Belief is not merely an agreement with facts in the head; it is also an appetite for God in the heart.

- John Piper

We learn things growing up. As children of parents in full-time ministry, one of the things David and Jeanni Shepherd learned was this: people in ministry have few people to talk to and few places to go when they hit hard times. It just didn’t seem right. As they dated through college and married soon after, David and Jeanni grappled with the problem. Through many twists and turns, seminary studies and global travel, it became clear that a number of the urgent needs of full-time workers (especially those overseas) were starting to be addressed. However, preventative care and spiritual formation were being overlooked. The Shepherds longed to provide nourishment for people’s souls, so that when a crisis did come, internal resources and a thriving walk with God were in place to help them weather the storm. After “pitching” this idea to several agencies, most everyone agreed that such a ministry would be more effective as a separate entity. The Shepherds could assist agencies in caring for their people. This “outsider” position made trust and confidentiality issues much easier for everyone. So in 1996 in Dallas, Texas, Ministry Essentials was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

From there, God took the Shepherds to Hungary to develop a model of proactive care. Next, God prompted Chuck Hall to join Ministry Essentials and work in Albania with local leaders. The Shepherds then left for Hong Kong to explore China and finally on to Chiang Mai, Thailand to start a work in Southeast Asia. Along the way, the Lord brought Al & Jeanie Stirling and Chris and Debbie Gibson into the fold to continue the work in Hungary. Recently, Trip and Judy Moore started a pioneer work in Belgium and Wendy relocated to Thailand. Through the years, the Lord added board members who have invested time and much energy to help get the ministry off the ground.