We bring God's Word into places of desperate need, with a focus on those in recovery and restoration.
We gather in community to celebrate and worship, as a redeemed people free and full in Christ.
We give back by raising up leaders through serve opportunities, discipleship groups, and leadership training.
NorthEast of the Well began because a few people heard and obeyed God’s call to GO. They stepped into an unfamiliar place and brought God’s Word to residents in a county recovery program.
The result was newfound relationships with God and each other – as well as dramatically changed lives. This group longed to remain connected; they needed a place to stay encouraged and accountable in sobriety and in Christ. A group of men, women and children began to meet regularly to enjoy fellowship, worship, and Biblical teaching. In addition, people continued to GO out into dark and desperate places to share a message of hope with those still in need. As the mission continued, NorthEast of the Well was born.
Over the past few years, our ministry has inflated to cover new territory and reach many more lives seeking change. We reach out locally, gather in community, and rise up in leadership. Through all we do, the mission of NorthEast of the Well remains the same: to go to those in need and declare that grace, new life, and full restoration can be found in Christ Jesus.
“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see about a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’” [John 4:28-29]The name NorthEast of the Well comes from scripture, in John chapter 4, where a woman has a life-changing encounter with Christ. This woman came to a well to draw water at mid-day, in hopes of avoiding human contact. She was living a life she was ashamed of, marked by sin and failure.
Christ met her here with intention. He validated her worth; He spoke truth into her situation. Despite her attempt to remain unseen, the Savior saw her. He called her to higher living and freedom from sin.Forever, this woman was changed by the Man she met at the well. With excitement and passion she returned to her home town, which was located “north east” of the well. She told others what she had seen and heard, spreading the message of grace. In this beautiful transformation, the outcast became the witness.
We believe Christ always makes the first move: Christ sought her –Christ saw her –Christ spoke with her. We, at NorthEast of the Well, aim to find people where they’re at; in their current state, space and situation. We step outside, we seek them out, and we speak with hope.
We believe that an encounter with Christ results in a life changed for the better, and we continue to beckon others with this call: “Come, see about a Man …”
Laura is our Founder, Pastor, and Executive Director. Her ministry career is marked by a burden for the Gospel and a passion for reaching the marginalized. Laura uses her own history of addiction, recovery and faith to identify with those struggling. She has spent the last 17 years in mission work, including local community development, global evangelism, disaster relief, and jail ministry. She is married to Tim Suk, director of Orange County Teen Challenge, and lives for the promise of Zephaniah 3:14-17.
Heather is overwhelmed with the authenticity in brokeness that she has come to see at NorthEast of the Well. Her gifts are in administration, and her heart is to support and equip others to go out and do that work that Christ has called them to do. She is blessed by the opportunity to serve the staff and community at NorthEast. She is awestruck by the sweet tenderness of her Savior in Hosea 2:14.
When Kristel first experienced NorthEast in 2011, she was blown away by the unabashed worship she witnessed. Soon, she began volunteering and leading worship for our community. In fall 2014, Kristel came on staff full-time to help with leadership development, music ministry, communications and special event projects. Kristel is passionate to spread the Good News far and wide, and see others rise up to claim their full potential in Christ, embracing “life to the full” (John 10:10).
Pepper was born into an alcohol and drug addicted family. Her own addiction to meth ripped her of self-worth and she spent over half of her adult life in and out of jail. Once she handed it all over to the Lord, God transformed her through His love and grace. She is now an important part of our ministry, under-girding our operations with support and providing a willingness to help wherever needed. Pepper is a proud wife, and mother of two beautiful boys. Her heart is now set on Psalm 119:33.
Jen’s drug dealing and addiction led her to face a near-death experience. After this reality check, she began recovery at Heritage House North in Anaheim. During her stay, she met NorthEast of the Well at weekly gatherings and bible study. Jen was reminded God had a good plan for her life. Today, Jen is changed: she says she’s been given a new set of eyes to see through, a new mouth from which she speaks, and ears to hear the gospel through every one of life's encounters. Jer. 29:11 is her verse!
When Catherine was introduced to NorthEast, she immediately identified with the community. Having faced the effects of sexual and emotional trauma, she experienced transformation and the love of Christ while in relationship with other believers. She exchanged the pain of her past for a brand new future! Catherine brings a wealth of knowledge from studies in Pastoral Leadership and Children’s Ministry, and is excited to walk alongside others toward their God-given destinies. She holds to 2 Cor 5:17.
Bethany struggled with addiction all of her adult life, which ultimately ended in losing custody of her 2 precious boys. She believes the Lord used social services to intervene and awaken her from a drug-enslaved nightmare. While living at a rehabilitation center, she met NorthEast of the Well, who came every week to do Bible Study. As God restored her, Bethany began using her gift of music to lead worship. She now lives Prov. 3:6: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Mary brings over 30 years of experience through various community, international, and church-related volunteer/board positions. She also serves with Powerhouse Ministries in Watts LA, reaching out to inner city children and families. Mary has personally witnessed the transforming power of Christ in the lives of many. She is a member of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, and holds a Masters of Science degree in Nursing, specializing in education and management. In addition to healthcare consulting, Mary has held various management positions at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Deerfield, Illinois as well as at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Mary is blessed to have a husband, John, of 35 years, and two grown sons and a daughter-in-law. She remains committed to the Lord, and passionate about His commandment to love and serve one another in His name. “To whom much has been given, much is expected.”
Don is a longtime member of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and is currently serving his second term as a deacon. He has participated in a number of ministries through St. Andrew’s, including the Back Pack Ministry (a back-to-school initiative), Teen Challenge and Mika Surf Camp. Don has been in the hospitality business for over thirty years and understands the culture of service and caring. He is also a Board Member for the Collins School of Hospitality at Cal. Poly, Pomona. Don has been married for 27 years to his wife, Sandra. They have two sons, Don IV and Ethan. He loves the ocean, surfing, travel and reading. He is encouraged by the transformational work that is being done within the community of North East of the Well. Because of incarnation, he knows we can say, “God is with us.”
Shawn Reilly joined the NorthEast of the Well Board in April 2016, though he has provided support for the ministry since it began in 2008. He has served as a Minister and Executive Director at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach since 2007 after serving San Clemente Presbyterian Church from 2002–2007. Shawn has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from USC and a MBA from Chapman University. While attending USC, he met his wife of 25 years and they now have three teenagers. Shawn has been seen, over the years, at the St. Andrew’s NorthEast of the Well gathering serving meals with his staff or life group. Shawn's biggest goal while serving on the board is to help reach new churches, new people, while addressing the needs of generational sin so families can flourish in their to faith in Jesus Christ.
As Executive Director of Southern California Teen Challenge, Ron oversees ten locations throughout the region that minister through comprehensive, Christ-centered outreach, recovery and prevention programs for those of all ages, whose lives have been broken by addiction, abuse and other life-controlling issues. In addition to its year-long recovery programs for men, women and adolescents, Teen Challenge reaches out through local schools and neighborhoods with hope and encouragement to inner-city youth at risk of gang affiliation and drug abuse. Ron is passionate about leadership development and is deeply invested in encouraging pastors and Christian leaders locally, nationally and internationally. He played a foundational role in the establishment and growth of NorthEast of the Well and he continues to minister to our community as a pastor, mentor, partner and friend.
Emily has been actively involved in missions work for the past twenty years. As a volunteer for Royal Family Kids Camp, she saw firsthand the effect of addiction and abuse on young lives. After helping start an Adopt-A-Family Christmas program, she wanted to go deeper, as part of an ongoing, relational ministry. Emily was a founding board member of MIKA CDC in Costa Mesa. She helped establish and lead a discipleship program for Teen Challenge graduates called Partners In Christ before joining the Heritage House Bible Study team. This Monday night Bible Study led to founding what is now of NorthEast of the Well.
Sandra Morgan is recognized globally for her expertise in combatting human trafficking and for her groundbreaking work surrounding issues of women and justice. Currently, she heads the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University, an organization that builds capacity for research, education and advocacy related to the exploitation of women and children. In addition, she oversees the Women’s Studies Minor as well as teaching Family Violence and Human Trafficking. Sandra is the University Network Chair for the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) and also serves on US Congressman Ed Royce’s Anti Human Trafficking Advisory Committee. Sandra is married to a pastor and they are the parents of two adult daughters.