Hello Journey Friends and Family,
This article may be a bit long, but I encourage you to read the whole thing as the news gets better and better as it goes on.
Last week I took a trip I take every semester. I went to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty is where I went to college before transferring to Flagler College. However, I made it back to Liberty to get my master’s degree, and my wife, TJ, also attended Liberty.
I am grateful for the partnership God has blessed us with at Liberty.
I have known Dr. Jonathan Geukgeuzian (aka Dr. Gooz) for over 15 years. Dr. Gooz serves as the Program Director for Christian Leadership and Church Ministries.
One of my closest friends is Dr. Idol, who serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Youth Ministry.
The two of them both serve and lead in Liberty’s School of Divinity.
Because of God’s kindness and the hospitality of both men, we have been invited every semester to go up to Liberty and share aboutour Residency Program. I also teach in some classes, which allows me to get to know the students and vice versa.
I say all that to say this, that organic partnership has led us to receive some of the top tier residents we all have come to know and love around Journey. Many of our residents have come from Liberty, and that is the same for our Summer Internship Program that Tammy Joseph is leading.
Without further ado, I am grateful to introduce you to our newest residents, Ben Belangee and Ashley Welter. Both students are from Liberty University and will start their two-year commitment at the end of May.
A note from Ben
“My name is Ben Belangee, from Fairfield, Illinois. I have a degree in Youth Ministry from Liberty University and am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Christian Ministry through Liberty. I have a huge heart for ministry and believe that the Lord has called me to raise up the next generation of leaders and followers of Christ. I will be a Student Ministry resident at Journey starting this summer. I am so thankful to be able to call Journey my home for the next couple of years. I can say that the Lord has placed it on my heart to come to Journey in this season because of the incredible leaders and the culture they have created at Journey. I also did my internship at Journey and know that the people at Journey love Jesus and are some of the most welcoming people I have ever met.
I will be a Student Ministry resident at Journey starting this summer. I am so thankful to be able to call Journey my home for the next couple of years. I can say that the Lord has placed it on my heart to come to Journey in this season because of the incredible leaders and the culture they have created at Journey. I also did my internship at Journey and know that the people at Journey love Jesus and are some of the most welcoming people I have ever met.”
We are so grateful to Sheel and Jenifer Amin for graciously being the host home for Ben.
We are currently looking for a host home for Ashley. If you are interested in potentially hosting Ashley during her residency or have questions, please click here.
For details about the residency, you can click here.
Joshua Tiaga, who has been a resident with us over the past year and a half, is about to graduate from the program and begin his first full-time Youth Ministry role.
The best part is that it’s going to be at Journey! Wahoooo!!! We have hired Josh to be the new Student Ministries Director for middle and high school students at our Apopka Campus.
If you do not know Josh, you may not be sure how much of a no-brainer this decision was for us. Josh has excelled in every way as a resident, and it’s clear that God’s hand and favor are on Josh. Josh graduated from Liberty and recently got his master’s degree from Liberty.
This Sunday, after both services at Apopka, we will have a special time to welcome Josh to the Journey family. We’d love for you to say hello,welcome, and encourage him.
Thank you for being a church that welcomes and embraces the next generation the way you do.
I’m loving the residency Journey,
Pastor Dustin Aagaard
Associate Lead Pastor
I look forward to seeing you all this weekend as we conclude our series, The Prodigals.