Amy grew up in a churchgoing family and accepted Christ as her Savior at a young age.
As a teenager, she began to feel a burning passion for missions. A string of personal tragedies abruptly changed her mind. She grew bitter toward God and put her faith on the back burner.
Unlike Amy, Jess’ exposure to the gospel during his childhood was limited. Although his family attended church, conversations about Jesus never made it into the home.
“Even though I was exposed to Christian things, I didn’t understand any of it,” said Jess.
In public school, he got involved with the wrong crowd, doing drugs and landing himself in county jail on multiple occasions. He was out of rehab on a five-year probation by the time he met and started dating Amy in college.
In 2008, Jess and Amy got married and moved to Dallas with their two sons. But their relationship started to fall apart. Amidst her failing marriage, Amy lost her job and spiraled into a debilitating identity crisis.
“I thought I was a failure as an employee, as a wife, as a daughter, and as a mom,” said Amy.
Jess insisted on divorce. Amy wouldn’t accept it as an option.
Amy returned to church in search of answers to save her marriage. The Lord drew her back to himself and filled Amy with peace about Jess.
One day while driving, Jess was listening to Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Jess’ mother-in-law had given him the audio book on CD. Chan’s description of God’s magnitude and greatness humbled Jess. He knew what he needed to do.
Rushing home, he told Amy, “I finally get it. I need Jesus.”
Jess turned his life over to God that day and, according to Amy, “has been living for the Lord ever since.”
As the Lord repaired their marriage, they dove into ministry at church. Jess went on a short-term trip to Colombia and returned home believing God was calling his family into missions. But, despite her passion for missions in her youth, Amy was hesitant to go.
Then, after another missions trip in 2016, both Amy and Jess knew God was leading them to the field. Today, they are in Ecuador conducting Good Soil evangelism and discipleship trainings to local churches.