Since 2009 the Coopers have been serving the Lord in full-time pastoral ministry. Now He is moving them to a new and exciting ministry opportunity in Peru...
Our background and Calling
Childhood and teen years are very formative years for everyone. I am thankful to have been raised in a faith-based home. It was through teaching at home and church that led me to trust in Jesus for my salvation at a young age. I grew in my relationship with the Lord through prayer and bible study. As a child, I was curious about foreign countries and cultures, and especially intrigued by missionary stories and newsletters. I had the chance to experience cross-cultural ministry for myself when my family moved to Oaxaca, Mexico and Shell, Ecuador during my teenage years while my dad taught at missionary schools. Although these were awkward years in many ways, the Lord taught me to trust Him and confirmed my call to be a missionary.
After finishing high school back home in Washington state I attended Pensacola Christian College. I majored in secondary education in order to be better equipped for what God had in store for me. During my second year of college Dave and I started dating and found that we both were burdened for the mission field. Our love for each other grew as we spent time together and we were married the summer after I finished college. We lived in Pensacola for our first year of marriage while Dave finished his master’s degree. God then led us to a mission field at Lyndock Baptist Church near Quadeville, ON in 2009 where we have lived for 8 years and started a family of three boys: Eric, Titus, and Lucas.
We are thankful for the opportunities we have had to minister at Lyndock and to serve in the community. From starting a community group to serving as a volunteer fire fighter, Dave has had a variety of experiences. I have had the privilege to lead a ladies’ Bible study, help in the children’s ministries at church, and volunteer at the kids’ school. Living in a remote area and being far from family has had its challenges. We have experienced some hardships along the way but we believe that God has used all those things to prepare us for our life in Peru.
I had the privilege of being raised by loving parents who also love the Lord. I was blessed with the Gospel being a part of my upbringing. The realization that I needed Jesus came after an AWANA program during which a faithful leader, John Fredrick, shared the story of Jesus' sacrifice for my sins. The next day I trusted in Christ as my Saviour and at the age of 9 I was baptized. My father was also my pastor and I might be described as “that kind” of pastor's son (you all know the type). During my high school years, I was more interested in making friends for myself than making disciples for Jesus.
After being advised to take a year of Bible school before pursuing my dreams I enrolled at Pensacola Christian College. The first year was my "boot-camp" which effectively whipped me into shape academically as well as spiritually. At the beginning of my second year there I recommitted my life to the Lord and decided to complete a degree in Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Languages. Simultaneously God was giving me overwhelming opportunities to share His Word. It was during this time that I realized my gift as well as my calling: to teach the Word of God. This realization helped me decide to further my biblical education with an M.A. in Bible Exposition followed by an M.Div.
During a teaching trip to Ghana, West Africa I was first exposed to and burdened by the desperate need for biblical education overseas. My eyes were opened to the fact that the Body of Christ didn't just need more leaders, but people to train leaders in sound Bible exegesis. This experience made me commit to finishing my formal education at Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, with a Ph.D in OT Exegesis and Hebrew. I have been able to pursue this degree while pastoring for 8 years at Lyndock Baptist Church, Quadeville, Ontario.
God has now merged my calling and burden to teach His Word and train people for ministry with Aleece's burden to minister cross-culturally in Latin America. The place that these burdens finally led us to is Peru. God has given us great peace in the decision to give our lives over to Him in ministry to Peru. Some of these reasons are explained in the section Why Peru?
Our goal is to help fulfill the Great Commission by serving in Peru through crisis pregnancy ministry and biblical education in order to multiply churches, leaders, and missions movements for Christ.
Aleece will be focusing her efforts on serving at the Vida Nueva Prenatal Centers in Peru. They have been a vital outreach to nationals, ministering to both physical and spiritual needs. Hundreds of ladies have been cared for and had the hope of salvation shared with them through this ministry.
Dave will be joining the faculty of Baptist Theological Seminary, Lima to teach the Word of God. Concentrating on the Old Testament and Hebrew, Dave will be training men and women to accurately interpret and effectively communicate God's Word.
Through this two-fold emphasis it is our prayer that God would use us to build up His church in Peru, inspiring Peruvians to be missionaries to their own countrymen and to those without Christ around the world.