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The Better Roads Podcast

The Better Roads Podcast

By Open Bible Churches
Everyone has a story of their journey – and God loves to participate in those stories. Join President Randall A. Bach as he explores another “Better Roads” adventure!
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A Conversation with Dave Bethany
Dave Bethany has traveled with MOVE ministries on 32 trips, constructing buildings around the world. For many of those trips he has served as the director of construction. A man who owns his own construction company and consulting service in Los Angeles, Dave gives anywhere from three to five weeks each year, investing not just in construction of buildings, but also in the building of men. In this episode of Better Roads, Dave converses with Randall about his experiences, the miracles God has performed, and the life-giving work God has been doing in the lives of men who join a MOVE team. To learn more about MOVE, apply to go on a construction trip, or contribute, go to Encourage someone else to go as well!
September 16, 2022
A Conversation with Deodath Mathai
Pastor Deodath Mathai began his life journey in Trinidad. When he embraced Christ as Savior and Lord, Deodath’s people, of Hindu belief, shunned him. He faced a lonely journey, but he loved the Lord and was committed to Him. Deodath went to the Open Bible Institute, where he fell in love with and married Jean, and the two soon began pastoring. Partly in response to a prophetic word, the couple chose to migrate to the United States. God led them to pastor a church in West Palm Beach, Florida, with only four people in attendance. In the years since, God has blessed the Mathais, and today, New Horizon Worship Center is a thriving, multicultural church. In this episode of Better Roads Deodath talks about his journey, shares insights he has learned about growing a multicultural church, and celebrates the better roads he has taken in life that directly impact who he is and the ministry effectiveness he is experiencing today.
September 02, 2022
A Conversation with Jim Beaird
Jim Beaird has been a pastor and a regional executive director for Open Bible Churches. He is now flourishing in a post-retirement chapter of ministry as an author. From leadership and spiritual development books to novels, Jim’s keyboard has become prolific! In this episode of Better Roads Jim talks about how his writing began and continues to expand, what inspires him, and the discipline involved in writing and publishing books. Jim has prayed for the Lord to grant him more influence for God in this season of writing than in all of his earlier years of service. You can find his books on Amazon by searching for Jim Beaird under the books tab.
August 19, 2022
A Conversation with George Williams
George Williams is the enthusiastic director for the RAM Network, the church planting arm of East Region Open Bible Churches. A church planter who turned over pastoral leadership of the church he planted to someone else so he could help other planters, George is passionate about serving God and loving people. He and his wife, Sarah (a former guest on Better Roads) minister together as they travel. Sarah has a prophetic anointing and George ministers from the Word of God. In this episode of Better Roads, George converses with Randall about his journey, about learning to hear from and follow the Lord.
August 05, 2022
A Conversation with Jolene Hodder
Jolene Hodder, along with her husband, Kenneth, are commissioned with the Salvation Army. Kenneth was a successful corporate lawyer and Jolene was a successful retailer/designer. Then, God spoke to both of them about giving themselves to full time ministry. Years later, Kenneth is the commander over all of the Salvation Army and Jolene is also a national leader with the Salvation Army. How does one go from the “good life,” with money and material possessions, and change to a different life that includes missionary stints around the world, including eight in Africa, and to full time service? Randall explores Jolene’s journey, how God spoke to her, and how the Lord continues to adapt and employ all of her previous experience. This is a delightful testimony, filled with joy.
July 15, 2022
A Conversation with Ken Groen
Randall refers to Ken and Nadine Groen as poster models for retirement. For 11 years they have done retirement exceedingly well. A former pastor and regional executive director, Ken has been successful wherever he has served, and continues to succeed at retirement. Randall explores with Ken what has kept Ken and Nadine vibrant and delighting in this chapter of life.
July 01, 2022
A Conversation with Savannah Marten
Savannah Marten is the Executive Director of the Pregnancy Center of Greater Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Under her leadership the center is committed to providing limited medical care for women and families, after-abortion care, and Soul Purpose, a national ministry piloted and launched by Savannah and her team with a goal of raising up college-age women in their value, worth, and identity. Abortion is such a strongly divisive and emotional topic, but Savannah demonstrates a heart and spirit that lovingly disarms heated arguments. She is passionately in love with Jesus (and her husband, Ryan) and sees life as an opportunity to lead as many people to heaven as possible. In this episode of Better Roads, Savannah offers insightful coaching for people who care about the pre-born and who want to please the Lord in living out that care. To find a Pregnancy Center near you, go HERE. Read Savannah's article featured in The Message HERE.
June 17, 2022
A Conversation with Chris Cavan
Chris Cavan is a husband, father of six children elementary age and younger, pastor, and digital media manager for Open Bible Churches. How does he coordinate all of those responsibilities? In this edition of Better Roads Randall visits with Chris about his journey and its challenges and joys.
June 03, 2022
A Conversation with Betty Brown
Betty Brown came to the U.S. from Costa Rica as a ten-year old girl. She learned a new language, obtained a college education, and met and married her husband. A strong, entrepreneurial leader, Betty became chief operations officer at a medical facility. But she stepped away from her successful career to direct the Portland Open Bible Church food pantry. Randall visits with Betty about her fascinating journey and reasons for the roads she has chosen.
May 20, 2022
A Conversation with Dan Carlson
Dan Carlson has been so many things! He has filled roles as a television weathercaster, producer, news anchor, and writer. He is a pastor, member of the Open Bible National Board of Directors. Dan is also a writer of a best-selling science fiction book. How does one navigate life with such a wide variety of pursuits? How does he or she know when it is time to move from one to the other? In this edition of Better Roads, Randall and Dan discuss Dan’s journey, decisions, what energizes him, and the life-roads he has chosen that have been pivotal to who he is today.
May 06, 2022
A Conversation with Steve & Jan Mathews
Steve and Jan Mathews care deeply about helping blended families as they themselves have lived out the experience! In this edition of Better Roads, Randall converses with the couple about their journey and some of the results they are seeing as they serve as full-time missionaries to blended families. The Mathews are also available to help churches start their own ministries to blended families in their communities. To learn more about this ministry, to contact Steve and Jan, or to invest in what they are doing, use these links or phone numbers: Jan Mathews (c) 515-205-7540 Steve Mathews (c) 515-494-6565 Give site:
April 15, 2022
A Conversation with Darrick Young
Darrick Young’s passion is for the Church to reach and influence our culture for Christ rather than standing outside of culture and preaching to it. A value of the church he pastors, Journey Church in Urbandale, Iowa, is “Church that makes sense.” Join this stimulating conversation with Randall and Darrick as they discuss how the church can connect with its community. More than just offering techniques, Darrick’s vision incorporates heart, mindset, and even the language we use. If you care that your church makes sense to your community, this episode of Better Roads is for you.
April 01, 2022
A Conversation with Kwabea Francis
Kwabea Francis was born in England and moved to the USA with her parents when she was a child. A woman of color, Kwabea was soon introduced to racial discrimination and name calling when she went to American schools. However, her mother taught Kwabea how to not respond in kind, a lesson she continued to teach when she became a mother. How do we build bridges that please the Lord between races? Kwabea shares insights from her heart and experience in this episode of Better Roads.
March 18, 2022
A Conversation with Gary Khan
After 31 years of serving in one church, Pastor Gary Khan felt God stirring him about broadening his world of ministry by accepting an opportunity to serve as Executive Director of Operations for Marketplace Chaplains in Southern California and actively pursuing writing. He now has more than one book to his credit and is working on another. In this edition of Better Roads Gary discusses hearing from God, how to get started in writing, and the discipline involved in writing a book. Gary’s new journey has generated deep and rich insights.
March 04, 2022
A Conversation with Paula Sutherland
Paula Sutherland pastors a church with her husband and also has her own business as a life coach. In this edition of Better Roads Randall explores Paula’s journey and some of the profound insights she has gained as a life coach about life in general and how to become everything God desires us to be.
February 18, 2022
A Conversation with Diane Brennan
Diane Brennan began parenting her adopted boys like she had been parented. But everything she thought she knew or understood about parenting was turned upside down when she and her husband, Rick, discovered their world included autism. Life would never be the same. In this episode of Better Roads Dianne shares some of the powerful lessons learned from her journey.
February 04, 2022
A Conversation with Duane Sayre
What is the call of God? How do you know or find it? What is life like when you discover and follow God’s call? In this Better Roads conversation Pastor Duane Sayre joyfully shares his own unique experiences and insights about the call of God.
January 21, 2022
A Conversation with Ximena Urra
She did not know about it until she was an adult, but Ximena Urra was supposed to have been aborted. A native of Chile, Ximena was running her own life, which included singing in many places, until one day, while singing in church, God said to her, “This is my place!” It was the first jolt in a life that became wholly surrendered to the Lord. Randall unpacks Ximena’s moving story, including a stunning revelation by her mother, in this edition of Better Roads.
January 07, 2022
A Conversation with Jorge Navarrete
Jorge Navarrete was born in Mexico but sought greater opportunity by becoming a citizen of the United States. He wanted to be a pilot in the military, but God had other plans. Today Jorge not only pastors a growing and thriving Hispanic church in Antioch, California, that he planted, he also serves as Clerk Executive Officer Supreme Court of California! In this issue of Better Roads, Randall converses with Jorge about his fascinating journey – how the Lord found him, how Jorge met his wife, and how the Lord guided Jorge into such vital roles of leadership.
December 17, 2021
A Conversation with John Geissler
If you look up the word “entrepreneur” in the dictionary, you should really see John Geissler’s picture. He was a pastor and still is, but with a greatly expanded congregation. He founded and leads Agape Distribution, which distributes thousands upon thousands of pounds of food to the needy. Agape also blesses nonprofits with other goods as well. In addition, John teaches and ministers around the world. In this issue of Better Roads, Randall explores what makes this man operate with such passion, excitement, and innovation.
November 19, 2021
A Conversation with Nicole
In this edition of Better Roads, Randall converses with Nicole, a young missionary to the Middle East. Nicole was headed for medical school with intentions of becoming a doctor, but God interrupted with a change of calling. She is becoming more accomplished in speaking Arabic and learning how to engage a culture. And this as a young, single woman in the Middle East. How does that happen and work? What did her family and friends think about her new direction? Nicole’s youthful pizzaz, love, and joy will inspire you.
October 15, 2021
A Conversation with Drew Welch
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall visits with missionary Drew Welch. Drew and his wife, Jessica, and their children, Ian, Kayla, and Kirsten, are missionaries-at-large with Open Bible Churches to Liberia, West Africa. Drew was a school teacher before becoming a missionary. He transparently answers questions like What is it like being a missionary? How does one become aware of a call to missions? And, What adjustments are necessary? You will want to hear Drew share about his family’s journey from Indiana to West Africa and how God has gone before and with them throughout.
September 17, 2021
A Conversation with Mike & Dara Rasavanh
Mike and Dara Rasavanh, Open Bible Churches’ missionaries to Southeast Asia, were children of refugees. In an amazing re-routing, God has led them back to the region of their births to share His love. However, they have personal reflections about what it is like to be refugees and Randall converses with them about that in this edition of Better Roads.
September 08, 2021
A Conversation with Renita Collins
Renita Collins is an executive pastor who serves with her husband, Frank, Jr., who is lead pastor. She also is a writer, speaker, hair dresser and, most important, a mother. Renita is also the first African American woman to serve as a member of the Open Bible Churches’ national board of directors. In this edition of “Better Roads” Renita thanks the Lord for His provision and direction for life.
August 20, 2021
A Conversation with Hannah Bemis
Hanna Bemis is a writer, editor, substitute teacher, tutor, church prayer coordinator, and member of the Pacific Region board of directors. She lived a “charmed” life until a medical diagnosis for her child collided with Hannah’s comfort zone. In this conversation Hannah shares about her journey, including how God led her into a new place of relationship with and trust in Him.
July 16, 2021
A Conversation with Michael Hines
Michael Hines is a native of Britain and now pastors Foundations Church, an Open Bible church in Williamsburg, Virginia, a town that played a significant role in the Revolutionary War.  Michael shares about the miraculous provision of God.
June 18, 2021
A Conversation with Kevin Starkey
Kevin Starkey shares about his Canadian birth, escape from being murdered, acting career in New York City, and present ministry to students.
May 21, 2021
A Conversation with Jaccie Kenyon
Randall converses with Jaccie Kenyon, who is a lead pastor, district director, and member of a regional board. Does a woman pastor have to do some things differently than a man? Jaccie shares about how God called and opened the door to her leading a church congregation.
April 16, 2021
A Conversation with Ed Stetzer
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall talks with Dr. Ed Stetzer about his book, Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst. We will discuss ways the book applies to our contemporary American culture so saturated in anger. Even Christians have been drawn into heated and coarse rhetoric during and since the 2020 presidential election. Where do we go from here to influence our culture for Christ?
March 19, 2021
A Conversation with Edgar Figueroa
Randall visits with Edgar Figueroa, a pastor in Hialeah, Florida, about his journey from an intended medical career, to Christian school administrator, to pastor. Edgar shares how his family chose to go from “riches to rags.”
February 19, 2021
A Conversation with Dr. Craig Keener
In this special edition of Better Roads, Randall converses with Dr. Craig Keener, one of the nation’s foremost Charismatic New Testament scholars and professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. Randall and Dr. Keener discuss prophecy, its purpose, “political” prophecies, prophetic accountability, and what to do if one feels the Holy Spirit moving them into prophetic ministry.
February 04, 2021
A Conversation with Sarah Williams
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall converses with Sarah Williams. Sarah has a prophetic mantle but does not fit into the frequent stereotype of prophets or prophetesses. She is not angry! Is it possible that God would use someone prophetically through a soft, loving, beckoning, and gentle voice? Sarah is Exhibit A. She shares from her journey, including how she discovered God wanted to use her in a prophetic manner, how she ventured into operation of that gift, and what she believes about the place of prophecy in ministry today.
January 22, 2021
A Conversation with Josh Bingaman
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall talks with Pastor Josh Bingaman, who Randall refers to as a “Happy Warrior.” Josh was not always so joyful. In fact, he started off on a wrong road that included jail time. Today, he is gifted with special insight into those who are confused about their direction in life or even actively rebelling against God. You won’t miss Josh’s joy. It comes through loud and clear in this episode.
December 18, 2020
A Conversation with Kris Beaird
In this episode of Better Roads Randall converses with Kris Beaird, who has been a national women’s ministry leader, pastor’s spouse, and now is a professional coach. Although she is admiringly viewed as “successful,” Kris has also experienced difficult and discouraging days on her journey but is now able to look upon them through the eyes of God’s grace and seasoning that comes with life. There is an introspective humility in Kris as she shares nuggets of truth she has learned along the way. She would love to be an encouragement to you.
November 13, 2020
A Conversation with Luke Harden
Randall converses with Luke Harden, Des Moines Police Detective, about the opportunities and challenges of serving in law enforcement today. Hear how Luke views it as his calling and identifies the roads that have been pivotal choices in his life.
October 16, 2020
A Conversation with Chris Hansler
In this episode of Better Roads Randall converses with Chris Hansler, who was recently appointed as the Pacific Regional Executive Director. 
September 18, 2020
A Conversation with Somkong Vong
Pastor Somkong Vong, lovingly known by others as Kong, is a survivor. A child of refugees, Kong obtained a college degree and is a math teach at East Des Moines High School, in Des Moines, Iowa. She also serves as pastor of Lifesong Church in Des Moines, a predominantly Asian body of Open Bible believers. Kong’s life as high school teacher and pastor was full enough, but then cancer attacked her body. Rather than being discouraged Kong has kept her head high, her smile humbly beaming, and her gentle testimony for Christ genuine. In this episode of Better Roads Randall visits with this humble but strong leader.
August 14, 2020
A Conversation with Doug Lumpkin
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall speaks with Dr. Doug Lumpkin about his time in the military and the touching stories that he has experienced in his chaplaincy. Captain Lumpkin is currently a chaplain in the US Air Force and held the same title in both workplace ministries and a trauma hospital. Doug discusses how God called him to the chaplaincy, what he loves the most about it, and outlines the steps anyone interested in the military chaplaincy should take to pursue that ministry direction.  You can find Dr. Lumpkin's article at
July 17, 2020
A Conversation with Aaron Keller
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall visits with Pastor Aaron Keller.  Aaron is the new pastor of Sunshine Open Bible Church, in Des Moines, Iowa, and is the director of MOVE Ministries for Open Bible Churches. MOVE sends men’s construction teams around the globe to build churches, schools, learning centers, and other needed facilities. Aaron shares about a call he felt to become a missionary and how the birth of his children who are on the autism spectrum changed that dream. Life has been a journey full of learning, and today, although Aaron is not officially a missionary, God is using him to lead missions projects around the globe. This is a story of faithful persistence and obedience to God.
June 19, 2020
A Conversation with Hal Donaldson
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall visits with Hal Donaldson, founder and president of Convoy of Hope, an amazing ministry partner of Open Bible Churches. Hal talks about the humble beginnings of what has become a major  faith-based, international, humanitarian-relief organization and how the Lord overhauled his heart to make that possible. Hal also shares about some of the better roads he has discovered are wise to travel. This is truly inspirational.
May 22, 2020
A Conversation with Gary Hebden
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall converses with Gary Hebden, who is stepping down as lead pastor of The Intersection Open Bible church, in Spokane, Washington, after serving there for 33 years. Gary shares about how God called him to ministry and the process involved in reaching the decision that it is time to yield the leadership baton to someone else.
May 08, 2020
A Conversation with Jessica Francavilla
In this episode of Better Roads Randall converses with Jessica Francavilla, who underwent three abortions before experiencing new life in Christ. Jessica vulnerably shares about the guilt and pain from her choices, and about the wonderfully redemptive forgiveness of God. She also speaks lovingly and gently to every woman who has had an abortion or is contemplating having an abortion. Jessica had opportunity to speak on the steps of the United States Supreme Court about the realities and effects of abortion on women and families. You can watch Jessica's 2019 March for Life Testimony here.
April 17, 2020
A Conversation with Richie Vedilago
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall visits with Pastor Richie Vedilago, pastor of Shepherd’s House Open Bible Church, and its five branches, in New York City. Richie talks about how he knew God called him to plant the church, how it got started, and how God led the planting of branch churches out of Shepherd’s House.
March 13, 2020
A Conversation with Gary Emery
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall visits with Gary Emery, seasoned pastor and pastor of pastors, who recently lost his eyesight. While we choose many of our roads in life there are some that seem to be assigned to us without our consent. Blindness was not Gary’s choice. It was suddenly thrust upon him. Gary shares about adjustments he is making to becoming blind, about what he does with the “Why?” question, and what he is learning along the way.
February 14, 2020
A Conversation with Dannette DeLaMatter
In this episode of Better Roads, Randall has a conversation with Dannette DeLaMatter, a mother of two and an author for the Message of the Open Bible magazine. Dannette elaborates about the challenges in her life that began with the birth of a Down syndrome child who was also diagnosed with cancer in his first year. She talks about what thoughts and emotions swirled in her heart and mind and how God has changed her through this journey.  You can read Dannette's article at
December 10, 2019