Bio – David & Jeanni Shepherd

David & Jeanni Shepherd

David & Jeanni Shepherd

Guiding Director & Developing Director

Our Story:

As children growing up in ministry homes, we saw firsthand what happens when support and help are not available to Christian leaders. The toll of ministry often extends to family, friends, community, and personal growth. And who will be there to say, “Maybe it’s time to slow down, have a look and see what God might be doing right here, right now, in you.” This vision has been with us since we met in college, followed us through grad school, informed our internships, training, and employment, and eventually led us to start Ministry Essentials in 1996.

From beginnings in Budapest, Hungary, over to Hong Kong, through Chiang Mai, Thailand, and back to Budapest, it has been our privilege and passion to cultivate spiritual community among Christian leaders serving overseas (or, as we like to call them, global workers). It has been a joy to sit with people who are as valuable as gold, serving the Lord in places that demand many sacrifices, and to walk with them for part of their spiritual journey. Whether it’s counseling, mentoring, coaching, spiritual companioning–the point is to walk together, finding Christ among us and following hard at His heels.

When God began to grow MEI we were surprised. We didn’t imagine that one day we would be shoulder-to-shoulder with such people of such heart and skill. But He did and we are. How exciting to see where and to whom He will lead us next. The adventure continues and, as always, we believe the best is yet to come!

Our Ministry:

​David and Jeanni wear a number of hats!

David serves Ministry Essentials as its Guiding Director, setting organizational direction, casting vision, and mentoring/training our staff. Additionally, through the Garden House in Budapest, David offers spiritual companionship and intentional conversations to global leaders who come through the doors. And…he gardens…sometimes under protest, but with great enthusiasm nevertheless!

Jeanni serves as both the Director of the Budapest Garden House and the Developing Director for Ministry Essentials. As a place of spiritual retreat and community, the Garden House provides a place for people to find space and connection to each and the Lord. When disconnection and depletion create relational stress, the Garden House community makes a way for workers to find peace. As Developing Director, Jeanni works in the areas of Staff Vitality and Care, communications, fund development,and any other interesting ideas that percolate and brew in our heads!

We are so delighted and privileged to be essential support for the whole global worker…til Christ is formed in all of us!


PO Box 4947 Wheaton, IL 60189-4947 USA

(630) 580-5750