Serving Street Children and their Families in the Philippines

Jeff & Mary Ann Anderson’s Story:

Jeff was born in 1955 in Cloquet, Minnesota. As a youth, his parents taught him to live with integrity and hard work. His extensive involvement in sports helped prepare him for team-work and leadership. He trusted Christ as Savior in 1973 through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ during his freshmen year at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. During his college years, he was actively involved with CCC. He graduated in 1977 with a degree in Criminal Justice Studies and Sociology and planned to be a police officer but God had another plan.

After college, God led Jeff to work at Midwest Challenge (MWC) in Minneapolis from 1977-84. At that time MWC was a Christ-centered residential discipleship program for drug addicts, homeless, prostitutes, prisoners and the like. He handled all kinds of ministries like: street outreach, jail and prison visitation, counseling, cooking, cleaning toilets and eventually became program director. In spring of 1979 he was transferred to Willmar, MN to open a new MWC center and serve as the program director.

While serving at MWC, Jeff met Mary Ann Hartzell. Born in Wisconsin in 1957, Mary Ann was raised in Minneapolis in a home where her parents led her to the Lord at a young age and were instrumental in encouraging her toward missions. When she was in high school, she knew God was calling her to serve as a missionary. After taking secretarial courses in college, she worked in the office and was a live-in counselor at MWC. In September 1978 Mary Ann left MWC to serve for 9 months with Sudan Interior Missions (SIM) as a secretary in Maradi, Niger, West Africa. During the time Mary Ann was in Africa, Jeff knew the Lord was calling him to commit his life to serving as a missionary wherever in the world God would send him. A few months after Mary Ann's return, the Lord brought them together and they were married in December 1979.

During the early years of their marriage, they searched for a mission agency that would allow them to do the same type of ministry as MWC but in a foreign country. Every door seemed to be closed until they learned about Action International Ministries. The Andersons joined ACTION in order to serve in Manila, Philippines among street children and their families, slum-dwellers, disaster victims and prisoners as well as training and encouraging church workers in the same ministry. After a year-long training program with Missionary Internship and their home church, the Andersons arrived in Manila in December 1985 and have served there up to the present time with ACTION. They have two married children and two (almost three) grandchildren.


Action International Ministries


(Table F-F4)

Author: Restoring children of the streets:
A guide for mobilizing and equipping God's people around the world


Saturday Morning – 10 a.m.

WORKSHOP (with Mary Ann Anderson)

Saturday 1:30 p.m.

RM 2:  Preparing to be a cross-cultural worker among at-risk children


Speaking at Filipino United Community Church

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