This is Renew
Renewing the Teachings of Jesus to Fuel Disciple Making
Renew for Disciples – We provide books, articles, courses and resources for disciples and spiritual seekers. These resources are practical and demonstrate what the Bible teaches and how it applies to being a disciple and making disciples.
- Biblical Teachings
- Current Events & Culture
- Disciples and Disciple Making
- Leadership & Faith at Work
- Personal Identity & Calling
- Review & Suggested Readings
Renew for Church Leaders – We are a network that champions, supports and coaches disciple making leaders.
- Disciple Making Coaching
- Training, Consulting and Coaching
- Church Leader Groups
- Church Planter Residency
Renew Gatherings – We gather people from all over the world and inspire them to join our disciple making movement.
1. Responding to God’s Spirit – we believe that God is the author of renewal and he invites us to access and join him through prayer and fasting for the Holy Spirit’s work of renewal.
2. Following God’s Reliable Word – we learn the ways of God with lasting clarity and conviction by trusting God’s Word and what it teaches as the objective foundation for renewal and life.
3. Surrendering to Jesus as King – the gospel teaches us that Jesus is Messiah (King) and Lord. He calls everyone to salvation (in eternity) and discipleship (in this life) through a faith commitment that is expressed in repentance, confession, and baptism. Repentance and surrender to Jesus as Lord is the never-ending cycle for life in Jesus’ Kingdom, and it is empowered by the Spirit.
4. Championing Disciple Making – Jesus gave us the perfect model of disciple making, which he demonstrated with his disciples. Those same principles from the life of Jesus should be utilized as we make disciples today and champion discipleship as the core mission of the local church.
5. Loving Like Jesus – Jesus showed us the true meaning of love and taught us that sacrificial love is the distinguishing character trait of true disciples (and true renewal). Sacrificial love is the foundation for our relationships both in the church and in the world.
6. Living in Holiness – Jesus lived differently than the world, so the people in his church will learn to live differently than the world – even when it is difficult – we show that God’s kingdom is an alternative kingdom to the world.
7. Leading Courageously – God always uses leaders in renewal and they live by a prayerful, risk-taking faith. Renewal will be led by bold and courageous leaders – who make disciples, plant churches and create disciple making movements.
Jason Henderson has spent over 20 years in corporate leadership. His experience includes Fortune 500, military and both public and private organizations. He has led professionally on governing boards, in corporate associations and in over 30 countries. He is the COO for Renew.org and a team member of Discipleship.org. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Culinary Institute of America. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
Bobby is the point-leader of Renew.org and Discipleship.org, both collaborative, disciple-making organizations. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christina Church (by the Harpeth River, just outside of Nashville, TN). He has an M.A.R. and an M.Div. from Harding School of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of more than 10 books on discipleship, including Discipleshift (with Jim Putman and Robert Coleman), The Disciple Maker’s Handbook (with Josh Patrick) and Becoming a Disciple Maker: The Pursuit of Level 5 Disciple Making (with Greg Weins). He lives in the greater Nashville area with his wife and near his children and grandchildren.
After graduating college in 2009, Brandon became a disciple of Christ in the Orlando Church of Christ in Orlando, Florida, where he is still a member today. He has struggled with transgender issues since early childhood and, prior to becoming a disciple, he lived as a woman for six years. He also is both same- and opposite-sex attracted and acted on these attractions with others from early childhood through college. Since becoming a disciple, he has lived as a man and has not acted on his same-sex attractions in any way. His experiences have enabled him to encourage many of his brothers and sisters in Christ and help those who face challenges like his.
Brandon received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and his Master of Accounting from the University of Florida in 2009 and he is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Florida. He worked at a CPA firm in Orlando for four years after graduating college and has been employed by Disney in Orlando doing corporate tax work since 2013.
Brett is the founding pastor of New Life Christian Church in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Since launching in 1993 New Life has grown to be multi-site and has helped support 240 new church plants. They’ve also built a national church planting ministry Passion for Planting that has impacted countless other church plants by providing Assessment, Training, Project Management and Coaching, and by shaping Exponential into what it is today. New Life also runs the nZone, an indoor recreational facility, which allows over 400,000 Washingtonians experience the love to God every year before they know it’s God’s love they are experiencing. Brett’s greatest blessing on earth is his wife of 29 years, Laura, and their four children. He enjoys sailing, coaching baseball, and his beagle, who will eagerly greet you by wetting the floor.
Christian Ray Flores leads Tribe, a church community in Austin, TX and is co-founder of Third Drive – venture development company. He has a Masters degree in Economics speaks four languages and has lived on four continents. Christian has inspired audiences as an international recording artist, award winning producer and speaker. He has led churches in Russia, Ukraine and the US and has dedicated much effort to serve the poor in Eurasia, Latin America and Africa. Christian is married to Deb de Flores and has three daughters – Diana, Violetta and Isabella.
My name is Christina Charley, I am a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. I am married to my best friend Damien, and a mother of 4 wonderful children; Mikah 16, Jordan 13, Jonathan 12, and Nate 6. I have been in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years.
I am passionate about helping women (and some awesome men) to live healthy, whole, and fit lives while experiencing the true freedom, love and joy that we were born to experience! I aim to steer health seekers away from obsession and guilt, and point them to a lifestyle of fitness that releases them to freedom. I believe true health exists when we seek health from the inside out. I guide my clients on their path to heal life and health imbalances naturally through my “Love Yourself Transformation,” and through one-on-one and group health coaching. I focus on my clients learning to make intentional choices for themselves through God nutrition, exercise, mindset training, and self-love. I give my clients the tools they need to become the best version of themselves.
Dave is a disciple, husband, and dad to 3 young boys. Along with his wife, he planted and helps lead Ethos Church, a young, urban church in Nashville, TN that is passionate about reaching the lost, serving the poor, and releasing ordinary people to plant churches all over the world.
In addition, he is the founder and lead visionary for Onward, a global family of leaders who are committed to making disciples and planting churches across the world and Awaken Nashville, a city wide movement unifying churches in strategic initiatives of prayer and fasting in the greater Nashville area.
David Young grew up in the churches of Christ in Middle Tennessee, where he began preaching at the age of 16. He currently serves as the senior minister for the North Boulevard Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He has worked for churches in Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee, taught New Testament at several colleges, and traveled widely teaching and preaching, leading mission trips and hosting tours to the Holy Lands and to other religious sites. He has published chapters in several books, has circulated numerous papers, and has published several books, including New Day: Restoring the Revolutionary Mission of Christ’s Church, Alive in the Spirit: A Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit and Extreme Discipleship: Following Jesus from the Gospel of Mark. He holds the B.A. from Freed-Hardeman University, the M.A. from Harding University Graduate School of Religion, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in New Testament from Vanderbilt University. David and his wife, Julie, have two redheaded children, Rachel and Jonathan.
Dennis Okouth is a Bible teacher from Kenya Africa. For many years he lead a Christian school in Kenya. Currently he co-leads a network of hundreds of churches in Uganda where he trains men and women in the truths of the Bible and disciple making. He is considered by those who know him well as a wise disciple maker and guide to the Christian faith.
Douglas Jacoby is an international Bible teacher. After serving as a minister on church staff for 20 years, in London, Birmingham, Sydney, Stockholm, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Washington DC, Douglas has worked as a freelance teacher and consultant. He has engaged in a number of debates with well-known atheists, imams, and rabbis. Douglas is also an adjunct professor of theology at Lincoln Christian University. Since the late ’90s, Douglas has led annual tours to the biblical world.
With degrees from Drew, Harvard, and Duke, Douglas has written over 30 books, recorded nearly 600 podcasts, and spoken in over 100 universities, and in over 500 cities, in 120 nations around the world. The Jacobys have three adult children. Douglas and his wife, Vicki, reside in the Atlanta area.
Born and raised in Trinidad, Dr. Sasha Noe moved to the United States at age 17 where she pursued medicine and went on to become an award-winning physician and researcher. She is a dual-doctorate, board-certified, award-winning physician, researcher, international speaker, two-time best-selling author, and expert in chronic disease management, preventative health and medical cannabis.
Emily Andrews is a staff writer and editor at Prison Fellowship, as well as a freelancer with topic knowledge on crime and incarceration in America. Emily is a graduate of the University of Virginia and MFA candidate at George Mason University. She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Jim is the founder and senior pastor of Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho. Prior to his role as senior pastor, he served as a youth minister in two small churches. In college, Jim won three All American titles in wrestling and went on to become a successful wrestling coach. Real Life Ministries began as a small group in 1998 and has grown to a membership of more than eight thousand. Ninety percent of its fellowship is active in small groups. Outreach Magazine continually lists Real Life Ministries among the top one hundred most influential churches in America.
Joanne Kraft is a nonfiction author and national speaker. Her passion is for women to catch the Titus 2 vision of discipleship. Author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids and Just too Busy — Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical, she’s a frequent guest on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and CBN. Her articles have appeared in ParentLife, Today’s Christian Woman, In Touch, P31 Woman and more. Her newest venture is her podcast Grace & Truth Living, helping women to trust and follow Jesus in their everyday life. Joanne and her husband, Paul, once lifelong Californians, moved their family to Tennessee in 2012. They’ve happily traded soy milk and arugula for sweet tea and biscuits. Check out DiscipleshipforWomen.com for more from Joanne.
Kevin serves as the lead pastor of Turning Point Church in Los Angeles. He has a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree from the Harding School of Theology, in Memphis Tennessee. His wife Tracena serves alongside him as a Women’s Ministry Leader. Together, they mentor church leaders in Los Angeles as well as in others parts of the United States. They have two daughters, Tory and Kennidy, and a son-in-law, Tory’s husband, Derrick Hinton.
Marcus De Carvalho, M.D. is the president and founder of The Center for a Healthy Mind and Wellbeing. He and his wife, Elizabeth attend the Jax Church in Jacksonville, Florida. They are parents to four beautiful boys, Rafa, Paolo, Raoul, and Elan. Marcus is a medical doctor who is board certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. His focus of practice is General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. His main passion is helping people regain their lives and become “unstuck” from the addictions and mental illnesses that have kept them in the darkness.
Melissa Gray has over 10 years of experience as a pharmacist in hospice, mail order, and correctional pharmacy. She recently stepped back from her career in healthcare to focus primarily on her family. Melissa has since ignited a passion for discipleship of women and children and joined the Renew team. She lives in Franklin, TN with her husband, Jonathan, and their two young children.
Michelle currently quarterbacks the Discipleship Ministry at Harpeth Christian Church in Franklin, TN.
Prior to joining the ministry team at Harpeth, Michelle was a Physician Assistant working with HIV infected mothers and their children in Jacksonville, FL. After a family move to TN in 2008, Michelle began volunteering in the home groups ministry at Harpeth which led to a staff administrative position. A lot of experience has been gained over the years and she takes great pleasure in coordinating and educating home group leaders, as well as matching church members to groups. Much of her experience has been gained through supporting women while they work the 12 steps of Celebrate Recovery. Michelle finds great joy in helping women grow in their relationship with Christ.
Mike Ackerman is a Professor of New Testament and Church Planting at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO.
Renée Webb Sproles grew up in Murfreesboro, TN in a small neighborhood that backed up to her grandparents’ farm. She and her husband, David, met at freshman orientation at Harding University in 1989 and married three years later. In 2005 Renée began homeschooling her two children, Emma and Houston, and in 2014 during her 10th year of homeschooling, Renée became the director of The School of Christian Thought at North Boulevard Church of Christ. God has used her many years of homeschooling experience as well as her degree in Public Relations to develop the facets of the SCT: a speaker series, accredited college coursework through Hope International University, a residential School of Discipleship (teen-adult), and the Discipleship Tutorial (a homeschool tutorial for grades 5-12). At the Discipleship Tutorial, Renee teaches government, economics, personal finance, study skills, and English grammar and writing. She and her husband, David, have co-taught parenting classes for 20 years and currently teach a marriage and family class of 100 students each week.
Sakherra Rizkallah is an Arab Christian who grew up in Bethlehem, Israel. He graduated from Bethlehem Bible College and worked in archaeology for many years (with archaeologist and teacher James Fleming). Sakherra created an exact replica of the Tabernacle from the Old Testament as a tourist destination for several years. He now lives in Nazareth with his wife and four children and serves as tour guide and Bible teacher.
Shodankeh Johnson is part of the Core Team of New Generations. He is responsible for the mobilization of intercessors across all regions and the training of Disciple Making Movement (DMM) leaders in the ‘pioneer places’ where the gospel has never been or has never flourished. In addition, Shodankeh provides DMM training for movement-minded ministries around the world.
Shodankeh is also the leader of New Harvest ministries in Sierra Leone, West Africa. New Harvest is an indigenous DMM organization that plants churches throughout the region and incorporates a wide-spectrum of ministries such as compassion, business development, leadership development, skills training and advanced education.
Sydney is a disciple, wife, and mom to 3 young boys. Along with her husband, she planted and helps serve Ethos Church, a young, urban church in Nashville, TN that is passionate about reaching the lost, serving the poor, and releasing ordinary people to plant churches all over the world.
In addition, she is a college professor with a doctorate in Physical Therapy, and enjoys training disciple makers in a variety of contexts. Sydney is especially passionate about equipping a new generation of women to live as disciple makers.
Tony grew up in Dallas, Texas and Alice Springs, N.T., Australia. His formal education included Milligan College, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Southern Baptist Seminary, and Indiana University. Following graduation from Milligan he married Suzanne Grogan from Spencer, Virginia. He and Suzanne served churches in Virginia, Tennessee and Indiana with a primary focus on disciple making. His passions are disciple making, spending time with Suzanne, working out and making new friends around the world. He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for the TCM International Institute, a global graduate school for disciple makers based in Indianapolis, Indiana and Heiligenkreuz, Austria.
Stan Rodda is a disciple maker and campus pastor at New Life Christian Church, a multi-site church in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Stan relaunched his campus in 2014 and is now leading an effort to create a movement of disciple makers in Western Prince William County. His wife, Misty, is his biggest fan and supporter with his Goldendoodle, Gwenny, a close second. Together Stan and Misty have three children; Grant, Ashton and Avary. When Stan isn’t discussing disciple making or ministry, you can find him riding open roads on his Harley and cheering on his favorite football teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Paul serves as the Lead Minister for the Grace Chapel Church of Christ in Cumming, GA, just north of Atlanta. Paul and his wife, Lori, have been married since the Spring of 2001, and have three children- Andrew, Nate, and Hannah. Paul holds a bachelor’s degrees in Bible and Psychology and a master’s degree in Professional Counseling. He enjoys spending time with family, reading, writing and getting outdoors. His passion is to see the church embrace the real meaning of discipleship…becoming more like Jesus.
Kenny Boles taught Greek and New Testament at Ozark Christian College, Joplin, MO, for 45 years. Kenny is a graduate of Ozark Christian College (B.Th., 1968) and Abilene Christian University (M.A. in Biblical and Patristic Greek, 1972). He has held located ministries in Tyro, KS, and Abilene, TX. He has authored six books. Kenny and his wife Linda have two grown children.
Jon Sherwood strives to treat people with respect and dignity while expressing his heartfelt beliefs about Jesus and the Christian faith. He is the lead minister of Asheville Church in North Carolina. A graduate of the University of Florida and Athens Institute of Ministry, Jon founded the Columbia School of Ministry in 2016. He is married to Brittany and has two children. He loves the outdoors and good coffee.
Joel Singleton is the Lead Minister of the San Jose Church of Christ in Jacksonville FL. Joel is married to Alison and they have two children, Truitt and Quinn. Joel has served in full time ministry for the last 14 years and in that time he has written several resources devoted to disciple making and family. His desire first and foremost is for Christians to relearn how to make disciples in the home and in the church.
Guy Hammond started Strength in Weakness ministry which has helped thousands in 58 countries. He has taught over 100,000 people in churches, universities and faith based groups globally, has written 6 books and had a documentary movie made about his life and ministry called FINDING GUY.
Before becoming a Christian Guy lived an active gay life until he was 24 years old. After becoming a Christian he left that life behind forever. He married his best friend Cathy in 1991 and we has 4 amazing kids. Guy is a news junkie, loves anything political, loves to read, and is an avid hockey and baseball fan.
Transplanted in the South from her home state of Michigan, this suburban mom-of-two loves her Lord Jesus and His wonderful Word. A dedicated student of the Word, she loves to share what she learns in the classroom, at events, and on the page—dependent upon the ever-faithful Holy Spirit to turn thoughts to text.
Debbra has authored four Bible studies, all published by 21st Century Christian Publishers in Nashville, Tennessee. She launched the series Advent Living Books for her seasonal daily devotionals in 2018. Debbra blogs at her website debbrastephens.com and has been published in Christian Woman Magazine.
Daniel is happily married to Susanna, and they have 3 daughters and 2 sons. He has his bachelor’s in theology (Ozark Christian College), his master of arts in apologetics (Veritas International University), and his PhD in theology (North-West University, South Africa). His master’s thesis was on apologetics to atheists, and his doctoral dissertation was on apologetics to Buddhists. In 2014, he co-authored The Atheist’s Fatal Flaw with Norman Geisler. Daniel works as editorial director for the Renew Network. His passion is to help people understand that they can totally trust Jesus. He plays guitar and piano and occasionally enjoys writing songs.
Chad Ragsdale joined the faculty at Ozark Christian College in 2005. He has taught primarily in the areas of Christian apologetics and biblical interpretation. He also teaches courses on the book of Hebrews and biblical Greek. In 2012, he became the Assistant Academic Dean in charge of student learning assessment and accreditation while maintaining his teaching role. Chad has been married to his wife Tara since 2001 and has three kids, Logan, Adeline, and Ryane. He has a bachelor’s in preaching and an M.Div in contemporary theology both from Lincoln Christian University. He is currently working on a D.Min in engaging mind and culture through Talbot School of Theology.
Julia Martin is a women’s speaker, writer and recording artist whose passion is to see Christians fully embrace the abundant life offered in Jesus Christ. She serves as Program Director at a transitional housing ministry for young adult women facing a situation of homelessness. Her favorite things are long dinners with friends and anything that takes place outside.
Susanna is a farm girl (and a black belt in Taekwondo) who channels her work ethic into raising three daughters and two sons. Coffee helps. She and her husband Daniel met at Ozark Christian College. She now enjoys homeschooling their school-aged children and writing about insights God teaches her along the family journey. A musician and a writer of poetry, she loves that there is always something new to discover in the family of God.
Mark joined the staff at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Peoria, Arizona in July 2012 as a teaching pastor. CCV currently has nine locations and 33,000 in weekly attendance. Prior to joining the CCV team, Mark was a Professor at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri (1990-2012). Currently, he is an online professor for Ozark, an Adjunct Professor at Hope International University in Fullerton, California and Haus Edelweiss, Vienna, Austria. Mark is also the author and co-author of many books mostly on the Life of Christ, book of Acts, and Revelation.
A first-generation immigrant from Mexico, Antonio was raised in the United States. As a college student, he trained for ministry. After working in missions overseas, Antonio and his family came back to the United States to engage with Muslim refugees and make disciples among them. He is passionate about training and mobilizing the church to do the same.
As a child David Hunzicker spent his evenings shooting basketball and swinging in the backyard. It was in those moments where David would often connect with God, pray and sing God’s praises. Since David has experienced the love of God in his life, he is passionate about helping other people discover God for themselves. He earned university degrees in education and in ministry which have equipped him to serve as a youth and family minister and then as a high school Bible teacher. David is now the campus minister at North Boulevard Church of Christ’s West Murfreesboro Campus. He enjoys eating apple pie with his high school sweetheart Kristin, wrestling with his two boys Braxton and Judah, and dancing with his daughter Anna Marie.
Damien currently serves as the Family Discipleship Minister at Harpeth Christian Church where he oversees and personally works with the families of Junior & Senior High School Students. He has over 18 years of experience working in full time ministry most of which has been focused on families throughout Tennessee and the Southeast. Damien graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering where he was a scholarship athlete on the football team. Damien lives in Franklin, TN with his wife Christina and their four children.
A highly respected teacher at Harding School of Theology for over 40 years, Dr. Richard Oster helps prepare students for work in Christian ministry (and a smaller number for doctoral studies elsewhere) by teaching courses in New Testament Greek and courses in the content of the New Testament. These courses include Acts of Apostles, Pauline letters, book of Revelation, NewTestament Theology, and historical and cultural backgrounds of the NewTestament.
Brandon Guindon is the lead pastor of Real Life Ministries Texas, a church he and his team
planted in Tomball, Texas, 30 miles north of Houston. Brandon has led churches worldwide to
become healthy and effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ. He has been an executive
team member at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, ID and at The MET in Houston, TX. He has
authored and co-authored several publications on biblical discipleship, including Stay the
Course and the Real Life Discipleship Training Manual. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Science in
Health Science from Linfield College and an M.A. in Church Leadership and New Testament
Theology from Hope International University. Brandon is a bow hunter and avid outdoorsman.
He and his wife, Amber, have been married for more than 20 years and have four children,
Emma, Olivia, Grady and Garrett.
Dr. David Roadcup is Professor of Discipleship and Global Outreach Representative with TCM International Institute. He has been in ministry for over 40 years. Besides youth ministries, senior/preaching ministries and college/seminary teaching through the years, Dr. Roadcup has authored numerous articles and three books. He has spoken in 37 states and 5 foreign countries. As one of the founding members of the men’s ministry Promise Keepers, he served on their Board of Directors for 11 years. In 2001, he was on the summer P.K. Men’s Conference Speaking Team. In addition to his wide-ranging ministry to the Church, teaching classes for TCMI and formerly at Cincinnati Christian University, he is presently on the Board of Directors of Christ in Youth in Joplin, Missouri (C.I.Y.) and the Board of Directors of Christian Arabic Services (C.A.S.). He has been married to Karen for over 50 years. Dave and Karen have two daughters, one son-in-law and three grandchildren. Dave’s great passion is discipling believers and helping Christians grow to deeper levels in their personal walk with Jesus Christ.
Joseph Shulam was born in Sofia, Bulgaria on March 24, 1946 to a Sephardic Jewish Family. In 1948 his family immigrated to Israel just before the establishment of the State. While in high school he was introduced to the New Testament and immediately identified with the person of Yeshua. In 1981 Joseph and the small fellowship that was started in his house established one of the first official non-profit organizations of Jewish Disciples of Yeshua in Israel – Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry. Joseph has lectured extensively and has assisted in encouraging disciples around the world. He and his wife Marcia have two children and two grandchildren.
During his senior year of high school Bob realized a desire in his heart to enter the ministry. Soon thereafter, he enrolled in Cincinnati Bible Seminary where he graduated in 1965.
At just twenty-two years of age, Bob became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church. That small congregation of 120 members became one of the largest churches in America, with 18,000 people attending the three worship services every weekend in 2006 when Bob retired. Now through Bob Russell Ministries, Bob continues to preach at churches and conferences throughout the United States, provide guidance for church leadership, mentor other ministers and author Bible study videos for use in small groups. An accomplished author, Bob has written over one-dozen books.
Bob and his wife Judy of 52 have two married sons and seven grandchildren with whom they enjoy spending their time. Bob also enjoys playing golf and is an avid University of Louisville football and basketball fan.
Reggie is the Adult Ministries Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) a church that sees over 33,000 in attendance each Sunday. He is a 3rd generation pastor committed to the local church and the advancement of Jesus Christ. He is experienced in family ministry, church planting, and adult ministries and is passionate about his ministry at CCV.
Taffeta Chime, called Taffy by most, is a writer and language teacher from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she and her husband Shane Xu serve with the Chinese congregation at the North Boulevard church of Christ. Taffy has a BA in English and Creative Writing (2011) and an MA in English and Foreign Languages/Linguistics (2015), both from Middle Tennessee State University. She has won multiple awards for her short stories, poems, and essays and has been published in several literary journals. She also has two published young adult novels, Stoodie (2007) and The Last (2011). Through her twelve years of teaching English as a foreign language, Taffy has built intentional relationships with people from all around the world and continues evangelistic efforts through online Bible/language lessons, homestay for international students and visitors, and volunteer work in the local international community. Most recently, she is learning her new role as a mother to her daughter, Beili. Taffy enjoys watching YouTube, exercising, playing with her two cats, and streaming language games on Twitch.