Last week at the NE/SE Regional Conference I had a chance to connect with Ashley Key – the first emerging leader Amanda Taylor and I sent out to do an ELP Project. She went to Long Island TC Rock the Block in 2009 to apprentice with Anna Ramos and the team there. Here is her testimony of her journey.
I started the ELP track when I was a student in the program. I knew that ELP was established to help equip us to be effective leaders in Teen Challenge. My heart’s desire was, and still is to be a TC Director and I knew that starting the journey with ELP would help me in my calling of Teen Challenge leadership. The opportunity to work with other leaders and watch their journey to leadership brought encouragement to me who was just starting. The curriculum and the projects that I was a part of, hit on topics that were specifically designed for my journey. The Armor Bearer book was the one that had a tremendous impact on the way that I saw what true leadership was all about. Leadership is serving others the way Christ did. I was told this in the program, but the “light bulb” didn’t go on until I read that book. It helped me to understand that leadership wasn’t about just telling others to do something or to just delegate it to someone. It was more about helping my leader fulfill the will of God in their life and watching how God would open the doors in my life because of the faithfulness to my leader. It also spoke of discipleship to me. A leader goes and helps those he is leading. We aren’t dictators. I think I thought that was what leadership was for years. The journey that I took in ELP helped me to see how the Lord had designed true leadership and helped mold me into the leader and disciple-maker that I am becoming.
I have been at Long Island Teen Challenge for 6 years. This has been an incredible journey for me. It has been filled with ups and downs, but God has been truly faithful in it all. I have had my hands in every aspect of the ministry. I have been Assistant House Manager to House Manager. I have overseen the upkeep of the house and the logistics of the program. I just recently graduated from Northpoint Bible College after 2 years of being away, I now oversee the kitchen and I am a Senior Staff at the Women’s Home. It’s such a blessing to be here with these ladies, using the Start Right Program to help disciple and equip them in their own journey with the Lord.