“Do you wanna play some games with us?” Myke can see the wheels turning in the college student’s head. It’s like he’s thinking, “Games? Having to leave my dorm? Socializing with people?”
The student pauses carefully. “No, thanks,” he replies, going back into his room to play video games by himself.
Myke figured he’d respond that way. He’ll try again another time.
From Engineering to Ministry
Myke was raised in a church-going Christian family in North Carolina. When he was fifteen, his pastor challenged him to enter a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Because of his love for math and science, he went to college to be an electrical engineer. In his last years of college, he became a Southern Baptist missionary to Kenya and did youth ministry.
After he graduated, he moved to Oregon and got more involved in youth and college ministry at a large church. He eventually got an engineering job in Portland but realized he didn’t enjoy it. What he did enjoy was ministry work. He began attending his friends’ conservative Baptist church. After hearing the president of Denver Seminary preach, he applied to be a Campus Ambassador and went through Denver Seminary’s summer program.
Myke has been working in ministry for forty-four years and has been a Campus Ambassador at Arizona State University’s polytechnic campus since 1999. He was drawn there because at the time, no one was ministering there. At the time, the campus was considered dead, so anything that brought life to it was attractive to its directors. While Myke loves it, it’s the hardest campus he’s ever worked on.
The Polytech Culture
“People go to ASU if they want to go to college, but they go to polytech if they know exactly what they want to do,” Myke explains. The polytechnic campus has a very different atmosphere and culture than the other ASU campuses. As the name suggests, the degrees offered at this campus are technology driven. Many students are studying engineering or aviation. They’re typically serious and introverted, so you won’t find big parties and a night life.
While it may sound encouraging to hear about students who take their studies seriously and aren’t going to college to party, many of the students at the polytechnic campus are so focused on their studies that they don’t see the need to have community. They often prefer to be on their own, and this makes evangelism hard. “I only realized later that I’m trying to create community for people who aren’t interested,” Myke explains.
But according to him, once those students have a taste of community, there’s no going back. They realize they’ve been made for relationships.
Supporting Student Leaders
As a Campus Ambassador, Myke helps students find out who Jesus is and understand the bible. His passion is to see students’ lives change through the power of Jesus. He meets with them one on one and holds small groups throughout the week. Large group meetings, with a speaker and worship, happen on Wednesdays.
That being said, every week is different for Myke. He organizes leadership retreats, outreach nights, and barbecue and swim parties, He helps with freshman move-in, and also does mission trips to Mexico with his students, working with kids or prisoners. He doesn’t do it on his own. He focuses on training student leaders so they can run everything and he can support them.
Many of the students on campus grew up in Christian homes but are not believers themselves. Some consider themselves spiritual, but not religious. Because of the Mormon seminary nearby, there’s a significant LDS population. International students typically make up around 10% of the polytechnic campus. Myke has gotten Indian and Liberian students involved in his ministry.
Evangelizing to ASU
Currently, Myke is working with a Christian student who serves as club president. He’s encouraged to see this student embrace leadership and be given a framework to use his gifts and talents. He would love to see him on staff one day.
Myke also is the regional director of the Sonora, Mexico Campus Ambassadors and oversees other ministries in Arizona like outreach to the Navajo people and those with AIDS. He is dedicated to justice, compassion, evangelism, bible teaching, missions, and leadership. He loves that Missions Door focuses on all of those things.
He would love prayer for his ministry, his new bible study on the Tempe campus, and for God to increase his zeal for evangelism and reaching the lost every day. If you’d like to support Myke, you can do so at his page here.
How Can You Help
The Great Commission is what spurs us to do indigenous ministry. Around the world, Christians are bringing the Gospel to their people and making disciples in their hometowns. How will you be a part of this?