I grew up going to church ever since I was a little boy, and accepted God’s gift of salvation at the age of nine. It wasn’t until I began attending FaithWay Baptist Church in Ajax, ON with my family that I really experienced growth in my Christian life. From grade six until my high school graduation in grade twelve I attended FaithWay Christian School (with the exception of grades nine and ten). The years at FaithWay were the most formative years of my life. I am blessed to have been influenced and taught by some of the most godly Christians I have known to this day. Memorizing Scripture, learning and developing my own personal convictions, and seeing the Bible lived through the lives of those around me had a profound impact on my life.
My teenage years were spent in two directions: seeking to fulfill my own desires and dreams, and then surrendering my life to God and seeking HIS will first in my life. For many years I struggled with the place sports had in my life. It became my main focus in life, specifically, basketball. But my love for the game soon became my curse. I knew God had been directing me to a life of complete surrender and obedience to Him, but I resisted and fought the Lord for two years. Not even two severely sprained ankles would deter my selfish ambition! However, that would soon change. It was under the preaching of Pastor Paul Chappell in our church’s annual Spring Bible Conference that I would totally surrender my life to preach the gospel. And when I veered even slightly from my call to pursue sports once again, God permitted another sports injury. This time it was a complete tear of the ACL in my left leg. Never again would I consider “going back to Egypt”! It was through day-to-day surrender to God’s Word and to His will that I have found and followed God’s plan for my life. Nothing compares to living in the center of God’s will.
Concerning my call to missions, I was blessed to have taken a couple missions trips when in high school with our church youth group. In 2001 we went to Bearing Precious Seed in El Paso, Texas (we made day trips into Mexico while there), and then to the Dominican Republic in 2003. Having never been to a third-world country, the way of life of the Mexican people was such a shock to me. Nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed those days. But it was during my trip to the Dominican Republic when my eye truly affected my heart. And for the next three years I prayed heavily about what part I could have in worldwide evangelization. As a result, and in order to fulfill the requirements for my college degree, I went back to the Dominican Republic in 2006 for two spectacular weeks. From then on I was completely sold out to missions. I knew this was what God had called me to do.
It was at FaithWay Baptist College that I not only graduated with a Religious Education degree and a minor in Missions, but also where I met my wife. Lana Clayton and I were happily married on June 16th, 2007. We now have two beautiful daughters, Azlynn (who is now in heaven) and Maddison.