I recently sat down with Tyler Connell, who hails from the Pacific Northwest to ask him how using a study Bible has helped him in his work as missionary and evangelist. He has spent the last few years traveling the globe sharing the good news of the gospel to those who have never heard the story of Jesus. Additionally, he comes back to the United States to motivate and recruit young people to help fulfill the great commission.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
My name is Tyler Connell and my desire is to know God and make Him known. I’ve been a full-time missionary for 5 years with YWAM (Youth With a Mission). I enjoy reading, history, the outdoors and all things sports related.
Tell me about your walk with Christ and how you came to know Him
I’ve known Jesus since the age of six, but didn’t encounter Him experientially until the 6th grade, where I had a powerful encounter of healing both physically and spiritually. From that day forward a zeal and passion for Him led me.
What is the story behind how you became involved with the Ekballo Project?
It came out of a season in early 2012 of fasting and prayer in the tiny town of Herrnhut, Germany, a land rich with spiritual history known for 24-7 worship and a pioneering-missionary spirit. While I was there, I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit for a 3 day period where we had a series of “visions” and “dreams” where we saw vast oceans of people who had never heard the Gospel and were slipping into an eternal hell. Then we saw masses of young people in America gathering and waiting to be given an assignment.
In the dreams we were made aware of these films that had captured what God was doing in the most “unreached’ and “unengaged” regions of the world, these films were being shown on college campuses, and these masses of young people were being inspired and “receiving” their assignment through the films. So, with no previous film experience and no money, a friend and I started out on this journey of how we could accomplish the vision God had given us. In our weakness He’s continually made strong.
What does the Ekballo project include?
The Ekballo Project is a multimedia mobilization project, capturing through the medium of film, what God is doing in the most unreached nations: Then using that as mobilizing spark on college campuses and churches across America. We exist to spark a surrendered and resounding “yes” in individual hearts to whatever and wherever God leads them with the Gospel.
Our vision is two-fold:
1.) We desire to see children of God from every corner of the earth sent into the unreached, unengaged regions of the world, compelled by the Love of Christ and the gladness of saying “yes” to Him.
2.) We desire to see God’s children living courageously – unconfined by the cages of societal norms, insecurity, fear, and lifeless religion.
How does using a study Bible help you with your work?
A life that’s consistently on the road touring or filming in hostile nations REQUIRES my soul to be alive with the Living Word. I love my ESV study Bible, it provides sustenance, context, and understanding as I read the Word and encounter Christ through His Word. It helps me read systematically and spontaneously with full understanding.
How important is it for Christians to study the Bible?
It’s VITAL. It’s the very words of God! Our life, breath, direction, healing, everything! The scriptures alone don’t save or encounter us, but Christ through the living and active Word provide us these things! I’d be dead without the Word. There would be no where to “hang” the coat of my faith on.
How can people find out more about you and what you are up to?
You can go to Ekballo Project to see our first 6 films, and stay tuned for our latest film to be released in December titled “LIVE MERCY”, a story of the movement of Jesus in the midst of the refugee crisis in Berlin.