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World-changers from every generation live and work among us, making a difference in our communities, serving as Christ’s agents of renewal, and actively engaging with culture. One of the key milestones of the Christian Reformed Church’s Our Journey denominational ministry plan focuses on this reality by encouraging churches to be places that “listen to the voices of every generation, shaping us for ministry together”—as one of the plan’s benchmarks states.

One way we can do this is by celebrating younger people and highlighting the work they are doing to further God’s kingdom. In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul encourages a 30-year-old Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Paul asked Timothy to live his faith boldly and in such a way that others could learn from his example. Here are a few “Timothys” that we’ve seen do interesting and inspiring things for God’s kingdom. Who are the Timothys in your community that you can learn from and encourage?


Kristyn DeNooyer Garcia

Thrive, Communications Specialist (Age 27)




Kristyn DeNooyer Garcia works as a communications specialist for Thrive, the agency of the CRCNA dedicated to supporting and encouraging congregations in the U.S. and Canada. Within this role, she streamlines strategy, creates robust and compelling content for publication, and contributes to binational marketing and communications efforts to promote quality resources for supporting healthy churches.

“After several years as a freelance writer and ‘solopreneur,’ I've enjoyed being part of a team dedicated to equipping congregations in the areas of faith formation, accessibility, abuse prevention, justice, and more,” she said. “I've especially appreciated the congregation-led approach Thrive takes: listening to felt needs in localized faith communities and developing structures and resources of support to meet those specific needs.”

Garcia added, “It matters to me that, as agents of renewal, we are careful to enter each unique ministry context with postures of humility, curiosity, and respect for each community as the expert on their own needs. Thrive’s core posture of listening aligns with this personal value, and I’ve been grateful to witness the ways our team walks alongside churches with intentionality.”


Debora Haede

Calvin University, Class of 2020
Director of Communications, Center for Public Justice




Debora Haede works as the director of communications for the Center for Public Justice, a nonpartisan Christian public policy research and civic education organization whose mission is to serve God by equipping citizens, developing leaders, and shaping policy to advance justice for the transformation of public life. She advances the organization’s strategic communications efforts and stewards relationships with journalists, media outlets, and academic and policy partners. CPJ’s offices are headquartered in Alexandria, Va., but Haede works remotely from Germany, the country where she grew up.

Haede’s experiences at Calvin and now with CPJ have equipped her to live out her faith practically, to integrate faith with her work, and to love and serve her neighbors through politics. “In my current position,” she said, “I have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from partners, establish platforms for meaningful exchanges, and convey impactful stories of positive community transformations. I feel fortunate when my communication efforts bring people together around the table for meaningful conversations.”

Haede advises younger colleagues and current college students to “build relationships, even if they don’t necessarily lead to job opportunities,” because relationships can provide invaluable mentorship and resources. Nurturing these connections can be a lasting gift, she noted, opening doors to new possibilities and personal growth. “The connections I have made with Calvin alumni globally have enabled me to foster a sense of community no matter where I am.”


Elle Hazlett

Calvin University, Class of 2021
Rare Disease Advocate and Marketer




Recently promoted from marketing specialist to marketer at, Elle Hazlett creates marketing campaigns to recruit potential stem-cell donors to the organization’s national registry. The aim of Be The Match is to connect patients battling blood cancers and disorders to potentially life-saving donors, and Hazlett’s important role is to convince healthy college-aged people to donate stem cells. “I love my job because I know that it is having a tangible impact on patients,” Hazlett said.

Hazlett started her Calvin University career in the pre-med program because she herself battles several rare diseases and understands the patient experience first hand. Her own situation led her to start a Calvin chapter of Be The Match, which led her to choose a career on the advocacy side of health care instead of patient care. As a student, Hazlett also participated in a research fellowship that helped create a curriculum for rare disease patients in elementary school, and she helped launch the curriculum at several schools and events. More than half of rare disease patients are children.

Hazlett encourages friends, colleagues, and current students to “trust God to put you where you are needed. There aren’t a whole lot of people in the place they thought they’d be five years ago. We think we know what we want, but God has much bigger, better, and more fulfilling plans for our lives. Pray for his guidance, and trust where he places your feet.”


Ana Lucia Rivera

Global Partnerships and Relationships Coordinator, 
World Renew, Guatemala (age 27)




Ana Lucia Rivera (Lucy) has worked with World Renew in her home country of Guatemala for the past five years. While going to school for communication and journalism, she also serves as a global partnerships and relationships coordinator for Latin America, connecting World Renew’s local programs with the individuals and churches who support the ministry from other places.

When mission teams and other visits to Guatemala were canceled during the pandemic, Rivera helped create videos and other presentations to show supporters how their gifts were being used.

“Lucy is the most creative person I have ever met,” said Francisco Enríquez Narváez, Guatemala country director for World Renew. “I just tell her what is needed, and she appears with ideas for videos, audiovisual material, and other ways to communicate the work that is being done in our region. She always wants to improve and proposes new ideas to be more effective. It is a great pleasure to work with Lucy and see how she innovates in her role here.”

“Lucy is a shining star here at World Renew and a joy to work with,” added Kacey Spencer, donor engagement program manager. “She has an incredible way of bringing joy to any room with her infectious smile and a beautiful spirit. What sets Lucy apart is not just her passion for the work she does and the love she has for people, but also the way her faith in God shines through everything she does. His light radiates from her, making her not only an invaluable asset to World Renew but also a true inspiration. Working alongside Lucy is not just productive; it's a delightful experience. Keep an eye on her; she’s destined for greatness!"


Nate Roels

Calvin University, Class of 2017
Video Producer




Nate Roels has dedicated his professional life to creating videos for nonprofits, ministries, businesses, and individuals as the owner and operator of Second Mile Video in Grand Rapids, Mich. Most recently, Roels created and produced “Behind Our Walls,” a documentary chronicling the story of eight inmates enrolled in the Calvin Prison Initiative program. The film has been screened across the United States and Canada and is slated to be released for streaming this year. He also works part time as a chaplain for Exalta Health caring for immigrants who often lack access to medical care, and he is taking courses online with Calvin Theological Seminary.

Roels credits his education at Calvin University with helping him develop a passion for serving nonprofits and encouraging him to work as a “co-laborer” with Christ. “I seek to be an agent of renewal by telling stories of God’s work in the world and also by highlighting needs that exist for many marginalized groups—seeking positive change,” he said.

Roels encourages college students to spend as much effort on spiritual development as they do on professional development. He says those spiritual disciplines are key to helping young Christians stay “grounded and centered on God’s love.”


Leah Sweetman

Resonate Global Mission; 
Central America (Age 25)




Leah Sweetman served as a Resonate Global Mission volunteer with Cohort Central America in 2021 and now serves as a long-term missionary with a local ministry, where she works as the intercultural facilitator.

“Throughout my young adult life, I have been blessed with opportunities to experience life in Latin America,” Sweetman said. “I have found it to be a unique and beautiful culture and context in which there is so much desire to know God and practice faith. Yet oftentimes amidst the demands of daily life, those desires can diminish or lose priority.”

That’s why Sweetman is excited to work for a Christian nonprofit organization*. “Our focus is to offer intentional programs that support pastors and church leaders in both their evangelism and discipleship efforts.”

Sweetman connects North American supporters to this vision and organizes site visits. “There is such an opportunity for learning in these relationships,” she said. “North Americans can learn from the gifts and challenges faced by Central Americans, and Central Americans gain an understanding of gifts and challenges faced by the church in North America. I believe this helps us gain a greater understanding of the global nature of God’s kingdom. It is a gift to get to learn contextual nuances, yet understand how God is the same across borders, languages, and cultures.”

Sweetman also connects churches to other ministries in the area, including a Christian school where she taught for a year and a half and now coaches volleyball and substitute teaches.

“I pray that God will use ministries like these to bring gospel transformation in the lives of the people in Central America,” Sweetman said. “I pray that God uses my role to connect people to his mission and give testimony to the way he is working around the world. Finally, I pray that the Lord uses this opportunity for me to grow in my own relationship with him as I depend on him each day.”

*organization name and country withheld for security purpopses


Bill Warners

Calvin University, Class of 2017




As a commercial litigation attorney at Warner, Norcross, and Judd LLP in Grand Rapids, Mich., Bill Warners uses his work as a platform for transformation. At the law firm, he helps distribute charitable funds to various organizations in the Michigan area. He also serves on the board of directors for the Festival of Arts and the Rescue One Foundation, an organization that seeks to improve the lives of about 90 Haitian children. Warners’ charity work and his professional life both remind him that “renewal happens everywhere” if we’re willing to step into the places God calls us to.

Warners has always enjoyed public speaking and advocacy, and he said his education at Calvin University—both in the classroom and outside it—gave him multiple opportunities to passionately support ideas and policies that help others. Those opportunities led him to pursue advocacy in nonprofit and for-profit spheres all over the country. After college, Warners worked in Los Angeles for a nonprofit organization helping immigrants, refugees, and people needing housing. That experience informs how he navigates his responsibilities to his clients in commercial settings and guides them through a difficult legal system.

“You’ll learn more from your failures than your successes,” Warners said. “People who consistently fail develop perseverance, which pays off because it teaches you to think more deeply and intentionally about your actions and circumstances. Hopefully, it eventually leads to more success.”


Eliezer Yeong

Calvin University, Class of 2018
Art &Design Manager




Eliezer Yeong is the art and design manager at Crossroads Prison Ministries, an organization connecting incarcerated people who hope to learn more about God with Christian mentors on the outside. Due to increased security measures, many prisons now ban paper materials for inmates, but Yeong is developing digital solutions to get Bible study materials and letters from mentors to people who are incarcerated.

Yeong believes his Calvin University education helps him seek the gospel in messy situations. “At Calvin, I was introduced to the doctrine of irresistible grace—the uninhibited saving power of God to call us from darkness into light,” he said. “This grace covers me each day, and I now realize that the grace God uses to cover a person in prison isn’t any different.”

As he designs opportunities for the gospel to reach people in prison, Yeong is living out Calvin’s mission to be Christ’s agent of renewal in the world.

Some time ago, a friend of his reminded him of a simple truth: the God of the universe wastes nothing.

“This statement has encouraged me through times of anxiety, disappointment, and doubt,” Yeong said. “Despite whatever is happening in my life, even if it feels like a setback or a waste of time, God has the power to use that moment for his glory and direct my life in the way he intends. God works in the detours to bring us where we need to be.”

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