Bob & Chris Lay
Both of us were raised in religious homes, Chris’s family was Catholic and lived in Boston; Bob grew up in Charlotte and attended a Southern Baptist church. We met in a nondenominational church as young adults seeking a deeper understanding and experience of the Christian faith. We were married in 1982, and our only child Rebekah was born in 1984. Bob served on the staff of St. Giles Evangelical Presbyterian Church for several years before enrolling in Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 1990, after Bob completed doctoral studies in Richmond, Virginia, we moved to Orange City, Iowa, where Bob had his first faculty appointment at Northwestern College and Chris served the music faculty as part-time secretary. In 1995 Bob accepted a call from Taylor University to serve in the Department of Christian Educational Ministries and Biblical Studies and Chris served part time in University Relations. Our daughter Rebekah enrolled as a pre-med student at Taylor but eventually switched to Christian Education and so had her father for a professor! She graduated in 2007 and joined the staff of His House Children’s Home in Miami, Florida, where she met her future husband Jorge Veitia. They were married in 2009. On November 7, 2012, our grandson Isaac was born!
Prior to this, we began sensing a call from the Lord to a deeper level of engagement in our daily walk with Him. We were excited for a new challenge but had no idea what this might look like. After much prayer, early in 2010 we received clear direction to apply to be missionaries with World Impact. A leap of faith for sure for this middle-aged couple that has enjoyed life in rural America for 20 years. We completed the application process at the end of June and became World Impact missionaries! Fall 2010 was Bob’s last full-time semester of teaching at Taylor University. Every step of the way, God provided faithfully by enabling us to sell our house and move our belongings to Los Angeles (by October 2010) and to identify our ministry team of prayer partners and financial supporters in order to raise our target support (by late December 2010). By early January 2011 we had settled into our staff house on 20th street in downtown Los Angeles.