Behind his quiet nature, soft eyes, and gentle voice, lies a deeply passionate heart. Although Aaron attended church, he did not have a personal relationship with Christ…that is until, as a teenager, he had a powerful encounter with God, alone, in a winter woods. Aaron emerged from those woods changed by his own “Damascus Road” experience where he, like the apostle Paul, was transformed.
Aaron grew up in Peculiar, Missouri. Peculiar—what a name! It too speaks of transformation. “He (Jesus) gave himself for us, that he might…purify unto himself a peculiar people…” (Titus 2:14 KJV)
Because of his interest in Russia, Aaron attended a Russian-speaking church in Missouri. Through this church he journeyed to Moldova and participated in a Christian camp that was geared toward children from non-Christian environments. Later, on another short-term mission trip, Aaron went to Russia, traveling from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Vladivostok is Russia’s largest port city on the Pacific Ocean, not far from the border with China. Throughout the 5,800 mile rail journey, the group disembarked at various train stops to visit churches and orphanages, hand out tracts, and minister to street children. Both trips were transformational – used by God to call Aaron to a life in the harvest field.
In Aaron’s words: “One mistake I had made was thinking that God wanted me in Russia and I ignored all other possibilities. As I was thinking about Bible translation work, it occurred to me that working in Africa was an equally open opportunity. I had studied francophone Africa in my 3rd year of French class, and realized that I had been made equally fit to work there. These things reminded me that God could have me work elsewhere, and not just Russia. The desire to work in the Congo came a little later once I heard more about the people and the ways that they suffer. I have developed a great desire to help and train Africans to translate the Bible into their languages that they might have God’s Word.”
Aaron’s passion is God’s Word, and he understands how God can use the Word when it is in the reader’s own heart language. This passion has brought Aaron to GIAL. Aaron wants to be both a translator who will train translators and a disciple who will make disciples transforming the lives of many.
Aaron is on an interesting journey of transformation that started in the winter woods of Peculiar, Missouri, and has led him through Moldova, Russia, and to GIAL with the next anticipated stop being the Congo. Please pray that God will transform others and call them to make the journey so that His Word is available in all languages of the world.