Our Bio

Here is a brief overview of where we came from and where we are going. For a video version, click here.

Celia was born in Bellevue, WA in 1981. She grew up in a family which loved God, music, the outdoors, and other people; she came to faith at a young age. Celia studied music at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Boston University, specializing in cello, baroque cello, and viola da gamba.

Cello recital with Colin (Celia's brother) on viola

Celia with her family on her wedding day
Keith was born in Aberdeen, SD in 1982, the third in a family of five lively children. He also grew up attending church every week, but persistent doubts shook him through his adolescence. While studying music at the University of North Dakota, he had a dramatic renewal of his childhood faith.

Keith grew up in a family with two parents, two brothers, two sisters, and two dogs.

Keith and Celia met while they were working as summer camp counselors at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. They got married in July 2005.

Keith and Celia's relationship was a constant source of entertainment for their campers at Interlochen.

In January 2006, they moved to Vancouver to begin theological studies at Regent College. Keith chose a Biblical Studies degree, while Celia studied Christianity and the Arts.

Keith with his stack of books for his Biblical Studies concentration at Regent

Celia's Arts Thesis presentation
On a whim, Keith and Celia attended Vancouver MissionFest in February 2008. There they met Tony and Pat Schmidt, who are experienced missionaries in Japan, and they began to meet together to talk about Japan and missions. Keith and Celia began to be more interested than ever in Japanese people and culture; they sought out Japanese friends, volunteered with a Japanese diaspora ministry, and researched Japanese food and culture. A couple of blog posts that help explain how Japan became so important to Keith and Celia are Why Japan and Cool stuff I found, and reflections growing up.

Sharing conversation and our favorite recipes with our Japanese friends
Gradually the pieces fell into place for a short term mission trip. Keith and Celia realized that God had been preparing them all along to work among the Japanese; friendships, gifts, skills, and interests had been in place before they even began to consider mission work. Keith and Celia served with OMF in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan from July 2009 until April 2010, working with Tony and Pat at Satsunae Lighthouse Church and with Alaric Dunsmore-Rouse among students at Hokkaido University. Celia also gave concerts on her cello, and Keith taught English at Kibou no Oka Church. After one month in Sapporo, Keith and Celia decided to become career missionaries and spend their lives being salt and light to the Japanese people. The newsletters on this blog are a good summary of the experiences that led them to choose the Japan mission field, especially their 2010 August newsletter.

Preparing for the service with Tony, our mentor

Art exhibition and concert

Monthly church potluck and birthday celebration at Satsunae Lighthouse Church

One of many concerts Celia played with Shino Inoue

Keith and Celia were appointed as members to OMF International in June 2010 and have returned to Japan on July 1, 2011 to finish their two year compulsory language study. Afterwards, they hope to continue in many of the same ministries they were involved in as short term missionaries: local church ministry, evangelistic concerts, hospitality, and friendship.

Spreading the word about Japan and our ministry