Jonnathan and Olivia’s journey to salvation, and eventually pastors could not be any more contrasting. Jonnathan was raised in a buddhist home to parents who were immigrants of Vietnam, while Olivia was raised in a rather traditional Christian home with parents who were both believers of Jesus Christ. Both grew up in broken homes of parents who divorced.
Jonnathan’s upbringing was one which was full of extreme violence. He and his brother are survivors of severe physical, psychological, and emotional abuse. To escape his painful childhood, he found solace by diving deep into buddhism. In fact, he dove so deep into the religion, that many buddhist monks believed him to potentially be a reincarnated buddha, which was prophesied about in Tibet. However, Jonnathan’s life was flipped upside-down while in his senior year of college. As his home life, social life, and school life were falling apart, Jonnathan sought additional comforts to escape his world by turning to drugs, alcohol, extreme partying, and fornication. However, one afternoon, as Jonnathan cried out to God for the first time while making his way towards his father’s pistol to end his life, God spoke audibly to two unsuspecting young women as they drove by his house, after leaving a bible study. “Stop the car,” God’s voice rang out in the red sedan. “There is a little boy in the brown house to your right who has questions. Go tell him that all the answers he seeks are in the bible and only the bible.”
Ironically, the woman heard God’s voice, just after Jonnathan prayed, “God, I know you’re there. I’m sorry I never listened to your voice. If you hear me, please answer. I have questions that need answers.”
The two young frightened women but did exactly as “the voice” instructed. They knocked on the door, as Jonnathan was literally a few feet from his father’s gun, and Jonnathan’s mother answered the door. She called out to Jonnathan that two girls, whom she assumed where his friends, were at the door. A few minutes later, Jonnathan opened the door to find these two women stared fearfully at him… Want to know what happened? If you’re interested in hearing Jonnathan’s full testimony, buy his book, Buddhists, Mormons & Jesus .
As stated earlier, Olivia life was much different from her husband’s. First of all, she was saved at the tender age of four years old after telling her mom she wanted to go to heaven and her mother led her in the prayer of salvation. Though she had a child’s understanding, she saw God’s hand on her life ever since. However, like Jonnathan, her adolescence to her mid-twenties were filled with much pain and turmoil. When Olivia was just 13 years old, her parents divorced, which was devastating to both her and her younger brother. Olivia, like many who grew up in church has experienced the cruelty and pain of religion.
Texas is where she would encounter the pure, redeeming love of God, a God whom she thought she was actually running from after leaving North Carolina in her mid-twenties. In 2010, Olivia attended a prophetic New Year’s conference in Denton, Texas which would change her world and open her eyes to the full love and power of Jesus Christ. From that day on, a hunger and passion was kindled to know and experience the “More of God” and share it with others, following and chasing God wherever He instructed and lead.
Jonnathan and Olivia met in February of 2010 and married in 2011.
Jonnathan and Olivia have volunteered and held multiple leadership positions at the churches they attended, including Sunday school teacher, elder, associate pastor, intercessory prayer leader and being on the street evangelism team. Jonnathan and Olivia have traveled and ministered around the US and one or both have ministered in the nations of Kenya, Jamaica, and Mexico. In 2016, they were both ordained by Flowing Rivers Church and in 2019 they both became members of the Bethel Leaders Network, a ministry birthed by Bethel Church located in Redding, California, to provide a place where leaders from every sphere of society can belong to the Bethel Church family.