Jesse and Alex were married on June 16, 2001. They had made plans to leisurely enjoy their first years of marriage together, but as they sought God’s plans for their lives, they knew that God was calling them to start a family. Although this would mean scrapping their own plans, they knew that God’s plan for them would be better than their own, so they threw the newly purchased contraception in the trash can and didn’t look back. Soon after, God blessed them with some of the most amazing gifts they could have ever imagined: Erin (April, 2002), Joshua (October, 2003), Caleb (September, 2005), Micah (May, 2007), Arianna (May, 2009), Josiah (January 2011) and their twins Isaac and Jacob (September 2013).
As their family continued to grow quickly, they also continued to seek God for wisdom in raising the family He had given to them. Although sometimes overwhelmed by their own short comings and the enormous responsibility they have been entrusted with, they have come to see that God remains faithful and gracious even through their inadequacies. They need only to trust and obey, for He has promised to never give them more then they can handle.
From the time they met, they had discussed the possibility of doing mission work. They always knew that it could be a part of God’s plan for their future, but with a large family, they thought it would most likely be a retirement project. As God continued to grow their faith through His word and through strong Christian fellowship, they began to realize they were putting limitations on God’s timing and provisions. They also began to see that God’s plan for the great commission was to be carried by the family unit, and that their children would actually be a blessing to the ministry and a part of the work (Psalm 127). Of course those given the gift of being single, or those in an another season of their lives are also to carry out the great commission. But the point is that the great commission is the mission of every believer, married or single. Thus the only questions for them was where God wanted them to be and what he wanted them to do, whether it be to stay or go.
As they surrendered the decision to the Lord, it became evident that God was calling them to go. As they began to ask the question "where?", it became very clear to them (with more details than can be told here), that God had been giving them a passion in their hearts for the people of Brazil – specifically, the street children who are orphaned and/or neglected without parents or relatives to raise them. James’ command to care for orphans was something near to their hearts, and God was giving them a vision for a way it could be carried out as a family.
Soon after, God placed it on their hearts to partner with their friends and families in the United States to fulfill together the Lord's’ command in James to care for orphans. While waiting for their visas to be approved, Alex got pregnant with twins. Quite amazed by the timing of everything, they arrived In July of 2013 with their six children, and only 2 months away from their due date for their twins.
God gave them a safe delivery in a new country, and continued to help them to acclimate and learn to minister in a new country. What they didn't know at the time, was how God would intertwine them together with a family from Switzerland, to begin a ministry they had not yet even imagined. It has been only further testimony to them that God's plans are so far above our understanding, and they know that they are so privileged to serve such an amazing God.