John Dekker was born and raised in Holland. As a young man he moved to Canada to study at Prairie Bible College in Alberta. He later studied at the Summer Institute of Linguistics, received his Master in Missiology degree from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana, and was awarded his Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary.
The Dekkers spent 21 years as missionaries to the Dani people of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Among those stoneage people he was involved in medical and linguistic work, church planting, community development, and mission administration. John founded the Maranatha Bible School in which he taught for many years.
During his many years with these tribal people who had never been in contact with the outside world, he saw them turn to Christ, changed by the Spirit of God and eventually reaching out at great sacrifice to themselves to twenty other tribes on that island. Before the Dekkers left, they saw the Church there grow from zero to more than 13,000 members in more than 80 churches. John continues to have strong ties to Dani church leaders.
Today, John serves as Mission Consultant with Partners International, encouraging Christians throughout the world to reach out to the many unreached people groups in their own or neighboring countries. He teaches missions, cross-cultural communication of the Gospel, and church planting. He also does speaking engagements in which he uses the example of the Dani church to encourage the church in the Two-Thirds world that those who have never had an opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ can be reached, and reached powerfully.
John is the author of the book Torches of Joy which tells the dramatic story of his life and ministry to the Dani. This book has been translated into ten languages. John and his wife Helen have four grown children and currently reside in Texas.