Ron & Joyce Panzero’s History
From the time I (Joyce) was small, I had a dream of going to Africa. I was always told to finish my food because children in Africa were starving. I wanted to know why?
I grew up in a godly home. I didn’t know you could have a personal relationship with Jesus until 23 years ago when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My life has never been the same. I want everyone I meet to know about my Lord and what living life for Him is about.
When we began going on short-term missions I prayed, “Lord, if I am faithful in what you give me, will You someday give me Africa?” My husband would say, “Read my lips, I am not going to Africa.”
Then one day in 2001, I met a young man at Skagit Valley College bookstore, where I worked. He was returning his books because he couldn’t pay for his schooling. When I asked where he was from, he said Kenya. I went home that afternoon and told Ron, “God gave me Africa today!” I told him about my meeting and that I was going to raise funds for the young man’s tuition. That night at Bible study I shared this story and a woman wrote out a check that allowed him to stay in school.
Then one evening Edward Wesakania was having dinner at our home and said God told him we would build a church in Kesogon, Kenya. Ron told me to pack my bags, we were going to Kenya! In September of 2002, we took a team to Kenya and built the church.
Ron & Pastor Saundi
When they met it was as if they knew each other. They went off and sat under a tree to visit until dinner. When the pastor’s son called them for dinner he was surprised to find out that Ron spoke fluent Swahili. Ron said, “I don’t know Swahili; your dad was speaking English.” “When did you learn to speak English?” he asked his dad. Pastor said, “I don’t speak English, Ron was speaking Swahili.” Maybe the true interpretation of tongues is speaking in one language and being heard in another.
Joyce Panzero, founder of TREK Ministries and Rehema Ministries, has over 20 years of experience in the mission field as a short-term missionary. Joyce and her husband Ron helped lead youth teams to Mexico with His Place Foursquare Church, in Burlington, Washington. They were under the leadership of Pastor Kurt Langstraat. Joyce said, “Because of God’s calling on Kurt’s life to touch the hearts of the youth, there are now 16 pastors and missionaries that have come out of his ministry. We are blessed to have been a part of that and to have him as a friend.” Pastor Kurt sat as a board member for the first two years helping to establish the goals of the ministry.
Joyce and Ron were also involved with adult missions to the Philippines with friend and pastor Nick Harris of His Place Community Church. Joyce was children’s pastor for nine years at His Place Church. “I don’t know which was the most rewarding part of my job — the children or the people I worked with. God has blessed me with the best of both worlds,” Joyce said.
After coming on staff at Christ the King Community Church (CTK) in 2000, she started a missions program. Her dream was to continue short-term missions at CTK. Pastor Dave Browning gave his blessing and the covering of CTK 501(c)3. The first trip with CTK was to Australia with a team of 4 leaders and 16 youth. This was truly a faith-building trip and would forever change the lives of those who went (see magazine article in News Letter & Events > Articles).
Joyce and Ron Panzero
Joyce and Ron were married in 1963. They began their ministry work in 1983. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Three of their grandchildren have spent time in the mission field with them going to Mexico, Australia and Africa. Joyce said, “We plan to serve the Lord to our last breath and when we leave this earth, we want to be remembered by our family and friends because we made a difference in their lives. I want future generations to know that loving and serving the Lord is what brings life to a family and friendships.”
Ron retired from 27 years in law enforcement. He now owns R&R Charters and is a board member and pastor for Rehema Ministries and a team leader for the mission trips to Kenya.
Joyce was blessed to be at home with their children until they entered junior high school. She worked for the phone company and was a supervisor at Specialty Seafoods sales department before becoming children’s pastor and founder of Rehema Ministries.