Senior Mission Partner / Owner
I said at the beginning that I was tricked because what happened once we got off the plane in San Diego was not what I was expecting at all. We were told to meet at a specific carousel in the airport upon arrival and when we arrived their was not many people that had arrived. So we made ourselves comfortable and waited. Slowly but surely people began to arrive, the only thing was that I noticed none of the people arriving were over the age of 20, in fact most of them were around the age of 16. I looked at Misty and wanted a prompt explanation as to what she had done. She chuckled and told me that I should of know especially since the organization we were going with was called “Teen Mania”.
Anyways I told you that to explain my heart for teenagers at the time. But what really blows me away now that I look back is the way God worked in my life on that trip. He showed me a Generation that were On Fire for God and that they were willing to go to all ends of the earth to tell everyone about there faith. He also showed me what it was like to come along side a generation of young adults and do the work of the Lord. My life and my family’s lives were forever changed that trip! We saw the Power of the God we serve work not only in our lives but the nationals of Baja and the Missionaries that we teamed up with. I felt the true presence of God in my life and I was forever changed because of it.
From that point on I have put the plow to the earth and not turned back. My wife, daughter and I have collectively been on 34 mission trips since that date. We have been to Africa, Ireland, Peru, Alaska, New Orleans, Mexico spreading the Gospel of Jesus. We started out working with an organization at first but then we figured out that we can take youth to all these locations at a whole lot less cost than going through any existing organization at the time. So we started to do that, just to get youth out that could not really fundraise the big dollar amounts to go.
In August of 2015 we felt that the Lord was doing all this for a reason. He was training us to be so much more than anything we felt we were in our walk with him. Through our up brining to this point we learned how to plan, lead and coordinate these trips. We felt a passion to take youth out of the comfort of there Churches and homes and put them into the power and direction that you only experience when you are in the complete mercy of the Lord. We have seen so many lives changed in this ministry that God has placed us in that we knew that we could not stop. We wanted to continue to raise up a generation that knows what it’s like to go out and be bold in your faith. So this desire, this passion that was burning inside both me and my wife birthed T.O.R.N. ministries.
The other side of this is that we are also highly involved in our local neighborhood. We knew that missions were not just foreign or during the summer or winter. Missions is our lifestyle. We placed ourselves in an environment that we can live day to day in the mission field. We see a lot of need around us constantly and wanted to make a way for us to be able to not only pull our resources together for them but have the potential to reach out and see if anyone was willing to partner with us in making a difference in the area around us. T.O.R.N. gives us the ability to achieve our max potential to do that.
So in closing, we have been called to move forward with a vision that God not only placed on our hearts but has literally been grooming us to fulfill for years. We hope to not only effect our nation and world through T.O.R.N. ministries inc. but we see the possibility to make a difference right here at home. So we are excited to see the outcome of this ministry, if it makes a difference in just one life it’s all worth it. But I don’t think that is what God has planned, I know many lives will be effected. So I hope you see and understand my vision and that you would come along side what God is doing here at T.O.R.N. ministries. A wise man told me once that I should stop trying to create a atmosphere where God can come and just find out where God is and go there…..So here I am will you join me?
Senior Mission Partner / Owner
In the following years I would lead 14 trips around the world investing in people of all ages, nations, and backgrounds. I was also being invested in and blessed by people of all ages, nations, and backgrounds. Through years of working as a Youth Pastor and Project Director for missions, God has grown and cultivated my heart to serve His Kingdom and those around me. He has raised me up to not only teach and equip others in evangelism but to take others in my own neighborhood and abroad to see all nations, all tongues made into His disciples.
My fire has never been extinguished but only fanned as I have had the blessing of seeing God transform lives and eternities as He draws His Children to Himself. I now spend my time and life putting myself in a position so that I can continue to be used in this way for His Kingdom and Glory. I am so excited to see God work in and through everything He has planned for T.O.R.N. Ministries and the people it will reach for His Kingdom!
Mission Partner/ Secretary
Missions had always been presented to me as something that some Christians go off and do. You had to be “called” to do it. Over the past decade of my life , I’ve learned that life is the mission . We are always carrying out the great commission. I do not have to be in Africa to share the gospel, but I should always be ready to share the gospel at any moment in my life . My mission field is where I work, my family, and any place that I find my feet heading towards.
Since my first trip in 2007, I have been on 5 trips around the world and a handful of stateside trips. I’ve spent the last decade working with youth and young adults in different roles from youth pastor to just leading teams on the mission field .
Every year I’m getting a little older and realizing how much I really do not know . I run a small window cleaning business in Southeast Michigan , but when I’m not window cleaning I’m working with young adults or out on a trip with T.O.R.N.
Taking teenagers, young adults, or people older than me to new places has become a passion of mine . I love seeing God shatter our expectations when we think that we are going to minister to a people group, but God really ends up ministering to us. Getting involved with T.O.R.N has been a breath of fresh air, and God is doing a great work with this ministry. I’m excited to be apart of what’s happening and I know that as long as we are faithful to God, He is going to use this ministry to bring the Gospel to the places it needs to go.
When I was quite young, perhaps four or five, a missionary couple from Cote D’ivoire came to my church and shared with us their ministry and told us of the people they were blessed to do life with there. This was my first exposure to missions that I can remember. Fast forward a few years and you’ll find nine year old me in the backseat of a green Buick, moving with my family from one state to another several hours away. Yahweh had invited my family to move to a small town in Kansas (which is really the only kind of town there is in Kansas) to plant a church. What I didn’t know at the time was that the church had been planted through prayer and prophecy long before I was born, we just had the privilege of opening the building’s doors. While I didn’t think much of it at the time, I can see now that this move of faith brought with it a label of identity: missionary.
Now we skip to about six years later. I am 15 and boarding a flight to South Africa with a whole group of strangers (completely devastating my ten-year-old self’s aspiration to never fly – “if I ever have to cross the ocean, I’ll take a boat”). This was the first international short-term mission trip Yahweh ever invited me to go on. It completely challenged all of the dreams I had for myself, broke down the image of my life I had pridefully built, and emptied me so completely of myself until I truly began to “hunger and thirst” for the Lord – to crave Him. As Scripture promises in Matthew 5:6, I am satisfied in Him, yet always desperate for more of Him. That trip alone did not do all of those things at once, but everything that happened as a result did/does. I am still happening. I am forever a work in progress until I am perfected in the eternal presence of my Savior.
South Africa was the first of many international and stateside short-term mission trips I would have the opportunity to serve on, leading to present day where I serve as a member of TORN Ministries. The culmination of these trips – of the conversations had, of the time spent in the Holy Word, of the time spent being mentored and mentoring, of the time with family and friends (and others), all of it – caused and continues to complete the things I mentioned above.
Missions is simple. If you don’t believe me, just read Isaiah 58. Feed the hungry. House the homeless. Clothe the naked. Give fully of yourself unto the Lord – He has already given fully of Himself unto you. Straightforward and uncomplicated. There is great depth and power and mystery to be found in ministry and in that passage of Scripture, but it starts with saying yes and doing the aforementioned. We always start where we are, and, for some, we have the special opportunity to physically GO and live this out abroad. I am GOING. Would you like to join?
Missionary Encouragement Representative
As a Christ-follower, pastor’s wife and mom, I’ve always supported missions. Both of my boys have been on multiple mission trips with TORN and I’ve been happy to support them in any way I can. However, I’ve considered myself a sender…not a “goer.” Along with being a wife and mom, I am an Occupational Therapist (OT) and a professor at the University of Oklahoma and stay “busy enough” with all of these roles.
Since I was 15 years old, I knew I wanted to help kids and adults with developmental disabilities in some way. Through high school I discovered special education and became a peer tutor two hours a day, every day during the school year for my last two years of school. In this classroom uniquely engaging with students my own age who had autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, I found my passion.
Over the next years I began OT school. One weekend when I was home from school I remember asking my Dad’s friend, a physician and a missionary working in Africa, what I could do as an OT in Africa for all the kids he talked about that had special needs. My heart sank when he told me nothing…that kids with disabilities were the least of this societies’ concerns and they were disregarded. Medical services were prioritized for those without disabilities. Kids with disabilities were considered a drain on communities and “tossed aside.”
Little did I know God was preparing me for 20 years in the future. Three years ago, after Misty Carson returned from a mission trip to Uganda, she told me of the great needs in the community for those with disabilities. She told me of the high number of kids that are abandoned because parents could not take care of them or because the community believed that babies born with disabilities were cursed, therefore rejected. The Lord began to tug at my heart to GO and that was all He needed to say. I did have my doubts. I felt that there are others more talented or with more knowledge that could go. I also worried about leaving my family for that long and how would I ever raise that amount of money. Again, God’s faithfulness prevailed in how He provided a comfort and release in leaving my family and exploded my faith in trusting him for finances, by HIM first asking me to give generously and sacrificially.
This year (2019) will be my fourth year to hop on a plane and feel the pure joy as we land in Uganda after nearly two days of travel and see the red dirt roads out the window. Serving with TORN ministries has lit a fire in me that I cannot easily explain. This mission field is what occupies my mind most of the hours of the day for the other 50 weeks a year until we get on that plane again. Being able to bring other missionaries, Occupational Therapists and students alongside TORN and the amazing ministry partners in Uganda has been one of my greatest joys. Maybe now is your time to join us on your first or 21st mission trip. Be ready to see His faithfulness!