Jon grew up in Peoria, Illinois. In 1983 he received his BA at Calvary College and in 1987 completed his MRE with a focus on youth ministry at Liberty University.
It was at this time that Dr. Randy Smith hired Jon for a two-year youth ministry residency program at Thomas Road Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. After completing his residency Jon moved to Kenya, East Africa where he found his calling for working with youth internationally. In Kenya, Jon helped train youth leaders and also setup the first international Center for Youth Ministry.
Following Jon’s work in Kenya he assisted Randy in starting YMI and served as the Director of Operations for 5 years.
In 1996 Jon joined United World Mission. He served in the mission’s home office for two years where he met his wife Sonnet, and together they moved to Moscow in 2001. He and Sonnet developed a ministry, which utilized the platform of providing professional training and coaching to business persons and working with youth at Universities and English camps.