Meet The Staff

Meet The Staff

Steve denHartog

Founder & President of BRIDGE Ministries
Email: steve@bridgeminlaredo.org

Steven denHartog is one of the founders of BRIDGE Ministries.  Prior to BRIDGE he served as a missionary in Mexico, teaching at a YWAM base and an orphanage for boys.   Before that he worked for a mail order company in Holland, MI.  He was a member of Vriesland Reformed Church in Zeeland, MI and served as elder.  He is currently a member of Grace Bible Church in Laredo.  He and his wife Leigh Ann have been blessed with three great kids—Joshua, Anna and Sophie.  One of his greatest joys is to see them walking with and growing in the Lord day-by-day.

Steven enjoys reading and studying theology (especially systematic theology) and teaching in Bible study and small group settings.  Favorite theologians are John Calvin, RC Sproul, John Frame and DA Carson.  Some favorite recent reads are Worldly Saints (Michael Wittmer), Evangelical Reunion (John Frame) and Seven Days That Divide the World (John Lennox).

When he’s not reading he enjoys hunting, fishing and taking trips with the family.

Leigh Ann denHartog

Co-Founder of BRIDGE Ministries
Email: ladenhartog@icloud.com

Leigh Ann is a co-founder of BRIDGE Ministries. The journey started in West Michigan with a love of teaching, mentoring, and reading.  After teaching in public schools, church, and home, she moved to Mexico at the young age of 44.  Again, she was called to teach in multiple settings like a YWAM missionary school, orphanage, in-home Bible studies/prayer groups, and home schooling.  And then God led them to Laredo…

After opening BRIDGE Ministries, Leigh Ann once again found herself teaching and mentoring.  She is thankful to the women who poured into her life so that she can now give to others.  She loves how amazing and trustworthy the Word of God is.  Recent reads this summer have been The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield and Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia by John Dunlop, MD.

When she has free time, Leigh Ann enjoys cross-stitching, arranging and pressing flowers for crafts, making things using recycled materials and nature items, studying science, tutoring, and… reading! She would enjoy gardening but it is too hot here in Laredo. She feels blessed to have all her children here and the older two’s spouses in Laredo for this season of life.  She and Steve celebrated their 31st anniversary on June 20.  To Him be the glory!

Joey Velasquez

Photographer & Videographer
Joey Velasquez is the newest member of BRIDGE Ministries, applying his love for photography and videography in Christian service. He was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and was saved by grace through faith in Christ at 21. Joey loves to make jokes, especially funny ones. Sometimes he’ll get a laugh or two.
 
Growing up Joey never liked school. He would skip so much that he was rejected from getting a driver’s license twice because they “don’t give licenses to dropouts.” But you can’t drop out if you never show up. Ironically, when God saved him, he started spending most of his time reading (along with eating and spending time with friends). He only reads Scripture and any books he’s bought at BRIDGE. His favorite Christian book is Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke. His favorite Bible text is 1Timothy 1:15. He never knew Jesus came to save sinners. In fact, he believed that Jesus hated sinners and was going to come to get all the “good” people in the world to take with him to Heaven. When God’s grace was revealed to him, he couldn’t help but fall in love with Jesus. 
 
Joey now enjoys working at BRIDGE Ministries because he gets to share his testimony with others through BRIDGE Radio and also through meaningful conversations with fellow believers in Christ who come and visit our bookstore. He loves meeting new people and hopes you’ll be one of them someday! 

Sophie denHartog

Barista

Sophie denHartog, the youngest and wisest, den Hartog is a senior in high school with plans to attend TAMIU, Fall  of 2021, to pursue a degree in the medical field. She is the OG barista and responsible for all the wonderfully curated drinks at BRIDGE Ministries. In her free time she can be found playing ultimate frisbee, harnessing her photography skills, cooking or spending time with her adorable nephew. Every Christmas season Sophie’s favorite advent to complete is Love Came Down at Christmas by Sinclair B. Ferguson. Some other recommendations are Jesus Freaks by D. C. Talk, and a current read The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis.


Sophie would like you to know that the good news is that Jesus came as truly man and truly God and sacrificed himself even to the point of death on a cross. He resurrected on the third day and defeated death. Why is this good news? It is  good news because we are sinners and in need of a Savior to be reconciled to our holy and loving Father (Philippians 2:8).

Alexandra Nava

Barista

Alexandra Nava is a senior in high school and is planning to attend Dallas Baptist University in the fall of 2021, as she strives to continue in a Christ centered environment while she studies Business Management.  She is a new member at bridge and her role is a barista.

She enjoys coordinating events such as church activities.  As well as playing ultimate frisbee with friends, baking, calligraphy and spending quality time with her family.
She is the volunteer coordinator for the Laredo life pregnancy center, she has a big heart for the unborn lives and wants to continue wherever she is to fight for the voiceless.

Daniella Villagran

Barista

Daniella Villagran graduated from Texas A&M University with her doctorate in pharmacy on May 2018, and she is now waiting to take her upcoming license exam.  She is currently a member at Grace Bible Church in Laredo, Texas and serves in the infants ministry every other month on Sunday mornings.

Her favorite hobbies are reading, reading, reading:  be it for her license exam, God’s Word, Bible studies, or the multiple books bought at BRIDGE Ministries awaiting her attention on her bookshelf.  She is currently reading The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield, and All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Her most recently finished reads include Openness Unhindered by Rosaria Butterfield and Chosen by God by R. C. Sproul.

She also enjoys crocheting on her spare time, playing fetch with her furbaby Winter Belle, and painting her nails. You can always find her sitting at the table by the window with her nose in her RX Prep book studying for her license exam, or around the store attending customers or serving drinks if she’s on the clock.  But on or off the clock, if BRIDGE is open she is there.  Otherwise, she is most likely spending quality time with her grandparents and taking them to their doctor appointments.

Kayla Martinez

Barista

Kayla Martinez is a California native who recently moved to Laredo and serves as BRIDGE Ministries’ barista. She grew up in a Christian home with a close knit family who she certainly has to attribute her faith to. Her grandparents, as well as her parents and siblings were each a big part of her spiritual growth. However, Kayla’s passion for Christ really took off after coming to Texas. BRIDGE has been a large part of that growth, providing a spiritually nourishing environment and deep, enriching conversation.

Outside of BRIDGE, Kayla takes interest in any soft science including English, philosophy, history and the arts. She is a college student aspiring to become a professor of Literature, a lover of all things associated with theatre, and a writer from childhood. When she is not in a stage production or classes, she is reading. She takes a special interest in fiction and nonfiction concerning Biblical women. Some of her favorite authors are Francine Rivers, Jill Eileen Smith and C.S. Lewis — respectively the authors of Redeeming Love, Bathsheba and The Screwtape Letters.