Seth Barnes is the founder and Executive Director of Adventures in Missions.
Seth was raised in a Christian home in Columbia, Missouri. His mother was a prayer warrior who encouraged him to go on mission trips to Guatemala and Peru in high school. These experiences shaped his desires and ignited a passion for meeting the needs of the poor and oppressed around the world.
Seth attended Wheaton College, and upon graduating in 1980 he moved to Thailand to work in a refugee camp for Cambodians fleeing from the Khmer Rouge genocide. After returning to the States he married his wife Karen. They left immediately to serve in Indonesia and later the Dominican Republic to do economic development work with the poorest of the poor.
After completing his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and continuing in ministry, Seth realized what was missing from his walk with the Lord, intimacy. He learned his relationship with God could be so personal that he could hear God's voice. Upon realizing this, prayer, evangelism, and discipleship became Seth's passions, and he founded Adventures in Missions in 1989 to equip short-term missionaries to be true disciples of Christ. Adventures has sent more than 100,000 people on mission trips around the world.
Seth and Karen live in Gainesville, Ga. They have five children who have all been involved in missions throughout their lives.
The Center for Global Action is the realization of a lifelong dream of Seth's that people move from the initiation experience of a kingdom journey into an intentional time of discipleship to discover their calling.
Neil comes from a long line of Dutch dairy farmers. His parents were the first in their family to immigrate to the United States. His parents pioneering spirit has led Neil on his own journey to over 35 countries.
Neil graduated from Calvin College in 2007 with a Mechanical Engineering degree. After working in the engineering sector he felt drawn to explore the world through ministry for a year. In 2008 he found the World Race; it has been a whirlwind since.
Neil has made roots in Adventures and has served through a number of rolls including: CGA, Kingdom Journeys, Project Searchlight, Kingdom Dreams, Passport and Encounter.
His passion is to launch people into their calling through coaching and teaching. He also loves to limbo, teach cow milking and be mysterious.
Bill & Katie Swan
Bill grew up in a small town in northwest Pennsylvania while Katie lived a solid 12 hours west in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. They met as juniors at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and married three years later.
They remained in Chicago while Bill got his masters in counseling and Katie added a second bachelor's degree in nursing. Soon after graduation, they left on the World Race and now spend their days in the Adventures' office and their weekends hanging out with their many roommates.
Bill loves to bike up mountains, bike down mountains, bike on trails, bike in the morning and bike after the sun goes down. After crashing her bike at the age of nine, Katie prefers running. Together the Swans love eating guacamole and chips, living out of a suitcase, dancing to the radio, and flannel sheets.
Joe grew up in Ventura, California with his two brothers. He studied Industrial Technology at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, earning both his Bachelor's and Master's. From there, Joe went on to achieve his black belt certification in Lean Six Sigma. He has worked at various manufacturing companies including Heinz, McCormick, and Circle Foods helping to implement the tools learned from his Lean Six Sigma experience.
In his spare time, Joe enjoys traveling, reading, camping and being outdoors, hiking, and golf. Joe describes himself as a people person and enjoys getting to know others. He incorporates this mentality into everything he does, as he believes people are the driving force behind business. Joe believes in the power of improving not only an organization but also the people behind it and seeks to teach and develop all those he comes in contact with.
After returning from The World Race in December of 2012, Joe decided to continue in his passion for developing people by taking a position with Adventures. Here, Joe develops not only the staff but also works to improve the processes that underlie the organization.
Stephanie May is the Lead Storyteller here at Adventures in Missions. She's pioneering Adventures first ever online magazine – Venture Magazine, as well as capturing beauty alongside the video department. She is leading the CGA Story Track this fall and is excited to walk alongside new friends as they live and tell great stories. She firmly believes in the power of beauty, sparklers, and the perfect cup of coffee. You can find her writing on her blog, TheLipstickGospel.com.
As a 27-year-old husband, father, and worship leader, Josh Rene has a passion to respond to God in the most humble and thankful way he knows: through his worship. He joined the Adventures family with his wife, Briana, when they embarked on the World Race in 2010.
After returning from the World Race, both Josh and Briana worked in the Adventures Youth department of AIM. This past year, their beautiful, charismatic daughter Ezra entered their lives and captured their hearts.
Currently Josh facilitates worship for the Adventures community, disciples young worship leaders, and presides as the Worship Track Director for the CGA. In 2014, Josh and his family will be answering the call to be long-term missionaries to Cambodia, a country they fell in love with on the World Race. .