Alyssa and Ian

While this couple began their journey separately, they found their calling–and found each other–at JUFL. They married in 2020 and moved to the Dominican Republic after their honeymoon to work as field coordinators with Casas por Cristo.

Ian, who graduated in 2019 with a degree in intercultural studies, first connected with Casas through an assignment.

“We had to interview a missions agency representative, and I decided to do the interview while I attended the International Conference on Missions,” he says. “Casas was the first exhibit I saw in the exhibit hall, so I asked to interview them. But the more we talked, the more I asked questions for me instead of just completing the assignment. I did an internship with them in Juarez that summer, did a second internship in Acuna the following summer, and applied for a job my senior year.”

Alyssa graduated a year later with a degree in missions and was excited to join the work after their wedding.

“I wanted to empower local churches, and I loved that principle in Casas por Cristo’s philosophy,” she says. “I always wanted to work cross-culturally, and Johnson prepares students to do that in a helpful way including study of different religions, perspectives, and cultures. We studied how Jesus connected with people and how that needs to affect our own approach to other cultures.”

“We’re both really passionate about doing more help than harm,” Ian says. “Our coursework focused on serving holistically in practical ways, and it helped us find the right ministry where we could serve.”