Charissa grew up as a third culture kid in the Philippines until age 11, when her family moved to Philadelphia. After completing a BA and MA in English Literature, she gradually became interested in serving others through Biblical counseling and began taking CCEF courses. This eventually led to her completing her MA in Counseling from Westminster Seminary.
She married her husband after college and, after spending 7 years in California, they moved to East Asia in 2013, where they continue to live and raise their three kids. While her husband works as a research professor, their family has had many opportunities to invest in local friends and other expats. In addition to counseling, Charissa also serves on a regional leadership team of an organization of cross-cultural workers. She loves reading and discussing good books, exploring her city, traveling with her family, trying new foods, and spending time with people of all cultures.