Biography

COLBY

THERESA

Colby was born on September 5th, 1982, in Elysburg, PA. He fell three months short of being born into a Christian home as both of his parents “abandoned” him in a pew to respond to an alter call at an evangelistic service. Soon after, the family began attending the Bible Fellowship Church in Shamokin, PA.Through repeated exposure in Christian school, church camps, and other activities, he was exposed to and began to understand and accept the gospel message.Throughout his childhood, Colby had a fascination with other cultures and lands, begun by a fateful ride on Disney’s “It’s a Small, Small World.” In junior high his parents encouraged him to participate in a cross-cultural ministry trip. It was on a warm Venezuelan evening, when the gospel began to do a living and active work in his heart. He returned on fire for the Lord and with a deep passion to live for and serve him.

One of his first opportunities for ministry was serving during the summers with Child Evangelism Fellowship. It was through these times that his desire to serve in full time ministry, particularly with an international focus, became crystallized.After graduation from high school, he faced one of the biggest challenges of his life when he joined the Army National Guard. Although life in the army was not always pleasant, it proved to be a great opportunity to get to know and understand people outside of the church circles in which he had grown up.

During college, Colby also had the opportunity to work as an assistant at the Scranton Bible Fellowship Church and to participate in a short-term cross-cultural internship with CrossWorld in Indonesia, both of which helped to form his views on life and ministry.

Theresa was born on September 19th, 1983 in Gray, Maine. She grew up home schooled with her two older brothers. They went to church each Sunday and Vacation Bible School each summer, but Theresa did not come to know Christ until later.When she was eleven years old, her father became a pastor with Village Missions and they moved to East Machias, Maine. She attended Machias Valley Christian School for junior high and Washington Academy for high school. It was during junior high that Theresa truly came to know Christ as her Savior through watching a video series on the end times. Being convicted of her need for Christ, she prayed with her father that night and then began to make Christ the Lord of her life.

For a few summers during high school she worked for Child Evangelism Fellowship teaching 5 Day Clubs and being a counselor at Camp Good News. This provided an excellent opportunity for her to step out of her comfort zone and grow in her faith, as well as become well versed in how to share the Gospel with children.

Cross-cultural ministry was a journey of discovery for Theresa. Growing up in Maine, she didn’t have a lot of interaction with people in cross-cultural ministry and didn’t really know what was involved. She thought being a missionary meant going to Africa, living in a mud hut, eating bugs, enduring hot weather, and maybe fearing for your life. In college, she had the opportunity to meet and talk with people involved in cross-cultural ministry, as well as third-culture kids, and God began to work in her heart to change her perspective.

Colby & Theresa met at a Christmas party while attending Lancaster Bible College. Colby says he knew Theresa was the one for him when he found out she liked Moxie, his favorite soda. They were married in August of 2004, Colby graduating in 2003 and Theresa in 2005 with Bachelor’s Degrees in Bible. After college, Theresa began working at Berean Christian Stores in Lancaster as the Customer Service Supervisor and Church Resource Consultant. She also helped to start and served on the Christian Education committee at their home church, Terre Hill Bible Fellowship. In 2003, Colby began working with Bible Visuals International in Akron, PA. During his time at BVI, he served as the Missions Department Assistant and later as the Operations Manager. This time brought valuable experience in both ministry and business skills. During this time, Colby was also attending Biblical Theological Seminary, pursuing a Master’s of Divinity degree. His schooling at Biblical helped him to hone his skills and further explore issues of understanding and engaging a culture with the message of the gospel.

During high school, Theresa had two good friends who were Japanese exchange students. When she and Colby began exploring locations where they might serve overseas, her mind was immediately drawn to the respect and fondness she had for the Japanese people. They were accepted by Christar in 2007 and took a survey trip to Japan that summer. This trip served to deepen their love for this intriguing culture and confirmed that this was where God was leading them.After spending two years developing their partnership network, they moved to Japan in February 2009. They spent the next three years studying Japanese, teaching English, and helping out the Ube Lighthouse Christ Church with its transition to independence. They also enjoyed being involved in various community activities as a way of practicing their language and building relationships in the community. In December 2011 they headed back to the US for their first home assignment.

Colby & Theresa returned to Japan in July 2012 under Pioneers for their second term of ministry. They moved up to the northern part of the main island to a little town called Kamaishi. Kamaishi was one of the areas that was affected by the earthquake and tsunami that happened in March of 2011. They spent three years in the community, building relationships, helping with relief work, holding English classes and participating in the Boy Scouts, as well as preparing the way for a cell church. Their second period of home assignment was from August 2015 until May 2016.

Colby & Theresa began their third term in Japan in May 2016 and are currently ministering in Kamaishi.