Dale Lusk attended North Park Theological Seminary, in Chicago, and earned a Master of Divinity degree. With the blessing of the Evangelical Covenant Church leaders, Dale started Merge Ministries in 1993 and has been the Executive Director of the ministry for over 20 years. Dale lives in Mission, Texas, with his wife, Sara, and their children. Dale is currently part of the World Mission staff of the Evangelical Covenant Church, is an ordained pastor, and is commissioned as a Special Project missionary of the denomination.
Jose & Tammi Hernandez
Tammi received her Masters in Christian formation from North Park Theological Seminary in 2003 and was ordained to Specialized Ministry by the Evangelical Covenant Church in 2005. Tammi began with Covenant Merge Ministries in June of 2006 is a commissioned project missionary of the Covenant living in Santiago with her husband José (Jochy). José attends seminary through CHET, the Hispanic seminary of the Covenant and is involved in urban ministries in the DR. The couple works in training teams, discipleship and inner-church relationships.
Mario Valdes is from Reynosa, Tamaulipas in Mexico. He has been in ministry since with Merge since the summer of 1999 and joined Covenant Merge Ministries full time in 2004. He is married to Fabi they and have two daughters, Rebekah and Pamela. Mario and his family currently live in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Since 1998, Alex been volunteering and serving with Merge. He says, “They accepted me for who I was, with love and not judgment.” As a full-time staff member, he is in charge of facilitating short term mission trips in many areas of Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. Alex’s job is to have an ongoing relationship with people in the ministries where Merge takes groups, and with those in future host locations.
Heather and Esau Vega
Heather has been volunteering and serving with Merge since 2000, where she went on her first mission trip to Jamaica with Merge Ministries. In 2009, the Lord led her to Central America and a year later, in 2010, she met Esau Vega in Nicaragua’s first lending library in San Juan del Sur. They married in August 2012. Esau has been living, working and serving his entire life in the community of San Juan. Heather and Esau live and serve all over Nicaragua and Central America together as short term missionaries for Merge Ministries. When Heather & Esau are not leading mission trips with Merge, they have their own at-risk-youth ministry and Christian Surfer ministry in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. They run childrens programs, crafts, Bible Study, sport camps, tutoring classes, and church on the beach for the youth of San Juan del Sur. These programs help kids stay off the streets and promote Christianity.
Walter & Dorcas Ajquejay
(Oscar) Martin Bonilla has over 12 years of development experience in organizing communities and promoting children’s rights. Martin strongly believes “that every child can achieve their full potential when they are empowered with the right tools to succeed.” Martin has studied sociology, journalism, management social and investment projects, need and development, and human participation at the University Central America. Martin and his wife Luisa have two children, Shannon and Kelsey.
Jenifer DeCastro graduated from Oral Roberts University with a BS in Theology/Missions in 1996. Jen began as a volunteer with Merge Ministries in 1995, her first year as a youth pastor at a Covenant Church. She currently resides in Owasso, Oklahoma with her husband Rudel and three children, Kelsey, Riley and Grace. She began her position as the USA Trip Facilitator for Covenant Merge Ministries in 2011.
Alejandra Ibarra lived in Chile the last four years, she studied education there. With her husband Miguel were serving as youth pastors at the Covenant Churches in Chile. They love to work with youth ministries, Christian education, and missions. She is been the trip facilitator of Chile for Covenant Merge Ministries. On 2009 they had her first daughter Isabel.
Nathalia Lewis is from Brazil and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Tourism from the Estácio de Sá University and also from a tour guide course in Rio de Janeiro. She has been working with Merge since 2010. Nathalia and her husband Cory currently live in his home state, North Carolina.
Mario and Eva Marquez
Mario and Eva live in Norrköping, Sweden. Mario is the pastor of a local Covenant Church in the multicultural district of Hageby and together they work facilitating trips in Europe.