About the Pepsnys
From an early age, Kristie has loved being a “teacher” of sorts. She loved playing school with her 2 younger sisters. She loved helping out as soon as she was old enough with Sunday school, nursery, Vacation Bible School, after-school daycare, babysitting… She was drawn to kids and loved working with them in any capacity. In high school, she spent a few weeks serving with the S.W.I.M Team (Summer Workshop in Ministries) at a little church in Michigan. What a fun time serving and meeting new friends and helping them share the love of God with the children in their community through their VBS program. She also began working with children with special needs, providing respite care for some and was also an in-home tutor for children with Autism.
After college, Kristie continued on to earn her multiple subject teaching credential and worked for a summer at a school for kids with moderate to severe special needs. She loved it and continued to pursue her special education credential, always enjoying helping out those in need in the education field. While going to college Kristie would come home in the summer but the second summer she decided she wanted to go on a missions trip or work at a summer camp. Summer camp won out and she worked for about 5 summers at Wolf Mountain Christian Camps in Grass Valley, CA. She had various jobs there including craft and nature counselor, assistant director and also worked in food service for a summer. Through all these experiences she has gained more knowledge and experience working with children from various backgrounds with various needs and these experiences have grown her love of teaching. Over the last year or so she has a growing desire to teach kids, more specifically, sharing the love of Jesus with them through missions.
David moved to Ashland, Ohio at a young age where his father, Alan Pepsny, started as an associate pastor at a local church. His mother Sabrina Pepsny worked as a stay at home mother of 3 boys. David’s dad showed him that patience and perseverance through hardship are not easy, but will pay off in the end. David’s mother showed him that life’s hardship does not dictate who you are and through God’s grace and love it is a person’s decision to live in hope, peace, and love. David met his mentor and now good friend Steve Huber in fifth grade. Steve taught David at an early age that his life will be incredibly full if he spent his time and talents to make an eternal impact on those who need it the most.
David had some other incredible people in his life at an early age including David Hoyt and Don Belsterling who were both youth pastors of his. He remembers serving the homeless with David Hoyt and the rest of the Park St. Brethren youth group in Cleveland Ohio at St. Herman’s House of Hospitality in 6th grade. He also remembers going on a mission trip with Don Belsterling and youth to Pittsburg, PA to build a house with Habitat for humanity in 7th grade. David was part of the leaderhsip of the Brethren Youth Conference for Ohio during high school and was also part of the FCA leadership at Ashland High School.
A big part of David’s life was being part of “camps”. David went to Camp Bethany and eventually became a camp counselor. David was also a camp counselor at a Campu Nuhop (A special needs education camp). He was also a counselor, rock climb instructor, director and maintenance/general construction worker at Wolf Mountain Camp. It was during this time that he met his wife Kristie.
Just before college David worked as a maintenance worker for the YMCA of the Rockies. While in college, David teamed up with some incredible guys such as Jason Shaffer, PC Walker, Jake Brothers, Chris Batz, David Hoffert, and Stew Silvis to bring back the Anderson University Men’s Social Club “Novus Dux”. A primary focus of Novus Dux was serving others and giving to those who are in need. While in college, David started a construction business and eventually was asked by WGM (World Gospel Mission) if he wanted to go to Africa to help serve the poor and needy. About 4 months after David was asked to go to Africa he arrived in Kampala, Uganda. It was during this time that he spent the majority of his time on Lake Victoria building on the Buvuma Island. David was then asked to go over to Tenwek Hospital in Bommet, Kenya, where he designed and led the construction of the Community Development Center where the previous greenhouse building was. David served in Africa for appoximately 10 months and that experience shaped him for a lifetime.
Since leaving Africa, David has continued to have a passion to serve the less fortunate. Soon after David and Kristie were married they started having children. David has received a Masters Degree in Construction Management from Western Carolina University as well as a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership from the Universty of California San Francisco (UCSF). They now believe that their family is being called to Africa where they can serve the less fortunate through education and medical missions.
Below is a slideshow of some pictures of when David was in Africa circa 2002-2003.