I came into Perea as a guy who thought he had it all together, but wanted to pursue the calling of a discipleship house facilitator. Needless to say this is never a healthy position for one to be standing in when walking with the Lord, a place where I am prideful. It took a year for the Lord to break through that wall, that stone that was my heart. God has really transformed me into a man who is realizing more and more his need for God, for fellowship, for mentorship, for accountability.
Perea was a huge stepping-stone in this process. I couldn’t run and hide, I couldn’t run back to my ‘home’. The Lord always has a great plan in all the things He orchestrates. God truly had called me out of my past life and into a place where I knew no one. I moved from Seattle to Frenchtown, from comfort to unknown, from friends to strangers, from family to Him, from engineer making $26/hr to RV Cleaner making $9/hr. He had me put all my eggs in a worldly mindset into a move to Perea School of Discipleship. I so often wanted to turn and run, but I had no where to go.
This house, while different for everyone, is a tough place to live because He works in your life to cause you to be real. He called me to be real, I am still working on it. He does this in different ways for everyone, for me, it has been done by accountability and mentorship. Having a mentor like Jens has been a true blessing to me. We have shared adventures, cried, laughed, rejoiced and mourned together. Through the thick and the thin, we stand united, iron sharpening iron, praying for one another, encouraging one another to finish the race like it is a sprint, not a marathon.
Over the years one word people would use to describe me “jokingly” was the word ‘HEARTLESS’. I am not heartless, my heart is locked in a vault that Fort Knox would be envious of. Over the last two years as a student at Perea God has done amazing things to start the process of tearing down these walls, of setting me free. I cannot attest to freedom others see, but I can say in writing this testimony of what God has done in my life at Perea I have shed a tear, I have smiled, I have rejoiced in His magnificent work, His faithfulness, and His patience.
I became a Christian at 5 years old. I felt the need for Jesus in my life but I did not necessarily know what a relationship with Christ looked like. I did all of the things that Christians do, followed the rules and had the right values but I lacked the relationship until sometime in my late high school years. My sophomore and junior year of high school I knew I was lacking something. Then, my senior year I had a youth leader that I knew she had something more than I did. So, I asked her to mentor me and she began discipling me. Through that discipleship she helped guide me in what to do to grow closer to God. Since then, my desire is to follow Him and what He wants for me.
For the past year and a half I have been attending the Perea School of Discipleship, growing closer to God and praying out where He wants me to be and what my calling looks like. Without Jesus I don’t know where I would be. I would be very lost. My life would mean nothing. It would be a lonely self-centered world that I would live in. I would have no hope.
While at Perea I have grown in a lot of areas in my life. One of those areas was getting comfortable with being myself and stepping out of the shy, overly introverted self I had been for so long. Through time with getting to know God better and having others at Perea encouraging me I have grown so much. I am more confident in what I believe and the person that God has made me.
I have also gained more of a direction for what I feel God calling me to. I have known for a while that photography is one of the biggest gifts that God has given me and I wanted to use that, I just didn’t know how. I was always thinking that I could only use it on big missions trips or for missionary organizations like World Vision… However, I was overlooking my local church. God has opened my eyes to how much these talents are needed all around me. So, I am currently going through the process of joining my own church’s media team and living out God’s calling for my life.