A Target Encounter That Changed Lives

Trip’s GenSend Mission in Utah

In the summer of 2021, Trip was part of the GenSend Salt Lake City team based in Ogden, Utah. He went to college in South Carolina, where his college pastor challenged him to live on mission the summer after graduating.

“We were on a prayer walk,” Trip said, “and my college pastor told me about GenSend. He challenged me to consider it as the next step after graduation.

“As I evaluated my options, the Lord laid on my heart three big prayers for my senior year of college,” Trip explained. “The first was Matthew 4:19: ‘Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.’ I prayed that the Lord would send me to an un-fished pond to learn how to fish. The next was Matthew 10:39: ‘Whoever gains his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’ I prayed that the Lord would teach me what it means to lose my life so I could find it. And the last was that the Lord would break my heart for what breaks His.”

In the last few months of college, Trip had a stable job, a place to live and exciting plans for the next stage of life in South Carolina.

“I went into my boss’s office to officially apply for a job” (a job that his boss had previously guaranteed), “and the Lord laid on my heart to pray over the application. I prayed, ‘Lord, if it is most glorifying for you to keep me here, then keep me here; if not, please get my boss to fire me.’” Two days later, at small group, Trip got a call from his boss that he would have to let him go — and within the last three months of college, the job, the place to live and most of his plans fell through.

“That summer at GenSend, I lived in Ogden and we would go on hikes where we could see the city,” Trip said, “and we would look over the valley and remember the people we had met, realizing the lostness of the city and weep over it. During those times, I realized this might not be temporary.”

At the end of the summer, the teams met in Salt Lake to pray for their next steps and calling.

“The pastor at our church there preached on Proverbs 13:12: ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.’ The pastor explained that if you have a heart to reach a specific place for the gospel and God is bridging that gap for you, He may call you to that area. So, we prayed, and within a week, I had a job and a place to live in Ogden,” said Trip.

He moved back to Ogden, Utah, one month later to work and live on mission and has remained there ever since.

One specific day during GenSend, Trip and one of his teammates met a Target employee named Connor.

“It had been one of the most discouraging days of GenSend,” said Trip, “But we were supposed to have dinner with Connor. We prayed for God to work, and a few hours later, Connor gave his life to Christ.”

Because God called Trip back to Utah, he could walk with Connor in discipleship.

“He has been one of the biggest blessings of being out here,” Trip said, “and, you know, he’s did GenSend in Brooklyn this past summer.

“We just met at the Target self-checkout.”

God used Trip to bring Connor to Himself. Now God worked through Connor in the same way two years later to share the same gospel with the lost on the other side of the country.

Published November 3, 2023