There is not a people or place on planet earth that still does not need to HEAR the gospel proclaimed and SEE the gospel lived out. This understanding for us grew year after year as we heard stories of places near and far with great need for seasoned practitioners to join their churches and ministries to bring encouragement, strength and leadership. We realized just how many well equipped leaders we had at our home church, Soma Spokane, and began to dream and pray about how our church could be sending more leaders out to places where there was great need.
This time in prayer for our church quickly exposed the deep longing and desire that we had to expand our influence and impact for disciple-making not just for our church, but us personally. So in 2016, we began searching for more ways to reorient our lives around the Great Commission, to disciple people into the ways of Jesus. At that time, I (Aaron) had been serving on staff full-time at Soma for about three years doing administration and operations — when an opportunity emerged to participate in a 2 year church planting residency. During that time the Holy Spirit pursued me in some specific and tangible ways, revealing and affirming my heart to lead, shepherd and pastor the church where great need exists.
Our desire to equip followers of Jesus for everyday discipleship continued to grow more and more. We became more aware of the need for skilled practitioners in places around the world where the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are very few. We realized that our gifts and training could be used to further equip the body not just locally, but globally. This led me to serve at a leadership conference in Poland in the fall of 2017, where I saw the impact Josiah Venture (JV) has had over the years. At this same event, I also heard a call to serve church leaders in Central and Eastern Europe long-term. After asking God to clarify this call for us as a family, by growing our hearts for a people or a place, He answered that prayer by leading us to join the disciple-making movement in Slovakia!
We are amazed at just how gracious and faithful God has been along this journey. For almost three years we have been taking this thing one step at a time. With great faith, we said yes to being sent before we knew exactly where we were going. A year ago we knew very little about Slovakia, but after visiting three times in the span of nine months, we know that Žilina is where God has been leading us this whole time.