My name is J.J. Molodecki. I grew up in Arizona but felt God drawing us to Chicago. I am one of those weird people who actually love the cold. I also have a passion for God, my family, mission trips, theatre, the San Antonio Spurs, and people!
I received my BFA from the University of Arizona then moved to the area almost 15 years ago. While working at Addison Trail High School in the Special Education Department, I also served as a Youth Pastor at Bethel Assembly of God in Elmhurst. We still felt that call to the city and went to work at Maranatha Chapel in Evergreen Park for 11 years starting in Youth and College Ministry then becoming an Associate Pastor. During that time, I obtained my License and then my Ordination through Global University. We saw God do many amazing things and felt he wanted to do even more.
God has given us a great love for the area and the people of Midway. Our desire is to reach out to those who don’t have a relationship with God, raise up leaders in the local church so that they may reach the neighborhood. We call it REACH RAISE REPEAT. We can’t wait to see what God does next!
Vanessa grew up in a ministry-minded, musical family, her parents serving in Canada with Youth for Christ for a number of years before her father became a professor of Worship Studies and Music. Vanessa plays piano, drums and accordion and has recorded 3 albums of her own music and also participated in the two musical projects of her husband, Tobin. Tobin and Vanessa have one amazing daughter, Edith, and are happily planted in Chicago.
My name is Graciela Garcia, but I like using "Grace" for short. I was born and raised in the Back of the Yards community and still reside there. My early volunteer years of ministry were spent in the Pilsen community. For the past 23 years, I have helped in the area of children's ministry, a tutoring program, and a church-based mentoring program.
I worked full time for a major utility company for over 25 years while volunteering at my local church. Then, I decided to retire to make a career change and become a certified teacher by attending Harold Washington College. I earned an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education which opened a door to working in the Resource Center for Autism and Developmental Delays where parents, educators and social workers interacted with a target population of 3 to 5 year old children.
I believe children are the apple of God's eye and I am excited to work alongside the new families, pastors and staff of Hope Church Midway who are just as excited to reach the Midway community and families as I am. I have a new challenge to work with the children of Hope Midway. My innermost desire is to raise them up in God's Word, show them the miracle working power through His Holy Spirit, so that they may grow and entrust their lives to serve a God who is alive and who loves them unconditionally. He is raising up this next generation to bring new souls to His Kingdom through their faith.