Have you ever wanted to discover what God created you to do? IMPACT195 is a christian discipleship program designed to equip world changers through life transforming experiences. After hearing several great stories involving IMPACT195, my husband and I decide to visit their Open House in September. It is a Wednesday night when we visit. My husband remarks later that everyone we came in contact with was notably cheerful. There must be a direct correlation between devoting your life to the Lord and contentedness. Besides the smiles, we sense from this group that everyone had a sense of purpose and, in that, a supernatural peace. As diverse as the crowd is, there is an underlying unity among the students, a true reflection of the body of Christ.
Contentedness, sense of purpose, supernatural peace
We sit for dinner. A fresh salad bar is set out for us as we are wrapping up the last week of Rock Church’s 21 day corporate fast. I am greeted by Caleb Pagett, a Term 3 student of the IMPACT195 program. He tells me about his life transformed and it is evident in his enthusiasm that he has indeed changed.
He pulls out his laptop and shows me colorful photos of Nigeria. There are photos of him and his mission team at the Motherless Babies Center and photos of soldiers armed with rifles. He scrolls down further and there are photos of him in Asia. Next in store for him is a 6 month trip to the Philippines. What caused this 27 year old to exchange a life living for himself to one solely devoted to God’s work?
At 17, Caleb packed up his life in Missouri and moved to San Diego six days after he graduated high school. He always wanted to live by the beach and he always wanted to get away from his small hometown of Callao. He took a job as a Stock Associate at Guess in the Fashion Valley mall. Stock Associates process orders, work in the back of the store, and are never on the sales floor. His managers saw his work ethic and sales skills and promoted him to Assistant Store Manager in 6 months.
Two years later, Caleb began attending the Rock Church. Though his attendance was initially fueled by the pursuit of a girl, soon it became something of his own desire. His first involvement was at Pebbles, the Rock Church’s Children’s Ministry. Though he was serving on Sundays, he was still going out and living his own life. Underneath it all, he still felt that God was calling Him in. He went on to serve at Remnant, the age 18-25 ministry (now called 1825). He quickly became Operational Director and was in charge of set up and breakdowns, the table leaders, and general coordination. On any Thursday night, there would be 130-140 attendees.
On November 4, 2009 Caleb decided to be baptized. I asked him what his turning point was. He said that up until then, he was living double life; reading the bible but still going out and partying. “Moving out here, people are super clique-ish, so I became really good friends with my coworkers. We would go out every night after work. On Tuesday, we would go for Taco Tuesdays, on Thursdays it was Thirsty Thursdays. We’d party in Downtown or PB.”
He was convicted when Pastor Bobby was teaching from the book of Romans. “When you accept God into your life, you are no longer a slave to sin. Before that you didn’t have a choice- you were in sin. [By accepting God], you no longer have to sin, you have a choice. God gives us free will and we can choose.”
He adds, “I’m now a new creation in Christ and I want that to be real.” On the day of the baptism, Caleb was full of nerves. His family from Missouri came to visit and their flight was delayed. Despite the minor panic, it was an amazing day. His family made it in time and they were able to witness his new dedication to the Lord. As Caleb describes, “When I came out of the water, I literally felt like all of my old self was gone. I was set free at that moment.”
Caleb decided to take the next big step in his faith and commit to the yearlong discipleship program of IMPACT195. During the course, Caleb has been on two missions trips. The first trip was to Asia where he and about 20 other people embarked on quite an adventure. The mere fact that you were American won you an invite into some of the locals’ homes. It was in those homes that Caleb and his team was able to sit down and share about their love for Christ and share the gospel message through love. After this trip to Asia, Caleb knew that he had to answer the call “to go.” He also learned that his spiritual gifts were leadership and giving.
It was in Nigeria that he was asked to be a Student Leader. There were so many emotions running through him when he landed. Overwhelmed, excited and nervous, his job was to seek out Outreach opportunities for the entire trip. “I knew I wasn’t sufficient enough and that would require to me to have more faith in God than I ever did before,” he shares.
An example of a time when Caleb felt inadequate, yet served by faith, was when he met with the Chief of Police of the region. The officials wanted to meet with their team since they were concerned about their safety. Since his other teammates were busy, he had to go to the police station on his own. The Chief of Police arranged for Caleb to meet with the Chief Commissioner of the State. After that meeting, the Commissioner provided the team with seven military armed soldiers. These would be the soldiers who would be protecting them throughout their time in Nigeria.
Northern Nigeria has higher population of Muslims than other religions whereas Southern Nigeria is predominantly Christian. Yet Southern Nigeria faces its own type of spiritual dissension. Ninety-five percent of people there are religious and they base their faith on fear not love. They all know the bible –maybe even better than some American Christians-yet they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus.
[Photo courtesy of Caleb Pagett]
One of the outreach opportunities was at a local high school. The school officials wanted to show the movie "2012" in order to invoke fear of the End Times even though it was not scriptural. Caleb decided it would be best to show the Jesus Film, instead. After that they broke into teams and played games with the children. Their mission was to show them God’s love for them through action. Next they visited the Motherless Babies Center. “We brought small gifts and gave them out in love,” Caleb says.
During both the Asia and Nigeria trips, Caleb fell in love with the mission field and did not want to return to San Diego. He realized that San Diego no longer felt like home. He experienced the same feeling when he would go back to his small hometown in Missouri and that didn’t feel like home, either. When asked what his biggest take away from the trips, he says:
“God was telling me: it doesn’t matter where you are, or where I send you- as long as you are in My presence, as long as you are abiding with Me, you are home.”
Caleb goes on to say, “I would recommend IMPACT195 for anybody that wants to get serious about their faith. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to truly experience God and know more of who He is. It doesn’t matter if you are a Pastor, a new believer, or someone who has been going to church for 30 years. You will have a transformed life and a transformed heart.”
Psalm 16:11 (NIV) You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Caleb graduates Term 3 at the end of November.
IMPACT195 meets Monday-Friday 9 AM-1 PM or 5:30-9:30 PM. Come experience IMPACT195 during their ASK Prayer Event 6-9 PM Monday October 17th, Tuesday October 18th & Wednesday October 19th & then Friend Day that Friday 9 AM-1 PM & 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM, October 21st.