The conviction to go into the pastoral ministry developed over my college years. Initially, every time the burden came I pushed it aside, thinking that the calling was for more qualified people, not for me. However, after spending time in fasting and prayer, I approached my parents about the conviction in junior year.
My mother responded by explaining a dream that she had when I was in eighth grade: she and I were walking on a road when a man approached us and told her to pray on her knees. After she prayed, she saw an enormous rainbow with a cross in the middle. When she asked one of her Christian friends to interpret the dream, the friend suggested that she needed to surrender me to God so that I could serve Him.
As I heard about the dream, I saw God’s incredible faithfulness – that God had a plan for my life even when I was a rebellious eighth grader, and that He was faithful to His plan all those years. At this point, I surrendered to the calling into pastoral ministry and resolved to serve God for the rest of my life.
After college, I attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois to receive further training. Upon graduating, I came to Ann Arbor to plant Harvest Mission Community Church on the University of Michigan campus. Since planting the church in 1996, God has continued developing my vision for evangelism, missions and the Church, and providing experiences that enable me to live out His destiny for my life.
God’s abundant grace and His undeserved favor remind me of the words of the Apostle Paul: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:12-17)