Born on May 31, 1984 in Wooster, Ohio, Aaron Cochrell was raised in rural Ohio. He grew up on a farm working alongside his dad. At age 5, he came to understand who God was and what God had done for Him. One night after church Aaron was talking with his mom, and she led him to the Lord. He enjoyed working with his hands which he was able to do on the farm and in the church. He took advantage of any ministry opportunity provided him in his local church.
Aaron went to public high school where he was involved in a Fellowship of Christian Students group. Aaron was in charge or this group for two years, led the Bible studies and organized the activities. After his Sophomore year of high school, he went on a missions trip with his youth group to Salt Lake City, Utah. This trip gave him opportunities to be involved in ministry in a camp setting and take part in street evangelization leading up to the Olympics. This experience was life changing as he realized that there were individuals in the United States who were blinded from the truth of the Gospel. Aaron came away from this trip awakened to the realization of the need to share the Gospel.
The next three summers Aaron worked at Skyview Ranch in Millersburg, Ohio. The first two summers he worked on the maintenance crew during the day and was able to help a counselor in the evenings. The evenings were a great experience as he was exposed to reaching out to kids and seeing God challenge and change young men. The two summers Aaron spent on the maintenance staff were great times of doing what he loved, and seeing God work. He wanted to be stretched and returned to Skyview for his third year as a counselor. The Lord gave him the opportunity to lead one teenager to the Lord! Two other teenagers gave their lives to the Lord and one returned five years later as a counselor at Skyview.
After high school, Aaron attended Piedmont Baptist College in North Carolina. After completing two years in the missions program, he went on the ARRIBA! Program with Baptist Mid-Mission to Peru. This eleven month internship program allowed Aaron to study the Spanish language and minister in local churches with missionaries and Peruvians. He grew in the Lord that year as his eyes were opened to missions work overseas. That year also knit Aaronʼs heart to the Peruvians and the work God was doing there. He returned to Piedmont desiring to return if the Lord allowed.
During his junior year, Aaron met Stephenie VanderWerf at Piedmont and in December of 2008 they were married. They took a survey trip together to Peru in August of 2010 for two months. This trip allowed them to see together the specific area and people with whom God would have them to work. They now live in Winston-Salem, NC and attend Grace Baptist Temple where Aaron carried out a six month mission internship.
Stephenie Cochrell was born into a Christian home in Berrian Center, MI. She was saved at the age of four as a result of the teaching of the Gospel by a Sunday School teacher. She was baptized at Community Baptist Church, Edwardsburg, MI, at age eight and has enjoyed serving the Lord.
Stephenie and her family moved to LaPorte, IN, and later joined Evergreen Baptist Church. She was home-schooled, so she had opportunities to minister in ways that other high schoolers could not. Stephenie involved herself in many ministries such as cleaning the church, AWANA, VBS, nursery, puppet team, and Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Lord gave her a servantʼs heart and she desired to use it to bring honor to the Lord. Stephenie always had an interest in missions. She enjoyed having missionaries come to her church and getting to know them. The Lord began to soften her heart toward full time service.
When she was about 13, Stephenie attended Twin Lakes Camp in central IN for a week of leadership camp. During a chapel session, the missionary speaker challenged students to surrender to the Lord whatever He wanted for their lives. Stephenie responded to this message and dedicated her life to serving the Lord, regardless of where that would take her.
After high school, Stephenie had an opportunity to go to Brazil for seven months where God allowed her to tutor the 14 year old son of a missionary couple. Stephenie helped with the cooking and cleaning, and also started a puppet ministry in the local church. While in Brazil, Stephenie heard about Piedmont Baptist College. When she returned to the States, she researched the college and started attending in the fall. She graduated in December of 2010.
At Piedmont, Stephenie met Aaron and they were married in December of 2008. They live in Winston-Salem, NC, and attend Grace Baptist Temple. Aaron and Stephenie were AWANA leaders for a year and led a college ministry for over a year.
In August of 2010, Aaron and Stephenie traveled to Peru and feel that God is leading them to the Cusco region. They are looking to serve the Lord as Missionary Church Planters and desire to help the other missionaries start a camp.