Elders Neal & Mary Jo Calkins
Neal was raised on a small farm in North Dakota and came to Seattle to study in 1988 to study at the Lutheran Bible Institute. He first attended New Hope International Church to fulfill a requirement for a cross-cultural communication class, but knew from the first Sunday that the Lord was calling him to be part of building the fellowship.
Mary Jo was born and raised in Bellevue, Washington. She first met Ps. Lao at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was the chief resident in the neurosurgery department at the time. While bringing a Thai-speaking friend to hear the gospel, Mary Jo was impressed by the simplicity of the people at New Hope International Church and their zeal in doing God’s work. Mary Jo has worked as a registered nurse at Harborview Medical Center for more than 20 years.