I am so excited to be here and to join with you all (can you tell I’m not from the South?) in the mission to which God has called you! A little bit about the random 22-year old that showed up a couple weeks ago:
I was born near Denver, Colorado, but moved to an old and wonderful little town in Massachusetts that is not too dissimilar from Nolensville. I was part of a small church that loved and poured into me as a young person, which led me to decide to go to school at Gordon College for Christian Ministries and Biblical Studies. My parents have moved twice since then, first to Montana, and then to Bowling Green, Kentucky (so you might just meet them)!
I first experienced a call to ministry when I was just a pre-teen, and felt that I wanted to be a missionary. I proceeded to go on short-term trips to Armenia, Ghana, Mexico, and Mississippi (essentially moving reverse from Acts 1:8 by moving inwards instead of outwards). By that time I was in college, and I gradually found myself in more and more ministry roles. Faithful mentors helped me to realize that my gifting was not as an evangelizing missionary, but as a local pastor and teacher (wherever local might be). Part of this discernment came through volunteering with the youth ministry team of a local church, a role that challenged me to see the pressing needs of young people nearby and not just abroad.
Well, God led me on two more mission trips, both to Mexico City, where I lived in the slums with an amazing family and served with a faith-based community development organization called Amextra. My total of 4 months there over two summers changed my life, knocked me off my feet, and challenged my faith so much I thought I might lose it altogether. But, God has been gracious to lead me through that worthwhile and weathering journey, eventually reminding me of my call to ministry. All these experiences have led me here to Tennessee, where I got a job as an AmeriCorps member with the Martha O’Bryan Center in East Nashville. I am working with their Adult Education department to help students get their High School Equivalency Degrees.
It is one of God’s crazy surprises that I have been called here to Jenkins Cumberland Presbyterian, led here through a painful back injury that helped me to realize that the Church is my first love and where I need to be. I am beyond excited to serve your young people and be part of God’s present activity among you! I appreciate your support as we partner together with God to love and disciple youth in this community (plus have a lot of fun!)