Lighthouse Ministries was founded in early 2001 with the vision of establishing a missions base in S.E. Asia. On January 17, 2002, the Burke family arrived in Cambodia with four goals for the ministry:
1. To be a Christian presence in S.E. Asia
2. To minister to orphans, widows and the poor
3. To train indigenous leadership
4. To provide job training
The vision to minister in S.E. Asia was given to Lewis and Kristen Burke in 1993. The Burkes were newly married and Lewis was finishing his degree at a small college in East Tennessee. During one of his classes, there was a lecture on Pol Pot and all that happened to the Khmer people during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. The Holy Spirit began to break Lewis and Kristen’s heart for the nation of Cambodia.
After finishing college, Lewis served as a youth pastor at Covenant Life Church in Morristown, TN. After serving in Morristown Lewis and Kristen served as the junior couple on a church planting team in Johnson City, TN. After seven years of marriage, they felt the release to serve in the nation of Cambodia. Heritage and Hosanna Fellowships agreed that it was time for the Burke family to make the move and commissioned them to go.