Pastor Ron & Anne’s Story
We have the privilege of serving as Directors/Pastors of The Refuge Wiesbaden. We have come from, and ministered to, different cultures, languages, and backgrounds. We have experienced being “strangers” in different lands, and “helpers” to others who find themselves “strangers” where they are. God has not only allowed us to “experience” this, but to be of assistance to and encourage those who are experiencing it now. The Refuge Wiesbaden is made up of Americans, Germans, and Internationals, making Anne and I feel right at home.
Before coming to Wiesbaden, we lived and worked in Emmendingen, near Freiburg im Breisgau, in southwest Baden-Württemberg. It borders on France and Switzerland, providing cultural interchanges of their own. Though Hessen and Wiesbaden were not on our radars, after so many years as “Badener”, God, once again, drew us to where He wanted us.
Our story is one of following God’s leading and calling. Although we had lived in Germany from 1991 to 1996, he took us back to the States. Our first place back Stateside was Valdosta, Georgia. There, I was Vice President for a Credit Union that was originally organized to serve Moody Air Force Base, and still had an on-base Branch Office. Anne was a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Senior Care Manager for a ten-county Single-Point-of-Entry Area Service Center. We were invited to be part of the French Club there with Executives and their families of a French-owned company with a plant in Valdosta. We were blessed with military, internationals, and locals as friends, many of whom we still remain connected to though they have moved on to other parts of the world.
From Valdosta we moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where we stayed until God called us back to Germany in 2012. Anne continued to utilize her LPC license, working for various organizations throughout Atlanta and Georgia. I continued to work with Credit Unions in Executive positions, and, later, in consulting roles. Through all our time of workplace ministry scenarios, we also remained active in our local church. We served as Ministry Elders, Bible Study, Life Group, and Home Group leaders. We continued to befriend and benefit from friendships with people of all faiths, churches, and religious backgrounds, as well as from all countries and cultures.
In January 2012, while participating in 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting with our local church, God let us know that we would be returning to Germany for ministry. He confirmed it to us six months later, and made it reality in October 2012. Since being back in Germany, we have served as Pastors, Evangelists, and Missionaries. In 2015, over a million refugees flooded into Germany. And God opened doors and hearts for us to reach out to them.
Nine years later, God has brought us to Wiesbaden. The Refuge Wiesbaden, like most other families of faith, have been affected by the restrictions and impacts of Covid. Though a core group managed to stay together during nearly 2 years of only online gathering, most either moved, transferred, or transitioned. Anne and I spent several months driving back and forth from Emmendingen to Wiesbaden, evaluating, networking, and preparing for a “Restart” here. We now meet in person each week, and are grateful to see people returning to worship and fellowship together. Anne and I are now settled in Wiesbaden, and are ready to let God use us to reach out here to those who need “A Church, A Family, A Home Away From Home!”