Both Stephen and Marion were raised in Christian homes, but come from very different customs, cultures and even continents. While Stephen grew up in the concrete jungles of Southern California, Marion was growing up in the real jungles of West Africa living in a bamboo house with pet chimpanzees. In 1985, Stephen and Marion met at Biola University in La Mirada, CA.

In 1988 they were called to West Africa with their 4 month old son David. Later they moved to Malawi and since then have added six more children; Jonathan, Nell, Caleb, Samuel, Charlotte, and Stephen; to the "Spencer hut."

Why missions? Why Africa?
Stephen says, “I never set out to be a missionary. In fact, when I was growing up, whenever the missionaries came to our church, we snuck out the back door.” For Marion it was much easier. From the time she was eight years old she wanted to be a missionary working with orphans in Bangladesh.” Stephen responds, “so we compromised and became missionaries to Africa! Actually, our calling to missions was a total and complete God initiated and instigated thing. We have just gone along for the ride.”