Tim Ainley joined the Forward Edge staff in the spring of 2010. He cherishes his beautiful wife, Ashley, and three wonderful children, Lamaya, Cambria and Gideon. Tim got the itch for ministry growing up as a pastor’s son in a Christ-following home, and has served in ministry for most of his adult life. Anyone who meets Tim discovers that he’s passionate about Jesus, his family and friends, missions, adoption, discipleship and camping ministry. Tim also enjoys traveling, sports, Star Wars, and playing board games.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? God has always given me a soft spot for children and for people who are forgotten. I love that Forward Edge serves those people. I also love the “why” behind what Forward Edge does – to help people live what they were created for, which is to join Him in doing good works (Eph. 2:10). I love the idea of worshiping God with others by doing what we were created to do together.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? Probably James, the brother of Jesus. It would be cool to hear stories about Jesus growing up. I’d also want to hear how he changed his mind about Jesus and what it was like starting the Church with Peter. My second choice would probably be Robin Williams.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I can juggle and ride a unicycle. I used to be able to do both at the same time. Not sure I can anymore, though; it’s been years since I’ve tried.
Jen’s first mission trip was in 2011 to Nicaragua. This experience changed her heart and led her to serve, love, and encourage disaster victims, including several outreaches with the Red Cross. She and her husband Ken enjoy serving on mission teams together. When not working, she likes to spend time outdoors, walking, hiking, and running.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I have always had a heart for those who have been overlooked or forgotten. I believe God created us to be in community and we need to care for one another. Two of Forward Edge’s “Core Values” speak directly to my heart. The first one is, relationships, love people more than projects. The second is, empowering nationals, don’t do things for people; do things with people.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? The Apostle Paul. I like the way he communicates and often gives very practical examples of the ideas he is conveying.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? My husband and I volunteer with the puppy raising program of Guide Dogs of America
TyAnn was raised and lived in sunny Southern California until 1995. In the aftermath of the infamous Northridge earthquake in 1994, she moved to Oregon to be near her sister and family. She loves the Pacific Northwest and now feels like a native Oregonian. After accepting Christ as a teenager, God began to put on TyAnn’s heart a burden for children living in poverty. She has since sponsored several children through various charitable organizations, done volunteer work and participated in short term mission trips to help spread the love of Jesus.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? Over the last few years I realized that God was calling me to a still deeper involvement in missions work and I began to explore vocational opportunities. Through a series of divine appointments I was introduced to Forward Edge, and with an extensive administrative background, a passion for children, and a timely job-opening, I became a staff member shortly thereafter.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? Well, since it can’t be Jesus, I’ll pick the apostle whom He loved, John. I love John’s heart in his writings and he would be the expert on all things Jesus. I’d also love to hear about Revelation directly from his lips and be able to ask him questions.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I’ve been on TV a few times!
Tim has spent most of his life in Portland, Oregon, with the exception of his early childhood in Hawaii. A Certified Public Accountant. Tim held a variety of accounting positions in the Distribution and Service industries, preparing him for his duties as Forward Edge’s controller. Tim put his “hands-on” skills to use in the mission field when he served in Guatemala helping with the construction of a church. All three of Tim’s children have benefited from short-term mission work as well. Tim and his wife Marcia have been married for 38 years. They have three children and five grandchildren.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? The opportunity to apply my talents and experience through Forward Edge to impact the lives, and eternities, of those in need.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? Richard Henry Dana, Jr.: An attorney who worked as a common sailor on a merchant marine ship in the 1830’s. He later invested his wealth into the care of retired sailors and the evangelizing of those on the high seas. Author of “Two Years before the Mast”.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I’ve written a novel, and book #2 is in progress of a planned trilogy.
Nicole has been with Forward Edge since 2010 when she began as a team coordinator. After five years of serving in that capacity, she moved into the Director of Administration role, which allows her to assist in all areas of the ministry. She is passionate about serving vulnerable children and has served in Mexico, Nicaragua and several domestic locations. Nicole is happily married to her husband, Gordon, and they have two beautiful children who keep them busy.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I was excited to have the opportunity to serve and work towards helping vulnerable children and their families to break the cycle of poverty within their communities and to give them a sense of hope for a better future.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? I think it would be fascinating to have the opportunity to talk with Abraham Lincoln. He was so passionate and convicted that he took great risks to ensure the liberty of those who were oppressed. He was a leader who truly led based on what he knew to be right.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I used to be a drama geek. I was in theater in high school and college and moved on to commercials and movies after that. I don’t have time for it anymore, but it was fun!
Melanie is married to her husband Kevin whom she met while attending Multnomah University, and together they have two daughters in middle and elementary school. Melanie is passionate about making a difference in people's lives, specifically through authentic conversations where God's love and truth can be shared. She and her family sponsor two children in the Dominican Republic, and they have visited them several times on mission trips. Anyone who knows Melanie agrees that she thrives on organization and detail, which explains why she loves using these skills as the bookkeeper at Forward Edge.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I have always had a passion for helping others, specifically children and those who are hurting. I love that I can use my bookkeeping skills to make an eternal difference in the lives of people around the world.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (except Jesus) who would it be and why? Probably Abraham. It would be amazing to talk with him about his faith, as he trusted God in obedience with the life of his son. I can imagine he'd enjoy telling stories of what it was like to see God provide and bless him afterward.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I love skydiving, extreme rollercoasters, and bungee jumping.
Desi is a Portland native who graduated from the Anthropology and Sociology programs at Portland State University. She has worked hard to combine her passion for people, culture, and the gospel in practical ways. Desi loves communications because it’s how people get connected to a mission and begin to work together to enact great change for God’s Kingdom.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge?
I went on my first ever mission trip with Forward Edge to Villa Esperanza in Nicaragua. God moved greatly in this experience and I was immediately hooked to what God is doing through the people in Forward Edge. Forward Edge is truly a spirit-led mission and it is easy to see God’s hand in everything they do.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why?
Since laughing is my love language, I’d have dinner with Lucille Ball, the genius, the legend. I watched re-runs of I Love Lucy growing up, and it would be pretty amazing getting the chance to laugh with her over some good food…not that vitameatavegamin stuff.
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn?
That I own a small photo booth business as a fun side job.
Following the market crash in 2008, Ashley began photographing foreclosed, or soon-to-be foreclosed homes for BPOs. After the market recovered she transitioned into a management position at a leading real estate office in Portland. She soon had a vision to create a real estate photography business of her own called RE PIXS. Fast-forward 4 years later and RE PIXS has grown into a thriving business, and has committed to making a positive difference in the world by donating a percentage of their proceeds to Sell a Home, Save a Child.
What drew you to the mission of Forward Edge? I was introduced to Forward Edge at their 2016 Banquet, I was so impressed that my company RE PIXS ended up becoming a member of Sell a Home, Save a Child (SAHSAC). Shortly after we started donating I was contacted by Forward Edge staff to meet and talk about my business and how I could be an even more engaged part of SAHSAC. I told them that with my background in business, I would love to volunteer any of my time to help grow SAHSAC. Not long after this conversation I received an email asking if I’d be interested in being more than a volunteer, and was asked to take the Campaign Manager position with SAHSAC. After many prayers for direction in my life God has pointed all of his arrows to Forward Edge and has made the path of transition so easy that there is no way He hasn’t been guiding me on this journey.
If you could have dinner with any person in history (excluding Jesus) who would it be and why? Socrates — I’d just like to listen to him speak. He inspires me because of his constant striving to learn and grow throughout his entire life. One of my favorite prayers from him would be “I pray to thee, O God, to be beautiful within.”
What is something about you others are often surprised to learn? I started my first business when I was 19, and was able to essentially retire at 24. Now I get to work on passion projects, and spend my time traveling!