Laying the foundation
When Andrew DeVaney graduated from Sioux Falls Christian in the spring of 2011 he admitted, “I was really clueless about what I wanted to do.” Even though Andrew had given his life to Christ in high school, most of his time at SFC was spent “rebelling against the system”. Andrew says that much of his high school life was spent in a “self-serving” way. A turning point came during the second semester of his senior year when he took a discipleship class taught by Mr. Chase. He remembers thinking, “This isn’t my life, and I don’t want to live it for myself anymore.”
Discovering a Passion
In the fall of 2011, Andrew started college at Dakota Wesleyan University. He explored several majors including physical therapy, human services, special education, and elementary education. Andrew also got involved in campus ministry. He developed a close relationship with the assistant campus pastor who often encouraged Andrew to think about pastoral ministry. “I had a lot of people pushing me to go into pastoral ministry. A lot of people were encouraging me that was the route I should take, but it was the last thing I wanted to do.” Sadly, this friend and mentor passed away from colon cancer during Andrew’s junior year.
Developing a Ministry
During the summer of 2014, Andrew went on a mission trip to Uganda and Rwanda that sent him down a new path. It was during this trip that he felt a passion for missions and helping others. The following year, Andrew graduated from Dakota Wesleyan with a degree in religious studies and a minor in education. The summer after graduation, Andrew returned to the village of Namayemba, Uganda, to work on several projects through some local ministries. Andrew started an organization called AsOne Ministries in 2015. The goal was to empower local churches and communities through education and enterprise. “We wanted to flip the non-profit on its head and listen to the dreams and hopes of the communities themselves. We wanted to know what they wanted for their own lives, and build off that.”
One example is the development of a primary school that is supported by the local church. AsOne Ministries is helping the locals to raise livestock which will support and sustain the school. It is continuing to add to the school’s infrastructure to make sure they are able to expand as the school grows. It currently has 60 kids from nursery through third grade and is looking to add a class every year.
AsOne Ministries has also partnered with an organization called The Women’s Bakery. It has helped to educate and train 5 women to run a bakery and support themselves. The relationships built here have also led to another opportunity to help women escape prostitution. The ministry has built a transitional home for these women and placed them in a situation where they can sustain themselves economically.
Answering the Call
It was through these ministries that God opened another door. Andrew received a scholarship to go to Denver Theological Seminary. He is currently working on his Masters of Divinity and has about two years of school left. He hopes to continue working for AsOne Ministries and will continue to travel to Africa between semesters. Along with school, Andrew works part time as a pastor in a small church in Denver where he is looking to develop a new faith community. He is also engaged! The past several years have challenged Andrew to grow in his faith. The Spirit is transforming Andrew into a person who loves God and desires to serve others. Through all of this Andrew continues to look for new doors that God is opening, and he is now the type of person who is not afraid to answer the call.