Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Don Chang

Chairman of Forever 21, Elder of Ttokamsa Mission Church

Don (Do Won) Chang is the founder of Forever 21, a store that was started in the United States of America and has branches all over the world and turns over billions in sales every year.

Chang was born in a village called Myeong-Dong in Seoul, South Korea in 1954. His strong work ethic was in him from an early age. When he was old enough, he worked in coffee shops and started his own coffee delivery service.

In 1981, Don Chang moved to America with his wife, Jin Sook. At one point, he had to work three jobs. He worked in coffee shops, he worked as a janitor and as a gas station attendant.

In 1984, using the wages from his three jobs, he was able to open his first store in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles. He called it Fashion 21 and targeted it towards his fellow Korean-Americans.  After several years of successful launch, Chang changed the name of his store to Forever 21 to appeal to more customers. This clearly worked as he was then able to open more stores in the United States and all over the world.

Every carrier bag at Forever 21 has John 3:16 is printed. Don and his wife are actively involved at Ttokamsa Mission church with various overseas and local mission work along with family Philanthropy projects.

Ruth Padilla DeBorst

(Resonate Global Mission, CETI)

Ruth Serves as the Leader of Missional Leadership for Resonate Global Mission. She yearns to see peace and justice embrace in the beautiful and broken world we call home. A wife of one and mother of many, theologian, missiologist, educator, and story-teller, Ruth Padilla DeBorst has been involved in leadership development and theological education for integral mission in her native Latin America for several decades. With her husband, James, she leads the Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios (CETI – www.ceticontinental.org), a learning community with Master’s and Certificate level programs across Latin America. She coordinates the Networking Team of INFEMIT (International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation –www.infemit.org), collaborates with Resonate Global Mission, and serves on the board of Arocha and the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. She and James live in Costa Rica along with fellow-members of the Casa Adobe intentional Christian community (www.casaadobe.org). Her studies include a Bachelors in Education (Argentina), an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Wheaton College), and a PhD in Theology (Boston University).

Anne Zaki

Assistant Professor, The Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo

Anne Zaki has long been working to integrate her faith and her passion for social justice. She also has dedicated much of her time teaching seminary students about preaching, worship, spiritual formation, psychology, and communication.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Anne was selected by the government at age 16 to attend an international school in Canada dedicated to peace and international understanding. Ever since, she has been cultivating a global perspective on life and faith, having served churches and church-related institutions in the U.S. and Canada for 13 years. In September 2011, nine months after the Arab Spring, Anne returned to Egypt with her family, where she has spent the last five years teaching. She has also spoken at gatherings like Missio Nexus, the Global Consultation on Music and Missions (GCoMM), and the Lausanne Movement’s Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG).

Anne has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Calvin College, a master’s in social psychology from the American University in Cairo, and an MDiv from Calvin Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing a PhD in preaching from Fuller Theological Seminary.

 

Presenters and Storytellers

Rev David Cheung

Rev David Cheung, Ph.D
David Cheung holds a PhD from the University of London (UK) and is President Emeritus of Asian Theological Seminary. From 1988 to this day, he has been involved with theological education in Asia, Europe and North America. As an academic, his interests include church/missions history, Christianity in China, diasporal Chinese Protestantism in the Philippines, evangelism and apologetics, Christianity and culture, interreligious dialogue, and the art of preaching. For his expertise, David was invited to collaborate with leading scholars from around the world to produce the authoritative Handbook of Christianity in China (Brill, 2001, 2010). As a practitioner, David has served before in a middle-size congregation, a small-size church in an 'unsafe' inner city neighbourhood and a large-size quadrilingual church. Additionally David has also been a mission executive, mission mobilizer, conference speaker and author. Presently David serves as senior pastor of a trilingual Christian Reformed congregation in Western Canada.

Rick Abma

Rick Abma
My real name is Arnold Richard Abma (born in Chilliwack, BC), but I just go by Rick. My wife, Joyce (born in Winnipeg, MB) and I have four children (all born in the 90’s), a dog (rescued), a couple of cats, 2 goats, aquariums full of fish and 2 pet birds.   I graduated with a BA in communications for my radio career. Five years later I earned my Master’s degree. I love storytelling, and I also love how stories speak about life. For example, I test drove a Porsche 930 turbo when I was a teen, only to surprise myself as to how slow I ended up driving down the highway…just so that everyone had to pass me and look into the window.   Since I entered the ministry, things changed; I may never get close to a Porsche again, I struggle to go slow, and my ego faded. Faithfulness is slowly replacing successfulness.

I grew up on a dairy farm and later worked in construction. Now I teach, preach, broadcast and roast coffee.  It all relates to “going and making disciples” and “loving your neighbour” in the context of loving God. My favourite part is the actual loving my own neighbours and going into other peoples’ neighbourhoods with our trailer BBQ or espresso bike.  My strengthfinders top 5 are ‘woo’ ‘includer’ ‘communication’ ‘’ideation’ and ‘positivity.’ I love the colour purple. My extreme sport of choice is windsurfing.

Albert Chu

Albert Chu
Albert is the lead pastor of the Tapestry.  He is passionate about creating space for people of all backgrounds, age, disability, social strata, and ethnicity to discover Jesus.  Sensing God’s call to plant a multi-racial church in the Lower Mainland, Albert moved to Richmond and planted the Tap back in 2004.

Albert is also the leader of Engage Vancouver, an initiative to start new missional activities and church plants in the Lower Mainland.

He holds a M.Div from Regent College as well as an MA in Sociology with a specialization in religion and deviancy from the University of Alberta.

Albert is married to Frieda and is blessed with two lovely daughters. They love to travel, cycle, eat sushi, and their current favourite backpacking spot they do every year is along the Skyline Divide at Mt. Baker.

Beth Fellinger

Beth Fellinger is the pastor of Destination Church in St. Thomas, Ontario. She and her husband have been involved in ministry in large urban centers and small rural communities. Beth has served in three church plants and a church rebirth as well as in established churches. She loves her children, their spouses, and grandchildren. She is a cancer survivor twice over and celebrates life every day. She believes strongly in the local church and what a church committed to Christ, missions, and its community can accomplish. She has an enthusiastic vision of how the church can reach out and share the good news of Jesus with others.

Mario Matos

Mario was born and lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with his wife Yolanda, and their two daughters Susana (19) and Magdalena (14).  

He is the founder and executive director of Sinergia Leadership Foundation, a joint ministry effort that trains, coach and network incarnational leaders and organizations for social and spiritual renewal of urban communities.  Mario’s works with Sinergia focuses on Christian education, healthy church development and multiplication, and community development. He is also an ordained pastor with the Christian Reformed Church in the Dominican Republic.

Mario holds a B.A in Business Administration at Universidad Central del Este in Santo Domingo, and a master’s degree in Theology and Education from Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI.  He is currently a doctoral student at Bakke Graduate University in Seattle, WA.

Mario’s passion is to equip and mentor grassroots leaders and organizations, and see them moving from good intention to more effective ministry results and impact as they love and serve the poor in marginalized communities.  “I want to see all people and communities, specially those who are vulnerable, discovering and experiencing God’s abundance in every areas of life, socially and spiritually.”

Clarence Presley

Clarence resides in Federal Way, WA and is married to Athena and the father of 5 children. He serves as an Urban Missionary in the Greater Seattle area where he leads Word of Truth International Ministries and the Kingdom in Neighborhoods Network.

Clarence has come to a place in his walk where he began to function as a prophetic and apostolic catalyst in God’s holy church to serve the nations by first caring about our neighbors.

Clarence says:  “We want to lead a movement of transformation where we witness communities all over beginning to be transformed into the family of God; because those who were sent by God showed up and revealed Jesus holistically.”

Dena Nicolai

Dena Nicolai serves in the role of Chaplain and Refugee Support Mobilizer with the Christian Reformed Churches of British Columbia.  In this position, she seeks to offer a ministry of presence for refugees new-to-Canada, support their integration into the communities into which they are moving, and build bridges between refugees and Canadian Christians to mobilize local congregations to partner in this integration support. Prior to moving to Vancouver, she lived in the Middle East for four years (primarily in Cairo, Egypt), where she worked for a study-abroad program for American and Canadian University students and spent time volunteering for a number of organizations serving refugees.

Bernard Emerson & Kyle Brooks

Bernard and Kyle are the founding pastors of Tapestry Church in Oakland, CA -- a merger of a multigenerational black church plant comprised of Oakland locals and a mostly white downtown church plant comprised of young professionals newer to Oakland. God wove these churches together to create a multicultural, multigenerational, economically diverse church plant of locals and newcomers in a great city often divided across these lines. 

Bernard and Kyle are passionate about empowering formerly incarcerated men and women who are returning home. That's why they started the Siafu Men's Leadership Home with the help of World Impact to house and train men from the church inside San Quentin Penitentiary to be the next urban church planters and pastors. 

Bernard is a proud native and resident of Oakland, California.  He works in Urban Church developing, partnering with local churches and coaching indigenous leaders. Passionate about serving under-resourced urban areas, the move to plant a church East Oakland was a natural one. In his free time, he loves to mentor "at risk" young men and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles. Bernard and his wife Kim have been married 27 years and have 5 children.

Kyle is a husband to Stephanie, a lover of God, and a resident of Oakland since 2013. He has been active in PICO California's HEAT campaign to radically reimagine the public safety system in California, as well as Operation Ceasefire in Oakland with the Oakland Community Organization. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity (M Div) and Master of Theology (ThM) in philosophical theology, and he loves nothing more than deep, philosophical conversations with friends who aren't Christian. 

Gil Suh

I naturally connect and relate to people of different cultures, ages and backgrounds. As a “bridge” person, however, I often feel I don’t belong to any land. I’m still getting used to my identity as God’s beloved and a citizen of His kingdom and a pilgrim in this world.

I grew up in a Buddhist family in Korea and immigrated to USA as a teenager. I was baptized at the age of 19 and eventually went to Calvin seminary where I met my wife, Joyce (Scholten) from Canada. We moved to Nigeria and lived and taught at a Bible school, in a rural area for six years.

We had to leave Nigeria unexpectedly in 2004. Then, I served at a congregation in Silicon Valley, California for four years until we moved to Cambodia in 2008. My main focus has been mentoring, training and networking emerging leaders in Cambodia. I’m especially passionate about spiritual formation for life long development of leaders. I have completed a doctor of intercultural studies on the topic in Fuller seminary in 2017.

I’ve been married over 21 years to Joyce who is also an ordained minister and South East Asia regional leader of Resonate Global Mission. Our two sons, David and Isaac, who were born in Nigeria, are attending Calvin college. And our youngest, Mary, is a Junior in high school and lives with us in Phnom Penh.

Tae Kim

Lead Pastor of All Nations Church in Lake View Terrace, CA.  All Nations Church has been doing Vision 800 mission project for last 21 years.  Vision 800 is a mission project that ministers and partners with Mexico and Latino churches in Central America.  The church has established and operating a seminary in Juarez, Mexico for last 21 years.  It has more than 500 graduates.  Also, it is partnering with more than 50 Latino churches to share, teach, and mobilize for the world mission.

Karen Wilk

Karen is a National Team Member for Forge Missional Training Network, and a Missional Leader Developer for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is also a neighbor, wife, mom, and minister who is leading her own neighborhood community. She has a Doctorate in Missional Leadership from Northern Seminary (Chicago). She loves discovering the incredible ways that God is already at work in our neighbourhoods!

Daniel Bud

Daniel Bud serves as Pastor of Outreach and Pastoral Care at Hillside Community CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

His passion for outreach is constantly motivating him to look for fresh ways to bring the gospel of Christ to all people including those of the diverse cultures. At Hillside Church they build an Indoor Hitting Facility that is open to the golfers when snow is covering the ground and by doing that the unchurched are welcomed into the church. Daniel has presented to the church a series of International Nights that represent opportunities for people to invite friends to the celebrations of Cuban, Korean, African American and other cultures. These nights offer authentic food, authentic secular and Christian music, as well as promoting dialogue through a panel discussion with folks that represent that culture.  

Daniel and his wife were born in Romania. They have two teenagers and together they like to travel the world, going on short mission trips, especially to Cuba, reading, playing board games and serving the church together.

Daniel’s studies include two degrees from the University of Oradea: BA in Theology and Literature and a MA in Modern World Literature; and an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary.

Ken Choe

As the senior pastor of Ttokamsa Home Mission Church, Pastor Ken Choe has led the Korean ministry since THMC's inception in early 2000. In 2017, Ttokamsa also stared English speaking ministry for millennials where he also is the lead pastor.  The church and it’s members are committed to spend the majority of their annual budget for the work of missions.  Many of the key leaders of the church are actively engaged with various mission projects all over the world including various relief works in North Korea. Ken is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary

Rachel Beveridge

Rachel is a millennial serving with Resonate Global Mission in Guatemala.  She coordinates the Cohort in Central America, a 1-year service-formation opportunity for young adults from Latin America and North America.  Rachel loves walking alongside these young adults as they learn to lament the evil and injustice they see in the communities that they serve, discover God’s presence in and love for these communities and feel called to be part of God’s reconciling work wherever they go.

She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Wheaton College in 2011 and has since spent the last 8 years in Central America.  Her faith and calling have been strongly shaped by her college and post-college experiences with Latin American protestant theology. Rachel believes part of her calling is to reconciliation between North America and Latin America and to be a proponent of polycentric Christian mission.  She loves the opportunity that working with the Cohort gives her to explore these areas on the micro level.

She is happily married to Isra Ortiz.  While working in different spheres, they both believe in and like to think that they are working towards justice, peace and reconciliation in Central America. Rachel also loves hands on education, exploring how context shapes Christian response, creating authentic community through vulnerability, talking politics, and exploring the role of the church in helping men construct healthy masculinities.

Lisa Etter Carlson

Lisa Etter Carlson is grateful to be able to spend her days in her neighborhood at the Aurora Commons and at home with her husband Andy and two kids, Cedar and Kipling. Lisa is Co-founder of the Aurora Commons in Seattle, WA. Prior to that, she Co-founded the Green Bean Coffeehouse (a non-profit cafe). Most recently, Lisa, in partnership with University of Washington/Harborview Hospital, created and launched the Safe, Healthy, Empowered (SHE) Clinic: an accessible, kind, non-judgmental, quality health care clinic for female identified people who sleep and work along Aurora Avenue.  All of these movements were created and are currently curated by a community of folks that, together, long to midwife spaces where precious human beings from all walks of life can live as though we belong to one another. Lisa has been living with intention towards her neighbors who are unhoused, drug dependent and involved in street based sex work for over 15 years now. She is a Member of the Mayor appointed City of Seattle Adult Survivor Collaborative (ASC) and is a proponent of harm reduction and loving absurdly.

Beth Grimmius

Beth and Randall Grimmius have four biological girls ages 15-22 and 11 unofficially adopted kids ages 13-40. They live in Visalia California. 

Over the past 10 years, many children have come into the lives of Randall and Beth and have lived for periods of time with them. In some cases they have taken on guardianship for the children. The couple has essentially created a large family of people living under one roof, and coming and going and regularly facing life’s challenges together. The home is always busy as the children, many now grow, stop in to talk and share what is going on for them.

Because of what Beth and Randall have done, there are now several families in their church who are getting involved with Bethany Christian Services and its Safe Families Program that temporarily places children in Christian homes as their parents attempt to stabilize life.