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Local partners making Jesus Christ known.



Children: Victoria, Diane Bell and Natalie

Location: Illinois and Indiana

Time of service: Since 1982

Agency: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

How has God brought you to where you are today?

We joined InterVarsity staff in 1982, expecting to serve for 3 years before going to Europe (Robert's home continent). However, through a combination of closed doors, new and challenging roles with InterVarsity, and a growing family, we felt led to stay here and serve longer term with InterVarsity. Then, after the fall of the Berlin wall, we were able to fulfil our desire to serve in Europe by leading teams of staff and students first to Russia and more recently to Poland, on Global Programs (GPs) in partnership with the Russian and Polish student movements.

What is God doing in your immediate context?

On a macro level, InterVarsity has launched what it is describing as its 2030 calling (we want to partner with Alumni, Faculty, churches, volunteers and other ministries to catalyze movements of Christian students on every corner of the 2,500 campuses across the USA with a student population of over 1,000 students). This includes reaching nearly 150 campuses in Illinois and Indiana, the Region Robert helps oversee, and helping start ministries on them.

On a personal level, after nearly 37 years in student ministry, we are asking the question of how we can "end well". This includes training others to take over some of our responsibilities, and mentoring and developing younger staff. A very recent example of this was our trip to Poland in May, where we went in the role of assistants to a new Director - helping him learn the ropes of leading and directing a short-term trip.

One other new venture for us has been spearheading the development of InterVarsity's Disability Resource Ministry - seeking to provide tools to help our students and staff minister to and with the 12% of undergraduate students in the USA who have some form of disability.

How does your partnership with Calvary help you be more effective in your work?

Over the years Calvary has been a huge support to us. And not just financially. Robert had an office at Calvary for nearly 16 years, which was a great blessing during the child-rearing years. Additionally, when we worked on campus at Triton College, we were able to use the gym and high school room for numerous meetings.

Much of our current friendship and prayer network can be found at Calvary, as we are among the most local of missionaries there. Additionally, it has been a great encouragement to work with Pastor Jonny as he has come to the most recent Urbana missions conferences.

It is fascinating to see the parallels between Calvary and InterVarsity at the moment - with both seeking to become more multi-ethnic, and both developing ministry to people with disabilities. 

How can people stay connected with you and your ministry, e.g. email newsletter, blog, social media?

We can be found on Facebook, or reached by phone or e-mail. We send out regular (every other month) newsletters. Or you can find us in the balcony (right hand side facing the pulpit) at the 9:00 AM service most Sundays (except when we are at InterVarsity conferences or out of the country on short term GPs!) 

708/269-1552 (Office and Mobile), .