Monday, May 1, 2023

Chris Clark

Chris and Debbie Clark founded Children of the Nations in 1995 in answer to a child’s prayer.

Chris is a fifth-generation missionary, born in Japan and raised in Liberia and the United States. In 1984, he graduated from Central Washington University with a bachelor of science in law and justice. Convinced God’s calling was for him to minister to children, he completed the ordination process and served as a youth pastor for five years. Later, he pursued a career with Youth for Christ, where he worked as a regional director for 10 years.Debbiegrew up in Edmonds, Washington, and graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1983 with a bachelor of arts in elementary education. With an interest in special education, she worked as a special education teacher in Western Washington for eight years. Early in their marriage, Chris and Debbie became foster parents, serving many children for more than 10 years.

In 1995, Chris and Debbie traveled to Sierra Leone with Youth for Christ and witnessed an intense orphan situation. The tragedy they encountered—thousands of children ravaged by a brutal war, living on the streets of Freetown without a family to care for them—forever changed their life direction. Because God allowed Chris’ missionary parents to raise their family in Africa for a time, this uniquely positioned Chris to be ready for God’s call.

The vision Chris and Debbie see for the benefit of God’s Kingdom is to capture the hearts of orphans and direct them to Christ in a way that positions them for leadership. They believe the leadership of this unique group of transformational leaders will alter the issues currently influencing their societies. Moving beyond compassionate care to a place of true empowerment of children, along with partnerships with nationals, is Chris and Debbie’s true desire and remains the single vision of Children of the Nations: raising children who transform nations.

Chris serves as Children of the Nations’ international president and CEO, and on the COTN board of directors. He is also an honorary board member for each of the nonprofit organizations working under the umbrella of COTN: COTN–Sierra Leone, COTN–Malawi, COTN–Uganda, COTN–Dominican Republic, and COTN–Haiti.

As the founder and executive vice president, Debbie oversees COTN’s international ministry and travels regularly to each country, working with in-country staff members to maintain the quality standard of care the children receive physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Debbie is also the acting director of international development for COTN. Chris and Debbie have three children: Alyssa, Sarah, and Bryce, and live in Poulsbo, Washington.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Dr. Billy Kim

Dr. Billy (Jang Hwan) Kim is a pastor, evangelist and broadcaster of world renown. His list of accomplishments and service in the Christian worldwide community is extensive. In his dedication and passion for evangelism, Dr. Kim has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world to thousands of people in all walks of life, including military personnel, diplomats, university professors, faculty and staff and missionaries.

Following 45 years as pastor of the 15,000-member Central Baptist Church in Suwon, Korea he currently serves as Pastor Emeritus, as well as the chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company in Korea. Dr. Kim was elected to serve a

five-year term as president of the Baptist World Alliance (2000-2005).

Dr. Kim is also the director of Christian Service, Inc., in Korea, and serves as Chaplain of the Korean National Police. He is the founder of Suwon Central Christian Academy and Capital Bible College and Seminary in Korea. He is the former director of Youth for Christ, Korea.

As chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company-Korea, Dr. Kim directs this network of thirteen radio stations, of which two are high-powered AM transmitters sending the Gospel to China, Russia, Japan, and throughout South and North Korea. He is also the author of several books on Christian living, which are all published in Korean.

He notes one of the most memorable events of his life and ministry was the opportunity to interpret for Dr. Billy Graham at the 1973 Korean Crusade where more than a million people attended a single service.

In 1992, Dr. Kim received the highest civilian award for radio broadcasting and media ministries from former South Korean President Roh, Tae-woo. The citation recognized his efforts for improving Korea’s relationship with China and Russia. Also, in 2018, Dr. Kim received the NRB Hall of Fame Award from National Religious Broadcasters. They recognized Dr. Kim’s effort to spread the Gospel to communistic countries such as North Korea and China through radio broadcast. Furthermore, the Seoul Forum awarded the Youngsan Diplomat to Dr. Kim in 2021. This was in recognition of Dr. Kim’s contribution to the development of civilian diplomacy and the Korea-U.S. alliance.

During the Korean War, an American soldier, Carl L. Powers, befriended Dr. Kim. Mr. Powers helped arrange for Dr. Kim to study at Bob Jones Academy

and University in South Carolina where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible and a master’s degree in New Testament and Theology.

Over the years, Dr. Kim has been awarded numerous honorary doctorates from notable institutions including

Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas)

Southwest University (Bolívar, Missouri)

Campbell University (Buies Creek, North Carolina)

International College (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Wheaton Graduate School (Wheaton, Illinois)

Myung-ji University (Seoul, Korea)

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky)

LeTourneau University (Longview, Texas)

Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, Texas)

University of Cumberlands (Williamsburg, Kentucky)

Seoul Christian University (Seoul, Korea)

Belhaven University (Jackson, Mississippi)

Korea- Baptist Theological University/Seminary (Daejeon, Korea)

California Baptist University (Riverside, California)

Biola University (La Mirada, California)

Asbury University (Wilmore, Kentucky)

Busan University of Foreign Studies (Busan, Korea)

Bluefield University (Bluefield, Virginia)

Carson-Newman University (Jefferson City, Tennessee)

Baekseok University (Seoul, Korea)

Handong Global University (Seoul, Korea)

Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, Oklahoma)

Sejong University (Seoul, Korea)

Dr. Kim and his wife, Trudy, have three children, Joseph Carl, Mary Kay and John William. They have ten grandchildren. The family resides in Seoul, Korea.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Dr. Victor Clay

Senior Pastor Dr. Victor Clay is a native of St. Louis, Missouri.  Dr. Clay has a B.A. in Business Management from Northwest Missouri State University, an A.A. and B.A. from Carver Baptist Bible College and Institute, a Master of Divinity in American Church Planting, from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He graduated with honors in Expository Preaching. Dr. Clay graduated in May 2018 with a D Min degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The title of his dissertation is “Developing a Road Map for Training Leaders and Laity of Dynamic Life Baptist Ministries in the Principles and Practices of Multiethnic Ministries.”

Dr. Clay served as a member of the Board of Directors for Carver Baptist Bible College, Seminary and Institute, and is an Adjunct Professor there. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the Cedine Bible Camp Board. Dr. Clay serves on the Board of Directors of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, MN. Dr. Clay is also the acting Executive Director for the corporate Home Office of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association and serves on their Steering Committee which is its governing board.

Dr. Clay is married to Stephanie S. Clay and they have two children, Tyler W. Clay and Janessa V. Price and one grandchild, Journi C. Price.

Reflection question for further engagement:

-What message should the Church and Christians focus on?
-What principles must be practiced in order to maintain that focus?

Monday, April 24, 2023

David Sachsenmaier

David is a trained and certified Professional Certified Coach
(International Coach Federation) with over 15 years coaching corporate
and non-profit executives and over 3,000 coaching hours.

  • David has 30 years of international experience working with US
    and European business executives and managers in both the corporate
    banking and ministry world.
  • David was a Managing Director in the European Corporate
    Group at Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.) in the Corporate and
    Investment bank. David managed the banks highest and most strategic
    European corporate and investment banking relationships.
  • Strategic European corporate clients managed for Bank of America
    included Volvo, Michelin, Siemens, Swissair, and
    Luxotica/Lenscrafters, Hard Rock Café, Adidas and others.
  • From 2011 to 2014 David was a Senior Consultant with Learning Technologies, Inc. in Raleigh,
    N.C. Key corporate clients include Evonik, Red Hat, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Kenan Flagler Business School and Columbia University Business School in New York. Key areas
    of training for corporate clients include among others how to build long-term business partnerships,
    sales and negotiating training and how to successfully manage others.
  • Over these past 30 years he has lived and worked in the US, France and the UK. David speaks fluent
    French and intermediate German.
  • David’s greatest passion is coaching business and nonprofit leaders to awaken transformative
    human leadership so work and life overflow with dignity, purpose and beauty. He is highly trained
    and skilled at seeing into the lives of leaders and executives.
  • David has unique expertise in helping leaders find their “synterpoint” in their work-life journey.
    This is a place where both internal and external forces are harmonized and integrated to yield
    maximum work and personal meaning, purpose and engagement.
  • David has a Masters in Divinity with a concentration in counseling. This graduate degree and
  • continued coaching training provide critical foundations that enable David to see deeply into the lives
  • of ministry and corporate leaders. Undergraduate degree in international business and French from
  • the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • President and Founder of the French Sister City relationship between Limoges, France and Charlotte,
  • Founding Board of Director for the North Carolina French-American Chamber of Commerce.
  • Director and founder of the Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon Fire support group offering life
    coaching for families and the community where 300 homes were burned in the Waldo Canyon fire in
    June 2012.
  • David and his wife Margaret and their six children moved to Colorado in 2009 after pastoring a
    church in Hampshire, U.K. for several years. David and Margaret have also served as missionaries in
    France and Turkey. David also attended the 1989 Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism in
    Manila, Philippines representing Greater Europe Mission.
  • David is working on his first book helping ministry and business executives find their “synterpoint” –
    the place where the various components of our humanity integrate to produce powerful synergies of
    total life harmony, engagement, fulfillment and meaning.

Reflection questions for further engagement:

-Who are the uninvited guests in your story?
-What could shift for you if you could imagine standing in the back of the theater with God and becoming open and curious about His bigger narrative in your empty or painful places?
-What might it look like to become hospitable to your uninvited guests? What if they bring you wisdom?

Friday, April 21, 2023

Os Guiness

Os Guinness is an author and speaker who lives in the Washington DC area. Great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War II, where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil. in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. In the late 1960s, Guinness was a leader at the L’Abri community in Switzerland and, after Oxford, a freelance reporter for the BBC.

Reflection questions for further engagement:

-Are you choosing freedom in Christ or freedom that the world offers?
-How have you seen culture influence faith?
-How can you pray for our national leaders today?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Suzanne McDonald

Dr. Suzanne McDonald is Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. She is an Australian by birth but lived for a number of years in the UK and has degrees from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and St Andrews. She speaks regularly for churches on a wide range of topics, and is the author of books on the doctrine of election and John Knox, as well as numerous essays and articles. In her spare time she enjoys watching and photographing birds, and is obsessively interested in 17th century English history and literature. She is also a life-long cricket fan – not an easy sport to follow in the US!

Monday, April 17, 2023

Katelyn Beaty

Katelyn Beaty is the author of the book Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, she was accepted to Taylor University back in 2002 but couldn’t deal with the cornfields.

She previously served as managing editor of Christianity Today magazine and has written for several mainstream and faith-based media outlets. 

She currently serves as editorial director of Brazos Press and lives in New York. 

Reflection questions for further engagement:

-What is your initial response to the idea of practicing “ordinary faithfulness”? Does it sound appealing? Why or why not?
-How has celebrity culture affected Taylor’s community, and what are ways the community can counteract it?

Friday, April 14, 2023

Jewerl Maxwell

Jewerl Maxwell is the Provost of Taylor University. He previously served as Vice President for Academic Initiatives and Dean of Graduate, Professional, and Extended Studies at Gordon College. Under his leadership, Gordon’s graduate and extended studies programs grew exponentially, and strategic partnerships were forged with multiple institutions and associations across the United States and in Africa and South America. Additionally, Jewerl has significant classroom experience, teaching American Politics and International Relations at Emory & Henry College, Thiel College, and Cedarville University (where he also served as the Associate Dean of the Center for Lifelong Learning). His research on presidential unilateral powers has led to multiple publications, including a 2012 book Tough Times for the President: Political Adversity and the Sources of Presidential Power (Cambria Press), a 2017 journal article “Has Barack Obama Embraced the Unitary Executive” (PS: Political Science & Politics), and a forthcoming book chapter entitled “How President Obama Made Unilateralism Safe for His Successors” (Palgrave). 

Jewerl and his wife, Ashley, live in Upland with their three young children—Esme, Eli, and Parker.  

Monday, April 4, 2023

Trillia Newbell

A close-up of a person smiling

Description automatically generated

Trillia Newbell is the author of the kids’ books Creative God, Colorful Us and God’s Very Good Idea, a Bible study on Hebrews 11, A Great Cloud of Witnesses, and a Bible study on Romans 8, If God Is For Us, as well as the books Sacred Endurance: Finding Grace and Strength for a Lasting FaithEnjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts (2016),  Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015) and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (2014). Her writings on issues of faith, family, and diversity have been published in the Knoxville News-SentinelDesiring GodTrue WomanChristianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, and more. She was also a commentator for World Radio (a sister platform for World Magazine). She has spoken at numerous conferences, churches, women’s retreats, colleges and seminaries, including True Woman, The Gospel Coalition Women’s conference, Southeastern Theological Seminary, and more. She spent seven years serving as the Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. She is currently the Acquisitions Director for Moody Publishers.

Her greatest love besides God is her family. She is married to her best friend and love, Thern. They reside with their two children near Nashville, TN.

Discover more: 

Reflection questions for further engagement:

-How does the Bible define abiding? How might that look practically?
-Why do you believe John emphasizes staying close to Jesus relationally?
-Have you ever experienced a time when you felt distant from God? Why was that? What proceeded that experience?
-How does abiding in Jesus help us learn to rest and trust in Him?

Monday, February 24, 2023

Nina Barnes

Nina is a certified spiritual director with a passion for creating space for others to discern and
respond to invitations from God. Through her spiritual direction and coaching practice,
Transforming Journey, Nina considers it an honor to help others experience love, hope,
redemption, and transformation.
Nina currently serves as the Vice President for Student Life and Human Resources at University of
Northwestern- St. Paul. She has extensive human resources experience, stemming from 30+ years
of service within a variety of organizational settings. Nina has a Master of Arts degree in Spiritual
Formation & Leadership, along with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries.

Additionally, Nina holds multiple certifications, including Human Resources Management (SPHR-
Senior Professional in Human Resources); Christian Spiritual Direction; and Conflict Coaching & Mediation.

Outside of work, Nina desires to make a meaningful impact as she serves at church, on the Board of
a ministry, and an Advisory Council. Her most cherished roles are mother to an adult son and
“daughter-in-love”, along with her newest role as “Gramma Nina” to her two granddaughters.

Reflection questions for further engagement:

-Who are you choosing to become?
-Who and what influences your choices?
-How do you process the potential outcomes of your choices?