Hi, thanks for visiting! (PDF here) My name is Ryan, as you have clearly found out, and this is my site where I keep an eclectic mix of information. Some of it pertains to professional matters, such as a résumé, educational background, portfolio of work and likewise, but also included is some photographs, my favorite sports teams, my favorite music, and a blog featuring mostly just notes on theology and biblical studies. The first and foremost part of my small identity is as a Christian, follower of the one, true God and Savior Jesus Christ. And I don't know all the answers as to why he came as a man, and died for sinners like me, but I'm so glad he did, and the redemption by his blood has graced my life as salvation since I was about twelve years old, when I by faith received the Lord.
Since then, I have been trying to follow what he says at the end of Matthew, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Such is my first and foremost goal of life, to follow God's good commands, for they are not burdensome (1 John 5:2-4).
I tried to not make this site bleed with pithy Scripture references, because the Word of God is so much more than that, and deserves a reverence hard to reproduce in this style and tone. But, I promise anyone I've ever encountered that it's molding and changing me, and the Holy Spirit continually impresses on my life the will and want to refine, transform, and grow into the man to whom the Lord could say, 'good and faithful servant'. So, I'll retrace the steps some of the places and work the Lord has entrusted to me over the last ten years or so, or you can see it in visualized form (Maps).
Madison, WisconsinI was born in Madison, Wisconsin in the spring of '93, and grew up largely around the area, my family residing in the rural town of Rio fairly close by. I was paedo-baptized in a Lutheran Church in Madison, but have first memories in a small Congregational Church, I attended until a teenager, where I came to faith, believing on Christ as Savior, and consequently was credo-baptized. Thereafter, the church broke apart, and my family found a church called Faith Bible Church, the same one where I did my pastoral internships. From high school through college I attended this church whenever I returned.
At fourteen, I started to take particular interest of things of deeper matters, namely the Bible, and started studying the Scriptures in Greek with the help a local pastor; but, my life significantly changed when at sixteen I sort of accidentally stumbled into a ministry that meant to help children hear the message of the gospel and establish them in local churches, called Child Evangelism Fellowship. For the next seven years, I served in this ministry, mostly in Wisconsin, but also for Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah at one point in time or another.
During that time, I taught roughly about 120 backyard Vacation Bible Schools (called '5-Day Clubs'), where a Bible lesson is taught, the gospel is clearly presented, and children are offered the opportunity to get to know their God and his word better. Then during, the school year, in rural towns (Wisconsin, Washington, Idaho) and inner city (Spokane, Chicago), I would often teach once a week after-school small groups for children (called Good News Club), sometimes ranging from ten to forty kids).
But, before I graduated the public high school I attended in rural Wisconsin, I golfed, ran cross-country competitively, played on the school basketball team, played ultimate frisbee, and attended a number of auto events with my dad (sharing his affinity for cars & trucks and otherwise). We have had many Jeeps, four-wheelers, old muscle cars, trucks, and the like between all the family. A lot of the scenery represented in country music (on its best days) is what comprised this time of life. At the end of high school, I started to play chess a little more competitively and became fairly decent.
Spokane, WashingtonThen I went off to Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, Washington and started serving a number of chapters of CEF remotely by setting up websites and managing these, training others to eventually take over the day-to-day management of them. Out here in Washington, as well, I fell in love with hiking, dirt-road driving, and outdoor activities offered out West. I spent two years in Spokane, and transferred to the famous Chicago campus of Moody Bible Institute, to be closer to home.
Chicago, IllinoisThough I only spent one year on campus at Moody Bible Institute, I commuted here for four months from Southern Wisconsin to take my last remaining class, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. And after this, I ended up moving to Chicago and worked there for a year between going back to school, at Tyndale University College & Seminary.
During my time at Moody Bible Institute, I tutored a couple days per week at Park Community Church, and worked at the Walgreens on North and Wells. Upon returning, I was fortunately the first one to stay at the Housing and Urban Ministry Building, bought by Child Evangelism Fellowship of Chicago, and served them a bit in exchange for some help with the renovations, picking up donations with the truck and trailer, and keeping an eye on the building. I picked up a job teaching chess in Chicago public schools, and then worked two days per week at a little Christian school. I attended Village Church of Oak Park regularly, took classes at First Baptist Church in Maywood, and taught at Westchester Bible Church.
Toronto, OntarioIn May of 2016, I started taking online classes for Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, but I was doing them from Montréal and Madison. I did not actually arrive on campus full-time until January of 2017. I attended New Hope Presbyterian Church, a Korean plant of a church with campuses in both Mississauga and Toronto while I worked through the Spring and Summer terms, returned to Wisconsin to fulfill the ministry internship requirement, and returned in January of 2018 to finish one more semester to graduate.
Montreal, Quebec (2016) & Salt Lake City, Utah (2011)This is a bit anachronistic in the timeline, but the summers before both going to Moody Bible Institute and Tyndale Seminary I took extended missions trips to both these places. In Salt Lake City, I was working mostly to do Five-Day Clubs with Mormon and Muslim children within Salt Lake City, one club in particular having upwards of seventy children (for it was located at a food drive).
In Montreal, I spent a longer while there, shadowing church-planters and missionaries in the evening and teaching English to francophone children during the day. The organization I went through was the EFCA, Evangelical Free Church of America. I also worked as a camp counselor in an interdenominational camp in Sherbrooke, Quebec, right on the Vermont border.
SummarySo, obviously all questions about me can't be answered in a short outline, but as can be seen, the Lord has led me through cities large and small, and I try to serve faithfully wherever I'm at in what limited capacity I'm able. My philosophy of ministry can be found here on this site, but in general it is, 'Sow the word of God, put it in his hands, and do what you can day to day to make Christ known.' I figure if the message of the Bible is told to men, women, and children, it won't return void, unlike a lot of other passing facets of the world we live. The verse that really changed me personally, that I read every new year, is John 11:25-26, where Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies, and he who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"