I initially felt a call to go into ministry-related work a few years ago. For a 40-year-old who had been working in the same field for twenty years, I really did not know what that would look like. It was an almost scary notion to me. Was I supposed to go to seminary and get a traditional church position? Do they even let 40 year olds into seminary? How was I supposed to support my family? These were just a few of the questions percolating in my mind.
From there I sought the Lord’s direction through prayer, and waited. After about a year and a string of unlikely and fortuitous events, my wife and I enrolled our two oldest children at the Academy for G.O.D. Through the Academy initially, and then through Bible Study at Center Street, it became clear to me that God was doing a great work at G.O.D. International. Maybe even more importantly for me and my call to ministry, these works were being done in more practical ways. I found that there were avenues for growth, and opportunities to serve that are not often available in traditional church settings. It all made sense to me! They were ones that I could envision myself in as a participant.
Over the course of the school year, I made my call known to some in the G.O.D. community. With that knowledge, I was met with an intentionality from some men that I had never witnessed before. It was both eye-opening and heartwarming. Through some of them, I was presented with opportunities to serve and I volunteered.
Over this past summer I had the pleasure to be a part time counselor and facilitator at Camp Skillz on my off days from work and also was able to serve in the evening for a few weeks for SLAM. In both instances, I was placed in situations where I witnessed godly, loving men and women, directly impacting the lives of the youth they were serving. These children and teenagers' lives were being molded by people who were simply trying to live a life that resembles Christ. Their energy was invigorating and everything I was able to participate in, from games to worship to running a homemade water slide, impacted me. Simply put, the time I spent became precious to me.
As the summer progressed I began to notice how much harder it was to go to my job every day. I felt such a draw to the campus at G.O.D. and to the kids I was serving, that I really just wanted to be there all the time. After much prayer and seeking answers through God’s word, my wife Vanessa and I decided that we were ready and willing to seek out work through G.O.D. and an education at the Institute for G.O.D.
At 42 years old with 5 kids under the age of 10, it just doesn’t make sense to quit your job, give up the security it provides and step out in faith. But that's just what we did. Honestly, though, after witnessing firsthand through Camp Skillz and SLAM, how impactful the work is that G.O.D. is doing for the local community and for His kingdom, it was one of the easiest decisions our family has ever had to make.
Written by John Edmondson