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I grew up near Tacoma, Washington and promised myself that I’d never leave the area.

In 2012, I left the area; I drove off to Ellensburg to begin my four years as a college student at Central Washington University. I said goodbye to my parents and my younger brother, halfway shaking my fist in rebellious joy as I stepped into uncharted freedom. I’d concluded up until that point that the great goal of life was to be really moral; be a decent human and attend church gatherings on Sundays if it was convenient for me. I thought I knew some things about God and by avoiding bad things, I’d have nothing to worry about. However, chasing perfection left me exhausted and dissatisfied at the end of my High School career. I was 18 and tired of who I was. I figured that college was the ideal time to change - I could step into a new context and nobody had to know anything about where I came from.

I spent most of the next two years chasing everything that I thought I’d missed out on - I wanted to be liked and be like everyone else around me. Before I knew it, I was 20 and tired of who I was. I figured I must have been missing something. Following any and all desires of my heart left me empty and beat up. Following seemingly perfect people and aiming to be a good person left me empty and beat up. Different methods; same result. I couldn’t figure out who I was, what the point of my life was, or what I believed.

I figured I’d run back to what I somewhat knew, and by the grace of God, the gospel was clearly presented to me as a Sophomore in college as I dug into the Bible and began hanging out with a “village”, as my friend called it. I recognized my desperate need for Jesus and the scandalous nature of grace in the cross of Christ as truth sunk into my heart. My life was wrecked; I’d met a group of people in their 20’s who had just moved from the Palouse area to plant a new church at Central Washington University. The timing was nothing short of perfect. I watched as people my age joyfully gave up comforts, money, relationships, and more - to plant a church and reach the lost in Ellensburg because of how much they treasured Jesus and desired others to know and treasure him. Through Resonate Church God pursued me, rescued me, & revealed to me the significant joy of dying to myself and following Jesus Christ. I slowly began serving in small capacities and was invited into what it looked like to make disciples. Through my junior and senior years, God continued to pursue me and increase my joy in Jesus and adhering to him.

In 2016 I graduated from Central Washington University with a technology degree, but God called me away from my desk job in Seattle. I came on full-time staff with Resonate Church in Ellensburg, then by God’s grace, I was invited to do what those before me had done & move to a new city to endeavor to see the gospel go forth. In 2017, I moved to Monmouth, Oregon to be a part of the plant team.

As we continue to plant churches, raise up leaders, and multiply, my desire and prayer is that my name would die as the name of Jesus is made great.

Myers Briggs: ISTJ

Contact Ben: benwenzl@resonate.net

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