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True Passions – Steve Overlin

Author: David Davolt
Published on: December 31, 2020

Steve Overlin started life in Sheridan, Wyoming, then moved to Oregon with his family after his freshman year of high school. Graduating from Beaverton High School in 1966, he attended classes at a few different colleges in Portland and Vancouver. He was drafted into the Army in 1968 towards the end of the Vietnam Conflict. In 1975 he received an Electronic Engineering degree and continued to take college classes in drafting, geology, zoology, electronics, law enforcement, and chemistry until 1990. He met his wife, Becky, during this time, and they were married in 1979. Today they are blessed with a son, Jeff, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren!

Church wasn’t a significant part of Steve’s life growing up. But when he met Becky, he reluctantly started attending with her. He became a follower of Christ at age 38, and soon church leaders were recognizing his leadership abilities. They asked him to teach a Sunday school class, and he quickly realized he knew very little about the Bible.

Becky was a pediatric nurse at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital until she retired in 2015. She has had a heart for missions since childhood. They talked and prayed, and even though Steve had seen some success in the business world, they decided to change direction in life and pursue Bible college training. The decision was between nearby Puget Sound Christian College and Boise Bible College. They had grown weary of the daily Seattle-Tacoma rush hour, his company didn’t have any part-time positions available, and Boise Bible had welcomed them warmly. So they quit their jobs, sold their home in Gig Harbor, and moved into a small RV behind the BBC gym for three months before buying a home nearby.

From the very beginning, at the all-school camping trip, camaraderie and a supportive family-type atmosphere formed between faculty and students, which impressed Steve. Professors Dale Cornett and Dan Cameron had the most profound impact on him. Kenny Beckman also had an undeniable influence. He found them to be personable, patient, and a great joy to be around.

Steve recalls one day in class, taking a test. He sat back to think, and the man in front of him did the same. The man moved his small ponytail with a pipe cleaner in it to an upright position like an antenna receiving the info he needed. Steve lost his train of thought at that!

The College was expanding facilities while Steve was a student, and he spent time working on the administrative building and library classroom building. It kept him busy and allowed him to share some of his skills with the College. Steve graduated in 1996 with a BA degree.

God’s people need to fight the good fight, having mercy on those who doubt, and save others by snatching them from the fire (Jude 22-23), that God will be honored and glorified in our lives.

Steve Overlin

He has maintained contact with some friends from those days and really looks forward to Spring Conference each year where they can reconnect.

Steve and Becky have been involved in many ministries and done many things, but their true passion is ministering to God’s global servants and their children and parents. For 14 years, they have served as Care Associates for Global Workers with Pioneer Bible Translators, which takes them around the world. Steve teaches courses in “Bush Mechanics” and Becky in “Health Care.”

Three years were spent in Zimbabwe, ministering with a team to a group of ten preachers and churches in two language groups, which grew from 35 to 43 churches. Their last year in Zim was during election time. The hospital staff was threatened. People were harassed, beaten, and raped. Homes were burned down by violent thugs armed with torches, clubs, and axes, who marched and sang threatening songs in loud voices in the middle of the night around the mission station. More than once, Steve was stopped on the road by thugs with clubs and axes. Steve and Becky give God the glory for protecting them during these times.

The Overlins’ ministry has taken them to refugee camps in North Africa, to Siberia in November, and to many countries in between. A particularly important aspect of their ministry is spending time with the children of global workers, getting to know them, and letting them talk about whatever is on their minds.

Boise Bible College totally changed the trajectory of Steve’s life. It helped him find resources and tap into them. His love for the Lord has deepened, and he came to realize he wanted to serve in full-time ministry for the rest of his life. Scholarship, humility, and community among the faculty and staff permeated the atmosphere of BBC. He is excited to see innovative approaches being taken as well. His hope is for the BBC graduates to stay relevant in a world where so many are far from God.

He has a passion for being able to minister in an ever-changing world. He and Becky are officially retired from their secular jobs but haven’t slowed down in their ministry work. Besides serving with Pioneer Bible Translators, they are part of the planning team for Week of Missions at Winema Christian camp. They have been innovative in providing encouragement, counseling, and packets of goodies for all the global workers that attend. They are also involved at Rainer View Christian Church in Tacoma, WA. They often open their home in University Place, WA, to global workers between trips around the world.

For those considering Bible college and others who should consider Bible college, Steve offers some thoughts:

  • Since the beginning of time, Satan has launched a concerted effort to deceive and maintain a stranglehold on God’s people. He is committed to convincing people that God is a myth and that the natural world is what is eternal.
  • Steve believes every young person should serve in the military (he served 6 years in the US Army, himself) and take the opportunity to see what Satan is doing in other countries. Soldiers receive physical training and experience military discipline that prepares them for life.
  • In the same way, he believes all young people should learn spiritual discipline at Bible college.
  • If followers of Jesus aren’t equipped with the armor of God (Ephesians 6), then non-Christian peers, political activists, secular movies, liberal news networks, and social media will do all they can to twist our minds and trap us in what Jesus died to save us from.
  • So, God’s people need to fight the good fight, having mercy on those who doubt, and save others by snatching them from the fire (Jude 22-23), that God will be honored and glorified in our lives.
  • Bible college is a great place to prepare for this, and Boise Bible College is a good choice!