Matt and Janelle Steidinger
Matt and Janelle Steidinger were raised on Illinois farms near Fairbury and Strawn. They began dating while attending the University of Illinois and both surrendered to Jesus during this time. Married in May 1999, they lived in Kansas and then Missouri before returning to central Illinois a few years later. Prior to full time ministry, Matt was self-employed as a swine nutrition consultant and Janelle as a “domestic engineer”. They were active in their local church through prison ministry, teaching Sunday school, college campus evangelism, mentoring, and other community outreach opportunities.
In 2004, Matt and Janelle and their two oldest children spent two months in Santarem, Brazil as short-term missionaries. During this time, they were exposed to the amazing move of God in the Amazon Basin, and the value of airplanes in accessing time-consuming and/or difficult to reach areas of the Amazon for Christ. They also learned invaluable lessons from interacting with the other full-time missionaries. This trip solidified the call to the Amazon in their life—but they were still unsure as to what exactly their role would be. Matt and Janelle continued to be involved with PAZ by leading several work teams to Brazil over the next five years. Also, Matt was honored to serve as a PAZ board member for 2 years.
After numerous promptings by God, Matt began flying in 2007. The Steidingers later spent a year in Michigan, completing Bible training required for a missionary visa, and Matt also received his Airframe and Powerplant mechanic’s license from the School of Missionary Aviation Technology. The Steidinger family moved to Brazil in January 2013 and attended language school for a year near Sao Paulo. Since arriving in Santarém, Matt has been involved with airplane maintenance and pilot responsibilities and Janelle keeps busy homeschooling their four children (Mariah-16, Jaelah-14, Luke-11, Sierra-8). The entire family has helped with visiting teams and translation as needed. They are also learning the cell group/discipleship method, and Jaelah and Luke have been involved with ballet/hip-hop and street dance ministries through the PAZ church.
- Location: Santarém, PA