Bob grew up in a Christian family in Western Pennsylvania and came to Christ in a youth camp at the age of 14. Soon thereafter he sensed a call to pastoral ministries but wrote it off as something not plausible for him as he was more gifted in the sciences than in the verbal areas. He studied mathematics and physics in college, desiring to work in those fields and to serve the Lord as a lay person. However, the Lord’s call was not extinguished by Bob’s plans. He testifies that in the years that followed graduation, the closer he got to the Lord, the more real his call became.
In 1976 he began to follow the call by enrolling in ASTM and, though the studies were rigorous, he found the Lord faithful in equipping and preparing him for the ministries that followed. It was there that the Lord called him to serve as a missionary and convinced him that, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thes 5:24).
Joy was born in Cuba, where her parents served as missionaries for six years in an orphanage, and she accepted Jesus at the age of 7. After leaving Cuba, the family lived in Canada for a few years before moving to Miami Fla. where Joy's father started the first Spanish Alliance church in that city. From an early age she was committed to serve the Lord wherever He led, always being willing to return to a Spanish speaking country. She graduated from Miami Christian College and worked as a secretary in the headquarters of HCJB in Miami and the Alliance National Office in Nyack before marrying and beginning life and ministry together with Bob.