Layne and Emily went to rivalry high schools but met working at the Chick-Fil-A that just opened. Started dating a few months after meeting on April 9th, 2012. Emily left for college but returned after Layne proposed on April 9th 2013.
Wanting to wait till they graduated to get married, they married April 9th 2016 then graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in May. Moved into an underground apartment, got their real estate licenses and started their careers. Real estate was a side job while Layne worked in the building industry and Emily working as Children's director at their home church First Baptist Church Millersville.
Two years later they had their first son Thaddeus Owen on April 10th 2018. Moved into a house that Emily's dad built and continued to contently live a humble life.
It was the summer of 2018 that God started to lay something new on their hearts which led to Calgary. So after much prayerful consideration they decided to answer that call, and start the Walk with the Wilsons.
Layne was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, MO. Growing up in a Christian household, God was always a central part of his family's life. But it was in the fifth grade that Layne realized he needed Christ.
Suddenly it seemed that going to school, hanging out with friends, and playing video games wasn't enough anymore. Everything seemingly good always came to an end and left him feeling empty. It was at this time he realized nothing could fill that void but Christ. He accepted Jesus as his Savior at the age of 11 and was baptized shortly after.
Growing up, Layne always knew he wanted to become an architect and was always working toward that goal. But as he grew older, it seemed that dream kept getting farther and farther out of reach. He didn't get to go away to college, but instead stayed home to marry his high school sweetheart Emily and graduated from Southeast Missouri State University both in 2016.
It was in the summer of 2018 that Layne began to feel like God was calling him to go back to school to become an architect. So he began to look at different schools around the country but none of them felt quite right. That was when God introduced him to Calgary. Initially, his attention was focused on architecture school, but the Lord began to change his heart to align with His purpose. Layne still dreams of becoming an architect some day, but in this season God has called them to something bigger - to live their lives on mission in Calgary.
"MY IDENTITY IS IN CHRIST"
"I've always struggled with the thought of never attaining my dream of becoming an architect. That's what I have always pictured myself doing with my life and felt that if I'm not an architect, I am not doing what God has designed me to do. But over time, God has graciously shown me that couldn't be further from the truth.
My identity is in Christ and without Him, I am nothing. The Apostle Paul encourages us in his epistles to be "in Christ" or "in the Lord" over 160 times! Your occupation does not define you - you can honor God in whatever you do! I still hope to become an architect one day, but that is not my top priority. I have made the decision above all else to follow Jesus. That is what being a Christian is all about - laying down your own desires and following Jesus (Romans 8:12-13 ESV). I am constantly reminded by my favorite verse that no matter what I do, God will always direct my steps (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)."
Emily grew up in small town Jackson MO, born into a conservative, God fearing family. She accepted the Lord as her Savior at the young age of four, and has been living her life for Christ to the best of her ability ever since.
Her dad was a children's ministry director for most of her life. Through working with him, Emily fell in love with children's ministry and felt that it is exactly where God called her to be.
So when she started college at a Baptist university she began to major in children's ministry. As freshman year was coming to an end, Emily's high school sweetheart, Layne, proposed. Determined to finish college they waited three years before getting married. In that time, Emily transferred to the University in her home town graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies minoring in Child Administration.
In 2013 Emily took a job as Children's Ministry Director at the small church she grew up in. Layne and Emily became very comfortable in this church and believed they would be there long term. The couple had their first child, Thaddeus, and moved into a house totally content with their humble lives.
But in summer 2018 God began to change their hearts. They learned of a city called Calgary and their hearts broke for how lost these people are. Within a few shorts months of praying and fasting, the couple decided to move to the city to join the efforts of the North American Mission Board.
God always knew Emily would end up in international missions. Now Emily is excited to be a part of the ministry in Calgary and cannot wait to love on and witness to the children at Multiply Church.
"GOD CHANGED MY HEART"
"I never thought that God would ever use me in such an amazing way. I always looked at missionaries as super-humans; ultra spiritual, Bible experts! But when I think children growing up in an environment where the name of Jesus is never spoken, my heart drops. I realized that God doesn't need super-human Christians, He simply needs those who love Him.
I will be honest that I was very reluctant to leave Missouri. I have never lived more than a couple hour drive away from home. I have my routines set, I did not want to take my son away from his grandparents and I have so many people here that I love I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. But God has a way of changing your heart; I already love this city and love people that I haven't even met yet."
Thaddeus is our one year old perfect little boy. He loves to play catch and eat bananas. He's just cute so why not put him in here!