Mary and Steve have four adopted children and seven grandchildren. Visiting with the grandchildren is one of the chief delights of her life. She also loves reading, gardening, and cooking. Mary is a member of Seed Saver’s Society, a group committed to preserving heritage varieties of vegetables and flowers.
Though busy with a tree farm, a vineyard, various commercial real estate, and family timber company, Mary has been able to realize her dream of attending seminary. Mary graduated with a Master’s degree in Bible and Theology in 2015. Mary knows that it is a privilege to be able to study about God, but she began to wonder how she could use her education to serve others.
There is so much suffering in the world and Mary knows that she can’t solve every problem, but the Lord put a passion in her heart to work specifically in the area of encouraging women who have been physically, emotionally, or spiritually abused.
In his book on Visioneering, Andy Stanley said that your vision is what makes your heart break. Witnessing the suffering of women who feel trapped is what breaks Mary’s heart. While waiting for God’s specific direction in her life, Mary is actively involved in many ways to pursue her goal of becoming involved in helping women.
More Training in Leadership Skills:
Because of her love of research and writing, Mary originally wanted to pursue a PhD. At this time in her life however, she felt God’s call to be more actively involved with ministry. Many different seminaries have great programs, but Mary found that one of the top seminaries in the country, Portland Seminary, was nearby. She feels very blessed to be part of Portland Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program in the Leadership & Global Perspectives track. This education is equipping her to gain knowledge, understanding in a global society, compassion, lifelong friendships in this Cohort-based program, and leadership skills that will enable her to serve wherever God is calling her.
Ongoing Ministry in Everyday Life:
In order to encourage women in their daily lives, Mary has been posting stories weekly about women in the Bible and history for over six years. On her blog there are over 300 stories of women of courage who faced great challenges to follow God. Other practical ministries have included helping to fill needs at the local food bank, prison ministry, and speaking on the topic of Human Trafficking.
Support from Others:
Without the loving support of Steve and the rest of the family, Mary would not have the energy to pursue her vision. She also receives affirmation about her goals from a caring church and a committed staff at the Seminary. Daily spiritual exercises combined with emotional support help to keep her on track.
Even Jesus took His disciples off once in a while to rest. Nothing is more enjoyable for Mary than to get away for a weekend of racing with Steve. No TV. No phone. Just fast cars and lots of fun. It’s called Vintage Racing and the drivers are old like the cars!!! Yes, she does know how to change oil and check tire temperatures!! Steve and Mary have found a great community to recreate with. Occasionally they even get to serve Christ by participating in fund-raising races where the money raised goes to charities such as Children’s Hospitals.
Since the day that God met Mary, sitting on a playground wall in Kindergarten, she has loved nothing better than to study about Him. What a joy and a privilege to be able to go to Seminary. But Seminary is just a means to an end. People are what matter. Following Christ means to serve as He did – meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Mary’s prayer for the future is that God will show her where she can work as she follows her Savior in love and gratitude for what He has done for her.