Serving The Lord in His hometown
Growing up in Northern Virginia I loved sports and played as many could as often as I could. I learned a lot about life through the years of competing and I'm thankful I come from a country that provides many opportunities through sport. Soccer was my favorite and I excelled at the beautiful game all the way up through college where I enjoyed playing club at James Madison University.
As I grew up, I also developed a curious attitude about faith and purpose considering questions like: how we got here and what does it all mean? I come from a Christian family and dinner table conversations about these topics are a great memory that encouraged me to discover WHO Jesus is, WHY that matters and WHAT does it mean for me. The summer before my senior year at JMU, I came to trust that Jesus is who He said He was, and that changed my life forever as the Gospel became the foundation for my life.
In 2014 I was invited to move to Nazareth and work with Young Life, a youth ministry based in the United States but with a global reach. Their vision is for older believers to step into the lives of the next generation and build relationships with the hope of sharing the Good News. I thought, "Why not go on the adventure?" so I said yes to an initial year of serving with this ministry in Jesus' Hometown. You'll understand once you come visit how special this place is and how kind the people are who live here are. It is no surprise to me now that one year turned into two, and then two years into five as I built great relationships with the local community, served in a variety of ways and grew in my own faith and capabilities all for the Glory of God.
For sustainable international ministry, the goal is to train and raise up local leaders and then hand off leadership to them. Why? Because they are the ones who know their culture and people best. In January 2020 I was able to do this, entrusting some amazing friends and ministry partners here in Nazareth with the next season of Young Life. I moved back to the States and then COVID happened. As the world shut down I went off staff with Young Life and sought what God had next for me. I thought I might be done with full time ministry but I was wrong. After recognizing I give my free time to kicking a soccer ball and conversations about faith, I told my mentor, "Jesus, Soccer and International - that's what I want my life to be about." He connected me with a friend who works for Missionary Athletes International and after a couple months, in May 2021, I started my new season of ministry with them.
The work of using sports to share about Jesus combines the joys of my life. Furthermore, as I spoke with the leadership of MAI in Charlotte, NC, they cast a vision for me of taking this work abroad and training sports ministers around the world. Of course I had one place in my heart that I wanted to start...Nazareth! In September 2021, all the details came together and I moved back to the place I love amongst the people I care so much for. I'm excited to use all the tools and experiences from 31 years of life to continue to serve The Lord. Every morning I wake up thankful for the way God has provided, for the ups and downs, for the "wins and losses" that have made me who I am today. Soli Deo Gloria! (To God Only Be The Glory)