My story…… (submit your story to Katilyn – firstname.lastname@example.org or Chad Peterson – email@example.com)
When I moved down to Omaha, besides wanting to find a church, I wanted to find some friends who shared my beliefs and desire to grow and also find an opportunity to reach out to the community around me. God is so good! As I was driving around Omaha for work, I tuned into a Christian radio station. They were advertising for Great Adventure Ministries (GAMe), a ministry for young professionals in the Omaha area. They were having a swing dance for Halloween, followed by a pancake feed at midnight for the bar community in the Old Market. Can I get an AMEN!?! I started the night being able to connect with several people my age who had a passion for knowing God more deeply and also had a passion for reaching out to the people around them.
I joined their Bible study on Tuesday night and attended their welcome dinner for new people the following Sunday. As I listened to Chad Peterson talk about the vision and goals of the ministry, I was hooked. Their mission is to be “a family of young, Spirit filled followers of Christ shepherding a family of Believers that hold each other to the task of: Speaking Christ boldly, Studying the scripture, Serving and Evangelizing our world, To the Glory of God.“ While we have lots of fun at all the events that get planned, the primary goal behind each of them is to foster relationships that are authentic and draw everyone closer to God. I felt like I was a pretty good person before coming to GAMe, but I have learned we all have room to grow. In the few months that I have been involved, I have been changed. While change isn’t always easy or fun, it was definitely change for the better.
I heard about GAMe through Sozo coffeehouse shortly after moving to Omaha. In previous places I have lived, I went out of my way to avoid the Christian crowd, however, I decided to give the ministry a chance after hearing about the trips and activities they went on that appealed to me (skiing, motorcycle riding, skydiving, humanitarian trips, etc)—the “Adventure” part of Great Adventure Ministries! While that’s what got me through the door, the sense of community is why I decided to stay. Within a few days of meeting some of the members, I was invited to people’s homes for dinner, taken country dancing over New Year’s, and was asked to be on the Tuesday night worship team. I was even invited to join some of them for a weekend trip to Chicago—all right after meeting them! The immediate sense of openness and friendship was a refreshing change for me. I had grown accustomed to the idea that the term “Christian” equated to hypocrisy, judgement, and discord, but I found none of that at GAMe.
I have been a part of the ministry for eight months now, participated in multiple trips including a week spent in Guatemala doing humanitarian work, and am part of the leadership team organizing service projects for the ministry to help the greater Omaha area. The sense of Biblical based community I get here is something that has been severely lacking previously in my life. Having a circle of friends who positively influence me on a daily basis is a refreshing change that has greatly improved my view of Christians as well as my walk with God.
I first came to GAMe with a previous boyfriend. We ended our relationship after a month, but I have stuck with GAMe for over 5 years! I had grown up in a Christian home, attended Christian school, and church regularly as a kid, but once graduating high school I was ready to surround myself with a less goody-goody crowd and fell out of the church circles I was in. When I found GAMe I was a bit of a wild child and wasn’t at all expecting to enjoy my Bible study, but everyone was so welcoming immediately. I got no judgement for my lack of church attendance, facial piercings, or tattoos, and I found some really good friends at the same time. I was really surprised that these “good, christian people” would accept me at face value.
I decided to go with them on a missions trip to Haiti my first summer and have changed a lot since then. I’ve had a few ups and downs but my friends from the ministry have been there every time to help me through them, and help me grow in my walk with the Lord. I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if God hadn’t brought me to GAMe when He did. Probably in jail! The best part, though, is not only do I get to attend a great Bible study and have fun with friends at all the different activities we do (sand volleyball, ski trips, rafting), I was brought on staff with the ministry in 2014; I get to work everyday with some of the most inspiring and strong Christians that I have ever been blessed to meet!
I heard about GAMe at a presentation at my church, afterwards Chad Peterson gave me a flier and said I should come and check it out.I looked at the flier, put it in my Bible and didn’t think much else about it. Three and a half months later, I was looking through my Bible and found the flier. I felt like God was telling me to go and check it out. At that time, GAMe was meeting on Monday and Tuesday nights. So the next Monday I went to GAMe. I liked it but it was weird. The people were really nice but I didn’t know if I would go back again. The next week I decided to go back to GAMe one more time, so I went on Tuesday night. I liked it a lot more, so I have been coming ever since.
Prior to coming to GAMe, my walk with God wasn’t the best. I looked on the outside like I was a Christian but on the inside I wasn’t growing very much. I needed a place like GAMe but didn’t realize it at the time. GAMe has changed my life. Since coming to GAMe, I have grown a lot in my walk with God and learned a lot about God and the Bible. I have met a lot of people and have made a lot of lifelong friends at GAMe. I would recommend GAMe to people who want to get closer to God and have great fellowship with other believers in Christ. You should come check out GAMe.
As a transplant to Omaha I was in desperate need of a good Christian community, and found not only that need met in GAMe, but also found a much needed refuge.
I had been attending the GAMe Tuesday night bible studies for a couple months when things started to get rough at work. When things escalated and I left that job I found myself in Chad Peterson’s kitchen, a mess and needing a safe haven. As Monica and Chad listened to my woes and prayed with me I felt wonderful peace.
Looking back I am amazed at the gift God gave me of Christian friends and a fortress of peace and prayer. I’ll admit, I didn’t realize how much I needed GAMe and the people involved. The first night I attended was not quite my cup of tea, I almost walked away. I thought, “Eh, this isn’t what I am looking for right now.” But God knew how much I would need that community in just a few short weeks.
I praise God for this ministry and the friendships I have made. We all need community. We were not created to be independent! Let God love you through other Christians!