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Gary Baer

Co-FOUNDER/Board member

Gary completely surrendered his life to the Lord in 2004 after a thirty year battle with drug and alcohol addiction.  Now, with a Bachelors in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute and a Masters in Evangelism and Leadership from Wheaton College, Gary has been preaching, teaching, mentoring, and counseling men in recovery alongside his career in information technology since 2006.  As chaplain of the facility, he provides spiritual direction for the entire organization.  He is currently pursuing his Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling through Aurora University.  Gary is blessed with three adult daughters: Maggie, Laurissa, and Sara.

 
 
 
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Linda Baer

Co-FOUNDER/president of the Board

Linda came to a saving knowledge of Christ while reading the Bible from front to back cover at age forty.  Freed from years of workaholism, Linda went on to obtain a Masters degree in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College and has subsequently retired from a thirty-year career in physical therapy.  She has since discovered her personal ministry calling in providing free healthcare to those in need.  Today, she organizes the clinics, trains and recruits volunteers, and oversees many administrative functions for the ministry.  Linda is currently pursuing her second of three certificates in biblical counseling from the Christian Counseling Education Foundation.  Married since 2005, Linda and Gary attend Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora.      

 
 
 
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Marina Koval

board member/director of free healthcare

Born in the Ukraine, Marina immigrated to America through World Relief in 1999.  She graduated with her Doctorate of Pharmacy from UIC in May 2017.  Her desire to know God personally began when she read the Bible after being inspired by Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life.  It was from this point on that she developed a heart for serving the Lord on the mission field.  It was only nine months after she first volunteered that she became the new Director of Free Healthcare.  She is a member of the Russian-speaking Evangelical Church of Holy Trinity in Hickory Hills.  Marina lives with her parents and six siblings in Montgomery.

 
 
 
 
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Tim Smith

Board member/Chaplain

Taking an early retirement, Tim comes to us after a 36 year career in the oil industry. Having become serious about his relationship with Jesus Christ after hard times in 1993, he “can’t imagine a better way to spend this season” of his life. His heart for the ministry is an extension of his previous experience in support and recovery ministry combined with personal experience. As chaplain, his role is to oversee our men’s recovery ministry, pray with the patrons, shepherd the volunteers, and to provide spiritual oversight of the ministry. Tim says, "I've always felt that God's hand has been on me and that He had plans for my life. I started volunteering at Mission Possible and immediately knew that this is where God wants me to be.” Tim and his wife, Sue, live in Yorkville just down the street from their married daughter and four grandkids. They also have a son who lives out of state. He and his wife enjoy running 5K races in their free time. 

 
 
 
 

Juli Pealstrom

Board member/dental hygienist

Born and raised in Aurora, Juli responded to God's call on her life at age nineteen.  Since that time, she has found various ministry outlets including an eleven year commitment serving on the board at Crisis Pregnancy Clinic.  With a forty year career in dental hygiene, she feels volunteering at Mission Possible was an "answer to prayer" to utilize her God given gifts locally.  This experience gave her just the right training to help plant a dental clinic in Colombia.  Juli has raised and homeschooled five children.  She attends the Vineyard in Aurora.

 
 
 
 
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Mark Nowak

Board Member/volunteer on duty

After growing up in the church and drifting away, Mark gave up trying to earn his salvation at the age of 31 and finally rested in God's saving grace.  Though retired from a thirty-three year career in the petrochemical industry, he continues to teach chemistry at two local colleges.  Mark is a gifted worship leader, but you can even catch him play a set at the local coffee shop.  As a result of close family members who continue to struggle with addiction, Mark is naturally drawn to teach, mentor, and encourage the men in our recovery ministry.  Married to Cindy since 1970, the two attend Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora. They have two adult daughters and two precious grandchildren, Bella and Emmett.  Mark's life verse is found in John 16:33.