Tell us a little bit
Kris: My name is Kris
Wise. I’m 30. I have a B.A. in Digital Media from the University of Central
Florida. I like hiking, camping & gaming. I’m a co-adventurer with my wife
Sarah and my son Lincoln.
Sarah: We used to call
ourselves monogamous adventurers, but we had to change it when we had Link. My
name is Sarah Wise. I have a B.A. in History, B.A. in Public Administration,
and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UCF. I also have an Academic
Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary with a course focus in Church
History. I like reading to the soothing sounds of a Netflix fireplace, baking
random midnight cravings, coloring and journaling. The Wise Family is a hub of
self-proclaimed nerds. We enjoy Star Trek marathons, dressing up in period
costumes for Civil War reenactments, Role Playing games, and international
media (aka anime, manga, K-drama, and foreign films).
How did you meet?
Kris: I first met
Sarah on Facebook through the old “You should know this person” feature. This
was when you had to have a college email to be on Facebook. I didn’t know her
but we had a lot of the same friends. I was invited to be on leadership at the
Central Florida Wesley Foundation (a UCF Campus Ministry) and noticed that she
was actually asked to come to the same leadership retreat. We hit it off and
we’ve been adventuring ever since.
Sarah: The very first
thing he said to me was “hey, are you the girl in the flower pot on Facebook?”
(a reference to my profile picture at the time). We eventually bonded over our
mutual love of all things nerdy and the fact that we were leading the same
small group at CFL Wesley.
What are your faith
Kris: I grew up in the
United Methodist Church. Originally from Alabama, my family later moved to
Orlando, FL. I continued to go to a United Methodist Church through high
school. Through this time I claimed Christianity with my mouth but my heart
still didn’t know what that looked like. Everything changed when I joined
Wesley Foundation. I met others who acted as if they had found a hidden
treasure and were doing everything to keep it close to their heart.
Sarah: I also come
from a church-going family, though my story is a little different. While Kris
may have struggled with the application of his faith, I outright denied faith
for much of my youth. I was a crusader of atheism even while my family
continued going to church. It wasn’t until I was college aged that I came to
know God as my Savior and Lord. We met at Wesley at precisely the time
when God was doing something profound in both of our lives.
How does your faith affect
the way you live your lives?
Kris: Our time at
Wesley, radically changed how we lived out our faith. It wasn’t about checking
off the right boxes. It was about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, listening
to the Holy Spirit and living in authentic relationship with those around
Sarah: The key that
clicked for both of us was a faith with feet within the context of one-on-one
discipleship. Meeting with a mentor, getting in the Word, and applying our
faith in tangible ways all changed the trajectory of our lives. After spending five
years each at Wesley we were equipped with a robust relationship with Christ
and a deep desire to serve God’s Kingdom. Kris and I continued to serve in
ministry through local churches, nonprofits and seminary even while asking God
the “what next” question.
How did you connect
Kris: I let Sarah take
Sarah: I actually met
Tom at Asbury Seminary when I was giving a lecture about the doctrine of the
atonement. At the time, Kris and I had been in a season of intentional prayer
and discernment about what God wanted from us. We were prepared to move
anywhere in the state, country or world. We were more than shocked to even
entertain the idea that God could have something for us right here in our home
city. Through that initial meeting with Tom, we eventually came to know the
vision of Emmaus and the staff. Pieces clicked, and even in the midst of other
job opportunities and career paths, God continued to bring Emmaus to the
forefront of our prayers.
Why are you excited
to be a part of Emmaus?
Sarah: It is exciting
to be able to say, with confidence and assurance, that Emmaus is where God
wants us. After months of prayer and discernment we feel that God has clearly
answered our “what next” prayer. It is a perfect intersection of our gifts:
teaching, discipleship, worship, social marketing and engagement.
Kris: We are excited
about the community, the students, and discovering what God has for us in this
season of our lives. I believe the Spirit led us to Emmaus for a purpose and I
am excited to be a part of whatever that looks like.
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