Danny and Katie both grew up as missionary kids in Africa – Danny in South Africa; Katie in Kenya. Even after their move back to the States, Danny and his family continued telling the good news of Christ in Africa through summer campaigns and evangelistic trips, so Danny learned early on how to share the gospel cross-culturally. Katie finished her growing up years in Portland, Oregon, where she was actively involved in her youth group and Christian school activities. During these early years, God instilled in Katie and Danny a zeal for His work in Africa.
We met during our first missions class at Harding University. In 2002, after learning of the end of Angola’s long civil war, we seriously began to consider a commitment to God’s work in that country. We were married in 2003 and graduated in 2004, Danny with degrees in Computer Engineering and Missions and Katie with Early Childhood Education.
After graduation, we moved to Memphis, Tennessee for Danny to continue his studies at Harding University Graduate School of Religion. Katie earned a masters in Education and taught for three years for Harding Academy, which she loved! She hopes to use her training and experience for educational work in Angola. During our time in grad school, we continued our preparation for mission work in Angola, traveling to Portugal to do some preliminary language learning and making two survey trips to Angola. On September 13, 2008, we welcomed our first child, Eliana Dell.
Our small but growing family moved to Austin, Texas in December 2008 to spend time with the Westover Hills Church of Christ, our sponsoring congregation. Danny graduated with his Master of Divinity in May. We spent 2009 continuing team preparation with our wonderful team, building a support network at Westover Hills, raising the rest of our funds, and preparing to leave for Portugal.
We arrived in Portugal in May 2010 and began a wonderful time of language study and team building. To add to our joy, our second daughter, Sophia Joy Reese, was born on July 25, 2010 in Lisbon.
On July9, 2011, we finally arrived in Angola. The next several months were a flurry of home set-up, traveling around the country visiting churches, and figuring out how to live here. It has been a very good time, easy in some ways and hard in others. We’re looking forward to our first furlough and gradually moving into phase 2 of our work here.