Desert Hills Evangelical Free Church supports many missionaries/couples who are helping spread God’s Word in our community and around the world. We also have supported several of our members who are short term missionaries.
Dave and Judy Buckert
Center for Church Based Training (Hispanic Ministries)
Dave & Judy Buckert have been serving as missionaries for 37 years in various ministries. As newlyweds, Dave and Judy became members of Desert Hill EFC when it was still a church plant, and served as youth leaders. After the birth of their second child, they were approved as missionary candidates with the Evangelical Free Church of America (now called ReachGlobal) in preparation for ministry in Venezuela. They served as EFCA missionaries in several capacities before joining the staff of Center for Church Based Training (CCBT) in 2007.
Dave is currently president of CCBT, an international ministry dedicated to helping churches to make disciples and train leadership within the context of the local church. CCBT works internationally with urban and small village churches alike.
Dave and Judy have two children. Angela is married to Roy. They live in London, England with their three boys, Phillip, Gabriel, and Jude. Andrew is married to Lilia. They live in El Paso with their young children, Matthew and Emilia.
Michael and Cathalain serve with Mission to the World in Nagoya, Japan. After four years in which they learned the language and Michael interned in a Japanese church, they are prepared to return to Japan to be involved in
planting a church in Nagoya (a daughter church to an existing one there). Their goal will be to produce self-sustaining, self- governing, self-propagating churches in Nagoya.
They have three children: Tobin, Elisabeth, and Madelaine (Maddie). If Cathalain looks familiar, it is because she is the daughter of Ric and Debbie Tobin.
Merle and Claudia Wiens
Until 2015 Merle and Claudia have served with ReachGlobal in Africa for 24 years. They had been recruited out of Desert Hills to join the mission organization of the Evangelical Free Church and served in Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Kenya before becoming east Africa division leader living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In 2005. Merle focused on overseeing the ministries of several East African countries, mentored the ReachGlobal staff and national colleagues, and promoted growth and expansion for African ministries through partnerships. Claudia was involved with the student ministries team reaching South Asian young people and their families with the gospel of Jesus through various ministries.
Merle is now co-leading the Africa Division and they live in Glendale, Arizona. Merle’s role involved expanded responsibilities to East and West Africa with travel to these countries and connecting with US church partnerships. Claudia would like to continue connecting with the Student Ministries in Dar es Salaam in some capacity, while being involved with a local church ministry. They have two married children: Pamela and husband Derek with three sons, Kess, Lee, and Jehu in Tempe, AZ, and Mark who is married to Jaruwan (Ying) and lives in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ben and Diane Blackwell
Campus Crusade for Christ
Ben and Diane Blackwell have worked with Bridges International for 37 years. Desert Hills Evangelical Free Church has partnered with them for that entire time. Our church was their sending church, commissioning and “sending” them out to serve with Bridges International. Bridges International is the International Student Ministry of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade).
Locally, Ben and Diane serve in Denver Metro universities where over 2,000 international students attend from all over the world. God has given Ben and Diane favor and access with the hundreds of students studying in Denver from the predominant religion of the 10/40 Window. They enter into gospel-centered conversations with very open students, helping them understand that Jesus is much more than a prophet.
Nationally, Ben and Diane serve with Bridges International, training and equipping hundreds of Bridges and Cru staff, students and volunteers to boldly, lovingly and effectively take the love and gospel of Jesus to students from this part of the world.
Ben and Diane are proud parents of four adult children: Cara is married and lives in Littleton, Colorado. Nathan lives in Seattle Washington. Micah is a Junior attending and swimming for Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO, and Jesse is a Sophomore attending and swimming for Lindenwood University in Belleville,
Gene and Dawn Zigler
After being commissioned by Desert Hills in 1985 and a year of support -raising, Gene served for five years as a counselor, director of counseling, and conference coordinator. In 1991 they launched our non -profit ministry, Lifechange Counseling, Inc., to focus their attention primarily on providing biblical counseling for hurting families.
The mission of Lifechange Counseling is to glorify God through providing biblical counseling, teaching and literature for those struggling with problems in living and see lives transformed through loving, obeying, and depending upon Christ. A typical week has about 20 families/individuals coming to their office for counseling. Theirs is a faith -supported work that provides counseling and teaching for individuals, couples, and families free of charge.
They have three adult children.
Minfu Hsu (Harold Xu)
Minfu has had a long association with Desert Hills Evangelical Free Church. He currently serves with Reach Global as a minister at large in East Asia. In 2014 he also became director of the Doctor of Ministry program at GETS Seminary based in Covina, CA. He and his wife live in Glendale but he spends five to six months each year in East Asia.
He also has written a book (in Chinese) called He Makes All Things New—New Approach to Biblical Theology and teaches courses in theology of missions, hermeneutics and biblical theology, and expository preaching.
Jonathan and Sharon Moorhead
After serving six years in Samara, Russia, Jonathan and Sharon Moorhead moved to the Czech Republic to participate in a similar ministry of training pastors and leaders at the Czech Bible Institute. As one of the most atheistic countries in Europe, there are significant needs for evangelism, church planting, and the training of national leaders.
Their immediate goals will be language-learning, transition to life in the Czech Republic, supporting the local church and the Czech Bible Institute through periodic preaching and teaching. Their long-term goals are the development of programs at the Czech Bible Institute and establishing a publishing ministry.
We have a Missions Committee that meets monthly dedicated towards reaching the world with the gospel as well as outreach within our community. These meetings are generally on the fourth Monday of the month, please check the calendar for specific scheduling.