Dirk & Elizabeth WoodFounder & Director
Dirk & Elizabeth Wood
Founder & Director
Dirk grew up in an unstable home, subjected to alcoholism and violence. Bitter, angry and without hope, he joined the U.S. Army when he was 19, and married 17-year-old Elizabeth. His time in the Service, and their first year of marriage, was turbulent. In December 1974, while stationed in Germany, Dirk and Elizabeth were supernaturally introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ. Their lives were dramatically and immediately changed, and Dirk experienced a direct call to preach God’s Word.
After his discharge, Dirk and Elizabeth returned to their hometown of Pensacola, Florida, USA. They both became very involved in the various activities of Liberty Church, and Dirk received his Master of Theology from Liberty Bible College. To fulfill God’s call, Dirk did extensive evangelistic work in the city. He later received his Doctorate of Theology and Ph.D. of Theology degrees from International Seminary.
In 1985, God called the Woods to the mission field; they landed in the Philippines in April 1986. Working with Filipino nationals, Dirk founded Arise & Shine Evangelistic Association. ASEA has grown to include evangelism training and outreaches; Schools of Bibliology; a Christian school for grades K through 10; a sponsorship program for underprivileged students; feeding programs; medical care for the poor; children’s Bible clubs; a fellowship of ministers; a seminary; and an accreditation center for Bible schools. Several missionaries work with the ASEA team, including their daughter, Michelle, and her husband, Craig Logan.
In 1993, God called the Woods to carry the ASEA vision to London, England. In 1995, Abigail Brittany Wood was born there. In 1996, ASEA purchased a former pub building in central London, renovated it, and turned it into “The London Outreach Center.” The Center has various functions: housing for ASEA staff; headquarters for a distance study program; an outreach center for evangelistic ministry, youth ministry and community service; facilities for group training programs, etc.
In 2002, the Wood Family began a new outreach to Cape Town, South Africa with the same ASEA vision to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, train nationals to evangelize and teach the great importance of God’s Word in the life of every believer. Dirk, Elizabeth and Abigail greatly appreciate your prayers!
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Dr. Bob & Cozette ThomasUSA Director
Bob & Cozette Thomas
Bob married his high school sweetheart, Cozette, in 1951. For the next twenty years, Bob served in the US Navy as an aviator and meteorologist. Cozette rededicated her life to Jesus in 1963 and Bob accepted Christ in 1964. Since that time, they have unreservedly served the Lord as a team. Bob and Cozette have five grown children and reside in Arcadia, Florida.
During their Naval career, Bob and Cozette spent three years in Japan, during which time they received the call of God into full-time ministry and missionary service. During those three years (1965-68), they were missionaries at “government expense”, working with other missionaries, service personnel, and starting a servicemen’s church and home (which is still active today).
Following retirement from the Navy in 1971, the Thomas family moved to Japan as missionaries and served there until 1974. The next six years were invested in Christian education in Maryland and in Florida. Bob was the principal of two different ACE schools and helped to start several others. From 1980-91, Bob was the Academic Dean and Vice-president of Liberty Bible College in Pensacola, FL. Bob and Cozette then returned to Japan for another year of missionary service. Their work in Japan was completed with the establishment of a new church work in Fuji City.
Since returning from Japan in 1992, the Thomases have served with ASEA as USA Director and Assistant International Director. Bob and Cozette provide the ministry with valuable experience, wisdom, encouragement and counsel. Bob also maintains the necessary liaison with the various governmental agencies for ASEA.
Cozette has an AA and a BA in Biblical Studies. Bob has a BS in Meteorology, Master’s Degrees in Religious Education and in Counseling and Human Development, a Religious Education Doctorate and a Ph.D. in Nouthetic Counseling.
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Steve & Tina SameEngland
Steve & Tina Same
Steve and Tina Same have worked with Arise and Shine Evangelistic Association since 1988. They spent four years in the Philippines, working among refugees and the homeless. In 1992 they joined a newly formed ASEA ministry in London, England. They now serve in urban street ministry, operating out of ASEA’s “London Outreach Center,” a fully renovated former English “pub,” where they evan gelize among the city’s 9 million people.
Hi! We are Steve and Tina Same, and we’ve been serving in missions for ten years. We met in high school in Florida, came to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior and then got married the year after graduation. We immediately got involved in local outreach ministry but soon felt a call to go to the uttermost parts of the earth with the message of salvation.
We spent five more years in Bible school and local outreach ministry, during which time the Lord blessed us with our first two children Steven and Isaiah.
Eventually it was time to GO! and God opened a door for us to serve with Arise and Shine Evangelistic Association in the Philippine Islands. We left the States in June, 1988, with suitcases in hand and passports stamped.
The Philippines was a new world in every way. What a joy to see the birth of the vision God gave us. We worked with ASEA for five years, sharing the gospel on the streets, teaching in ASEA’s Schools of Bibliology, their A.C.E. Christian School, radio programs, and regular outreaches. Joshua, our youngest son, was born during this time.
In 1992 we were asked to join ASEA in a six month outreach to London. By the end of the six months the Lord had made it clear that we were to stay. For the next three years we saw unique and blessed fruit from intensive ministry on the streets.
We now help ASEA operate the London Outreach Center (an old, renovated English pub), a base of operations and outreach to London’s 9 million people.
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Chris & Tré KitsonSouth Africa
Chris & Tré, Lydia, Job & Timothy
Cape Town, South Africa
Chris & Tré joined ASEA officially in 2007.
When Chris & Tré met at a family member’s wedding, Tré had already purchased a plane ticket to South Africa to go through the ASEA School of Bibliology Program. Chris and Tré read their Bibles for the first time that year and the Lord used the time to knit their hearts together. Toward the end of Tre’s year in Cape Town, Chris came to visit and see the ministry that she had been so positively impacted by. It was during that trip that God spoke to Chris and told him to “Work with Dirk Wood, and learn from him.”
Shortly after Tré came back to the US (within weeks) they were married and began their journey in life together rooted in God’s Word. The strong desire to spread the Gospel and serve the Body of Christ grew in their hearts. In 2010, after three more years of preparation, they moved to Cape Town with their nine-month-old daughter, Lydia, and their soon to be born son, Job (he arrived in less than three months!).
Since 2010, Chris has continued to work alongside Dirk, learning to evangelize and help pastor the church in Cape Town — Surfside Christian Fellowship. Tré serves as an administrator to the SEED program. Since then, they have added another child to the mix, Job & Timothy.
You can contact the Kitsons at:
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