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Rush & Paisha Behnke


Rush grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Franklin High School.  He spent three years in the U.S. Army as a “medic,” much of which was in Germany. He attended Mount Hood Community College, Cessna’s Professional Pilot School, and later North Idaho Business College, in Coeur d’Alene.  Rush worked 18 years as a General Building Contractor in a resort area in Northern Idaho called Priest Lake.  During the last seven years in Idaho, he owned retail building supply stores and a cabinet and countertop shop.  Before retirement Rush was a general contractor for 35 years.

On February 9, 2019, Rush married the love of his life, Paisha Xu Behnke, and together they have 9 children and 16 grandchildren.  Many are adopted.  Paisha has joined Rush living out of four suitcases and two backpacks, so they can be anywhere in the world God calls.  Their mission work is supported by The River Church, and they offer tours and short-term mission opportunities in Romania.  They spend time in Romania working alongside Romania Without Orphans and are pioneering a missional support model in Arges County, Romania called Pitesti 127.  Rush travels and speaks with The Executive Director of ARFO, Alex Ilie.  (www.ARFO.RO).  

Rush also loves ballroom dancing and fishing, but he feels his best foot is forward when he is serving the Lord with the natural gifts and calling God gave him.  About 300-million orphans can come to know Jesus through loving Christian parents.

Paisha Xu Behnke (Chinese - Peixia) was born in Wenling, China.  Her family is Buddhist, but God has their attention through her conversion by the Holy Spirit.  She was a natural leader in school and has a pioneer gifting.  She came to the U.S. in 2007, and within five years became a U.S. Citizen.  She has a couple of degrees in China, but attended Washington State University earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting.  She was baptized in 2008 in Arizona.  She was loosely attending Crossroads Community Church where many of her work colleagues attended, and participated in the Hotel Ministry in downtown Portland.  She served in the kitchen for the elderly.  When Rush met her, she was doing accounting for a fuel testing company in Vancouver, Washington.  Since her deliverance from Buddhism, Paisha has become a powerful witness against this atheist religion.  The Holy Spirit in her has shown her similarities in the two faiths that show Buddhism to be a powerful, counterfeit stronghold to faith in Christ.

Jim & Tanya Person


Both Jim and Tanya felt called to the nations from before they met and married each other. Tanya’s parents and grandparents were missionaries, so the life was normal for her, but from the age of 12 she knew God was calling her personally. About that same time, Jim was giving his life to the Lord and also felt a call to serve God in the nations. They were married June 1, 1991, in Anchorage, Alaska, and started their family while also working and serving in their local church (Abbott Loop Christian Center) in a variety of ways. They were praying for God to show them where to go and when.

In 2001 they took their four children to Mexico to visit and serve with some missionary friends there for two weeks. The following spring, they led a mission trip from their home group to visit missionary Mary Jill Callery in Budapest, Hungary.

Shortly before going to Hungary, they felt God was preparing them for a sudden change, but still did not know exactly what God had in mind.  The company where Jim was working went bankrupt and was bought out, and they knew there was a good chance he would be laid off and receive a severance check.  

While they were praying and worshiping with a group of people, Tanya felt God spoke to her and said, "This is it!"  At the same time, God put it on Jim's heart to pray that God would send workers to the harvest fields of Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe, and he felt God speak to him and say, "I am...I'm sending you!"  With this word from God, they moved to Hungary in January 2003.
In the early years on the mission field, they served in a homeless shelter and also in the International Church of Budapest. One of the ways they wanted to serve was to join the prayer team at the end of services. When they volunteered, they were told they would first have to take a 6-day training course offered by Ellel Ministries. They had never heard of Ellel, but with God speaking to each of them to submit to the leadership and attend, and that He would teach them something, they signed up for the course. God showed them new aspects of prayer ministry, and especially how important it is to pray for the root issue in people’s lives, not just the presenting symptoms. They eventually joined the Ellel team as associate teachers.

They have always felt called to many nations and working with Ellel they have been able to travel to and minister in many countries all over Europe, primarily focusing on Central and Eastern Europe. Jim and Tanya have a passion to disciple people and help them to walk in the purpose God has for each one. They also have a heart to support and encourage leaders. Jim and Tanya also minister in various churches on occasion, and occasionally help people who are coming through Budapest on short-term missions. They enjoy encouraging new missionaries as well, helping people adjust to living a life on the mission field. They are committed to serving God in any way He leads and want to constantly be led by the Holy Spirit in everything they do.

They have four adult children and two grandsons, with most of them living in Arizona, one in Florida, and one going into full-term mission work with YWAM in South Africa or wherever God leads her.

July Praise Report


On June 4th, Tanya's grandma, Oma Lanphear, turned 101. We really felt that Tanya needed to go and visit her and some friends donated their airline miles and bought her a ticket to go to Spokane to spend three days with her. When we made the arrangements, we did not realize that Oma was at the end of her life, but two days after buying the ticket Tanya felt like God said she was going to be with her grandma as she passed away. There are so many details of the amazing things that happened on the trip and the experiences that she had that we cannot include them all in this email, but time and again God proved that He had all the details in His hands. Tanya arrived Wednesday, June 14. Oma passed away on Friday evening, June 16, while Tanya was holding her hand and reading Psalm 23 from Oma's Indonesian Bible. (Oma and Opa had been missionaries to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong before retiring in 1983.) Tanya flew home on Saturday morning, June 17. Although we are sad to not have more time with her, we really are rejoicing that she is now with Jesus. She has been ready to go to her heavenly home for many years now, and Tanya is extremely thankful to God for allowing her to have those last precious moments with her.

Oma was dearly loved by all who knew her. The flowers above were given by one of the cleaning staff at the nursing home just hours before Oma passed away.

We are so thankful to Cora & Todd Lillis for hosting Tanya and driving her to and from the airport, nursing home, and their home!


Tanya had many opportunities to talk to various people while she was visiting her grandma. God gave her words of encouragement for many people and was able to share the peace and joy that she had as she was there. One lady who was a friend of Oma came each day to visit and on Friday mentioned that she hurt her back opening a door on her way over. Tanya laid hands on her back and prayed for her and she went on her way. That night, after Oma died, the lady came back to say goodbye. She shared with Tanya that although she does not normally believe in healing, the pain was gone from her back. Tanya was so blessed to be able to hear that testimony!


You may remember all those strawberries we put in the freezer? We used some of them to make a bunch of jam for Ellel to sell. The ladies went to our directors' house and made 62 jars of jam!


Brenna and Sydnie visited our Indonesian church on Father's Day. After church, the men had a cooking competition. Everyone agreed Jim must have the most cooking experience. Below are the dishes the three teams made. We are so blessed to be part of this church family!


We are so thankful for Brenna, who has joined Ellel USA team! She spends one day per week helping Jim working outside and does everything with a cheerful attitude!

We have had a full schedule of teaching and ministering as well. Above, Jim was using a couple volunteers and water to illustrate a point in his teaching.


Our email header said "The circle of life"...the day after Tanya's Oma passed away, our oldest daughter, Tiana, gave birth to her third son, Oliver! They are doing well and we are looking forward to going to visit them!

We are thankful for modern technology that allowed us to wish this grandson, Aidyn, a happy birthday on June 4th! He is now 5! (He was concentrating on putting filters on the picture!) We are going to get to see him and his brother soon too!

Our church blessed us with a cake to celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary!