Jim and Stacie have served as foreign missionaries in various capacities and in different countries for the past 25 years. After finishing 9 years of service in Mozambique they took a 2-years break in Maryland before returning overseas for their current season of ministry in Puerto Rico. They have two children still at home Lauren (15) Marlene (14) and now live on dry land in the eastern port town of Fajardo after 4 years living aboard their sailboat.
Their ministries revolve around discipleship and evangelism among teens and university students: a high school baseball academy, local university student athletes, area church youth groups and various sailing activities with families, men’s fishing groups and teen sailing training.
There is also a hospitality ministry for pastors and missionaries who need a break from their work by providing lodging and informal counseling. This ministry is meant to encourage those facing a crisis or burn out.
The ministry boat, named Renewal, is an ocean-capable, 3 cabin cruising sailboat which brought them all the way to the Caribbean and now serves as a frequently used outreach tool.
Day trips and youth sailing training take place in the bay in front of the port town of Fajardo. They anchor at small islands 3-5 miles offshore like Icacos, Palominos and Piñeros. Their more distant destinations are islands rather than places along the mainland coast. They often sail to the Culebra and Vieques which are populated islands of the Spanish Virgin chain about 20 from our marina in Fajardo. We occasionally make the passage to the US Virgin Islands, which begin about 40 miles away and sometimes to the BVI’s which begin just past the last USVI island.
Some specifics about their current sailing related ministries:
1. In connection with their hospitality ministry they run overnight sailing excursions for visiting pastor and missionary couples / families. During the past couple of years nearly every one of their guests have been treated to a sailing getaway.
2. Men’s overnight fishing trips aboard S/V Renewal take place once every month or two. There are typically 6-10 men who spend many quality hours together because of this unique kind of sailing ministry.
3. This is their third year helping the Urdaneta Sailing team train on Wednesdays. They partner with a local private school which has a 2 semester sailing training course for some of their 8th graders.
4. There have been many occasions during the past 3 years where they have been able spend time at sea and at anchor (many times overnight) with Puerto Rican families, groups of teens, father/son retreats, visiting missions trip groups, etc. God has opened doors for a variety of opportunities that are not part of an organized ministry program.
Prospective Sailing Related Ministries:
1. Couples retreats – They are trusting God to open the door to regular small group retreats where hurting couples can be helped by short sailing getaways with other couples needing marriage enrichment.
2. Missions trips to neighboring Spanish Virgin Islands – They can partner with visiting missions teams by anchoring with them in front of villages where small church plants can use some help and encouragement.
3. Jim sometimes hangs out with some old guys at the American Legion. There is the opportunity to take them sailing occasionally since they’ve shown interest in that and can hop aboard just a few bocks from where many of them hang out on Wednesday afternoons.
4. They hope to share S/V Renewal with other ministry sailors, specifically with our Maritime Ministry team who need time away from their hectic routine.
5. Gap Year youth or college students training for foreign missions are welcomed to come learn to sail for free, live aboard and help out in their ministry.