We are thrilled to welcome Pastor Jared Miller who has come to serve the University and Bouchrieh Churches. Pastor Jared is here with his wife Katie, 5-year old daughter Angela, 4-year old daughter Andrea, and a third daughter due at the end of December.
Born in Minnesota and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Pastor Jared is very familiar with Adventist education, having grown up around the Union campus where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Theology in 2006. He met Katie, born in Des Moines, Iowa, when they were sophomores in college. She also completed her BA in Theology at Union in 2006. After pastoring in the Iowa-Missouri Conference for two years, they went to the seminary where Pastor Jared completed his MDiv and Katie her MA in Religious Education. They then pastored in Missouri for 2 years and Iowa for 3.5 years after which they accepted the call to come to Lebanon.
Pastor Jared and Katie first heard about MEU from Michael Corridan, a sophomore Theology major at MEU, who was one of Pastor Jared’s church members in Iowa. They later heard more from Gail, Michael’s mom who came on a short-term mission trip to Beirut, and was convinced that Lebanon would be the perfect fit for them. At the GYC 2015 conference (Generation of Youth for Christ), Pastor Jared stopped by the MEU booth at GYC and learned more about about MEU. That weekend, he and Katie heard Pastor Homer Trecartin’s appeal for workers to come to MENA.
“That was very profound and inspirational for us,” says Pastor Jared. They felt the need and realized how big a mission field it was. Katie felt impressed they would come to the Middle East but Pastor Jared didn’t see how it would happen anytime soon as there were no open doors and no job on the horizon. By the end of February, fellow pastor Scott Haakenson emailed Pastor Jared asking if he had any interest in coming to Lebanon. Pastor Scott was the previous pastor of the University and Bouchrieh churches but had returned to the States with his family early due to health reasons. This was the moment that got the ball rolling seriously. Pastor Jared and Katie began the interview process and God threw open all the doors.
When Pastor Jared and Katie put their house up for sale in May, there was the huge question of whether it would sell as it had sat brand new on the market for 2 years before they bought it. Within 3 weeks, the house was sold. Pastor Jared was also two years in to studying his DMin at Andrews University and was concerned about finishing his program. His advisors gave him clearance to come to Lebanon and promised to work with him to finish in a timely manner. In addition, the mission-minded Iowa-Missouri conference was very supportive, even financially, as the president encouraged them to accept the call. Pastor Jared and Katie felt that this mission experience would give them a broader perspective and prepare them to share the gospel in any part of the world where God led them.
Pastor Jared smiled thoughtfully, when asked what his vision for the University and Bourchrieh churches are. “We are a growing spiritual body of believers that are growing closer to God, closer to each other, and in unity reaching out to the people here in Lebanon. This can be a launching pad for ministry also, as people come and go from their home countries and wherever they go be on fire for Christ and spread the gospel.” He is confident that God will lead the church to develop a good plan of events and worship services that point others to Jesus and inspire all in the work that God has given us. Pastor Jared looks forward to meeting the students as they arrive in the coming week and working with MEU chaplain Javier to meet their spiritual needs. “As we work together in a multicultural context, with many countries and languages represented, we want to be united in the mission God has for us,” Pastor Jared shared.
In his precious free time, when he isn’t studying for his DMin, Pastor Pastor Jared enjoys spending time with his family, playing with his daughters, reading, and exercising. He has run several half marathons and looks forward to running one in Lebanon in the near future.
by Maria Lombart