John has a passion for the youth of Sioux Falls and has led the Collision team since 2008. John grew up in Wyoming and graduated from Riverton High School, where his running skills earned him a scholarship to attend and run for the University of Sioux Falls. He graduated with a Business degree and then earned his MBA. Years later, he obtained his Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Liberty Online University.
John has had a front row seat to watching God do some amazing things in and through students in the Sioux Falls area. Collision started because of a student’s passion at Lincoln High School and today, the organization serves students at all Sioux Falls middle and high schools. John’s work with Collision has given him a platform to speak at conferences and work with other leaders from around the country who are looking to impact youth in a growing post-Christian culture. He also travels frequently to the Ukraine to speak and train up leaders in that country to come alongside youth to share and live out their faith.
John is married to Angie, and they have three wonderful children. When he isn’t being a husband, dad, serving students and staff, or sharing vision with supporters (yes, this is one busy guy), you will find him on the Sioux Falls bike trail peddling and praying for his family, Collision, students and the city of Sioux Falls.
Bailey’s story starts in Norfolk, Nebraska, where she grew up in a loving home with two Christ-following parents. She says her childhood was easy, and though she was very involved in church, there wasn’t much meaning in it for her.
Her freshman year of high school started off rough with a move to Tea, South Dakota, where the pressure of starting anew and dealing with her new friends’ tumultuous emotional health weighed heavy on her shoulders. She became burdened to the point of depression and felt like there was no hope for her.
Sometime during her sophomore year of high school, she remembers sitting on the couch at home when she got a call from her church’s youth pastor. Although she had a 5-page essay due later that week, the pastor was insistent and encouraged her to attend the Wednesday night youth group gathering, where she would later become a regular and discover her knack for technology by running sound and lights. She also began to see the interactions she had with the people in her life with new eyes; she could see that she was cared for, valued, and loved.
Her involvement in youth group eventually led to surrendering her life to Christ and reaffirming her baptism during her senior year. Looking back at this moment, Bailey recognizes the immediate deliverance she experienced from her depression—“it was instant rescue, like a snap of the fingers.”
Bailey has since felt the call of ministry on her life, and because she relates well to the struggles of youth, she has leaned into youth discipleship. Heavily involved with Collision as a student, Bailey decided to continue her involvement as part-time staff while she works toward her college degree in theology and youth ministry. Now, she is helping with Tea Middle School and enjoys forming relationships with students and churches.
If you ever run into Bailey, ask her about her closet ventriloquism—it makes for a great conversation-starter.
While Ciji’s story starts out rough, it’s filled with hope and incredible God moments. She was born in North Dakota (that’s not the rough part yet). Her parents divorced when she was three and her mother died two years later. Her stepmother was abusive and she grew up never feeling “good enough.” Her family moved around and she found herself in Rapid City during her high school years. Throughout high school she suffered from depression and began making unwise decisions. As Ciji says, “By my senior year I was out of control.”
Freshman year of college was more of the same. That year she met her future husband, Marcus at a party. In 2004, they married and life together started out pretty rocky. Prior to getting married, they both made a pact that church, the Bible and religious stuff was never going to have any place in their marriage (ha…never say never).
Ciji began to contemplate divorce and then stuff started to happen. A friend from high school called her and had a career opportunity for her and Marcus to consider. Ciji was selling vacuums door-to-door, so she was all ears. The company was operated by Christians and suddenly they found themselves surrounded. They attended a sales meeting in Kentucky and were invited to a Sunday worship service. They declined…and declined...and declined…and then accepted the invite. Long story short, Ciji found herself weeping and knowing what was being talked about was what she had longed for. She accepted Jesus and stopped the party lifestyle immediately. Ciji’s faith added more strain to the marriage. She started attending church, and one day, seven years later, Marcus came to know Jesus.
Ciji had known about the work that Collision does, since she led a group of girls from her church and some of the girls were involved with the student-led movement. Because of her high school years, she has a passion for students to know their true worth, purpose and identity through Jesus.
Today, Ciji and Marcus have a wonderful marriage with two children. In addition to serving with Collision, she owns her own photography business and is a coach for the Safe Families program within the foster system. Her husband serves full-time in the Air National Guard and they enjoy the great outdoors every chance they get.
Caiden needs no introduction (literally, because he seems to know every student in Sioux Falls). As a 2019 graduate of Lincoln High School, this guy lived his faith inside and outside of the school walls. He and his missionary family lived in Siberia and Alaska before moving to Sioux Falls in 2013 to get to the warmer climate (just kidding about the warmer weather).
“Growing up in a family that loved Jesus, it’s easy for me to say that I have always known about God. But we all have to acknowledge that we are sinful people and accept the free gift of grace that Jesus offered by dying for our sins on the cross. I did that at 10 years of age,” says Caiden.
Caiden got involved with Collision at Edison Middle School in 8th grade. Through his involvement Caiden says he was learning to have more courage to share his faith with his peers and to step out of his comfort zone, but he continued to struggle too much with what others thought about him. It wasn’t until the summer of his sophomore year at LHS that it really clicked -- he stopped pursuing popularity and focused on who God said he was.
Caiden engaged fully with his peers by expanding his influence and platform to share his faith through various activities like Cross Country, Track, Student Council, Homecoming King, participating in Mr. LHS and more. As a result, Caiden has seen God do some pretty amazing things in his own life and in his peers.
As a student, Caiden has first-hand experience and understands that schools are massive mission fields. “As a student-led movement, it was incredible to see what God was doing on a peer-to-peer level. I want to continue to encourage students to understand who they are in Christ and to simply live that out among their peers.” Caiden is attending the University Center and pursuing a degree in Education. He is also an aficionado of colorful shorts. The crazier the better!
Saying this South Dakota native has been around the block a few times is an understatement. His journey began in Hamlin County, South Dakota, and his travels have taken him to far off places like Thailand, Malaysia, China, Orlando, and back to South Dakota.
As the son of a school administrator of the Hamlin School District in South Dakota, Mike was raised in a Christian family and came to know Jesus at an early age. His prayer warrior parents and grandparents left a huge impression on him. He smiles as he recalls the stories of answered prayers that his grandparents would share with him as a young child. He believes it is one of the reasons he is so passionate about prayer. He also remembers seeing his school as a mission field and talking to his peers about Jesus every chance he got.
Mike went to the University of South Dakota and immediately got connected to Campus Crusade for Christ (which would later become Cru). As a Journalism and Mass Communication student, he was on the school newspaper’s Student Publication Board and was part of the student team responsible for developing a state-of-art college newspaper. Mike was offered a sports photojournalism internship from USA Today but turned it down to pursue a calling on his life to East Asia. In his junior year, the calling was confirmed when USD’s language program offered Mandarin Chinese, which he became proficient in.
After accepting the invitation to join Cru in East Asia, Mike spent many years serving there and eventually met his wife Heather.
When his time oversees came to a close, he and his wife moved on to spend 12 years at the international headquarters of Cru in Orlando developing leaders and working in a variety of areas including training, leadership development, missions, etc.
Later they were given the opportunity to move back to South Dakota, where Heather became the regional director of Cru for ND, SD, IA, NE, KS and MO and Mike became National Director for Volunteer Strategy. A friend of Mike’s encouraged him to check out Collision and the work they were doing with middle and high school students. Long story short, Mike was intrigued with how God is using Collision to mobilize resources and influence the next generation to reach the world, and he is now on loan from CRU to Collision for the foreseeable future.
Mike and Heather now call South Dakota home and have two young daughters. Mike also has a brother named Mark whom he calls the most handsome guy on the planet (Mark and Mike are identical twins).
Schools served: Brandon Valley HS and MS, Joe Foss, Washington HS, Whittier MS
Lue was born in Siberia, Russia, and moved with her family to balmy Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when she was six years old. She and her seven sisters (yes, seven sisters) grew up in a Christ-loving home, but she didn’t make her relationship with Jesus personal until she was 16 years old.
She is an alumni of Terry Redlin Elementary, Whittier Middle School and Washington High School in Sioux Falls. She was involved with Collision as a student all four years at Washington (in an honest moment she shares that what first attracted her was the food). After high school she took a gap year and volunteered for Collision. Lue shares that “God shifted my focus and broke my heart for youth and gave me an opportunity to serve Him full-time through Collision.” She now serves students at two of her alma maters and has a huge heart for our growing and diverse community. Her work with Collision has also taken her to the Ukraine to help train leaders on how to start Disciple Making Movement groups.
Lue is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Sioux Falls Seminary. When she isn’t hanging out with students or studying, she loves music (she recently started playing the violin again), movies, outdoor activities, traveling, coffee and food (hmm…seems to be a common theme developing). She also enjoys weightlifting and has a heart for missions.
Angie was born and raised in Sioux Falls. After graduating from Sioux Falls Christian High School, she attended the University of Sioux Falls and graduated with degrees in Special Education and Elementary Education. Little known fact: Angie received a soccer scholarship and played on USF’s very first team – having NO previous soccer experience. Now that’s an athlete! She also ended up running cross-country on scholarship as well – not to run (although she did a lot of that) but to chase after a young man that would later become her husband, John (our Executive Director) who was also on scholarship with the team.
Angie joined Collision full-time in 2011 as Office Manager. However, because of her relationship to John, she has been on board since day one. Needless to say, Angie wears a lot of hats and her attention to detail and organizational skills keeps the Collision team on track. Angie shares, “I enjoy using my gifts behind the scenes and hopefully making it easier for the staff to fulfill their calling through their work at Collision.”
As if a growing organization, being a wife and mother to three children doesn’t keep her busy enough, she finds
Aaron is a native of Omaha, Nebraska…go Sooners! That’s right, a Sooner fan among Huskers (only because he wanted to be different as a kid growing up). He’s also a huge Cleveland sports fan (Browns, Cavaliers and Indians). Why? Because as a young kid he thought Cleveland was close to Omaha and picked the pro teams close to his hometown. His geography skills have improved, but he still loves Cleveland.
Regardless of his confusing sports history growing up, he had solid Christian parents that got him involved in the local church. At the age of 10 he was playing guitar and bass for his youth groups worship team. In high school he was involved in literally everything…football, basketball, track and more. Unfortunately, he started to make bad choices. Aaron shares, “I wanted to fit in and be cool. I became arrogant. I fell victim to my immaturity and didn’t think I needed Jesus.” His faith became real to him for the first time when he was sitting in a car listening to rap music where God confronted him with his attitude and direction in his life. Aaron says, “it was a crazy deliverance!” Since then, he hasn’t looked back.
Aaron ended up at the University of Sioux Falls as a Theology and Biblical Studies student. He also ran track and was All Conference in the 110 hurdles. Through an internship with a church in Sioux Falls, he met John Glasser, Collision’s Executive Director. The frequent conversations helped to ignite a passion in him to work with students who are struggling in their bad choices and self-image. “I am stoked to help unite, empower and serve students to collect the fruit of their harvest among their peers.”
Liza is a farm girl from Spencer, South Dakota. Growing up in rural South Dakota meant that she WOULD play sports and get involved in music (if you are from a small school, you understand). She graduated from the University of South Dakota and earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She spent several years consulting with various teams in the Sioux Falls School District that worked with children with autism. She also started a special needs ministry at a local church in Sioux Falls and was eventually on staff there for 5 years.
While in transition, God impressed upon her heart to join Collision after learning about how students in Sioux Falls were being raised up to lead boldly. Her heart today is to mentor, develop and equip strong, Christ-focused leaders and to help them grow into all that God intends for them to be.
She is married to Aaron and is blessed with two, active children. Her time away from Collision is spent enjoying her family, serving and taking ministry classes at her church. She likes to travel and finds her happy spot at the beach.
This lady has been going places all her life. Kat was born in Long Island, New York; moved to Texas when she was 11; attended Liberty University in Virginia; taught English in Spain, and now happily calls Sioux Falls her home.
Kat grew up in a Christian home with parents who were very intentional about their faith, yet, as she states, “I just wasn’t sure about this whole Christianity thing and hadn’t made it my own.” Her junior year in high school she remembers asking her sister, “What does that even mean that Jesus died on the cross?”
After high school she attended Liberty University, where she would run cross country and track (she is among the top 10 steeplechase athletes of all time for the university). In her freshman year she also wrestled…with God, with questions like who is He and is He real? Kat says God used two things to help influence her thinking. The first was reading the book “Mere Christianity” by ex-atheist turned Christ-follower, C.S. Lewis. The second was a group of friends that helped her process all her questions. In her freshman year, she finally understood what Jesus did for her on the cross and made it her own.
In the spring semester she also met Luke (a native of Sioux Falls), the man she would later marry. He was a transfer student to Liberty and also ran cross country and track. They would often be the only ones eating together in the school cafeteria at lunchtime after the teams were finished with their meals. The food was okay, but the conversation was great. As Kat explains, it was all very innocent until Spring Break, where she decided to rent a moped and texted Luke to ask him if he wanted a ride on the back of her moped…the ultimate pick up line. It worked and the rest as they say is history. Vroom. Vroom.
Kat was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, and after getting married, she and Luke ended up in Spain where she taught English and he worked with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Once that assignment was finished, they moved to Sioux Falls, where Luke still works with FCA and is a volunteer cross country coach for his alma mater, Lincoln High School. Kat was also presented with the opportunity to work with Collision.
Kat is excited to be a part of Collision because of the peer-to-peer discipleship aspect. “I struggled with my understanding of who God was. He used a bunch of my peers to lovingly and persistently help me truly understand who He is and how much He loves me. I can’t wait to see what God does with us in Sioux Falls.”
Corey spent much of his childhood frequenting his parents’ coffee shop ministry, Firehouse Underground, in downtown Sioux Falls. He saw his parents’ great faith in the way they ran their ministry and raised him and his sister, and he recalls knowing God early on as a result. Although Corey grew up in a Christian environment, it wasn’t until middle school that he gave his life to Christ at Camp Judson in the Black Hills (he was also baptized there later in high school).
Because he was bullied a lot in elementary and middle school, Corey withdrew into himself and developed a quiet and shy personality. He didn’t have many friends, and he ended up falling into a depression that led to suicidal thoughts in middle and high school. In his sophomore year of high school, he remembers attending a conference in Kansas City, Missouri, where someone called out for those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts to stand and be prayed over. It was this moment—when Corey stood up, and his family and strangers prayed over him—that he experienced the life-saving power of deliverance through faith.
Corey also remembers that youth group played a big role in his faith walk. Another struggle that he faced in middle and high school, like many other teenagers, was finding his identity in the wrong things. However, when he began attending youth group, he found a strong, positive influence—his youth pastor—who showed love and acceptance to him. Corey also got to know his future wife, Mackenzie, on a youth group mission trip to Chicago. They ended up dating for two years, getting engaged, and marrying eight months later in August 2015.
Corey says that while working for Collision part-time, he is excited to help students find their identity and joy in Christ, and if they are in a season of darkness, he desires to help them through by pointing them to Christ—just like his youth pastor did for him. Corey is also half Native American, and he wants to connect with the Native American students in whatever area of ministry he finds himself.
A few fun facts about Corey: he can quote the movies Hot Rod or Nacho Libre like nobody’s business, he enjoys playing hockey in an adult league, and although he has done some “Mike Rowe dirty jobs” in the past, like plumbing, he will gag if you hold a pickle anywhere near his face.
Ellie grew up in a Christian family, went to church and played the good girl role. As she states, “I put on the face when I was at church but I was someone completely different away from church.” She states, “I began to idolize different things…popularity…my friendships…I simply was serving all the wrong things. I eventually realized I was on a dead end path.”
As her senior year of high school approached for the 2019/2020 school year, she made the tough decision to finish school by taking online classes through Moody Bible Institute. Her goal is to graduate early and prepare to attend Moody full-time in the fall of 2020.
She had been praying that God would open the doors to a greater opportunity to grow in her faith. She also wanted to spread hope to her peers, sharing her own experiences and helping them get out of the same traps she had gotten into. She said, “I received a call from a guy (John Glasser, Collision Executive Director) I didn’t even know. He told me God put it on his heart to reach out to her.” Through various conversations John asked her to join the Collision team as a 2019/2020 school year intern.
She has had a desire to be a missionary since she was in 7th grade and has been on service trips every year since then. “Now, as I wrap up high school experience and prepare for college I have realized I have a major mission field with my peers. I’m excited about the year ahead and how He will use and teach me.”
Ellie serves on her church youth group’s worship team by playing the guitar and singing. She also likes to play tennis and roast Starbursts over campfires like marshmallows.
To say Bobby’s life is full of twist and turns would be an understatement. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Bobby’s early life experiences included being in ten different foster homes, three orphanages and two failed adoptions. He could have lost hope,
In the 8th grade, he had a desire to go to a smaller school. He received the opportunity to attend Sioux Falls Christian High School. He enjoyed playing football, choir and participating in the chapel band (he plays the bass and drums with lively enthusiasm). His head knowledge transformed into heart knowledge in his junior and senior years at the school. He was plugged into a life-giving youth group at a local church and a teacher at SFC lit his passion for video.
After graduating, Bobby had hoped to attend a Bible college in Oklahoma but found himself on the short side of finances. Instead, he attended South Dakota State University. After his freshman year, he was offered an internship at his church to work with video and tech in the children’s and youth departments. He didn’t return to school and his internship eventually led to a full-time job at the church.
Bobby’s dream of starting his own business came true with the creation of Peacock Entertainment, where he offers videography, video training
When he isn’t serving at Collision or working with other clients, Bobby loves hanging out with his wife, Ashleigh, and their four children.
Ian, a Sioux Falls native, was raised Catholic, and he recalls going to church maybe three or four times per year. After he went through Confirmation and First Communion, he was under the impression that he was “good to go,” and he quickly fell away from God and the church. Ian broke into the party scene in high school and brought that habit with him to South Dakota State University, where he’d received a scholarship to play golf.
Following a bad breakup, Ian upped his drinking to three to five times per week, and his grades and relationships suffered. He woke up hungover one Sunday morning with a strong urge to go to church, though he didn’t know where that came from or what it meant. After digging his car out of the snow with his bare hands, Ian headed to church alone (such circumstances would have kept most people back). He arrived late and slid into the back pew, hoping to go unnoticed, but it was there that God revealed Himself to Ian, and he was overcome with emotion. A couple of guys asked to pray with him and invited him to attend their small group, where he would learn more about what it meant to be a follower of Christ. (These same young men ended up in Ian’s wedding just a few years down the road.)
Ian received his call to ministry a year and a half later during a mission trip to El Salvador. While praying over a disabled man, Ian was approached by the man’s aunt and a translator. She told him that God was calling him to ministry, and his life hasn’t been the same since. The following years were busy—Ian interned at the church where he was saved, transferred schools and studied Christian Ministry, moved to Indiana to help plant a church, got married, and then moved back to Sioux Falls to work for various ministries.
Alongside his wife, Sadie, Ian joins Collision with marketing and ministry experience under his belt, and he enjoys helping with the discipleship process in the middle school context part-time.
Sadie grew up in a Lutheran household in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She says she showed up at church on Sundays, checked off the boxes, and thought about everything else but God the rest of the week. She followed this pattern until she got to college (at South Dakota State University), where she quit church altogether.
Sadie experienced the lowest of lows in college, especially after two of her friends committed suicide and her three-year relationship came to an end. She found herself struggling with depression and self-harm and tried to take her own life. Thankfully, her attempt failed. A year later, she was alone in her dorm room one night getting ready to self-harm, when her fourth-grade Bible sitting on the bookshelf caught her eye. She felt an urge to open it, and although she had never read it before, she pulled it off the shelf and opened it to Isaiah 7:9—“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” Sadie went to church the next day and buckled emotionally under the strong presence of the Holy Spirit.
Sadie soon got involved in Oasis, a college ministry in Brookings, where she met her husband, Ian (who also works part-time with Collision). As she headed into her last semester that fall, she felt like God was calling her into ministry despite her years spent working toward a theater degree. But in the end, she dove right in—over the next few years she moved to Indiana to help with a church plant, got married, led worship at her church, started working on her masters in Children, Youth, and Family Ministries, moved back to South Dakota and served as a youth pastor at a church in Brandon, and interned on the youth team at Celebrate Community Church.
Sadie and her husband, Ian, are a package deal, and they both serve middle school students part-time through Collision. Sadie loves that Collision allows them to meet students at their schools with a focus on teaching and equipping students to be able to go out and spread the gospel no matter what setting. Apart from discipling students, Sadie enjoys cuddling with her German shepherd/husky puppy, Siren, and cat, Josie.
Schools served: Memorial Middle School, Tea Area High School and Middle School
When he was 5 years old, Zach’s superhero was Phil Collins (any Genesis fans out there?) and began to play the drums. Ok, kidding about the superhero part, but this kid could and can beat those drums! He grew up in a home where his mom and dad loved Jesus, but as he explains it, as a young boy he was simply going through the motions of “being good” and “checking the boxes” that he felt would make his dad proud.
At the age of 17, he attended a youth camp where during a worship night the question was raised, “if you were to die tonight, where would you spend eternity?” That night he made it personal and accepted the gift of salvation. He attended Lincoln High School and was invited to attend Collision Café, hey who can refuse free food, right? Since it was his senior year, he felt like he had “one foot in and one foot out.”
After graduation he went to Northern State University and later transferred to South Dakota State University. He was pulled in a variety of direction, looking to be accepted and wanted, which led him to make some bad choices in college. He attended a college ministry worship night (notice the theme of worship nights) at SDSU and recommitted his life to Jesus at 20 years of age – and there has been no looking back. Over the last several years his love of Jesus has grown deeper through his study of the Bible and having mentors in his life to help disciple him. He also self taught himself the guitar and piano and can regularly be found leading worship at youth events and area churches.
He met his soon-to-be wife, Kaylee, at SDSU and they married in December 2018. Because of his heart for students, he reconnected with Collision and started working as a social media consultant and then joined the staff full-time where he invests in the lives of students helping them understand their true identity in Christ.
Zach and Kaylee are the proud parents of Apollo, their German Shepard. Zach has some farmer blood in him and loves to garden. Also, a little known fact, he considers himself the horse whisper from his horse training days.
Cori’s family moved to Sioux Falls when she was five years old and has been here ever since. Her Mom named her after Corrie Ten Boom (even though it’s spelled different – if you’ve never heard of her, Google her – Corrie…not Cori.). As a pastor’s kid, Cori came to know Jesus at an early age. She graduated from Washington High School and then entered the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School in Montana, which took her to Taiwan and Japan for outreach.
In her early 20’s, Cori says she had enough of “religion” and says she walked away from God. (You can run, but you can’t hide.) God continued to chase after her. Upon her recommitment to Jesus, she says that God reminded her of her mission’s heart and began rekindling a desire to reach out to the nations.
In 2002, Cori also got reacquainted with a boy named Chris that she knew in middle school who had joined the Army. They would later marry in 2004, ten weeks after he returned home from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today, they have four amazing children. The three oldest are siblings adopted from Ethiopia. Operating with the understanding that they couldn’t have children, imagine Cori and Chris’ surprise when they discovered the she was pregnant and 25 weeks along. Their youngest was born five weeks later (talk about a surprise party!).
Cori joined Collision in 2015 after attending a church picnic where she was introduced to the organization’s vision and mission. She immediately was excited to hear about how Collision was raising up the next generation to be bold leaders. She also loved how the organization was actively working with the diverse population within Sioux Falls.
When Cori isn’t serving at Collision, she is a mom in motion, getting kids to school and football, basketball, volleyball and…whew. Cori quiets herself by reading, writing and worship music. She also has begun to take piano lessons.
Gordon left his childhood roots behind in California and Wyoming when he moved to Sioux Falls in 2008 to attend the University of Sioux Falls. After graduating with History and Education degrees, he taught and served on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota (known as the poorest county in the United States). He then made his way back to Sioux Falls and joined the YMCA staff, where he saw the impact of Collision through the Y’s
Today, we are happy to share Gordon. What we mean is that Gordon serves on Collision staff part-time and is employed full-time with Select Painting. He enjoys interacting with middle school students and helping them to understand who they are and what they were created for. He also gets excited to see how one sold out middle school student can reach his/her friends and multiply exponentially.
Gordon and his wife Ellen and have four wonderful children.
A hard worker who enjoys a little risk, Augusta, or Gus, grew up in small-town Sibley, Iowa. Similar to other small-towners, Gus was involved in band, choir, speech, sports and everything in between. Despite having very few memories of her childhood, she distinctly remembers coming to faith in Jesus Christ around age 4 or 5 and has been following Him since.
A stubborn middle child, Gus was determined not to follow in her sisters’ footsteps, but God had other plans and she ended up at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago anyway. She says her faith was renewed the first week of classes and her life forever changed because of the school’s strong focus on true unity with Christ. Though she majored in counseling, she knew that her future career might not fit into so neat a category; she primarily wanted to learn skills to help others heal from past trauma. Little did she know, God was igniting a passion in her for working with at-risk youth and showing Christ’s love to the kids whom others had given up on.
After what she refers to as a time of wrestling with God while living in Colorado for a couple years and then briefly in Georgia, Gus moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2016 to be near her brother who was attending college in the area. She quickly got involved working with kids in the criminal justice system and foster care, and she loved it.
Two years later, God led her to Collision in August of 2019 to work with teenagers at Sioux Falls Christian School. She states, “It was clearly the Lord’s timing,” and she is excited to be a consistent, positive influence for SFC students, as “every kid has something going on in their life beneath the surface.”
Hailing originally from Dodge City, Kansas, Terence can’t remember a time when he didn’t love to shoot hoops. His basketball career became more than just a hobby in high school after he made the All-State basketball team, was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2010, and was offered scholarships to play in college.
However, a series of what Terence called a bad attitude, suffering grades, miscommunication with coaches, and unfortunate circumstances led to his on-and-off participation in college basketball and education at various schools over the course of the next 5 years.
One day while Terence was practicing his shots at a YMCA during one of his years off from school, a gentleman offered to rebound his balls. This continued over the next few weeks, and the two built a relationship. A local youth pastor, the man began discipling Terence and teaching him about Jesus. Not long after, Terence gave his life to Christ, but in the back of his mind he believed that if he followed Jesus’ teachings to a T he would go to the NBA.
Terence learned that wasn’t the case after playing at Panhandle State University in Oklahoma for a semester in 2013—he could not reconcile the atmosphere on the team with the way he knew he was called to live. However, finally, in 2017, Terence graduated from that same university with a Bachelor of Science: Health and Physical Education degree, all while playing basketball for the team.
Later, after playing for the European Professional Basketball Academy in Girona, Spain for over a month, Terence followed his family to Sioux Falls, where he would later marry his childhood crush on September 7, 2019. He spent some time working as an education assistant at George McGovern Middle School and then at the YMCA as the youth and teen coordinator and youth sports director. It was at the YMCA that Terence first learned about Collision through co-worker (and part-time Collision staff member) Gordon Stewart.
Terence knew that this was something he wanted to be a part of, and so he capitalized on the opportunity to work full-time with Collision starting January 2019. He plans to combine his passion for Christ and basketball through a basketball ministry, where he hopes to connect with and disciple youth around Sioux Falls.
LYNN LIND Part-time Administrative Assistant