Fankhauser Family

We are a family of 5, from Ventura, California. John, Beth, Bethany, and Rebekah, are moving this fall to Liberia, West Africa, to serve the people there for 2 years. Josh will be continuing his studies in physics at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.


John is a family physician who has been medical director of the Ventura County Medical Center and Santa Paula Hospital for the past 6 years. His interest in global missions began after a 6 month mission to South Sudan in college.  During medical school at the University of Washington he and Beth had the opportunity to serve for nearly a year in Guatemala. Since then, he has done short term missions to China, and Darfur, Sudan. John has continued to have a heart for Africa, and he is excited to be moving to Liberia to contribute to the rebuilding of ELWA hospital.  He will also be a part of the team that will be starting the first family medicine training program in Liberia. Aside from working as a doctor, John loves the outdoors; backpacking, swimming, and biking.

Beth was born in the Philippines as a missionary kid and lived there until she was 8, when her family returned to the states.  She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Nursing and has been a homeschool teacher for the past 15 years.  During college she was involved in a summer mission to a small fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island. When she returned to school, John had recently returned from the Sudan, and they were drawn together by their mutual love for other cultures and countries. The rest is history. Beth is excited to move to Liberia, where she will be homeschooling Rebekah, and serving where needed in orphan, youth, or women’s ministry.

Josh is currently finishing his junior year of college at Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, where he is majoring in physics. When he isn’t busy studying, he works as a referee for water polo games, and he plays on the schools’ ultimate frisbee club team. Although he will be staying in the States during the school year, we are looking forward to the time when he can join us in Liberia for a few weeks.

Bethany is finishing up her senior year at Foothill High School and she will be taking a “gap year” (or two) in Liberia with the family. She loves the world, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures. She has had the opportunity to do short term mission trips in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Thailand. Her passion is photography, and she is hoping to pursue photojournalism while we are in Africa. Alongside photography, Bethany loves to surf and she is ‘stoked’ to explore the waves in Liberia and possibly teach the local children how to surf.

Rebekah is in the seventh grade and is thankful for the opportunities homeschooling has given her. She loves circus arts and aerial, as well as gymnastics and dancing. Bekah has been to Guatemala with the family and she loved working with the younger kids at the orphanage we stayed at. In Liberia, she hopes to bring a ‘silk’ apparatus and work on her circus training as well as her gymnastics, with some of the locals. She cannot wait to live in a different culture, to show God’s love to the other kids her age, and to serve with her family.


6 responses to “Fankhauser Family

  1. Art and Sonia Beals

    What an incredible family! And to think that you have responded to God’s call means so much to us. Mom and Dad/Grandma and Grandpa Beals.

  2. Jeff and Julie Strong

    Amazing! We’ll be following your blog. We are so excited for your new adventure.

  3. Margie Waldo Simon

    Dear Beth & John and Family – I am so excited to read about your upcoming plans for work in Liberia!! It sounds like a wonderful ‘fit’ and an fabulous next step for your family. I’ll be eager to follow your work… Much love, Margie 🙂

  4. Michael L. Kadera

    Sandy and I will be praying for you all and we will be looking foward to receiving updates about your ministry. God is good and faithful and will continue to direct your every step…Blessings!

  5. Lynn Rastaetter

    It was such a pleasure hearing you speak at Ojai Presbyterian Church recently. I look forward to following your family as you undertake this wonderful mission together. Blessings ~ Lynn Rastaetter

  6. Neontha Bonham-Baughman & TJ Baughman

    It was so good to meet you at breakfast, Super 8. in Fort Bragg, CA. We will be following your experiences, and praying for you. We have a heart for missions, and it is exciting to read about the work you will be doing. God bless all of you. T J & Neontha Baughman.

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