Greg Vanderheiden

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

Role at Ablaze: Full-Time Missionary, St. Louis, Waco

Contact Info: [email protected], (361) 658-9963

Education: University of Dallas, BA in Theology, minors in Pastoral Ministry and Environmental Science, in progress

Ministry Background:

I began doing ministry in high school with the youth group at my church in Corpus Christi, St. Philip the Apostle. After participating in youth group and getting confirmed, I was excited to get the opportunity to help others in my church. I was part of the teen team for high school youth group where I helped lead small groups and retreats. Outside of my church, I joined a service group called the De Matels which focused on providing corporal works of mercy to the poor. Starting the summer after my senior year of high school, I worked at the summer camp which had felt my home for the past five Summers. I worked as a youth camp counselor my first summer, then I moved into a family camp counselor position for the next three Summers. During my time in college I have been able to lead small groups in a Men’s faith group on campus and participate in and even lead retreats for other college students at the University of Dallas. Lastly, I have been on the high school core team for the past two years at a local parish in Richardson, St. Paul Catholic Church. I joined Ablaze Ministries during the summer of 2021. Since then I have really grown in my interior life. I love the way the Lord shows me who I really am. As JPII says – God reveals man to himself. Some of my favorite things to do in ministry are: helping people to discover and articulate their interior prayer life, parent ministry, 1 on 1 conversations, empowering volunteers and creating well functioning systems that allow us to live more freely.

Passions and Interests: Any kind of games: board games, word games, video games, sports and more, spending time with my fiancee, friends, or Jesus, youtube and reading.

How did you become involved with Ablaze/why are you involved? I had known I wanted to pursue a vocation to youth ministry since high school, so I was really excited to actually start looking for ministry jobs. My school (University of Dallas) offered a job fair where I met with some representatives from Ablaze. Talking with Ablaze made me really excited for ministry, so I kept taking more steps towards working with them. I had also been offered a job as the youth minister at a local parish back home in Corpus Christi. Through a lot of prayer and conversations with both people from Ablaze and the church in Corpus Christi, I realized that God was calling me to work as a missionary. What set Ablaze apart for me is that every time I talked with someone from Ablaze, I had that same feeling of being excited to be doing youth ministry. I always noticed the Holy Spirit at work. Not once throughout the hiring and interview process did I ever feel like I wouldn’t want to work with Ablaze. After serving with Ablaze for a while, I have been blessed over and over by the support Ablaze Ministries offers me – spiritually, professionally and personally.

Favorite Quotes/Bible Verses: 

You are the salt of the Earth.
– Matthew 5:13

This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.
– Psalm 118:24

Your art, is the prettiest art, of all the art.
– Roy, The Office

Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.  – Matthew 28:8

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