hard it was for them to feel like full members of church and society. We have the opportunity with the internationals at our church to lead the way to true cross-cultural fellowship in a way that is rarely seen in America.” Steve leads an international small group and here is a description of the group's first meeting. “The first time we met, we had people from Thailand, China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Nigeria all in the same room together. Putting all those people in one category together is like putting Germans and Australians together and saying ‘You’re both white and not from the US, so you belong together.’ They’re not going to gel naturally. But, the love of the Lord is the real basis for our unity. My hope is that the internationals in the church would catch the vision for other internationals coming to America and feel less like the outsiders and more like an integral part of the church, reaching out to other international people.”
Steve was born in Manila, Philippines, where his parents were Wycliffe Bible Translators. He lived among the Agta people in an isolated village in the rain forest, without running water, electricity, or toilet. Steve moved to California after completing high school and attended the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) in Hollywood, then Cal State University in Fullerton, completing a communications degree. During this time, he married Ruth, whom he met in the Philippines in high school. He also travelled with a band, touring internationally. In 1992 Steve and Ruth moved to Japan to teach English and tell people about Christ. They moved to Arlington in 1996 and became members at Grace Community Church, joining our staff as Singles pastor in 2000. Steve and his family continue to go back to Japan most years for three months to support the work they started there. Steve also returns to the village in the Philippines where he grew up to love and serve the people there, who consider him family.
Steve enjoys being in the rain forest, surfing, spear fishing in the ocean, being on top of a jungle tree, being with people who are willing to give their lives for stuff that won’t bring them any money, playing with his wife and kids, and being with family. He loves being a situation where he doesn't have a clue what people around him are saying and where there is nothing else to do but trust the Lord.
Steve and Ruth live south of Mansfield in a converted barn with their three children Kiana, Kael, and Ian.