There's a new man in town - or, there will be in June! The Oklahoma Conference Administration has been petitioning the members of the conference to pray for a Youth Director - the right Youth Director. After countless interviews, and even more prayers, Pastor Israel Mora was voted on and approved at the last executive committee and will be starting his work here in Oklahoma shortly as the new Youth & Young Adult Director for the Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventists!
So, who is this guy? We sat down for a phone interview to get the scoop to share with you.
What are you most excited about/passionate about in ministry? "Enjoy being around youth and young adults, especially helping them connect with Christ! To hear their stories, hurts, and successes and get to know them in a personal way, to be able to walk alongside them in life, to believe in them-that's what I'm passionate about! Our youth are so important to the church and to support them and strengthen their calling in ministry (and all of them have a calling) so that we can finish the work! I want to help our young people understand their identity as Seventh-day Adventists living at the end of time with the calling to preach and live out the 3 Angels' Message. Also, I just like hanging out and having fun!"
Tell me about yourself and your family: Eve (pronounced Evie) and I have been married for 20 years! We have 2 beautiful girls, Elissa (16) & Arianna (13). We are a worship family - my wife loves to sing & both girls love to sing and are musicians, they both play piano and sing, and we just LOVE to worship together. I've been pastoring as long as I've been married, but at every church, I've always considered myself a youth director. I believe that the greatest youth directors are our pastors because they get to serve the youth every week in a personal way.
I spent the last 7 months coaching our PBE (Pathfinder Bible Experience) team and got to spend so much time connecting with kids. It was awesome!"
What are your hobbies? "I have LOTS. I love to garden and have quite a Green thumb. I love being outdoors, hiking, biking, and collecting things. Oh, I'm a huge collector. I have collections of butterflies, bugs, rocks, fossils, oh, and currency collections. I love to travel and have gotten to a lot as an evangelist which I'm so grateful for."
Where did you move from? "Moving from Georgia Cumberland Conference - Atlanta Georgia." Were you there for the last 20 years? Oh no, we've had a big journey! We've been in Georgia Cumberland for the last year and a half. We spent 10 years in Carolina Conference, and eight years in the Southern New England Conference, and every place we've been has quickly become our 'home!'"
Is there anything else you'd like to share? "I'm passionate about our message as an Adventist church and I want to continue to preach and connect with people that Jesus can come soon and we can all go home together. Let's finish the work and go home!!"
We are so excited to welcome Pastor Mora and his family to Oklahoma in June, and even more excited to finish the work. Let's do this.
by :: Ashley Alipoon