Brian leads the Latin America/Caribbean division of ReachGlobal, the mission arm of the Evangelical Free Church of America. This responsibility covers the missionaries, strategy and work of ReachGlobal in countries south of the Rio Grande and all of the Caribbean. Brian began his career as a church planting pastor, then moved into a variety of experiences in nursing, humanitarian work near the Afghanistan border, healthcare information technology and consulting in the healthcare industry. Brian and his family have lived in Costa Rica since 2007.
Brian works with ReachGlobal Latin America/Caribbean area leadership to develop innovative approaches for utilizing missionaries, partnerships and resources to multiply transformational churches among all people. With staff in seven Latin America and Caribbean countries and partnerships in a number of others, Brian travels extensively to encourage and develop the ministry toward the goal of seeing 10 million lives impacted with the transformational power of the gospel over the next 10 years.
Since 1993, Omar and Rebecca have served as missionaries with ReachGlobal (the international mission of the Evangelical Free Church of America). They served one year in Mexico City and 10 years in Venezuela. Today, they live in Fullerton, Calif., where they helped to plant Maple Evangelical Church – a multicultural, multilingual church. They have been married for 28 years and have two sons — Omar Daniel, who just graduated from UCLA in electrical engineering, and Benjamin, who is a junior at Pepperdine University.
Omar currently serves as an area leader for ReachGlobal in the Latin America/Caribbean (LAC) region and serves as a catalyst for church-based training initiatives. As an area leader, he is a member of the Directional Team, where he facilitates the advancement of future ministry. He also helps lead ministry partnerships, networking and development of movement leaders. In addition, he serves as the point person for crisis management for the region. He is a graduated of Moody Bible Institute and obtained his M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Talbot School of Theology.
Rebecca’s strength and joy is in developing discipling relationships with women and in nurturing children. She is intimately involved at the church in Fullerton, ministering to women and serving on the worship team. Her current ministry in LAC is to serve as the women’s ministry catalyst for Latin America. Her desire is to reach women for Christ and to train women to serve in their local churches and associations. She received her B.A. from Moody Bible Institute in Christian education and has been trained by her local church in lay counseling. She is currently enrolled in Hope International University’s M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program.
Steve and Liz Spellman
Steve and Liz Spellman have served as missionaries with ReachGlobal since 1989. For over 20 years they served in the city of Rio de Janeiro, helping to plant churches and work with youth and church leaders in that city.
Currently (and bizarrely), Steve and Liz divide their time between Brazil and Haiti. In Brazil (the city of Rio do Sul) – they serve in leadership of the Brazilian EFC Church Planting Network, helping to develop, lead, mentor and coach church planters and church plants throughout the country.
Steve and Liz also currently serve as the city team leaders for ReachGlobal’s emerging work in Haiti, where Steve overseas our international staff and gives direction to our local partnerships.
They have three daughters, all of whom were born in Brazil, all of whom get their beauty from their mother (and we’re so thankful for that!). Our oldest, Alessandra is married to Eric and lives in Seattle, working in the area of graphic design. Rebecca also lives in Seattle, having moved there to be close to her sister, and working in the area of organizational leadership. Kayla is the youngest and currently lives in Lincoln, Neb.
Mexico City, Mexico
Joshua and Naomi Smith
Joshua and Naomi Smith are seeking to glorify God by multiplying transformational, gospel-centered churches in Mexico City and beyond.
Since 2011, they’ve sought to bring the gospel to one of the largest urban centers in the world.
Samantha’s long-term goal is to connect English conversation groups with local churches who can come around the people involved, care for their physical and spiritual needs, and provide long-term support and a place for growth in Christ. This empowers the local churches to serve their communities and prepares for long-term help instead of dependency on missionaries.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Jim and Melanie Wilson
Gordon and Debbie Crandell work at the Spanish Language Institute in San José in the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care. The Spanish Language Institute has provided Spanish language studies to missionaries for more than 72 years. Missionaries who graduate from the school work throughout Latin America and Spain, bearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Crandells’ responsibilities include providing spiritual and emotional support for the students and their families, as well as the teachers and staff. They joined the counseling department in January 2015 after completing their own language studies at the Institute. They have lived in San José since 2013.
Gordon, previously a business owner and master carpenter, also uses his skills to encourage other Christians and share the gospel in the surrounding community. Future plans for the Crandells include developing a Trek 7 program for ReachGlobal in Costa Rica as well as hosting interns who want to invest two months to two years of their lives furthering the kingdom of God in Latin America.
Tim and Carolyn Dahlin work with ProMETA, helping train leaders in the Spanish speaking world at the master’s level using internet technology. Tim is a part of the Learning Systems Department, which strives to make student learning as effective and formative as possible through careful course design and facilitation. Tim designs courses and trains and supervises ProMETA’s online mentors. Right now Tim focusesa on courses that encourage consistent discipleship in students’ ministries.
The Dahlins also are involved in ministry with a local Hispanic ministry in Fairmont, Minn., where they live currently. They previously served as ReachGlobal missionaries in Venezuela, where they assisted in theological education and helped plant several churches. Tim and Carolyn have three children: Joel (26), Karin (25) and Jonathan (19).
Tim and Nancy have been with ReachGlobal since 2006. Before that, Tim worked for 21 years with 3M as an engineer and production manager, and Nancy worked for more than 25 years in nursing roles in hospitals and schools.
Tim started his missionary career in East Asia as a city team leader in a city of more than 14 million people. The focus of this city team was to minister in English to college students and to disciple church leaders in following the Lord. During these five years, Nancy worked as a nurse and also volunteer-taught medical English at a large hospital. Tim also was a member of the area’s leadership team.
Early in 2012, Tim and Nancy moved to Southeast Asia to join with the Asia international leader there. During the past five years, as an area leader on the Asia Division Leadership Team, Tim has led Serve Asia (conferences, finance, training and BAM), coached and supervised a number of staff and teams across Asia. Tim was also the division representative for PrayGlobal and for the ReachGlobal Crisis Management Team. In Southeast Asia, Nancy volunteered at a refugee school teaching English and was involved in restarting a migrant worker medical clinic program.
Currently, Tim and Nancy are transitioning to the LAC division from Asia. They are moving to Chicago, where they will decide if God is directing them to make a third cross-cultural move, this time to Costa Rica. Tim’s primary role with the LAC Division will be to coach and supervise the division team leaders. Tim will participate in divisional vision- and goal-setting and decision-making. Tim also will represent the region on the PrayGlobal team. He also plans to minister with national partners in Costa Rica. Nancy will join the work with the women’s ministry in the city slums.
Tim and Nancy have three adult sons. The oldest is a mechanical engineer and the younger two are CPAs, all residing in the Chicago area.
Dave and Angie Ziel
Dave and Angie Ziel have been living in San Jose since 2011. They spend the majority of their time in a local church replant (Faro de Esperanza) in an impoverished neighborhood called Rio Azul. They are part of the church leadership team, lead a Bible study, preach and lead worship. They teach English, Sunday school, music and cooking classes in addition to serving in other ways.
The Ziels also work in ProMETA (an online seminary completely in Spanish) in the areas of marketing and technology, as well as partnering with a ministry to people in prostitution.
Panama City, Panama
Jon and Bianca spent several years in youth ministry in Pittsburgh before being called to serve in Panama City.
The Fowlers’ primary purpose is to facilitate the planting of new, healthy, Biblical churches for growing believers to thrive within. Second, they want to provide training for Latin American church pastors and leaders who share a similar vision so that they are better equipped to lead churches.
Eighty percent of pastors across Latin America have little or no formal training for ministry. They will not have access to it unless it comes to them.
They’re beginning with a long-standing network of trusted relationships already in place. They see huge potential with what God already has been doing in Panama and the surrounding parts of Central America.
Nathan and Christina, both nurses, are from Minnesota and currently are enrolled at the International Language School in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Once the have finished the year in Costa Rica, they and their three sons will move to Panama. They are part of a church planting team with a primary focus of training pastors. Once they are there, they’ll begin to assess the needs of the church and community, and see where God can use them.
Their vision is to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in Panama, and to show God’s love to people by meeting basic human needs and building up the church body. They hope to become trained in providing community health evangelism (CHE), which shares the gospel message while also developing, empowering and releasing individuals to care for their community.
One of the long-term goals that the Pineaults have is the development of traveling medical clinics that go around the city and to remote villages where natives do not have access to basic health care.
Carlos and Meredith have been serving in the Central Amazon jungle of Peru for the past two years. Carlos was born in Peru and became a believer 1989 through EFCA missionaries. After 22 years gaining ministry experience at Emmanuel EFC in Burbank, Calif., he returned to work with an indigenous people group in his home country.
Meredith has worked with Reach Global in Peru for almost 15 years, mainly with women and youth in Peruvian Free Church. She also enjoyed working at the EFCA National Office in the late ’90s. Carlos returned to Peru as a widower and regained contact with a longtime friend (Meredith) who gave him a great contact, a Peruvian pastor working with the Yanesha who needed help. The Lord opened all the doors in 2011…to ministry with the Yanesha, and marriage as well!
They live in San Ramon, Chanchamayo, and work with a Yanesha church association encouraging healthy churches and leader multiplication, theological training, and community development. They want to grow their team, so contact them if you are interested in jungle ministry.