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I was born in the Netherlands in 1989. A year later, my parents became missionaries and were sent by their home church in the Netherlands to Suriname, in South America, to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We lived in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, for 11 years. We then moved to Dallas, Texas, the headquarters of SIL. After completing high school there, I went to Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and double-majored in History and English. Following my graduation in 2011, I began my teaching career at Chicago Hope Academy. During my five years there, I completed a Master’s in secondary education at National-Louis University in Chicago, with dual certification in teaching History and English.

I joined the Orthodox Church in 2012 under the guidance of Father Wilbur Ellsworth, priest of Holy Transfiguration parish in Warrenville, Illinois. I attended this church for a few years, then moved to Chicago and attended All Saints parish (Father Patrick Henry Reardon). I also met my wife at All Saints church. For the past three years, I have been teaching English and Modern History at Morton East High School in Cicero, Illinois. My family and I now live in Warrenville, IL and once again attend Holy Transfiguration.