William was raised in the small town of Beloit, Wisconsin by Bill and Kathy Ruck. Growing up, he attended Central Christian Church in Beloit, WI. As a youth, he was active in the church youth group and led some small Bible studies.
Jo was raised in rural Minnesota on a dairy farm by Mark and Virginia Koopmeiners. She grew up attending Community Covenant Church in Upsala, MN. She was also actively involved in the church, attending youth group, helping with children’s ministries, and with worship.
William and Jo both attended Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, Missouri where William received a bachelor’s degree in Preaching Ministry and Jo received one in Youth and Family Ministry. It was there that they met and fell in love. After graduating they were married in July of 2007.
After moving to Japan in February of 2009, they both taught English at Meysen Academy in Sendai until 2011. While there they learned a lot about what it takes to live in Japan. It was a great opportunity to ease into Japanese culture. In Sendai William and Jo attended Asahigaoka Christian Church and had a great chance to be a part of a healthy functioning church in Japan.
They enjoyed teaching but decided that in 2011 they would leave their jobs to attend language school and work with Mustard Seed Christian Church in Nagoya. After spending about 9 months in language school William joined the staff of Mustard Seed part-time and began teaching English part-time. At Mustard Seed, William worked on various building projects, helped expand their small group program, and worked with various outreach programs.
In 2015 William and Jo decided to transition from their part-time work with Mustard Seed and become full-time missionaries with Christ Bible Institute (CBI) in Nagoya. While they still attend and volunteer their time at Mustard Seed on Sunday, William is working at CBI throughout the week.
Christ Bible Institute is seminary located a short walk from Nagoya station. It was founded in 2005 by Michael Oh. It's mission is to equip Japanese leaders for ministry in Japan and throughout the world.
William manages Heart & Soul Cafe, a coffee shop on the first floor of the seminary building. The coffee shop acts as the main point of community engagement for the seminary. While having an evangelistic focus the cafe also strives to equip Christian leaders within the seminary as well. We hope that the cafe can be a "ministry laboraty" of sorts and empower students to participate in, lead, and develop outreach events. Our hope is to give students real hands on ministry experience that they can take with them into the rest of Japan.