My wife and I are thrilled to have hopped the ocean to join such an amazing church as their new Youth and Children's Pastors! During our discernment process, we were relentlessly drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek out & become a part of such a Christ-centered, international church as is APCH. I continue to be impressed by how the overall approach of APCH is to return to the essential basics that Jesus laid out for us in the Gospels.
For me, coming to APCH was a way of coming home to my roots. My grandmother (a Steenstra!), emigrated from Friesland when she was around ten-years-old, settling with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The family name still lives on with the famous (at least in Michigan) Steenstra Windmill Cookies. While The Netherlands mirrors much that I have known in my original home of Grand Rapids, The Hague mirrors what I knew in my second home, Washington, D.C. Both places match up in the political importance and atmosphere, and strong international vibe, which made coming here surprisingly familiar.
I feel very privileged to be able to serve the Lord in such a meaningful, special place. During my time in Seminary and serving in YoungLife, I developed an intense passion for relational ministry. One of my favorite parts of my time attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, located on the North Shore of Massachusetts, was being a part of the Pierce Discipleship Center along with Heather. This year long scholarship program was designed to both disciple participants and teach us how to disciple others effectively as we left seminary. I look forward to being able to implement a similarly strong discipleship-making model here at APCH with our young people.
Aside from ministry, I have a great love for the outdoors, the mountains, the beach anywhere in God's beautiful creation. There are few things I enjoy more than kayaking with my wife and Cody, our adorable Shih-tzu. We certainly are blessed in this passion, for what better place to explore by kayak than in a land built on canals? I also really enjoy grilling and was glad to meet some fellow aficionados already. We look forward to having many of you over for dinners on our back porch. Lastly, my heart has always been attached to American football and I look forward to getting some games going on the beaches of Scheveningen & watching Michigan Football with fellow fans here in The Hague!