Even though another year of an YOM Australian summer mission trip is in the "books," it has been a phenomenal trip with a All-Star team! Enjoy getting to know each of our team members as you read their stories below...
Maxwell Barker - Hello, you can call me “Max” as most folks do. I am a 21 year old from the beautiful state of Michigan. Growing up in a pastor’s home all my life and graduating from Faith Christian School, the Lord led me to attend Pensacola Christian College. I am in my third year studying Pastoral Ministries and love working with young people. My hope is to one day use this burden God has given me to reach teens and youth for Christ. I am so excited to have this opportunity to serve God in the country of Australia, and I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store!
Jamison Edwards - My name is Jamison Edwards. I am a senior (Year 4) Elementary Education Major from Cleveland, North Carolina. There’s nothing quite like seeing the seasons change, and North Carolina brings out the best of all four seasons. I love spending time with my friends and family, and most of all I love to laugh. I was raised in the country; it is where my heart will always be. Simply southern, that’s my philosophy. Also, I was raised in church, and I am very thankful for the godly heritage that the Lord has given me. I fail Him every day, but He is always faithful and never ceases to amaze me in this journey called life.
Naomi Garcia - Hi! My name is Naomi Garcia
and I am a SENIOR (Year 4) Elementary Education major…(emphasis noted on SENIOR). I enjoy coffee (the more the merrier!) and having fun with friends and family. For the past three summers, I have served in the operational staff department at Southland Christian Camp in Louisiana. My first summer at Southland I surrendered my life to full-time Christian service and I am willing to go wherever God leads me. This past summer I was praying a lot about going on a mission trip and I felt a strong desire to apply for Team Australia. I did not know if the opportunity of being accepted on this mission team would be available to me, but PRAISE THE LORD it was! I am thrilled that I have this special opportunity to serve in Australia. I am excited about the different ministries that we will be working in and how God will use me and better my walk with Him.
Tiffany Goewey - Being raised in a small farm town in rural Indiana, I never imagined that a simple girl like me who loves music, books, cooking, and dreaming of traveling the world would ever have the opportunity to go somewhere like Australia! I’m a 22 year old senior (Year 4) Youth Ministries major, and I absolutely love people. I’ve been told by some that I talk too much, but I prefer the term “verbally experienced.” As we prepare for this trip, I’m excited for all of the opportunities we will have to serve and work alongside others, all for God’s glory. I’m also eager to see how the Lord will use this trip to grow me personally and continue to show His will for my life.
Sara Goodson - Hello! My name is Sara Goodson. Missions has been a burden on my heart for a long time as my church hosted missionary families and my parents kept the burden for missions fresh on my mind all throughout my childhood. When I saw the opportunity to finally experience international missions personally I was beyond thrilled! After much thought and prayer by the Cirones and myself, I knew that the Lord would have me go to Australia. Growing up in a home with two school teachers as my parents, it was no surprise when the Lord called me to Christian Education myself. I am a senior (Year 4) Elementary Education major preparing to graduate in May 2017. I have spent my past summers working in camp ministries and watching God move in the hearts of young children and teenagers. I am eager to see what the Lord has for me after graduation in ministry and have loved the opportunities that I have had here. I grew up in the Southeast Georgia area with wonderful loving parents and an older brother. He is married to a sweet girl named Sarah (ironic I know!) My family recently relocated to Milford, Ohio, to an outstanding church there, First Baptist Church of Milford, and teach at Milford Christian Academy. I am beyond excited at the doors the Lord is opening up for my family there in ministry. I ask that you be in prayer for myself and my team as we prepare for our trip physically, spiritually, and financially. I have no doubt that God has specifically placed each of us on this team and that He will provide for us the blessings and opportunities that He has for us. I cannot wait to see what He has for our hearts as they are surrendered to His work in Australia.
Ashton Robbins - My name is Ashton Robbins, I’m 21 and I’m from a small town surrounded by corn and soy bean fields in central Illinois. God gave me a love for sports and fun as I grew up, and today I still love playing them along with cooking, reading, and being with friends. Near the beginning of my fourth year at Pensacola Christian College, I became interested in pursuing a missions trip. I wasn’t sure God wanted me to go on one or even which one, but I kept my heart open for where God would lead me thus applying to a few different mission teams. My first choice was Australia and within 2 days of being interviewed, God showed Himself ever faithful in answering prayer and I was accepted as part of Team Australia! I am so eager to be a part of this team and to serve Christ in the churches and different ministries. I know that God is working on me every day and I am excited to see what God does in me and through our team this summer! As Philippians 1:6 says, I can “Be[ing] confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in me [you] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Joshua Springs - God has shown Himself so merciful to me. I am a senior (Year 4) college student preparing for a future preaching ministry. My home town very well may be considered "God's land" up in north Michigan! Having been a musician since eight years old, God had a different plan than music education as a lifetime vocation. The Lord laid on my heart to be a Bible major, and I have answered his call to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teach the Word of God. Preparing and working together as a team is exciting, and I love to be involved in whatever is needed. Although I don't know exactly what is on the road up ahead involving Australia, God has given me this wonderful mission opportunity, and I know He will do marvelous things.
Ryan Sumardi - I am Ryan Sumardi, a 22 year old young man from Indonesia. I will be graduating with my bachelors degree in Finance as well as a bachelors degree in Marketing in May 2017. I am the oldest of three children in the family, and although I have lived away from home for over 7 years, my love for my family grows stronger each and every day. I am thankful that God gave me a wonderful family. People that know me know that I am a family-oriented person, am an extrovert, and that I love to make new friends. I visited Australia in June 2012 and have desired to come back! The Lord has opened a way for me to come back through the Youth Outreach Ministry program to Australia. The Lord has laid in my heart a burden to serve the people around me. I want God to use me to serve the people in Australia during this mission trip and am looking forward to what the Lord has in store for me for Summer 2017 (Winter 2017 in Australia).
Lexi Thompson - My name is Lexi Thompson. I am 22 years old, and I enjoy crafting of every kind, spending time with family and friends, and going on outdoor adventures. I love to try new things and getting to know people. I am studying Biology and Speech Education with a minor in Missions at Pensacola Christian College. It would be my dream to be used of God in a foreign field teaching with my degree. As I contemplated my summer, it was obvious I should at least apply for a mission’s trip; and it was my desire to go on a month-long trip to experience more fully part of a life of a missionary. God, in His grace, opened the door to go to Australia. I am excited to be able to fulfill part of the Great Commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)