Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University with degrees in education, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico. Since founding the international arm of Back2Back in 1997, they have hosted thousands of guests on the ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children.
Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013), Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014), Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go (Standard Publishing, 2014) and Tales of the Never Left Alone (Standard Publishing, 2015)
Beth is the recipient of the the 2013 International Network of Children’s Ministry Legacy Award and the Cincinnati Christian University Salute to Leaders Award for the impact made on children internationally. She travels and speaks regularly at conferences, youth gatherings and church services. Her style is based in story-telling and she draws from her vast field experience as a missionary and parent of nine children for illustrations of biblical concepts.
When asked about her family’s calling to serve orphans internationally, Beth shared, “It was eighteen years ago that we started to share with a few friends and family our “whisper calling” to move to Mexico. This was met with mixed reactions. Some thought we were shortsighted or ill-equipped (they were right). Some wondered why we didn’t have training in language or Bible school (both of these would have been helpful). But here’s what I know now . . . it wasn’t dependent on us. God had been working with orphans in Mexico long before He invited us into that storyline, and it was always God—not our plan, skills, gifts, resources, passion, or ideas—that held it all together. We can read in God’s book about hundreds of other ill-equipped characters: prophets who couldn’t speak clearly, kings who were mere boys, women with sordid pasts. God knew those types of people were the most likely to ask for help and to reach out, because they knew they couldn’t do it alone.
I am asked all the time, “Where do you see Back2Back Ministries in 10 years?” It can be so tempting to try to impress the person who is asking. My flesh cries out to say something . . . the biggest thing that comes to mind. But here’s the truth: I have no idea where Back2Back will be in 10 years. I shouldn’t know, and pretending to know just puts me in a place where only God belongs. Vision ultimately is listening to the Lord and taking the next step. That’s what a mission is, listening to the Commander and following His plan. He writes the best stories. Anything I might make up wouldn’t compare to all He has in store . . . all the subplots, aftershocks, and bonus material. He is the Author and we merely are the vessels. That’s mission. And that’s where Back2Back’s story lies.”
“Throughout Scripture we see that God’s heart is for the orphans. He is in constant pursuit of them and has placed a special call on the church to care for the orphan. The church is waking to this truth at a very intense level these days and God is using Beth as a means to call the church to action on behalf of the orphan. Beth speaks clearly, powerfully, and with a passion that comes from living among and serving orphans in distress. Beth is able to deeply engage her audience in understanding the reality of life as an orphan and how the orphaned heart is affected when abandoned or abused. In a compelling way, Beth moves the openhearted person from just caring about the orphan to becoming a person who will care for the orphan. She presents the clear and emotive reality of life as an orphan in such a manner that people rise up to take action for these precious ones.”
— Steve Biondo, SVP, Family Christian Stores, President, The James Fund
“Our NASCAR community had the opportunity to hear Beth speak in our chapel at the racetrack. She captured the hearts of our community and has made a lasting impression in lives. Her heart for the orphan is evident and contagious.”
— Lonnie Clouse (Motor Racing Outreach), Lead Chaplain, NASCAR Nationwide Series
“Beth exudes Jesus in all that she does. While she’s a fantastic communicator, teacher and storyteller, what is best about her is her deep passion for Jesus. Some people just ‘talk’ about him . . . but she knows Jesus.”
— Matt Massey, Pastor, Northstar Vineyard, Cincinnati, OH
“Beth’s living stories of how God pursues his lost children created in our congregation a restlessness to bring hope to others. Thank you, Beth, for being faithful to your calling and sharing the stories of transformed lives.”
— Dain Jepson, Pastor to Families, Peninsula Covenant Church, Redwood City, CA