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John and Dianna Gross: LIFE update


The Story
In 2007 I spent about 8 months as interim pastor at a church in Concordia, MO. Dianna and I built many new friendships including Dale and Jeanie Ritter of Alma, MO. They had been volunteering with Children of Promise, which had headquarters in Alma. We had been involved with missions work since 2001. Our capabilities did not match our vision, so as C.O.P. moved their headquarters, the Lord released a plan. Judy Lieser, who did not make the move stayed in Alma, taking our vision down the road of becoming a non-profit 5013c. On January 28th, 2008 House Of Friends was born. Judy serves as the Executive Director. A board was formed and we were off and running. Don and Ruth Patterson, who were long-term missionaries, came on board. They mentor us, head up the missions department, and organize our prayer team. As of now, we have built, with your help, two orphanages in Uganda. We have feeding programs for widows and orphans in Ethiopia and the Dominican Republic. We also have a First Nations outreach.

Dianna and I have been married for 34 years. David and Angela are our two adult children, who we love very much. Between their two families, we have six grandchildren in which our lives revolve. We never have a boring moment and we never have to look for some-thing to do. We currently live in south Kansas City and are part of Kansas City Christian Fellowship, better known as The Barn. Todd and Vickie Bennett are not only our pastoral oversight, but also our friends. They have sent their kids, as well as many teams, from The Barn on our mission adventures.

We are older, I hope we have gained some wisdom from our crazy journey.

The revolving door or so it seems. I have been here before; back in 1996 my job of many years was ending, closing the door, and moving on. I had friends working at Marian Labs in KC, who put in a good word for me, and the door for a new job opened. Dianna had already had a couple of brain surgeries and KC seemed to be the place to go to be close to her doctors. We stayed in Adrian for a while, but eventually made the move, leaving our friends. We would go from seeing these friends weekly to now only seeing them yearly. It was a major shift in lifestyle, from almost daily hunting and fishing, to city life. The time I used to spend hanging out in the woods was now spent in ministry, often more ministry than I thought I could handle. Dianna has become more and more healthy. She has begun to travel with me to the reservation ministry and to the Dominican Republic, as we make plans for an orphanage there. With these doors opening we once again find one closing MY JOB. My last day at work will be June 28th 2013. I will be receiving a very nice severance package. God has been so faithful through the 17 years. Now what?

The plan is to ask the Lord where each puzzle piece goes.
The most important piece of the puzzle is prayer. PLEASE pray for us. We have been in ministry long enough to know to do nothing without prayer. We have become so dependent on the Lord we dare not do it alone. We need to hear the voice of Jesus clearly, and see the doors for what they are, open or closed. We want to respond to His calling with a yes, not a maybe! As of now this is what is planned: I leave for Uganda for two months taking several teams to tie up loose ends with our two childrens homes. We will be doing ministry as well as construction. The biggest change will be taking steps to bring Abba House in Entebbe, and Eddy Reber House in Katogwe, down the road of sustainability. Abba House will have a farm project and Katogwe will have a general store. As a board we know the economy has effected fund raising, but more than that we know Gods kingdom is not one of lack, so we are asking the Lord to raise the bar. As of now our kids eat at a standard that I would not tolerate for my own children or grandchildren, so change is on the way!
While in Uganda I will help facilitate a trip to Adilang in the NORTH. Ill join friends of ours who have a very specific call to work with children effected by war. KONY has become a well known name in the world of terror. The war is over and they need peace that only Jesus gives. Josh and Alyssa Hulme, Kathy Ruch, Alexandra Bennett, Chris Sawyer and myself would request special prayer. There are hundreds of orphans in the area.

Eddy Reber House in Katogw e

Abba House In e Entebb

Then it is off to Ethiopia, where I will be doing the same thing. We have a feeding program in Debre Marcos and we will be starting a small business to help take them into sustainability. I will be arriving back in the United States in mid September. I will be spending a few weeks with family, and then Dianna and I will be off to Northern Minnesota, doing some work on White Earth Reservation. Dianna and I will be taking a few more weeks off, then we will be heading to the Dominican Republic to check on our feeding program there. We will also be checking on the possibility of starting an childrens home there as well. That is a lot to pray for. Please pray for us! Contact me if you would like for Dianna and I to share more with you personally or with your church or group. Our web page is My email address is If you would like to help out financially, you can do that through the web page. Or send to House Of Friends, PO Box 228, Alma, MO 64001 All gifts are tax deductable. Just note where you would like it to be used. Thank you for the years of support. John and Dianna Gross