MEET OUR STAFF
Sam is originally from Arlington, Texas, but has been in Sioux Center for 9 of the past 13 years. He is even becoming more Iowan than Texan as he enjoys so much about living in Sioux Center – knowing many people, walking most places (NEVER in winter though), and the slowness and contentment Sioux Center can bring. He loves living in Sioux Center!
More than that, He loves the people in Sioux Center, and getting to serve as Co-Pastor at Bridge of Hope alongside his wife, Gail. It is his dream! The love and grace of Jesus has transformed Sam, and he SO badly want others to know that love. To know the tender, patient, strong, trustworthy, and transforming love and grace of Jesus.
Sam has his Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary, and an undergrad in Theology with an emphasis in Biblical Studies and Missions/Evangelism from Dordt University (formerly Dordt College). Sam has taught in schools, pastored youth, and currently serves as Campus Pastor at Dordt University as well.
Personally, Sam’s wife, Gail, and him have two sons, Zion (6) and Judah (4). They are full of life and the most fun hang you will ever have! Sam is a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan, and any other Dallas area sports team. He enjoys good coffee, earning credit card points, bouncing his sons WAY to high on the trampoline, and any place that has mountains or a beach (preferably both).
Gail is a Sioux Center native with a heart for the people here. She loves her roles as wife to Sam, mom to Zion and Judah, and pastor. Out of the overflow of what God has done in her life, she desires to shepherd others into a deeper relationship with God and the reality of His transforming love. In 2023, she completed her Masters of Ministry Leadership at Calvin Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Pastoral Leadership. Before joining Bridge of Hope, she served in pastoral care at Dordt University for three years. In her free time, you might find her playing Legos with her sons, running, reading Brennan Manning, sipping on coffee, trying new foods, or porch sitting with her husband Sam.
Gail is honored to partner with the body of Bridge of Hope. Through the preaching of God’s Word and care for the people, she seeks to enter into His vision and heart for the church. She is eager to witness how God brings Heaven to Earth through this body of people. Her prayer is that we would continue to belong with Jesus, be transformed by the abundant life He brings, and embody His love to the world.
Dr Nathan Hitchcock
Dr. Nathan Hitchcock is a consultant who has been helping Bridge of Hope focus its vision and develop strategies since the end of 2020. In the past 2 ½ + years, Nathan met with leaders regularly, assisting the Council and various teams, and has preached for us as well. With our new pastors’ arrival, Sam & Gail Ashmore, Nathan is passing the baton onto the Ashmore's by coaching them over the next two or three months and supporting them as needed.
Nathan is a former professor at Sioux Falls Seminary, one of the pioneers of Kairos, has owned or managed several businesses and now helps various organizations through Sevensided Consulting.
Nathan and his wife Christina live just across the state line, in South Dakota with their two children.
Church Administrator / Ministry Coordinator
Ruth grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She came to Northwest Iowa to attend Dordt University. Following college, Ruth worked for Dordt's Printing Department as typesetter and layout artist. Once beginning a family, she began working at Covenant CRC in Sioux Center as the administrative assistant and was there for 25 years. She has worked at Bridge of Hope since the spring of 2012.
Ruth and husband Dave have lived in Sioux Center since marrying. They raised 3 kids who are now each raising families of their own—their oldest son Matt lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife and two sons; son Luke lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and three children; and their daughter Ellie and husband are raising their kids in Sioux Center.
In her free time, Ruth enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being involved in church, various ministries, the community, traveling and camping.
Ruth enjoys working at Bridge of Hope. She likes helping people and providing support where needed. She knows a common problem in churches is having things fall between the cracks and looks for ways to help avoid that from happening. She also values the unique opportunities this job provides to minister to others and is thankful she can offer support.
Kira was born and raised in Sioux Center, Iowa. Her parents are Jay and Heidi Ouwinga, and she has two younger brothers, Aidan and Sawyer. Kira graduated from Western Christian High School in 2021 and is attending Dordt University- majoring in Youth Ministry.
Kira has been a member at Bridge of Hope for several years and is also a worship leader. In her free time, Kira enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, kayaking, reading, playing games, spending time with family and friends, playing guitar and singing, working in her garden, cooking, and working with the youth. She also has a heart for missions and loves to travel to see and explore more of God's beautiful creation! Spending time with kids has always been a passion of Kira’s, and she loves to come alongside them and mentor them. She is excited to work with the youth at Bridge of Hope!
Sunday School Director
Sarah graduated from Calvin College with a BA in Elementary Education and has a Masters in Special Education from Dordt University. She has lived in 7 different states (Ohio, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, California, Florida, and Iowa) and has had a lot of unique opportunities to work with children and families. Some of her favorite jobs were a multilingual program for low-income families in Los Angeles and a program that brought children and seniors together in an intergenerational early childhood center housed in a nursing home! Sarah currently works at Sioux Center Christian School as a 2nd grade teacher. She has also served as a Stephen Minister, Children and Worship leader, and Vacation Bible School Director, as well as many years in the nursery and Sunday School classroom. She currently volunteers with two great organizations who help kids: All Kids Can, an organization that helps families with a need participate in sports and fine arts, and Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for children in the foster care system. Her hobbies include reading, playing games, swimming, biking, hiking, scuba diving, and traveling. I also like to hang out with my 2 adult children, Rachel and Tyler. Sarah is very grateful for the chance to give her faith hands and feet here at Bridge of Hope and thankful for this amazing opportunity to serve.
Aimee Van Middendorp
Aimee was born and raised in Sioux Center, Iowa. She graduated from Unity Christian in 2001 and went on to Le Mars Beauty college. After graduating in 2003, Aimee went to work at Fine Design salon in Sioux Center for 3 and a half years. She then started her own salon, A Lasting Impression in 2006. Her 20 years working behind the chair have fed her passion for being a listening ear and helping the hurting.
Aimee married Jason Van Middendorp in 2006 and moved to his family farm west of Sioux Center. Jason works at Ver Hoef Automotive as a parts specialist. They have 3 kids, Kinzie, Bailey and Jayce, who are currently attending Sioux Center Christian. As a family they enjoy camping, volleyball, basketball(Hawkeyes!), golfing, and spending time with family and friends.
Aimee has been a part of Bridge of Hope since 2000. She joined and made profession of faith as a Senior in high school. Bridge is more than a church to her, it's her family. She is humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve the members of Bridge of Hope. Galatians 5:13-14 "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself"
Judy grew up in Oostburg Wisconsin. She graduated from Deaconess School of Nursing in 1966 and married her husband, Roger, 6 weeks later. She has 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Judy moved to Sioux Center after her husband died in 1994 to be near her daughter.
Judy worked as a floor nurse at Sheboygan Memorial Hospital for 12 years and taught at the area Technical School for 14 years. Her last job as Children’s librarian at Sioux Center Public Library was her favorite and she regretfully retired at age 74 years.
Her prayer has been that she finish strong so she has been happy to accept the position of Congregational Care.