Paul – A Strong Start
Accepting Christ as my Savior at the tender age of 6 gave me a head start into a life in relationship with God. My parents raised me in an environment based on the Great Commission found at the end of the Gospel of Matthew and in this movement of churches based on Christ’s command.
Coming to Iowa State University in the fall of 1998 was an easy decision because I knew that there was a church here that was affiliated with my home church (through Great Commission Ministries). I became a volunteer leader early on and through the last six years I have been given more and more responsibility and have seen the need for more full time workers.
Christie – Beginning in Faith
Christie also grew up in a loving Christian home that encouraged her to accept Christ as her personal Savior, which she did at 9 years of age. She tried a year of college at Grace College in Indiana but then ended up at University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. There she met up with students that were a part of a local Great Commission church. She was overwhelmed by their grace, love, acceptance and the close ties that the students had with the older women in the community. Christie quickly became a core member of the budding student group.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20
God Brought Them Together
During the summer of 2002 both Christie and I headed out to Estes Park, Colorado for a summer long Leadership Training program put on by GCM (Great Commission Ministries). I was asked to lead worship for one of the weekly program sessions and Christie was asked to sing backup for the band. There we formed a good-natured friendship centered on their serious relationship with God, music, and service. The summer ended with both of us unknowingly hoping to see more of each other.
Nine months of casual emails later and we both ended up back at Leadership Training, this time in Orlando, Florida. Throughout the summer God confirmed through time spent together and through the counsel of parents, pastors and friends that this friendship was destined for more. Near the end of the summer, in the interests of honoring Christie, Paul asked her to consider a courting relationship and to his surprise she happily agreed.
As both of us were finishing our class work a long distance relationship was established with frequent emails, daily phone calls, and twice a month visits. Courtship turned to engagement right before Christmas and a wedding was planned for early summer. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science on the 8th and then we got married on the 29th of May. Throughout the whole relationship we purposed to honor God. We believe that God will use us in ministry more as a couple then he did with us singly.
Together we hope to influence college students and young adults with the transforming power of the gospel. We want our home to be a safe shelter for these damaged youth to feel the love and acceptance that is available to them through Christ. We want our relationship to be a snapshot of what God can do in and through two people who are more focused on him then on each other. We believe that God will inevitably draw us closer together as we follow him and have the things that are on his heart to be on ours.