After being expelled from the school in Kenya, Shawn was devastated. His parents immediately flew from Equatorial Guinea to bring him to the States. The night before they left, his dad quoted Romans 8:28, a Scripture which Shawn had heard time and time again growing up. It says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Shawn whispered to himself as quietly as possible, “Whatever.”
He followed that remark with a simple prayer. He said, “God, if that promise is true and I see it happen, I’ll give you my life. I’ll let you have complete control. If you don’t, though, I’m out!”
The next few months were incredibly difficult and Shawn began to realize that he wasn’t a Christ follower at all. He was just playing the game, and he needed to surrender his life to God. He remembered responding to an altar call for the first time in April of 1993. As a 17-year-old missionary kid, Shawn finally said yes to Jesus.
Shawn went on to teach Spanish after graduating with a Spanish degree from Evangel University in 1999. Shortly after, he joined the Army and served for 8 years. Following his military service, he received his Master of Divinity from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in 2014. Months before Shawn graduated, he received a call from his dad’s close friend who was pastoring a church in California. The pastor asked Shawn to prayerfully consider taking over an existing church in Los Angeles. A burden for Los Angeles grew in his heart and although he had never even been there, he knew God was calling him to leave his hometown and plant a church.