Finding Faith and Friendship

Connor’s GenSend Journey from Utah to New York

Connor moved to Utah for college two years ago. Though familiar with church life, he moved in with some family members who did not consider themselves Christians. “I grew up in a Christian home. My dad was a Christian, and I realize now that he would always give glory to God in every circumstance,” Connor explains. “But I was not a believer, and I thought what my dad did was upside down.”

At a younger age, Connor didn’t understand his dad’s motivations, but Connor saw his dad’s intentionality about attributing everything to God and His glory as the thing that stuck with him.

In contrast, the Mormon faith (the religion of his extended family and the primary belief system in Utah) appeared to believe the same things but did not offer the same hope, joy and freedom that his dad exemplified.

Connor said, “Even though [my extended family] talked about the same things, my dad’s joy and peace seemed very different from theirs. So, I started looking into their church and noticed some issues.”

As Connor looked into the Mormon church, he became confused. “I prayed to God one night, asking him to show me who He was because I felt very lost.”

The next day, while Connor worked the self-checkout at Target, he met Trip.

“Trip introduced himself, and I immediately knew something was different about him. I just assumed he was a Christian. We talked, and he invited me to dinner.”

Connor opened up and explained his thoughts about the Mormon church and his questions about Christianity. Trip answered everything.

“He pointed me to Scripture and told me that we are saved by grace through faith alone. He told me how God reveals Himself to us through His Word, and it’s not our works.” After Trip answered all of his questions, Connor gave his life to the Lord that night.

“From there on, I wanted to understand how to live this new Christian life.” He connected with Redemption Church in Utah, where Trip attended. “Our friendship grew, and Trip has been such a big blessing and has poured into me ever since.”

Last year’s GenSend team in Utah also became great friends with Connor — a year after he got saved. “I saw them start to learn what it means to do ministry, which proved helpful for me.”

This past summer (in 2023), Connor served with the GenSend team in Brooklyn, New York. “I looked for places to go after seeing everything that Trip and the other GenSenders did in Utah. I ended up in New York because it’s the opposite of Utah. It’s not religious; so many cultures exist there, and it was very different from what I knew.”

Connor met and shared the gospel with all kinds of people; His faith was stretched and challenged by his GenSend experience.

Connor and Trip continue to grow in their friendship in Utah and participate in a growing and thriving church plant there, seeking to reach the lost together for the sake of the gospel.

Published November 3, 2023