Journey With Our Building Puentes Mission Team
First, we would like to thank everyone who participated in our two fundraisers – the Chili Cook Off and Sweet Frog night were both a success and were a fun time to connect with each other and enjoy some good food! In addition to Thrivent Member Choice Dollars and Facebook Campaign donations from friends near and far we raised a total of $2400 to offset the cost of the trip for our team of eleven. Our team has a heart for mission and God has faithfully blessed each family with the funds to cover their remaining balance.
We will be leaving for Puerto Rico in two groups – July 21st and July 28th and all returning August 3rd.
When I pray for people, I love to know a bit about them and have a face to bring to mind! So, as you keep the team in your thoughts & prayers leading up to and during the trip, I hope to learn a bit more about them helps you connect more deeply with them through this shared journey.
Katie Hayden – This is my 1st mission trip! I’m excited to meet new people, experience a new culture, and grow my faith while helping others. I am most nervous about the bugs!
- Spouse: Mike Hayden
- Kids: Elizabeth- 5, Charlie -3, Henry -3
- Hometown: Hollywood
- Day Job: Part Time ESOL Teacher in Calvert county
- Hobby: Lately, Training our two new puppies
- Joined Good Sam: February 2019, but have been attending for about one year
Kathy Marbach – I served in Guatemala previously restoring homes in a village in the highlands. I am most excited for this trip to learn something new and refreshing, use my Spanish skills and do recreational activities in Puerto Rico. I am most nervous about the heat and being dehydrated.
- Spouse: Pete Marbach
- Kids: Cora & Mabel
- Hometown: Edinburg, VA
- Day Job: Caring for Kids & Part Time Spanish Teacher
- Hobby: crafts & Sewing, Zumba/Exercising
- Joined: 2017
Eric Thurber – I have done a couple local mission service opportunities in the past. I’m most excited about visiting a new place and meeting people, as well as getting back into construction type activities. Nervous about sleeping in the heat!
- Spouse: Kelly Thurber
- Kids: Max – 5, Eli -4
- Hometown: Ocean Springs, MS
- Day Job: Navy Test Pilot
- Hobby: Racing cars & outdoor stuff
- Joined Good Sam: 2016
Kelly Thurber – I served as a short term missionary in Uganda in 2011 & 2013. I have done a few other small trips in the US over the years and I am most excited to be part of a group effort with my church and bonus that I get to use my construction skills. I am most nervous that it’s been so long since I have used my skills; I worry I will struggle to work, teach and lead adequately.
- Hometown: Birmingham, AL
- Day Job: Usborne Books & More Consultant & Educational Services Rep
- Hobby: Volunteering & Outdoor Activities
- Joined Good Sam: 2016
Ron Stepp – This is my first mission and I’m excited to help people who need assistance and to spend time with the Puerto Rican people. My only concern is my poor hearing will impact my ability to understand people which may inhibit how I am able to connect with them.
- Spouse: Laurie Stepp
- Kids: Three Boys – 33, 31 & 28
- Joined Good Sam: 2004 – currently living in York, PA
- Hometown: Buena Park, CA
- Day Job: Retired from NAVAIR flight testing
- Hobby: Bicycling
Laurie Stepp: While helping my 3 sons raise funds for mission work in Mexico, I wished I could have belonged to a youth group doing that kind of thing; and now is that time! I am excited to live and work in a community of like-minded Christians who want to share God’s love where needed. Although, I am worried a very little bit about being in the 16-person dorm with no AC! Ron and I hope to continue to travel abroad and do Thrivent Builds.
- Hometown: Modoc Co., CA.
- Day Job: Retired
- Hobby: Grandchildren, Gardening, Cycling
Diane Hay: We are getting to the age of retirement so we are looking forward to meeting new people and to see if trips like this are something they would like to continue to do in our retirement.
- Spouse: Rob Hay
- Kids: 2 grown kids, Stephanie and Gregory
- Hometown: Hatboro, Pennsylvania
- Day Job: Certified Veterinary Technician
- Hobby: Camping, Hiking, Travel
- Joined Good Sam: 1996
- Hometown: Collingdale, Pennsylvania
- Day Job: Engineer
- Hobby: Camping, Hiking, Travel, Biking
- Joined Good Sam: 1996
Gennifer Koebke – I’m excited to be going on this mission trip with my husband and son. I enjoyed our mission work with adults with disabilities at last summer’s Youth Gathering in Houston where we made so many new connections. I’m most excited about meeting new people. I’m most nervous about sleep issues.
- Spouse: George Koebke
- Kids: Megan & Chelsea (grown), & Gregory -15, Grandson Bode -2
- Hometown: Mayville, NY
- Day Job: Elementary school reading teacher
- Hobbies: Watching Gregory play baseball, visiting with family, reading, swimming
- Joined Good Sam: 1998
George Koebke- Our family is looking forward to helping the people of Puerto Rico in whatever way we can.
- Hometown: Hyattsville, MD
- Day Job: Retired Boeing flight test engineer
- Hobby: Doing small repair jobs
Gregory Koebke – I enjoyed the National Youth Gathering last summer and working with adults with disabilities. I’m most nervous about being away from familiar routines and most excited about seeing Puerto Rico and meeting people there.
- Hometown: Maryland
- Day Job: Sophomore in High School
- Hobby: Baseball