I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ at an early age. My Father was in the farming and food production business and my Mother was a school teacher. My parents were very involved with missions, especially in Mexico. My Father was one of the founders of Mexican Christian Children’s Aid, a mission support organization that delivered food and supplies to orphanages all over Baja California. At a young age I recall frequent trips to Mexico and also having grown up working amongst Hispanic farmworkers, I developed an appreciation and love for the Mexican people.
Shortly after Patti and I were married we moved to the Coachella Valley to continue the family farming business. As our business grew we had the opportunity to meet other committed believers in the farming community, some of who were our employees. We thus came to the conclusion that the Lord was calling us to use the farming company to reach not only our own workers but also the Hispanic community at large.
Fifteen years ago we started a Bible study on site for our workers. This quickly grew into a children’s ministry that was the beginning of Tesoro Club. By using our business facilities and employees that had a heart for God’s work, the Lord enabled us to begin using Belk Farms as an outreach to the children in the area. What started as a yearly VBS program has developed into a weekly Bible club for kids, youth Bible studies, a camping ministry and a Bible based sports program.
Today we have the pleasure of overseeing a staff of committed full time ministry partners and a large group of volunteers. The business has become the means to an ends that goes far beyond anything I could have wanted or imagined when I first told my wife, Patti that we were moving to the Coachella Valley to farm. God has allowed us the privilege of having a front row seat as He ministers to the children and youth of the Eastern Coachella Valley.
I was raised in a family where a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, involvement through service and ministry in a local church body, and a missions focus were all encouraged, exemplified and nurtured. I accepted Jesus into my heart and life at an early age and by teen years bible studies and studying Scripture had become a passion. My awareness of the “mission field” came through the exposure of extended family who were missionaries in Brazil. My dad worked on staff at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center where we had many opportunities to participate in conferences and broaden our contact with the teaching of the Word of God and fellowship with the body of Christ. My family moved to Southern California while I was in high school and it was in Redlands, our new home, where I met Drew. We were married in 1977 and two years later moved to the Coachella Valley where we raised our two children – Wendy (who lives here and works for Belk Farms) and Mike (married to Heather, living in San Diego, and their son Paxton). My passion for studying and teaching God’s word has led me to be involved in leadership with Women’s Ministries and teaching bible studies for many years. I taught Bible for three years at the local Christian High School where Drew and I also had the privilege of co-leading three teams of high school students on short-term mission trips to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
It is knowing the fertile soil of young hearts, the powerful and transforming work of Jesus Christ and His Word, and His call to “make disciples" (Matt. 28:19) that excites and humbles Drew and I to the call of the great mission field here in the east valley and to these kids we minister to through Tesoro Club.