Before I begin telling what I have been doing since my Chrysalis walk, I have to give a little background. I technically started my faith walk with this community when I was a little boy – roughly 5 years old. Both my parents had attended Emmaus and I was dragged along to both Emmaus and Chrysalis functions ever since. Being exposed must have planted the seed early because I had so much fun attending closings and listening to the men, women, and youth speak about their relationship with God and I wanted to attend but again was too young to go. Finally, after what seemed like centuries, I was finally old enough to walk and I put my application in and I was blessed to walk on Chrysalis #52 back in summer of 2002. Now, I thought I knew everything about the weekend since I went to functions as a little kid, but boy I could not have been more wrong. I was blown away about Jesus Christ and His love and sacrifice for me. I already knew Him and believed in Him prior to my walk but my walk led and taught me how to have a relationship with him. Christ died for ME! Wow! I knew this from attending Sunday school but it was made alive for me on my walk.
Fast forward to after my walk, my fire never died. I immediately put an application in and teamed on Chrysalis #56, 58, and 59. I could not get enough of teaming. Right after Chrysalis #59, I was called by the current lay director of the time with two questions that they had for me. One was that they wanted me to serve a two-year term on the Chrysalis board and the other was if I would be the Youth Male Rector for Chrysalis #61. Talk about some loaded questions but I closed my eyes on the phone and said a quick prayer and then said yes to both. I took this as God asking of me to serve Him so how could I say no to Him. Being a Rector was a blessing as being a servant for God is this capacity was overwhelming. I was part of leading youth close to my age to know and learn about our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!
When I finished being an R for Chrysalis #61 as well as my term for the Chrysalis board, I took a break from teaming as we are a pass it on community and wanted others to experience God’s joy with serving. I went off to college and earned my bachelor’s degree. Got a full-time job working in recreation. I also pursued a relationship with a beautiful young lady, Meredith Phizacklea who walked on Chrysalis #53. We first met while teaming on Chrysalis #56 and what can I say – it was love at first sight. I became involved in my church’s music ministry and played in the praise band. I continued to live my life in God’s Grace until winter of 2008 when I was asked to team again but not for Chrysalis – for Emmaus. As always, I jumped right in without a second thought and teamed on Emmaus 141. Just like, Chrysalis, I was hooked and continued to team. I teamed on E-149, E-151, E-159. Later was asked to be a part of the cadre for E-161 and was Music Director. I then served a two-year term for the Emmaus board. After my term, I was asked by Paul Salbert to be his Assistant Rector (AR) for E-169. What an honor it was to do this and that team was powerful. I took another break after that team.
Three years later, God said, I am not done with you yet and I was asked to be the Rector for E-183 going up November of 2017. Wow! Again, I dove in head first and on this weekend, I felt the Holy Spirit like never before. The Spirit helped me in prepping the team and being a servant and witness to them. When we got on the mountain, I saw the Spirit work in each team member as we served. Soon into the weekend, the men immediately joined in and I must say that in all the years I have praised and worshiped my God, it did not compare to what I did and felt on this mountain. God moved in so many ways and broke so many barriers the pilgrims had and I got to witness this. The weekend just ended and the fire is burning. It had been burning ever since my Chrysalis walk 15 years ago.
God has performed many things in my life and I am blessed to say I am a Christian. It has helped me be a husband to Meredith, a father to my son Landon, a witness to my family, friend, co-workers, and it has taught me to seek Him first in all stages of my life. I would not be here if it had not been for my Chrysalis walk. Chrysalis is so important for our youth today in the world we live in. We need to set them on fire young, so they can grow to live out God’s potential in their lives. I thank everything that these two communities have done for me over the years and I look forward to serving for many more years to come.
The book of Isaiah said it perfectly with chapter 6 and it is what I live by. It states: And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Fly With Christ and Decolores! AMEN!