After high school, I had no ambitions for my life. I was taking advantage of my parents and making destructive choices.

My parents travel to the Dominican Republic every year, and by God’s grace, my mom met a woman there who told her about Youth-Reach Gulf Coast (YRGC). When they told me about it, I had been jobless for nine months and was at my lowest point in life, but I was prideful and didn’t believe I needed help. Eventually, my bad decisions led to my parents kicking me out.

I didn’t know how to handle that, so I decided to end it all, and I wrote a suicide note. I took pills from the cabinet and went to a nearby park. As I was about to take my life, I heard a furious “no” in my mind, which I believe was the voice of God protecting me. I couldn’t go through with it. I went back to the house and sat up against a huge tree in our yard. My parents came out crying and said they had been praying for the Lord to intervene. It was then that I realized I needed help and decided to take the next step at YRGC.

Nikolas & KassidyWhen I came to Youth-Reach, I was a prideful jock. Director David Williams was one of the first people to call me out on my pride. From there, he and the staff showed me what humility as a Christ follower looks like. The staff at YRGC are skilled at creating an atmosphere where you are able to grow. They walk you through your failures and celebrate your victories. Because of that, I was able to grasp the way the Lord tenderly fathers us in our strengths and weaknesses.

Youth-Reach was where I first encountered the Lord and saw a dramatic shift from religion to relationship. I came to understand that it wasn’t about doing things right; the Lord just desired communion with me. YRGC helped shape my foundation with Christ and launched me into his amazing plan for me. My experience was life-transforming and it is a key part of my testimony and where I am today.

After I graduated from YRGC in April 2020, I attended the Youth With A Mission Nashville Discipleship Training School. It was there that I felt a call toward missions and ministry full-time. That was also where I met and fell in love with my wife, Kassidy. We celebrate our first wedding anniversary in October.

Once we were married, Kassidy and I began to ask the Lord for vision as a couple. We both have huge hearts for missions and the local church, so we began praying for direction. As we were dreaming about what ministry might look like for us, we came to the conclusion that our dream position would be serving as outreach coordinators for a local church. This would allow us to continue ministering internationally while also planting roots locally.

During prayer, the city of Villa Rica, Georgia kept coming to mind. Kassidy had connections with the pastors of LifeGate Church, and in faith, she reached out to see if there were any opportunities for us to get plugged in. It just so happened that they were in need of outreach coordinators! We moved to Villa Rica, and we’ve been working our dream jobs for a couple of months now.

We could not be more thankful for how the Lord opened doors and led us here.