For Emmanuel College alumnus Aaron Maxwell, the path wasn’t always clear. But by serving a loving God, he’s on the right road now. He serves alongside his wife Amber, who is also an alumnus of Emmanuel. They work together to love the children they serve in West Africa at Dakar Academy.
But, the life of a missionary was not always in Aaron’s plans.
“I was pretty undecided in what I wanted to study at Emmanuel,” Aaron said. “So I bounced around to a few different things and I settled on Communications.”
Aaron still had one unresolved problem that he needed to correct: his walk with God.
“I stepped away from the faith a little bit while I was in college for a while,” Aaron said. “When I finally decided to give God another shot, on the altar, a calling was given. I had no idea where it came from—it was the weirdest thing ever.”
What Aaron did know is that he wanted to travel the world and help youth in some way, shape, or form. He also knew what it kind of looked like: being a mentor to youth, which would allow him to let his life be a testimony to them.
But, the two puzzle pieces didn’t begin to fit until God allowed for his wife, Amber Maxwell, to enter his life.
Amber attended Emmanuel as an Early Childhood Education major and dated Aaron. She didn’t know that she would be the link that would allow them both to begin their new lives together.
Amber grew up as a missionary kid. Born on the Ivory Coast of West Africa, she had always had a heart for missions. Finding someone who shares the exact heart for missions was the icing on the cake for their relationship.
Graduating in 2010 together, Amber and Aaron began searching for their next move. Amber discovered a boarding program in South Korea housing middle-class Korean children.
“She started talking about this boarding program we could apply to. Everything that would look like living with kids, working with them day in and day out. Doing life in that type of community,” Aaron said. “It was definitely like a lightbulb. It was as though God was saying “this is how those two puzzle pieces fit together, this is what you are called to do.”
Working in South Korea for several years, Aaron & Amber enjoyed the life they had together working for God and his children. However, they began to feel as though there was more waiting for them.
“When we were in Korea, we loved what we were doing,” Amber said. “But we were assistants in the dorm and we really wanted to have our own dorm. So we were looking into moving towards education.”
Another opportunity presented itself in the form of Dakar Academy, another boarding program for children. But the children they would be working with would be missionary kids instead.
The opportunity to continue ministry together with children sounded great. But the idea of leaving Korea made them hesitant in making a final decision.
Aaron’s parents and others encouraged Aaron & Amber to test God and take Him at His word. By doing that, Aaron & Amber now work at Dakar Academy in West Africa. They house missionary children whose parents work as missionaries within the region.
“It’s fun and it’s beautiful,” Aaron said. “When you’re in God’s will, it’s so much fun.”
Aaron & Amber find nothing but pure joy from being in the center of God’s will. They work together to fulfill their calling.
“It’s kind of this cycle of joy because we’re ministering together. I’m seeing her be successful in that ministry,” Aaron said. “I feel like we’re constantly challenging each other and encouraging each other. It comes from doing ministry together.”
In hopes of encouraging others in the way of the Lord, Aaron encourages others to begin finding prayer warriors that will pray and help encourage you in this life with the Lord.
If you feel called to missions and want to spread the word of God, you also need to fully believe in the word of God,” Aaron said. “If you have that calling on your life, start making connections now with people that are prayer warriors so they can start praying over your life right now so that you do have clear guidance for the future where you want to be.”
Amber offers advice to anyone who may be hesitant in taking that necessary step of faith.
“Have faith that if you’re following the will of the Lord, He’s going to be one step ahead and provide for you,” Amber said. “If He’s guiding you somewhere and you’re worried about how it’s all going to work, taking that step of faith is so important. He is Jehovah Jireh-The Lord provides.”