Updated: Jun 23, 2020
How We Got Here and Where We Are Going
There are times in our lives when God moves dramatically. Yet, these moves are seldom a result of a single moment, but are instead often brought on by a variety of smaller movements pieced together intentionally for His purposes. Over the past few years, God has gifted me with an amalgamation of these moments and experiences and they have culminated into the forming of an ever-growing vision and plan for the coming years of my life.
In 2016, I felt God prompting me to go work for a summer in Alaska. This led to me work for a flightseeing company in Talkeetna, Alaska called K2 Aviation. While there, I not only expanded my knowledge of aviation- the field in which I was getting my degree- but it also allowed me to learn a lot about the unique Alaskan culture and way of life. This culture- though rich in comradery and adventure (as could be expected)- showed itself to be a very spiritually dark place. Though I had expected to find Alaska to be a spiritually struggling place, I hadn’t expected it to be as obvious and widespread amongst the people as it was. Being the only Christian in a small Alaskan town resulted in a time of loneliness, but also a time of intense spiritual growth. Concluding that experience, I felt that my time in Alaska had allowed me to grow and I had leaned on God in ways I had never done before. Even still, it had been a difficult time amongst difficult people. Upon leaving, I vividly remember my dad asking me if I would ever live again in Alaska, to which my answer was “No… unless God calls me back.”
In the spring of 2018 God called me back to Alaska. But this time it wasn’t to the small town of Talkeetna, but to the major economic gateway to Alaska- the city of Anchorage. Feeling a coaxing to return, I felt a burden to learn about the spiritual struggles that plagued the youth and young adults of Alaska. I returned that summer for a week where I had the chance to meet with a variety of church ministry and non-profit leaders. At the guidance of the mentors in my life, the goal of the trip was to simply get an overview of what God was already doing in Alaska as well as to better understand the factors that were keeping the ministries already in place from reaching higher potentials. After praying over my time at the end of the trip, two main themes stuck out to me: (1) A lack of formal leadership both in the ministries themselves, as well as in the Alaskan families as a whole, and (2) a widespread apathy amongst the people- both spiritually and professionally.
Back in Prescott later that Fall, the church I work for and regularly attend- Heights Church- asked me to meet with the leader of a new partner ministry in England called the Alliance for Transatlantic Theological Training (AT3). During the meeting, I learned that AT3 was a ministry born to address the widespread spiritual dryness in the UK, an identified “Post-Christian” nation. The UK is a nation of over 66 million people, and of those, less than 3% are evangelical Christians. This number is staggeringly low, and AT3 was started to grow the churches in the UK by building up British and America leaders side-by-side. To do this, they provide them with formal graduate level education while sending them to work and serve local churches in the UK as formal missionaries. Their vision- to see the British church revitalized in our lifetime and to see American and British leaders trained up in how to do ministry in a post-Christian culture- a culture that is projected to sweep through America over the next 50 years.
Following the meeting with AT3, I felt a lightbulb go off. It seemed that this type of ministry could be the answer for what we had seen in Alaska. I then contacted AT3’s home office in Liverpool, England to discuss my vision. I also contacted their sending agency Converge International Ministries, as well as my home church Heights in Prescott where I shared my past experiences in Alaska and the growing vision for a way to help moving forward. Miraculously, all three organizations saw what I was seeing, and they all graciously agreed to support the vision of starting a ministry like AT3 in Alaska. Following the momentum we had gained, the next step for all of us was clear: Send me as a missionary to the UK with AT3. The best way to understand the ins-and-outs of a ministry like AT3 is by experiencing it firsthand.
As of January 2020 I moved with AT3 to Croydon, a city in Greater London, to serve as a missionary for 2 years in the church Redeemer Croydon. Croydon is the fastest growing city in Greater London, and I am excited to be able to serve with a growing new church right in the heart of the city. While I am here I will also spend my time learning how an organization like AT3 is run, further develop my skills in ministry and leadership, and upon completion of their program I will be provided with the necessary education to take the next step towards Alaska.
All of us from AT3, Converge International Ministries, and Heights Church are excited to see how God has been moving in this, and we are excited to see what He will do in the future. For me personally, it’s been amazing to see how God has been working not just through our joint vision for Alaska, but also through those who have been blessed to be able to walk alongside me in this time. The support I have received through prayer and financial partnership in such a short amount of time has been breath-taking. To serve with AT3 in the UK requires a total budget of $3,000 per month for 2 years, which includes food, room/board, education, and transportation. Though originally daunting, through prayer and loving support we maid out goal, and I am blessed to have so many people walk beside me as we seek out what God is doing in my life, and in the lives of people in the UK.
It’s my honor to catch you up on all that God has been doing not just in my life, but in organizations and people groups around the world, and it’s my hope that you and your families would pray about how you can partner with me in this time in order that we might better reach those of the UK, Alaska, and beyond, for Jesus Christ.