The GenSend Effect

David’s Journey to Ministering in Pittsburgh

As a college student, David served with GenSend for two summers: Atlanta, Georgia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

His first GenSend Summer in Atlanta gave him multiple opportunities to share the gospel. While working with the young church plants, he created relationships, and his only assignment for the summer was evangelism.

David explained, “We would go out pretty much every day to meet people and share the gospel.” He recounted that intentionally engaging his community with the gospel alongside other college students changed David’s perspective as he returned to college.

“I began to see every person that walked by me as a person with an eternity that needed the gospel.” Although David’s experience in Atlanta proved formative and impactful, the following summer in Pittsburgh changed the course of his life.

“After three days in Pittsburgh, I knew six weeks wouldn’t be long enough for me,” David said as he explained his deep love for the city. “I began to fall in love with what God was already doing here, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

David received his assignment — strategically engaging the neighborhood of Oakland, located around the University of Pittsburgh downtown. Because the Lord had already given him a heart for college students through his first GenSend Summer and the following school year, David and his teammates could share the gospel in Oakland.

“After I left,” David said, “I felt the Lord calling me back to continue in the gospel efforts there, and I could return after graduation.”

David returned to Pittsburgh through the Journeyman program to work with Send Relief and Steel City Church, a church plant. He lived in the community, ministered to his neighbors, built relationships with local ministries and in the middle of all of his responsibilities, he also coached the following summer’s GenSend team in 2021.

David fostered a deep love for the gospel in Pittsburgh and the world. He consistently served with selfless enthusiasm — and since that summer, over half his team has entered the international and domestic mission field to love and share the gospel with their lives.

After he completed his Journeyman term in 2022, David and his wife stayed in Pittsburgh, and he started working as a college minister at Steel City Church. When I asked David what this job would look like, he said, “I will be engaging college students on campus and around Oakland with the gospel and encouraging them to reach other students with the gospel — actually, the same neighborhood assignment I received during my GenSend Summer here.”

David now lives and serves full-time in the same community where God began to break his heart for the city of Pittsburgh. He says he is “in Pittsburgh as long as the Lord will have me.”

Published November 3, 2023