Massive life change!

Dear Friends,

Tracy and I have been off the grid for a while, but I wanted to somehow try to describe the amazing journey we have been on over the past 3 months. I wanted to share my testimony to you of the goodness of God in our lives. I included some cool photos to help you visualize our surroundings.

Riding the Whirlwind

Imagine being whisked out of your everyday life where you live in the suburbs and work in the city to suddenly being parachuted into the south pacific to join a wild band of missionaries being trained to launch all over the world, taking the gospel to the farthest regions of the planet.

Last December, within two week time we cleared out our house, put it up for sale and got on a plane to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. After 18 years of serving people struggling with homelessness, putting down roots and building friendships, it wasn’t easy to leave our old lives, but sometimes God has to disturb our present in order to give us a new future. We are laying down the old story and old pattern in order to enter a new story. 

Pruning can feel painful, but when God prunes our lives it is preparation for greater fruitfulness. Sometimes you have to sell everything you own in order to get the pearl of great price and it is all worth it, especially when the pearl is His calling for your lives.

Open Air Weekly Worship gathering at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) University Of The Nations

The Road to YWAM

For 3 months we have been living on another planet called the University of the Nations in Kona (click link to see video). It is the largest training center in the world for Youth With A Mission (YWAM). The missionaries here are willing to pay the cost of any sacrifice in order to proclaim Jesus to people of every tribe and culture. The ethos at YWAM is thick and even rings out of their songs such as The Missionary Anthem  (click to see song live) that states, “I will preach the gospel, die and be forgotten, as long as You get the glory.”

Did you know that YWAM is the largest Christian missions organization in the world? Founded in 1960, it now has more than 2,000 base locations and 20,000 staff in over 180 countries. Each location is a Biblical teaching and missionary training center that welcomes young adults from around the world and is also active in ministries in their own communities.

YWAM’s mission is to “Know Him and make Him known.” Every international leader and staff member in this movement is a volunteer who has dedicated their life to pursuing God’s purpose and calling. To say that it has been inspirational would be a gross understatement. A passion for God rages hot in this place!

Our entire Crossroads class including kids


Our Discipleship Training School is known as Crossroads and is designed for people like us more mature “youth” who are at a crossroads in life. We made so many lifelong friendships with our fellow students during these past 3 months. When you go through an intense community experience like this, you are bound for life.

Crossroads provoked our hearts as we dove into core themes such as identity, inner healing, and the character and nature of God. We were challenged together to take new ground through classes on spiritual warfare, Christian worldview and the Holy Spirit. All of this while daily practicing listening to the voice of God as we interceded together for nations and received prophetic words from the Holy Spirit. 

Let Me Be Real…

My GOALS for attending Crossroads DTS were to:

  1. Find emotional and physical healing from trauma that I experienced during the pandemic
  2. Restore my soul and recover from burnout
  3. Experience the supernatural and become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that I could be better led by Him
  4. Receive direction for the future, especially next steps

I am happy to report that God met me in all of these areas and gave me healing and new freedom in the areas of:

  1. Shame- over trauma and rejection
  2. Fear- of man, conflict, perceived inadequacy
  3. Control- Performance and people-pleasing

I am being vulnerable to share these things with you so that you too can have renewed hope and faith for your own freedom. If he did it for me, he can do it for you! 

Leaving our past life and position was a stripping down to the core and what is essential. God used this opportunity to remind me of my identity as his son rather than in what I can do for Him. Henri Nouwen once said, “Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of our spiritual life. Being the beloved is our core spiritual existence.” 

Radical Transformation

These 3 months of living from intimacy with God has been one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. We came here to encounter His power so that we could be more transformed into His image and he did not disappoint. We experienced a paradigm shift as we surrendered to God, becoming 100% helpless. Embracing our weaknesses allowed us to stop striving in the flesh so that we might yield to the Spirit. We have learned to go from trying to be responsible to being response-able to God’s leading. These are lessons that we will spend the rest of our lives practicing.


God embedded so many truths into my soul such as: 

  • My confidence cannot be found in my gifts or abilities, but in who He is, His presence. 
  • We behave what we really believe about ourselves and about God. 
  • If the enemy can get us to believe lies about our identities, he can rob of us our destinies and ability to pursue our dreams. 
  • What actually has authority in my life is what I look to to determine my purpose, meaning, direction and joy. 

By immersing myself in God’s reality, my belief system has been reset and realigned with God’s truth, grace and love. Maybe God wants to use the disruption created by the pandemic to do a reset in your life as well?

Maybe you are at a Crossroads in life and instead of a sabbatical or vacation or extended break, are willing to dive headfirst into a community of believers who can wrap around you with love, kindness and training for the next thing? We would have gone internationally for this with missions but due to the pandemic ended up in our only choice due to closed borders which was Kaulia-Kona. Don’t be too jealous, we lived in a one room dorm with no a/c, regular lizard visitors, cafeteria food (involving more soup and salad then I knew my body could handle) and Tracy encountered a while boar while trying to take the garbage out! Yet, this was just where God wanted us during this season so we were thankful. We could have taken a sabbatical and just laid on a beach somewhere, working on finishing my latest book, but instead, we decided to dive headfirst into healing, training, and God’s long term plan for our next 20 years in ministry.

I Hear You God!

We received prophetic words in the very beginning of the school including this personal one: “You will be a spiritual father and mother, maybe going base to base mentoring leaders.” This was a confirmation of what the Lord was already putting in our hearts. Even during our stay at the University of the Nations, God opened doors to pour into the young people and staff all around us. Another prophetic word from the platform was, “God is releasing the grace to do His will, to call people to their destinies.”

What God is doing in us, we want to share to encourage you. He’s not done with you yet! If you are feeling stale or stuck in the mundane, He has a freshness and newness to reignite your passion for your first love. If you feel dry, he will pour out fresh oil and make you come alive! His dreams for you are what you were born to be and do. Let our lives be a living testimony to you of God’s grace and new beginnings, even in your last chapters of life.

The scripture that was spoken over us that is also for you is Isaiah 43:18,19:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it 

springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

My word to you is not necessarily to leave your home and job to join YWAM (although I highly recommend it), but let go of areas in your past in order to enter God’s future. There is more!  

Our New Tribe

One of our speakers, Terry York said, “When you find your tribe you will find your calling.” We have found our tribe and our calling at YWAM. Our mission is to take the gospel to the world so that salvation and freedom can be had in every country and people group. Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM articulates this so well in this video titled, I Am A Missionary.

We were created to live with hearts on fire and I believe this is the place he has sent us to enter fully into his calling and fully into his JOY. My eyes now glisten with hope for that reality. My life depends on love, His audacious, heart-exploding love. 

I can sum up our experience and what I hope for you in this scripture verse:

Acts 2:28  
“You have shown me the way of life and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.”

Next Steps

What next steps are there for Juan and Tracy? Now that we have completed our lecture phase, we are headed to the mission field for two months of outreach to the poor in Mexico. We go with a small team that includes 12 people ranging from 6-years-old to 70-years-old and includes citizens of Finland, Norway, Africa, USA and China. This is our team in the picture below. We will all be living in a 5 bedroom house together working 6 days a week doing outreach throughout the forgotten parts of Mexico. Usually, these teams go to Southeast Asia, but due to the Pandemic, again, we were limited on our outreach locations. But the poor are the poor everywhere and God loves them all!

Our Mexico outreach team

COVID continues to rage in Mexico and so we are trusting God for his protection as we take all wise precautions possible. Please pray for God’s protection over our team and for breakthroughs in our missions work.

After our outreach is over, we will be ministering on an island off the coast of Mexico called St. Thomas where my parents were missionaries when I was a pre-teen. Then, coming back to the US to visit family, friends and raise the missions partnership necessary for us to serve as full-time missionaries with YWAM. The most exciting part of the trip will be welcoming our first grandchild into the world in July! Our daughter River and her husband Jabez are bringing a precious little girl into our family and we couldn’t be more excited!

We will return in August to join the YWAM staff in Kaluia-Kona at the University of the Nations where we will work with young people training for the mission field and mentoring their missionary staff in healthy leadership. We feel that God will use us as a spiritual father and mother to help catapult young leaders into ministry around the world. We will draw upon our 30 plus years of ministry experience to mentor and teach the next generation. After that semester, it is our intention to travel internationally, working with YWAM bases around the world. Let the adventure begin!  

Our mission is clear:

Mark 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Thank you for your love, friendship, partnership and prayers!

You can connect with me at or Tracy at to stay in touch. Our website will continue to be updated. If you want to hear the latest, feel free to tune into our Podcast or find our most recent pictures on Facebook or Instagram.

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  1. Liz Said,

    Thank you for reminding me how great God is, what a ride! Lord please continue to keep Juan and Tracy safe and healthy as you use them to rescue souls ❤️🙏🏼

  2. lolwut Said,

    Thank you Liz!

  3. Peter Pendell Said,

    I am thrilled to hear what God has been doing. You left the familiar and found Him there! Each step will be like that as you stay open to His Spirit. I’m so glad for you!

  4. lolwut Said,

    Thank you Peter!

  5. Victoria Said,

    I love you guys! Yeshua is amazing and you will be in my prayers❤️🙏🏼Hallelujah!

  6. lolwut Said,

    Thank you Victoria!