Shari was born and raised in the Caribbean into a church planting culture. The granddaughter, daughter, and wife of a church planter, she is not quite sure whether she has a love for the church or just can’t escape it. But she’s throwing her lot in with the church because Jesus does! In addition to founding and directing Parakaleo, she writes, speaks, and trains ministry leaders.
Shari also researched and developed the Church Leader’s Spouse Inventory used in assessment and the Stress and Satisfaction levels of planting spouses.
After being involved in church plants in three countries, she and her husband, John, currently call Manhattan home, where John is the Global Director of Training for Redeemer’s City to City. Among her many loves is spending time with her three adult children, and sharing stories, and dreaming of that great day on the other side where we will gather to hear the finished narratives of our lives.
Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Cristina and her husband, Darcy, moved to the US in the late 80s and have been involved in church planting longer than they have been married! They have served twelve years among Brazilian immigrants and the last nine among Americans in the most diverse corner of the world: the metropolitan New York area, where Darcy serves as executive pastor and multi-site lead pastor at Queens Presbyterian Church.
As a church-planting spouse, Cristina has experienced the power of the barrier-breaking gospel of Christ and the pain of finding herself in the desert, which gives her a true heart for women in ministry. At her local church she administrates an ESL program, co-leads a women’s fellowship, and serves on the Mercy Team which addresses various community needs. Cristina has acquired a taste for ethnic foods, coffee, dark chocolate, cultural diversity, traveling and her iPhone, which combined with her journalistic background, make her very resourceful if anyone is hungry or thirsty. As she helps in the development of global networks, Cristina meets women who are hungry and thirsty for something far more valuable: the refreshing grace that can be freely experienced, even in church planting.