Get to know our assistant pastor, Elliott Warden...
How did God bring you to Idaville?
My fiancée and I had been trying to work out a way to go over to Hong Kong and work in a church there. I was uneasy about the situation and Liz and I agreed that it was not where God wanted us at the time. I began to look for other jobs and when I looked on my college’s career services website I found the job posting that IUB had put up. I began the lengthy application process, and it was during that time that I found out that Aaron Small (whom I had known from Wheaton College) was serving as the interim Asst. Pastor. I called him up and asked him about the church, and he was very excited about what was going on in the church and was excited that I was in the process of applying. A few days later I got a call from someone at the church. (I can’t remember exactly who, because I was pretty excited about being contacted. It may have been Neil Starner. Sorry, to whomever it was. As I said, I was pretty excited.) The church ended up inviting my fiancée and me to come out for a weekend, after which we went back to her hometown, and a few days later Pastor Stuart called and said the church would like to offer me the job! I left for home the next day, packed all my stuff, and after a total of 3,087 miles, going from Illinois to Minnesota, to Iowa, back to Illinois, to Michigan for a wedding, back to Illinois, to Ohio, and finally to Idaville, I am so happy to be here!
How did you meet your wife?
I decided to apply for Wheaton College’s Youth Hostel Ministry summer missions trip. The first night of training was in December, and it was a time to meet our teams and find out where we would be going. I was placed on a team that would be going to Amsterdam, and Liz was also on the team. Throughout the next semester we got to know each other as we had training every Wednesday night. At the end of the semester I went home for a couple weeks and then came back to depart for Europe. When I saw Liz I realized how much I had missed her and thought maybe there was something to that feeling. I spent the summer in turmoil because I wanted to be able to express myself to her, but she had a lot on her plate, and I didn’t want to add to that. Finally in mid-July I realized that she was at a place where maybe I could tell her how I felt. On a rainy Wednesday night on a
playground in Amsterdam I told her how I felt, and she asked me what took me so long to tell her. We began dating (our first date story is pretty interesting) and grew closer throughout the next school year. On June 25th I asked her to marry me (that is another great story.)
What are some things you like to do when you are not working?
I really enjoy cooking. Now that I am entering the real world I have the opportunity to hone my craft. I also enjoy reading. One of my favorite book series has been the Ender’s Game series. Liz and I enjoy reading these books with one another. I also try to be handy occasionally.
What is the most amazing thing Christ has done for you?
Aside from saving me from my sin, I am amazed at how God put together the pieces for me to come to Idaville. The way the timing of everything worked out could only be something that God put together, and I am grateful for this opportunity to be a part of God’s plan.
What sports teams do you follow?
I am a Minnesota sports fan. I like the Vikings, Timberwolves, and Wild, and I LOVE the Twins. I like to go to games any chance I get. I’m also becoming more interested in international soccer, an interest which was sparked when I got to be in the Netherlands during the World Cup. That was quite the experience.