Far East

The Blowers family currently lives in northeast China where Chad teaches English to Chinese university students and Lisa stays home to teach and care for their four girls (Naomi 7, Eva, 5, Eleanor 3, and Leah 1).  Chad and Lisa have been serving in China for over 10 years.  Chad is originally from Tennessee and first came to China in 2002.  Lisa is from Modesto and left for China in 2004.  They met in China while both studying Chinese at a local university.

The Blowers’ ministry in China is focused on building relationships with students, teachers and others in the community and using those friendships as a natural means for sharing the good news.  They are blessed to work with a team of other like-minded teachers who share in their purpose.  Over the years they have come to see that living alongside Chinese friends in both this community as well as their own family is perhaps the most powerful testimony for sharing the good news.  Because of this they use their free time to host groups of students and invite people over for meals and family time.  They also have the joy of working alongside other like-minded Chinese friends.

For more than 10 years Shelter Cove has been a faithful and generous partner to the Blowers.

YWAM, Mexico

Reece was born and raised in Modesto, California. His family has been actively involved in Shelter Cove Community Church since it was planted. During high school, he felt the call to missions while on a Shelter Cove mission trip to Mexico but didn’t respond actively to God’s call. Instead, he followed after education thinking that would satisfy his soul and give him purpose.

After chasing after the empty things the world has to offer, Reece was left with a hunger for purpose and joy that only Jesus Christ can offer. After rededicating his life to the Lord, he did a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission in Mexico and finally responded to God’s call to full-time missions.

Since 2014, he has partnered with Youth With A Mission in Tijuana, Mexico completing a secondary school focused on discipling communities around the world with the holistic gospel. He is currently the Director of Communications for YWAM San Diego/Baja and Homes of Hope International, specializing in using media to connect youth, families and businesses to their role in the Great Commission.

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Modesto

Dean Joseph Dodd is the founder of Church in the Park (C.I.T.P.), an outreach ministry serving the under-privileged people of Modesto for the past 7 years. Dean grew up in the area and felt a tremendous need to reach out to the needy. He and a faithful group of volunteers set up church for approx 250 every Sunday, regardless of weather, rain or shine. They offer many practical services, including a hot meal, hair cuts, children’s church, reading glasses, hygiene packs, and clothing, completely funded by donations from God’s generous people. Dean became affiliated with Shelter Cove in 2010. Many volunteers who serve at C.I.T.P. are members of Shelter Cove Community Church.

Their latest ministry outreach is the Cleansing Hope Shower Shuttle, a shuttle bus being converted into two showers (one with wheelchair access via lift) that will enable them to serve many locations within the city (debuting March 2016). Clean socks and underwear will be provided, along with genuine Christian love and encouragement. By intentionally being Christ’s hands and feet, they seek to rehumanize a mostly forgotten population. Their aim, LORD willing, is to restore dignity and hope one shower at a time.

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Modesto

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Network of International Christian Schools, Lima, Peru

Jens and Annie Erickson live in Peru with their four children. Jens is a school teacher for the international school in Lima. Jens gets to share the gospel with many of the students there, who are children of ambassadors, military personnel, and business people—many who do not know the Lord! Through the children, parents are often reached with the Gospel. In addition to this awesome task, as a family they seek to reach out to the poor and fatherless in their neighborhood.

Jens and Annie Erickson were both Missionary Kid’s from South America – Jens grew up in Ecuador and Annie spent three years in Brazil – who met at Moody Bible Institute. They were both at Moody to pursue a deeper understanding of God’s Word and their faith so they could go back to the mission field.  They married while still attending Moody, then moved to Oregon where Jens attended Western Baptist (now Corbin University) to get his teaching degree.  During that time they researched mission organizations and decided on Network of International Schools (NICS) because they loved their evangelistic approach to education – teaching every subject with an integrated Biblical world view.  They were accepted by NICS and chose to work at the school in Lima, Peru: The International Christian School of Lima (ICSL).  Twelve years later, they’re still there!  Jens teaches Middle School science, Bible and an occasional History class in addition to organizing the week long Outdoor Ed. program and science fair each year. He also spends time with the students in after school clubs or mentors them one on one.  Annie is a part of the Member Care team for the staff, teaches a Senior Girls Bible study, volunteers at the school, and gets involved in different ways with the mom’s at the school and the women at their church.

They love what they do and the life God has called them to!

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World Link Ministries

God is using World Link Ministries in several different countries to train and mobilize young Christian leaders to plant churches. Manny and Jamie are working to help raise funds, cultivate relationships with WLMS’s partners, and leader vision trips for key American church leaders in order to send out more leaders to plant churches.

Reach Global, East Africa

Tony and Holly Freitas are serving as missionaries in East Africa working with the Maasai and Sudanese people.  Tony is a “MacGyver” and holly is a nurse, and together they share Christ in a very simple and practical way, while helping communities to identify their common problems than giving them the tools to solve those problems by using only locally available resources.IE: Health education, clean drinking water, HIV/AIDS Education, Agricultural training, etc… SUSTAINABILITY is a key element of their work. Their son Devin lives with them in Tanzania and their daughter Lauren is in college in the United States.

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Agape Children’s Ministry, Kenya

After life-long involvement spreading the message of missions and leading short-term missions teams as lay people, Blake and Esther Gibbs felt God’s call on their lives to join Agape as full-time missionaries in August 2003. With a long career in business and significant experience in management and accounting, Blake came on board to help manage the organization’s day-to-day operations. On October 1, 2005, he was asked to become Agape’s Director. He reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the over-all direction of the ministry and for overseeing all of its operations both in the United States and overseas. His duties include developing long range plans for the ministry’s operation and expansion for Board approval; preparation of annual plans and budgets for Board approval; development of policy recommendations for the Board; and supervision of Agape’s missionaries and staff.

He and Esther, who grew up in West Africa as a missionary child, travel regularly to Kenya to provide over-all guidance and direction for the ministry on the field, confer with our missionaries and national staff, conduct staff training, follow-up on accounting and budgets, etc.

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YWAM, England

Kendra grew up going to River Oak in Oakdale before moving to Shelter Cove when she turned 18 where she quickly got involved with the high school and college ministries, and went on her first mission trip to Mexico. She then felt the Lord was prompting her to go on the church trip to Israel. She considers Shelter Cove to be her home church and these two experiences with stirred her heart for missions and led her to apply for the Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in England, which is where she met Thomas for the first time, who had been working with YWAM to help run the DTS as well as a Bible Core Course. He had grown up as an atheist but became a Christian in his final year at university. He went to do his DTS after graduating to try and build a better foundation for his faith and then stayed on as staff with YWAM. The two were married in California in May 2015 and are currently in Latvia being trained and fulfilling their commitment to the YWAM base in England before they plan to head back to Albania in the beginning of 2017 to pursue the calling they feel God has on their life and ministry.

Love Modesto, Modesto

Love Modesto started in 2007 at Big Valley Grace Community Church with two questions: 1) Why is our city on lists of the “worst cities in America”? 2) If our churches were to suddenly disappear, would anyone even care or notice? We did not know the answers to these questions, but we knew we were called to love Modesto as Jesus would.

With a lot of dreaming and planning came our first Love Modesto on March 7, 2009. We were hoping for 100 people and more than 1,200 people showed up to love our city. We’ve done this 12 more times since then and have added more than 50 cities. Over 70,500 people have been involved – around 250,000 volunteer hours have been donated! At these community-wide volunteer days, people engage in a variety of projects, including offering food to the hungry, visiting convalescent homes, donating blood, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and working in city parks and schools, among other opportunities.

After the first volunteer days, we were realizing that more sustainable solutions were needed in order to see our city transformed.  Our efforts evolved from beyond a day to championing ongoing volunteerism (over 90 amazing area organizations), collaboration among leaders and initiating Love Our Neighborhoods, Love Our Schools and Love ALL Our Kids.

“This is love, living in the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: live a life of love.” 2 John 6.

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Chrissy Aguiar, Executive Director at Modesto Pregnancy Center, Modesto

Chrissy Aguiar came to Modesto Pregnancy Center in 2000 as a new Christian for healing from abortion in her past and God began to till the soil of my heart as she took their post abortion healing class. She then served in the community education and post abortion departments at MPC where she would go to schools and share about abortion as part of their Community Education presentations. 10 years later when the Executive Director position opened at MPC Chrissy walked through the four month process and was chosen as the new Executive Director. She began this season in December of 2012, after working for 20 years in adoption work at Family Connections Christian Adoptions. God definitely had a plan in all this!

Chrissy says, “Shelter Cove has been a huge support of God’s work at MPC. The pastors and staff have embraced the work we do here and have come alongside us to encourage and inspire us to continue the good work that God has begun here at Modesto Pregnancy Center. We’ve been blessed by Shelter Cove’s partnership by way of baby bottle campaigns, “Make it Rain” baby showers, invitations to speak at Shelter Cove events, as well as (MPC) chosen as the beneficiary of your Christmas 2014 Aaron Shust Concert. Shelter Cove has been a HUGE blessing to me personally, as well as to my staff and the clients we serve!! You don’t know how much it means to have a body of believers who love and support us the way you all do! Thank you that you share our heart to see lives changed (through a relationship with Jesus Christ) and by being a part of helping us save little innocent lives. We are truly blessed!”

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YWAM, Mexico

Josiah Hiroshi Okamoto was born in Southern California and lived there for the first 10 years of life before moving to Modesto. His family began attending Shelter Cove soon after, yet even in the midst of growing up in church he turned away for a couple of years seeking his own pleasures. Through a mission trip to Mexico with Shelter Cove’s youth group, Josiah rededicated his life to Christ.  From that point and onward God has been challenging and growing Josiah exponentially, and he has seen how incredibly faithful God always is. In 2014, Josiah did a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission, and since then has joined the YWAM staff to do full time missions work serving in Tijuana, Mexico. He works with a number of ministries – translating, and also helping with discipleship training schools. Josiah says, “It’s been an amazing journey walking with God through all seasons and an experience I would never change!”

Evangelism Explosion

Dr. Ken Silva was mentored under the ministry of Dr. David Seifert throughout the 1970’s – joining Dr. Seifert at Big Valley Grace Community Church as Pastor of Evangelism and Church Growth in 1978.  After 8 years of tremendous church growth and personal growth, Ken moved to Oakdale where, with the help and encouragement of Big Valley, he planted River Oak Grace Community Church where he served as founding pastor 19 years. During this time he also traveled and taught periodically for Evangelism Explosion International.

Ken has now served with EE International in various positions since 2004. His current position is Senior Vice President of Materials Development. He has written the Everyday Evangelism Training Materials for EE that includes the Share Your Faith Workshop.  Everyday Evangelism is a contemporary tool for EE that takes the disciple through 5 courses of study on his or her way to becoming an effective witness and reproducing disciple-maker.  In this current position Ken leads international teams to evaluate and refine current training materials and he also writes and edits new materials as well.  He travels internationally to introduce EE staff to new materials and train them in their effective use.  Dr. Silva is also available for preaching and teaching at the local church level and assist the church to equip the saints in personal evangelism and disciple-making.

Ken and his wife Diane have three married sons who are all in ministry as well, along with six grandchildren with one more on the way!

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YWAM, Mexico

Adam and Jeana are serving in Tijuana, Mexico with their three sons Noah, Eli and Amos. They have been partnering with Youth With a Mission for the past 2 years. Prior to full time missions, Adam and Jeana were an active part of youth, children and various other ministries at Shelter Cove for over 11 years. After many years of prayer, they felt God’s call to full-time missions and moved from Modesto. Currently they are helping run Mission Adventures, a short term missions experience for youth groups and families at the base in Tijuana. In addition, Adam builds houses with Homes of Hope for needy families in the local community. Jeana and the boys help each week at a children’s program in the red-light district.

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YWAM, Modesto, CA

Chris and Amie Whitler have been a part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) since 1990 where they met and were married in 1993. They have three children: Joshua (20), Sam (15) and Stella (10). They have been ministering in the Modesto area since 2001, as YWAM workers seconded to a small congregation, New Hope Christian Fellowship, to help with community outreach to the poor. The Whitlers developed relationship with Shelter Cove when New Hope and SCCC shared a property back in the early days. The YWAM team quickly became integrated into SCCC’s youth and recovery ministries during that time and has since hosted several youth and adult outreach events for Shelter Cove on the streets of Modesto.

The primary work of YWAM Modesto is to create spaces of hospitality and comfort for the poor, broken, addicted and lonely of our streets – specifically on South 9th street where the community is made up of residents in old motels, low income trailer parks and homeless camps on the Tuolumne River. Their goal is to live relationally, work intentionally and model “creative, compassionate community.” They open the “Ninth Street Café” on Tuesday and Friday mornings in the parking lot of the Arrow Inn (515 South 9th St) for folks to have a cup of coffee, be welcomed, listened to and loved in Jesus’ name. Thursdays at 12pm they lead a small community Bible study on 9th Street to go deeper in scripture with friends made at the café.

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Ukraine Church Plants

Shelter Cove has partnered with Manny and Glenda Fernandez and World Link (WLM) since before its beginnings as founding Pastor, David Seifert was on a mission trip with Manny in Cuba when the launching of Shelter Cove was brewing in his heart. Because of the wonderful harvest Pastor David saw in Cuba, he immediately thought of Manny when he was approached about the large Ukrainian population in Sacramento. He was on his way to meet 70 Ukrainian pastors from Sacramento when he called Manny and asked him to join him in prayer about what God had in mind for Shelter Cove and Ukraine. Pastor David shared with the pastors what God was doing in Cuba and how the masses were responding to the Gospel. The Ukranian pastors were unanimous that this could be the answer for their many prayers on behalf of their native country and asked Pastor David and Manny to please take a next step and go to Ukraine.

Pastor David and a few of the church leaders went with Manny to Ukraine to explore the possibilities of importing World Link’s Church Planting model and all were encouraged because the necessary elements for the WLM model were in place and were ripe for the harvest there. A team of 50 people from Shelter Cove went in 2003 to put on an evangelistic campaign as a launching of the church-planting efforts in Ukraine. 2,250 people made decisions for Christ in 6 rainy days, and within six months 75% of those had been followed up, and some 125 church plants were launched. Today there are over 1,000 church-plants as a result of 260 churches that have been planted through an active partnership between Shelter Cove and World Link Ministries. The growth continues to gain momentum and the field continues to be ripe for harvest!

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Far East

The Blowers family currently lives in northeast China where Chad teaches English to Chinese university students and Lisa stays home to teach and care for their four girls (Naomi 7, Eva, 5, Eleanor 3, and Leah 1).  Chad and Lisa have been serving in China for over 10 years.  Chad is originally from Tennessee and first came to China in 2002.  Lisa is from Modesto and left for China in 2004.  They met in China while both studying Chinese at a local university.

The Blowers’ ministry in China is focused on building relationships with students, teachers and others in the community and using those friendships as a natural means for sharing the good news.  They are blessed to work with a team of other like-minded teachers who share in their purpose.  Over the years they have come to see that living alongside Chinese friends in both this community as well as their own family is perhaps the most powerful testimony for sharing the good news.  Because of this they use their free time to host groups of students and invite people over for meals and family time.  They also have the joy of working alongside other like-minded Chinese friends.

For more than 10 years Shelter Cove has been a faithful and generous partner to the Blowers.

Youth with a Mission, Mexico

Reece was born and raised in Modesto, California. His family has been actively involved in Shelter Cove Community Church since it was planted. During high school, he felt the call to missions while on a Shelter Cove mission trip to Mexico but didn’t respond actively to God’s call. Instead, he followed after education thinking that would satisfy his soul and give him purpose.

After chasing after the empty things the world has to offer, Reece was left with a hunger for purpose and joy that only Jesus Christ can offer. After rededicating his life to the Lord, he did a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission in Mexico and finally responded to God’s call to full-time missions.

Since 2014, he has partnered with Youth With A Mission in Tijuana, Mexico completing a secondary school focused on discipling communities around the world with the holistic gospel. He is currently the Director of Communications for YWAM San Diego/Baja and Homes of Hope International, specializing in using media to connect youth, families and businesses to their role in the Great Commission.

Visit Website

Modesto, CA

Dean Joseph Dodd is the founder of Church in the Park (C.I.T.P.), an outreach ministry serving the under-privileged people of Modesto for the past 7 years. Dean grew up in the area and felt a tremendous need to reach out to the needy. He and a faithful group of volunteers set up church for approx 250 every Sunday, regardless of weather, rain or shine. They offer many practical services, including a hot meal, hair cuts, children’s church, reading glasses, hygiene packs, and clothing, completely funded by donations from God’s generous people. Dean became affiliated with Shelter Cove in 2010. Many volunteers who serve at C.I.T.P. are members of Shelter Cove Community Church.

Their latest ministry outreach is the Cleansing Hope Shower Shuttle, a shuttle bus being converted into two showers (one with wheelchair access via lift) that will enable them to serve many locations within the city (debuting March 2016). Clean socks and underwear will be provided, along with genuine Christian love and encouragement. By intentionally being Christ’s hands and feet, they seek to rehumanize a mostly forgotten population. Their aim, LORD willing, is to restore dignity and hope one shower at a time.

Visit Website

International Christian Schools, Lima, Peru

Jens and Annie Erickson live in Peru with their four children. Jens is a school teacher for the international school in Lima. Jens gets to share the gospel with many of the students there, who are children of ambassadors, military personnel, and business people—many who do not know the Lord! Through the children, parents are often reached with the Gospel. In addition to this awesome task, as a family they seek to reach out to the poor and fatherless in their neighborhood.

Jens and Annie Erickson were both Missionary Kid’s from South America – Jens grew up in Ecuador and Annie spent three years in Brazil – who met at Moody Bible Institute. They were both at Moody to pursue a deeper understanding of God’s Word and their faith so they could go back to the mission field.  They married while still attending Moody, then moved to Oregon where Jens attended Western Baptist (now Corbin University) to get his teaching degree.  During that time they researched mission organizations and decided on Network of International Schools (NICS) because they loved their evangelistic approach to education – teaching every subject with an integrated Biblical world view.  They were accepted by NICS and chose to work at the school in Lima, Peru: The International Christian School of Lima (ICSL).  Twelve years later, they’re still there!  Jens teaches Middle School science, Bible and an occasional History class in addition to organizing the week long Outdoor Ed. program and science fair each year. He also spends time with the students in after school clubs or mentors them one on one.  Annie is a part of the Member Care team for the staff, teaches a Senior Girls Bible study, volunteers at the school, and gets involved in different ways with the mom’s at the school and the women at their church.

They love what they do and the life God has called them to!

Visit Website

Reach Global, East Africa

Tony and Holly Freitas are serving as missionaries in East Africa working with the Maasai and Sudanese people.  Tony is a “MacGyver” and holly is a nurse, and together they share Christ in a very simple and practical way, while helping communities to identify their common problems than giving them the tools to solve those problems by using only locally available resources.IE: Health education, clean drinking water, HIV/AIDS Education, Agricultural training, etc… SUSTAINABILITY is a key element of their work. Their son Devin lives with them in Tanzania and their daughter Lauren is in college in the United States.

Visit Website

Agape Children’s Ministry, Kenya

After life-long involvement spreading the message of missions and leading short-term missions teams as lay people, Blake and Esther Gibbs felt God’s call on their lives to join Agape as full-time missionaries in August 2003. With a long career in business and significant experience in management and accounting, Blake came on board to help manage the organization’s day-to-day operations. On October 1, 2005, he was asked to become Agape’s Director. He reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the over-all direction of the ministry and for overseeing all of its operations both in the United States and overseas. His duties include developing long range plans for the ministry’s operation and expansion for Board approval; preparation of annual plans and budgets for Board approval; development of policy recommendations for the Board; and supervision of Agape’s missionaries and staff.

He and Esther, who grew up in West Africa as a missionary child, travel regularly to Kenya to provide over-all guidance and direction for the ministry on the field, confer with our missionaries and national staff, conduct staff training, follow-up on accounting and budgets, etc.

Visit Website

Agape Children’s Ministry, Kenya

After life-long involvement spreading the message of missions and leading short-term missions teams as lay people, Blake and Esther Gibbs felt God’s call on their lives to join Agape as full-time missionaries in August 2003. With a long career in business and significant experience in management and accounting, Blake came on board to help manage the organization’s day-to-day operations. On October 1, 2005, he was asked to become Agape’s Director. He reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the over-all direction of the ministry and for overseeing all of its operations both in the United States and overseas. His duties include developing long range plans for the ministry’s operation and expansion for Board approval; preparation of annual plans and budgets for Board approval; development of policy recommendations for the Board; and supervision of Agape’s missionaries and staff.

He and Esther, who grew up in West Africa as a missionary child, travel regularly to Kenya to provide over-all guidance and direction for the ministry on the field, confer with our missionaries and national staff, conduct staff training, follow-up on accounting and budgets, etc.

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Agape Children’s Ministry, Kenya

After life-long involvement spreading the message of missions and leading short-term missions teams as lay people, Blake and Esther Gibbs felt God’s call on their lives to join Agape as full-time missionaries in August 2003. With a long career in business and significant experience in management and accounting, Blake came on board to help manage the organization’s day-to-day operations. On October 1, 2005, he was asked to become Agape’s Director. He reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the over-all direction of the ministry and for overseeing all of its operations both in the United States and overseas. His duties include developing long range plans for the ministry’s operation and expansion for Board approval; preparation of annual plans and budgets for Board approval; development of policy recommendations for the Board; and supervision of Agape’s missionaries and staff.

He and Esther, who grew up in West Africa as a missionary child, travel regularly to Kenya to provide over-all guidance and direction for the ministry on the field, confer with our missionaries and national staff, conduct staff training, follow-up on accounting and budgets, etc.

Visit Website

Agape Children’s Ministry, Kenya

After life-long involvement spreading the message of missions and leading short-term missions teams as lay people, Blake and Esther Gibbs felt God’s call on their lives to join Agape as full-time missionaries in August 2003. With a long career in business and significant experience in management and accounting, Blake came on board to help manage the organization’s day-to-day operations. On October 1, 2005, he was asked to become Agape’s Director. He reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the over-all direction of the ministry and for overseeing all of its operations both in the United States and overseas. His duties include developing long range plans for the ministry’s operation and expansion for Board approval; preparation of annual plans and budgets for Board approval; development of policy recommendations for the Board; and supervision of Agape’s missionaries and staff.

He and Esther, who grew up in West Africa as a missionary child, travel regularly to Kenya to provide over-all guidance and direction for the ministry on the field, confer with our missionaries and national staff, conduct staff training, follow-up on accounting and budgets, etc.

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YWAM, England

Kendra grew up going to River Oak in Oakdale before moving to Shelter Cove when she turned 18 where she quickly got involved with the high school and college ministries, and went on her first mission trip to Mexico. She then felt the Lord was prompting her to go on the church trip to Israel. She considers Shelter Cove to be her home church and these two experiences with stirred her heart for missions and led her to apply for the Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in England, which is where she met Thomas for the first time, who had been working with YWAM to help run the DTS as well as a Bible Core Course. He had grown up as an atheist but became a Christian in his final year at university. He went to do his DTS after graduating to try and build a better foundation for his faith and then stayed on as staff with YWAM. The two were married in California in May 2015 and are currently in Latvia being trained and fulfilling their commitment to the YWAM base in England before they plan to head back to Albania in the beginning of 2017 to pursue the calling they feel God has on their life and ministry.

YWAM, England

Kendra grew up going to River Oak in Oakdale before moving to Shelter Cove when she turned 18 where she quickly got involved with the high school and college ministries, and went on her first mission trip to Mexico. She then felt the Lord was prompting her to go on the church trip to Israel. She considers Shelter Cove to be her home church and these two experiences with stirred her heart for missions and led her to apply for the Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in England, which is where she met Thomas for the first time, who had been working with YWAM to help run the DTS as well as a Bible Core Course. He had grown up as an atheist but became a Christian in his final year at university. He went to do his DTS after graduating to try and build a better foundation for his faith and then stayed on as staff with YWAM. The two were married in California in May 2015 and are currently in Latvia being trained and fulfilling their commitment to the YWAM base in England before they plan to head back to Albania in the beginning of 2017 to pursue the calling they feel God has on their life and ministry.

Love Modesto, Modesto

Love Modesto started in 2007 at Big Valley Grace Community Church with two questions: 1) Why is our city on lists of the “worst cities in America”? 2) If our churches were to suddenly disappear, would anyone even care or notice? We did not know the answers to these questions, but we knew we were called to love Modesto as Jesus would.

With a lot of dreaming and planning came our first Love Modesto on March 7, 2009. We were hoping for 100 people and more than 1,200 people showed up to love our city. We’ve done this 12 more times since then and have added more than 50 cities. Over 70,500 people have been involved – around 250,000 volunteer hours have been donated! At these community-wide volunteer days, people engage in a variety of projects, including offering food to the hungry, visiting convalescent homes, donating blood, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and working in city parks and schools, among other opportunities.

After the first volunteer days, we were realizing that more sustainable solutions were needed in order to see our city transformed.  Our efforts evolved from beyond a day to championing ongoing volunteerism (over 90 amazing area organizations), collaboration among leaders and initiating Love Our Neighborhoods, Love Our Schools and Love ALL Our Kids.

“This is love, living in the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: live a life of love.” 2 John 6.

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Chrissy Aguiar, Executive Director at Modesto Pregnancy Center, Modesto

Chrissy Aguiar came to Modesto Pregnancy Center in 2000 as a new Christian for healing from abortion in her past and God began to till the soil of her heart as she took their post abortion healing class. She then served in the community education and post abortion departments at MPC where she would go to schools and share about abortion as part of their Community Education presentations. 10 years later when the Executive Director position opened at MPC Chrissy walked through the four month process and was chosen as the new Executive Director. She began this season in December of 2012, after working for 20 years in adoption work at Family Connections Christian Adoptions. God definitely had a plan in all this!

Chrissy says, “Shelter Cove has been a huge support of God’s work at MPC. The pastors and staff have embraced the work we do here and have come alongside us to encourage and inspire us to continue the good work that God has begun here at Modesto Pregnancy Center. We’ve been blessed by Shelter Cove’s partnership by way of baby bottle campaigns, “Make it Rain” baby showers, invitations to speak at Shelter Cove events, as well as (MPC) chosen as the beneficiary of your Christmas 2014 Aaron Shust Concert. Shelter Cove has been a HUGE blessing to me personally, as well as to my staff and the clients we serve!! You don’t know how much it means to have a body of believers who love and support us the way you all do! Thank you that you share our heart to see lives changed (through a relationship with Jesus Christ) and by being a part of helping us save little innocent lives. We are truly blessed!”

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YWAM, Mexico

Josiah Hiroshi Okamoto was born in Southern California and lived there for the first 10 years of life before moving to Modesto. His family began attending Shelter Cove soon after, yet even in the midst of growing up in church he turned away for a couple of years seeking his own pleasures. Through a mission trip to Mexico with Shelter Cove’s youth group, Josiah rededicated his life to Christ.  From that point and onward God has been challenging and growing Josiah exponentially, and he has seen how incredibly faithful God always is. In 2014, Josiah did a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission, and since then has joined the YWAM staff to do full time missions work serving in Tijuana, Mexico. He works with a number of ministries – translating, and also helping with discipleship training schools. Josiah says, “It’s been an amazing journey walking with God through all seasons and an experience I would never change!”

Evangelism Explosion

Dr. Ken Silva was mentored under the ministry of Dr. David Seifert throughout the 1970’s – joining Dr. Seifert at Big Valley Grace Community Church as Pastor of Evangelism and Church Growth in 1978.  After 8 years of tremendous church growth and personal growth, Ken moved to Oakdale where, with the help and encouragement of Big Valley, he planted River Oak Grace Community Church where he served as founding pastor 19 years. During this time he also traveled and taught periodically for Evangelism Explosion International.

Ken has now served with EE International in various positions since 2004. His current position is Senior Vice President of Materials Development. He has written the Everyday Evangelism Training Materials for EE that includes the Share Your Faith Workshop.  Everyday Evangelism is a contemporary tool for EE that takes the disciple through 5 courses of study on his or her way to becoming an effective witness and reproducing disciple-maker.  In this current position Ken leads international teams to evaluate and refine current training materials and he also writes and edits new materials as well.  He travels internationally to introduce EE staff to new materials and train them in their effective use.  Dr. Silva is also available for preaching and teaching at the local church level and assist the church to equip the saints in personal evangelism and disciple-making.

Ken and his wife Diane have three married sons who are all in ministry as well, along with six grandchildren with one more on the way!

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YWAM, Mexico

Adam and Jeana are serving in Tijuana, Mexico with their three sons Noah, Eli and Amos. They have been partnering with Youth With a Mission for the past 2 years. Prior to full time missions, Adam and Jeana were an active part of youth, children and various other ministries at Shelter Cove for over 11 years. After many years of prayer, they felt God’s call to full-time missions and moved from Modesto. Currently they are helping run Mission Adventures, a short term missions experience for youth groups and families at the base in Tijuana. In addition, Adam builds houses with Homes of Hope for needy families in the local community. Jeana and the boys help each week at a children’s program in the red-light district.

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YWAM, Modesto, CA

Chris and Amie Whitler have been a part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) since 1990 where they met and were married in 1993. They have three children: Joshua (20), Sam (15) and Stella (10). They have been ministering in the Modesto area since 2001, as YWAM workers seconded to a small congregation, New Hope Christian Fellowship, to help with community outreach to the poor. The Whitlers developed relationship with Shelter Cove when New Hope and SCCC shared a property back in the early days. The YWAM team quickly became integrated into SCCC’s youth and recovery ministries during that time and has since hosted several youth and adult outreach events for Shelter Cove on the streets of Modesto.

The primary work of YWAM Modesto is to create spaces of hospitality and comfort for the poor, broken, addicted and lonely of our streets – specifically on South 9th street where the community is made up of residents in old motels, low income trailer parks and homeless camps on the Tuolumne River. Their goal is to live relationally, work intentionally and model “creative, compassionate community.” They open the “Ninth Street Café” on Tuesday and Friday mornings in the parking lot of the Arrow Inn (515 South 9th St) for folks to have a cup of coffee, be welcomed, listened to and loved in Jesus’ name. Thursdays at 12pm they lead a small community Bible study on 9th Street to go deeper in scripture with friends made at the café.

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