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Aaron Taylor is a Term 3 student who recently shared his testimony at our Spring 2014 Friend Day. Read it here.
“Hi, my name is Aaron Taylor and I am an IMPACT195 Term 3 student. I am a husband to my beautiful wife Andrea, and a father of four! Today, I am here to tell you that as a child of God, you have been chosen and have been appointed to go and bear fruit.
In John 15:16 says, ‘You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain.’
My family and I recently moved here from Colorado where I had been employed for nearly ten years as a furniture sales manager. My responsibilities included properly running a four million dollar furniture store along with daily operations, exceeding sales quotas and developing personnel. During those years, I had slowly replaced what God desired for my life with the pursuit of the things that I desired, thinking that providing a good home, plenty of success, and many comforts for my family would be the best that God had for us.
One year ago God changed this.
God had been calling me back to Him and the company I worked for sent me on a business trip to San Diego. Well a good friend of mine, Cisco Villasenor, happened to live there and while I was visiting for that business trip, he convinced me to stay and check out ‘Friend Day’ at IMPACT195. So I changed my plane ticket to stay one extra day and came in and sat exactly where some of you are sitting right now. I had no intentions of joining IMPACT195 at all! In fact about a month before this, my wife had said she could totally see us moving to San Diego and doing what Cisco did and I very lovingly told her she was crazy.
But I knew deep down that God had more significance for my life.
So I sat at the back of the room here at ‘Friend Day’ so I could make a quick exit when it was over. I listened to the two messages. I remember them clearly. Both messages were on living our lives completely surrendered to Christ and not for ourselves. As I listened to the words my heart began to beat faster; I knew that God was calling me into something great. But ultimately how could I just ‘up and move’ from Colorado with my family to San Diego? It just wasn’t that easy.
After the event ended I got my free food that we all come here for. I then left to catch my flight out. I remember talking with Cisco in the car on the way to the airport. He told me that I should make the move out here. I looked at him and said, ‘so you are saying I should quit my career of ten years, sell my house, remove my children from one of the top ranking schools in Colorado, leave my home church, my friends, and my family, and simply take my wife, and four children and move out to Colorado to go to IMPACT195?’ And I remember he looked at me and said, ‘Bro, it’s not going to be easy, the call of God never is….but it’s always worth it.’
So I flew home, and that evening as my wife and I cried tears of surrender to God, we made the decision to do just that. You see, we were tired of living for what this world had to offer and were ready to walk in all that God had for us.
So we put our home up for sale; it sold in six days. We withdrew our children from one of the best schools in Colorado. I resigned from my sales manager position after nearly ten years of employment. We cashed in our 401k and we said goodbye to our friends and family, so that we could live a life of faith…a life of significance…a life of destiny.
Since being here over the past ten months, one of the major ways God met me was during our 12:2 Life Transformation Trip. That trip included about forty of us backpacking on Catalina Island for six days completely disconnecting ourselves from the world. During that trip, I had a major fear of something bad happening to our children while we were gone. About halfway through our trip the leaders pulled Andrea and I aside and immediately I knew something was wrong with one of our kids. We were told that Caleb, our two-year-old, had been submitted to the ER for possible pneumonia.
The leaders were very gracious to us during this time, and gave us the option to leave. Andrea and I had no greater desire than to be next to our little guy in the hospital as he fought to breathe. We prayed and asked God for direction on what to do. We both heard God speak to us that He desired for us to trust Him in this, because ultimately, our child is His child. He assured us that by staying, we were not being irresponsible parents, but obedient children.
So we did just that, we decided to stay at Catalina. Our new IMPACT195 community loved on us and surrounded us in prayer. I will never forget how long that night was, it was very difficult to sleep; not being there with my child while he battled to breathe was so hard. After two days in the hospital he was released and got home the same day that we came back from Catalina. We found out that the IMPACT195 women who were watching our children had never left his side at the hospital. I remember God saying to me, ‘How can you live an amazing life of faith and complete surrender if you are unable to trust Me with the life of your child?’ He gave me Isaiah 26:3, ‘The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.’
God used this experience, along with many others over the last ten months, to allow me to trust Him on a more intimate level than I ever have before and through it, He has prepared me for our family’s next step of faith.
Andrea and I recently went on a two-week mission trip to Haiti. An opportunity was presented to us to be able to go back there long term with a team in order to reach the nation of Haiti for Christ. I never thought a year ago that I would think it a privilege and an honor, to sell everything and count it all as loss for the sake of knowing Christ and making Him known. So we have decided to answer that call. My family and I are moving to Haiti long term to preach the gospel to the poor, to set the captives free, to release people from the power of satan, and ultimately…to transform the nation of Haiti for Christ.
Perhaps some of you are longing for greater significance in life. Maybe you feel stuck like I did when I sat here on friend day exactly one year ago. You know that God has something much more for you. You know that you are not walking fully in the destiny He has for you. You know that you are not being now who God created you to be. I want to encourage you to engage God right now! Ask Him to set His perfect will in motion for you. For some of you it will mean picking up an application today for this program and applying for our upcoming Fall Term. For me it meant surrendering my home, my 401k, my career, my success and my comforts; and moving to a state where I only knew one person. But God has richly rewarded me for this decision!
I know what I am asking you to do is risky, but faith involves great risk. That’s what makes it faith. And that’s what may lead you to walk fully in your destiny and all that God has for you!”