Chris Rasmussen was born and raised in Storm Lake, Iowa, graduating from Storm Lake High School in 1991. After graduation, he attended the University of North Texas, achieving his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Strategic Management, and the University of Kansas, gaining a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) specializing in Financial Investment and Security Analysis. He then spent the next 5 years in Kansas City working in business valuation and financial litigation consulting. Chris returned home to Storm Lake in 2004 to work in the family business.
In June 2017, Chris, along with his wife Michelle, answered God’s call into full-time ministry. Chris dedicates most of his days to preaching, teaching and sharing the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ to the people of Haiti. However, even before relocating to Haiti, Chris served in numerous volunteer roles at Summit Evangelical Free Church (Alta, Iowa), including one three-year term on the church’s Elder Board. Chris recently graduated from Rockbridge Seminary with a Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree, focusing much of his coursework on cross-cultural ministries.
Outside of ministry, Chris spends his free time training for triathlons. He has completed several sprint distance triathlons, four Half-Ironman distance triathlons and is currently training for Ironman Arizona.
One of Chris’ favorite books is Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.
Michelle Rasmussen was raised in Marion, Iowa, northeast of Cedar Rapids, graduating from Marion High School in 1991. After graduation, she attended the University of Iowa. Prior to moving to the mission field, Michelle worked in a few different professional fields, most notably spending several years in mortgage lending industry.
Michelle’s love for the people and country of Haiti began on her first mission trip in 2014. On the final night of that trip, Michelle was asked by three of the older girls whether or not they would see her again. Completely uncertain when that would be or how it would look, she quickly assured them that a return trip was definitely in the future! After several short-term mission trips, and ultimately relocating to Haiti, it is a blessing for her to be able to spend time with the children every week!
Michelle’s passion on the mission field is building relationships and helping others in need. In addition to building connections with the children and adults of Haiti, Michelle works to encourage and help others care for themselves so they have more to give to their loved ones.
As her first and foremost priority, Michelle spends her days home-schooling their two energetic (and rambunctious) boys! Once school time is finished, you will find her interacting, communicating and caring for the people of Haiti by building personal relationships.
Riley, 17 years old, is a senior at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Although she does not reside with us in Haiti, she is always with us in spirit!
Riley has made two trips to Haiti, and really enjoys hanging out and experiencing the craziness of the boys at the Joshua House. Additionally, being the creative one in the family, she spends most of her time in country capturing the sights, sounds and people of Haiti through the view of a camera lens.
As you would imagine, Riley’s hobbies and passions include photography and videography; she can normally be found with a camera or GoPro in her hands. Riley serves on the high school newspaper and yearbook staffs, and is a student leader in Teens Against Sex Trafficking (TAST) and Collision (a student ministry group).
Riley often refers to herself as “the funniest person in the world”; a claim she states has proven to be true.
Elias, 9 years old and in 3rd grade, is the “black & white” thinker of the family. He is the rule follower (except for those set by his parents), the detail-oriented person, the one who relishes in knowing “facts” and the only kid we know who has actually read the warning label on a set of bunk beds.
Elias is wise beyond his years, and has a knack for being able to figure out how things work mechanically and electrically. As a result, Elias’ passion is anything associated with engineering; he loves to create, build and construct new gadgets that he invents in his mind.
Elias’ favorite thing about Haiti is being able to build relationships with all the kids we work with in-country. Although he is the “deep thinker” who always pondering something, he is also extremely social and makes friends very easily.
And if you ever want to know how fast he runs, just ask him! But be prepared, he might just challenge you to a foot race! (FYI – he is actually pretty fast.)