“I have always felt that God had a calling on my life but never thought it was the kind of call where I was going to go back to a Christian school.”
My name is Robert Vogt and I am going back to Christian School ministry training at CLI. I am from Minneapolis MN in the United States but currently live in Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up in the church doing all the “church” things like Sunday school, royal rangers, and youth camp. I gave my life to Christ as a small child but really doubted my salvation all through my preteen and teenage years. I thought to myself, “You were too young to understand what you were doing.” I grew up in a very dysfunctional home in North Minneapolis, which is a very rough part of the city. I witnessed prostitution, drugs, and gangs on a daily basis. To make matters worse, my father was dealing with undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and used alcohol to medicate himself. Therefore, he would be very physically and verbally abusive to me, my sister, and my mom.
Through all this, it’s amazing to see how God brought the right people into my life at just the right times to help guide me and keep me safe. It was through one of those people that I felt I truly found salvation and God’s plan of redemption for all humanity, and so I accepted what Christ did for me on the cross as a sacrifice once and for all for my sin.
I wasn’t a great student in high school and really didn’t have role models in my home that could help guide me in my life. I ended up taking a “gap year” and working while I tried to save some money for school. I tried community college and didn’t have the skills or the guidance I needed to study and take my education seriously. I ended up on academic probation and eventually dropped out.
Soon after this, I met and married the love of my life. We were, by everyone else’s standards, “very young.” My wife and I found jobs that paid us just enough for us to live on. We dedicated the rest of our time to a volunteer ministry at Emmanuel Christian Center in Fridley, MN. As a matter of fact, the head pastor there now was in our wedding. My wife and I committed about 10 years of our lives to raise young adults in the Youth Ministry. We modeled love, acceptance, discipleship, service, and sharing the good news with “our” kids. I’m happy to say that our efforts along with God’s guidance have produced 7 full-time ministers and I’m praying for countless changed lives!
During the last couple of years of our volunteer ministry with Emmanuel Christian Centers youth, my wife and I were struggling through infertility. This was extremely hard on my wife emotionally and hard on me as her husband wanting to support her. God showed up again and blessed us with the opportunity to adopt our amazing daughter Myah through direct placement which is much cheaper than traditional adoption. It was at this point that I had a revelation that I was responsible for someone else, this precious little girl. So, I went back to school while working full-time and am happy to say that I was much more successful this time and graduated with an AAS degree in software engineering.
We raised our daughter and became experts at building community with people while serving in our local church. Fast forward to my daughter’s freshman year in high school where she informs us that she has decided to go to university in Atlanta, Georgia. Almost immediately, my wife and I looked at each other and said, “We could live in Georgia!” It made sense to move to Georgia with enough time to gain residency and to help with school tuition costs, and we both wanted out of the bitter Minnesota winters. God showed up and both mine and my wife’s companies said we could work remotely from home in Georgia. God showed up again when we sold our house for exactly what we needed and at exactly the time to make the move possible!
I have always felt that God had a calling on my life but never thought it was the kind of call where I was going to go back to a Christian school for ministry training. During the last 4 years in Georgia, my wife and I have been building community with people while serving in our local church, like I said we are experts! Through this, I have been given the incredible opportunity to officiate the weddings of some of our friends. I think it’s just the push I needed to start at a Christian school with ministry in mind. I’m thankful for the ability to get a high-quality education at a Christian school through Christian Leaders Institute while keeping the cost low.
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