I hope this letter finds you well! Ten years ago, my eyes were opened to the person of Jesus, and I was saved. This radically changed my life. While attending Redemption Church Gilbert, I have learned that “All of Life is All for Jesus.” Over the last few years, the Lord has placed a deep desire in my heart to live in that truth.
What does that mean?
“All of Life is All for Jesus” means that every part of our lives is an opportunity to live out the gospel on mission. Jesus said we are to go out into the world and make disciples through baptism in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit until His return (Matthew 28:19-20). He has included us in the story that He is telling in the world. I believe this with all my heart.
Many of you have supported me on this journey in a variety of ways.
Last year, I went to Guatemala on two separate occasions to minister to teenage girls in red zone areas. These areas are heavily overrun by gang and drug violence. I had the opportunity to walk through the red zone neighborhood of the girls that I came to know in Prados De Villa Hermosa. I met their families, spent time in their homes, and witnessed firsthand the difficult circumstances they face. These girls became like my daughters, and my heart still struggles not to worry about their safety.
I now understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote letters back to the various churches he had visited during his missionary journeys about how he missed them, longed to see them, and loved them. Who would have thought this Gilbert kid would come to care for people in such a distant place? That’s the power of the family of believers. Despite our differences, experiences, and proximity, we can find one common similarity for certain in the name of Jesus. I cannot wait to see them again soon after COVID passes. Please pray for them as COVID has truly wreaked economic havoc on these families.
When I returned to America, I was keenly aware that God had intentionally placed me in the town of Gilbert, and I have an opportunity to love my own community. I ran for Gilbert Town Council this year to do just that. Loving my neighbor looks like having a community that values safety and good laws and that cultivates a place that families can call home. Although I was not elected on the council, I remain thankful for the 20,000+ residents who voted for me because they also believed in this vision for Gilbert. God has used the campaign in many ways even after its conclusion.
One of the ideas that God placed on my heart during the campaign was to form a multifaith network called Gilbert Faith. This group is a collection of leaders from various faith backgrounds that will meet quarterly to engage with town leaders and to press into current local issues with the goal of loving and serving the community. We are planning to hold quarterly meetings to coordinate efforts of community service, address issues like domestic violence (which sadly is a major issue in Gilbert), and prepare for rapid response efforts as various community situations arise. I thought this idea was lost after the election, but God gathered and grew the desires of many individuals to get involved. This idea is now coming alive and beginning to form.
I have known for several years now that God might be bringing me down the road of pursuing ministry as a pastor. I knew that God provided me with particular gifts of teaching, speaking, and connecting with people that could be used for the Kingdom. My first response was “Okay God, maybe that will happen at the end of my life after I do everything else that I want to do first.” But about three years ago, I realized that this response was wrong. God showed me that I was more focused on my own desires and that I may be serving in ministry much sooner than I thought. Even while running for Town Council, I planned to apply to seminary at the Missional Training Center (MTC) after the election. Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke inspired and personally told me that this could be possible. He currently serves in public office and is a pastor.
What does the future hold?
I will be applying to MTC in February and have been given an opportunity to be an intern for 7Ten, the young adult ministry at Redemption Church Gilbert. I have been a member of 7Ten for a few years and even met my wife Kelsey through it. We currently serve with my best friend Stefan Dell’Orso as small group leaders in the ministry. Through the internship, I will get a behind-the-scenes look at ministry. My leadership skills and theological understanding will grow through participating in discipleship meetings, training tables, and small teaching opportunities. I will also be supporting the efforts of 7Ten through website development, graphic design, and connecting them with the Town of Gilbert through the relationships I have developed over the years. Most importantly, I am eager to see how my relationship with Jesus will grow through this experience.
To do this, I will need your support. There are a few ways that you can get involved.
Prayer for young adults at 7Ten: I would appreciate it if you would pray for the ministry by asking the Lord to reveal His love for all the young adults that attend and that they would experience the intimate love relationship of Jesus.
Financial Support: I have a goal of getting 50 people to support me with $35/month or through a one-time $400 contribution in the month of December. Giving Tuesday is December 1st, so I will be making a particularly strong push on that day and then through the end of the tax year. All contributions are tax deductible as the donations will be going through Praxis Ministries which is a 501c(3) organization. Any amount of support is greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for your consideration. If you have any questions or want to chat further, feel free to reach out and I would love to connect! God bless!