Alumni in the World Spotlight: Dylan Peterson
Dylan Peterson graduated in 2014 from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou), with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. During her time in Chi Alpha at Mizzou, she experienced many spiritual breakthroughs. At The World Missions Summit 3 (TWMS3) she got the calling to serve in missions in the Middle East. With assistance from AGWM’s Pipeline, the Assemblies of God World Missions placement program, Dylan was connected with Live Dead, a mission initiative to plant churches in the Arab World. She is currently serving full-time with Live Dead. Some of her favorite activities include artsy things like playing guitar, photography, and painting. Dylan shares testimonies of how God has worked in her life, both in Mizzou Chi Alpha and the Middle East.
Describe the impact Chi Alpha had on you as a student.
When I started at the University of Missouri, I was in a difficult place. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had a close friend pass away all during my junior year of high school. I didn’t know how to deal with it with God. It was at a Chi Alpha prayer meeting where I received a true breakthrough. It wasn’t fancy—it was just a bunch of people getting together to pray for the campus and the world. That night I was healed both physically from my brain tumor and emotionally from grief. My experience with Chi Alpha started there and my relationship with God flourished in that environment.
How did Chi Alpha prepare you for your current role?
Mizzou Chi Alpha really worked to create an environment where our focus was serving each other and doing outreach on campus. Every day I got to be involved in and learned about a different aspect of ministry, from co-leading a small group to evangelism. There I learned how to boldly proclaim the gospel among my peers.
When did you get the calling to join Live Dead?
I learned about Live Dead at TWMS3. When I was younger I fell in love with the Arab World. At Summit I was presented with all of the opportunities to go. That weekend I spent a lot of time in prayer and God showed me just how much He yearns for people in the Middle East to love Jesus.
How did the Pipeline program guide you through the placement process?
I didn’t know anything before the Pipeline, honestly. I knew I wanted to go to Egypt, but I had no idea how. They gave me so many resources about missions and the Arab World and contacts within the Assemblies of God that I could talk to and ask questions. Even cooler, every couple of months someone checked in to encourage me.
Share a testimony you have of God at work in the Arab World through Live Dead.
Live Dead is awesome because the teams are great about taking supremely unqualified individuals and teaching them about how to become church planters in the field. The team that I am part of now is a training team where I learn how to be a missionary and how to do it in Arabic. Arabic is really hard, but our teachers are incredible. About six months into my term I was with one of my friends for dinner. She had so many questions about everything: What do you have to do to be a Christian? Why do Christians pray the way that we do? What even is the Holy Spirit? God was so incredible in the way that He led me to answer her questions, and He helped me do it in Arabic. My friend said that was the first night she understood everything. It was the most beautiful evening and I am really thankful for the way God let me be in on it.
What advice do you have for Chi Alpha students or alumni who feel called into full-time missions?
A missionary at TWMS told me that the biggest thing I can do now to prepare was to learn how to be a servant. Learning culture and language will come later, but preparing your heart to be other people focused was the most important. That was really wise advice and something I think about and try to work on all the time.
All views expressed on this blog are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.