When I walked in the doors of Lifepoint Church in the fall of 2012, I was doing it to support my wife and check off the box next to good deed for the day. What has happened over the last few years is unexplainable, may sound crazy, and might leave you with doubt. I pray it leaves you with hope, an understanding of how much God loves all people, and a belief in the love of Jesus Christ.
Beth and I grew up in church and saw our families attend church regularly. When we moved to Wilmington in 2005, we were pretty comfortable and enjoyed hanging out in a coastal community. We were in and out of church for the better part of seven years, never committing to anything. When Beth became pregnant with our son Emmett, she started attending Lifepoint Church.
After the first week I joined her at Lifepoint, I realized something was different. I found myself wanting to go to church. I started to understand what a relationship with Christ looked like. In 2013, Beth and I gave our lives to Christ and were baptized later that summer.
Maybe this doesn’t sound too crazy yet, but our life began to change dramatically. We had a new hope; we knew who we were in Christ. We began to understand that Jesus came to this earth to die not only for Jared and Beth, but for every person. Our hearts began to change and I found myself wanting to go on a short-term mission trip.
In the winter of 2015, I went with a group from Lifepoint Church to Nicaragua where we served with Amigos for Christ. That week completely changed my view of God and how God loves the world. I had undistracted time with God and saw his creation outside of the United States. I saw how important it was to get the gospel to people who had never heard of Jesus. God placed people on the trip who told me about a boarding school in Kenya. Having attended a boarding school earlier in life, my mind began to race.
On the second-to-last night of that short term trip, I couldn’t sleep. I felt God calling me to pray with Him. During that time, I felt God telling me to look back on my life experiences and see how He prepared our family to be called into full time ministry.
I never imagined taking a trip to Nicaragua would somehow lead our family to serving as missionaries in Africa.
So for the last two years our family has been preparing to serve with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) as dorm parents at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) in Kenya. Rift Valley Academy is one of several ministries of AIM and exists to serve missionary kids whose parents are serving through AIM in 20 African countries. In July of 2018, we will be taking what we can, moving to Kenya, and serving our role in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
We invite you to journey with us. See why we would give up our jobs, our home, and a comfortable life to serve Jesus. We hope to inform people about the work Africa Inland Mission has done since 1895 and the vision they have moving forward. Most importantly, we want others to experience the love of Jesus and hope your lives will be impacted in some way by our story. We feel there is no greater call on our life than serving others through Christ.
We are currently looking for prayer and financial partners. If you would like to learn more about partnering with our family, please contact us directly. We would love to sit down with you and share our story.