I grew up in Richfield, Minnesota, in a Bible-believing, Baptist home, and I asked Jesus to “come into my heart” at the age of eight—after watching the terrifying end times movie, A Thief in the Night.
I attended a Lutheran elementary school, a Baptist high school, and a Bible college. I went to Vacation Bible Schools and youth group meetings. I watched my parents and other church adults do their best to live out the Word. And so my faith foundation was formed.
I graduated from Cedarville University with a degree in Communications. Then, right after college, I accepted a position at a small Christian publishing company and moved all by myself to the Chicago area to start my grown up life.
My faith followed me. At times I clung to it. At times I questioned it. In seminary I dissected it and tried to build it back as best I could. (Later in life, when Peter and I went through a very dark time, I even threatened to walk away all together.) But what I am most thankful for is this: God was faithful all along the way. Even when I was not.
I graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with a Master’s degree in Religious Education. Shortly after graduation I started teaching in the Communications Department at Moody Bible Institute.
And it was there that I met a certain Englishman…
I spent my childhood in the seaside town of Plymouth, England. It was an idyllic place to grow up. I spent many hours hiking the barren hills of Dartmoor and hunting for crabs under rocks on the beach.
Though the setting was ideal, spiritually my home was divided. My dad didn’t come to know Jesus until just before he died. My mom, on the other hand, gave her life to Christ when I was five. From then on, she brought me faithfully to a small Plymouth Brethren church in our town.
At university I studied to be a primary (elementary) school teacher. Then I followed my impulse for adventure and left England for more exotic lands. During my twenties, I spent three years teaching in Japan. Then I spent two more years teaching in a mission school in Pakistan.
While I was in Pakistan, I realized my need for more Bible training. So I came to Chicago to attend Moody Graduate School in the fall of 1998. I thought I would head off to Chile after that. But God had other things in store…
KELLI + PETER
We met in the Moody cafeteria. Peter arrived on campus the same semester that I (Kelli) began to teach. One afternoon at lunch a graduate school professor introduced us. We talked about Minnesota and theater, and after that lunch meeting, I wrote in my journal that I may have just met “the man I would spend the rest of my life with.” We were married fifteen months later.
In 2005, after a four-year struggle with infertility, we started what was supposed to be a two-year China adoption process. Our wait for our daughter Amelia turned out to be six years long.
While we were still waiting for her, in the spring of 2009, God brought a seven-month-old baby boy into our lives. He became our foster son, Daryl.
One of our favorite miraculous details is this: On March 26, 2012, we were in China at the US Embassy, obtaining Amelia’s passport to bring her home—the final step in her six-year adoption process. On that exact day, a judge in Chicago was stamping Daryl’s paperwork to officially make him a Worrall as well—the end of a three-year journey through the court system with him. And so we say our kiddos are “divine siblings.”
In addition to my MRE, I also completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Roosevelt University. Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from National Louis, and he is currently working on his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
In 2005, Peter also came to teach in the Educational Ministries Department at MBI. And since then we have enjoyed working side-by-side to train students for life and ministry.
Thank you for stopping by our site! We hope that you will come back often. On our home page, we look forward to having many important conversations with you.
Peter & Kelli
I dream of the kind of relationships I can only have if I am more vulnerable and develop endurance in conversations.
Nostalgia is not a plan [for church growth] - Donald Guthrie