Brian Neary

Student Ministries Director

Brian@occphx.com

MY STORY

I was raised in a Catholic home but did not truly accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior until my mid-30’s.  I lived most of my life in a small town with many close friendships and spent most of my time trying to compete with society and attempting to please my flesh.  I went to a private Catholic school from Kindergarten through 6th grade.  Those years for me were a time when God was introduced to me every day but had absolutely no relationship.  It was all about learning about Him, but nothing about living your life with Him.  At age 9 I was diagnosed with type I diabetes. It almost took my life.  The doctors were amazed that I survived.  I had asked myself numerous times early in my life, why did I survive?  Later in life, I think God gave me an answer.  When I graduated from elementary school, I was given the choice to continue going to church…I chose to walk away from the church.  Sports and having a good time was the focus of most of my days.  I lived a very shallow life without much big-picture direction or purpose.  When I reached my early 20’s, I achieved tremendous levels of success in my consulting business.  I had made a tremendous amount of money by the time I was 25 years old, but still felt an enormous amount of emptiness and lack of direction.  That all changed when I asked God to give me purpose, so He decided to bless me with my wife, Andrea.  We got married and started raising our family back in Minnesota.  We were missing just 1 major thing, God.  After we moved to Arizona, our kids were the ones that actually led me back to church and ultimately, Jesus!  After many years of wandering, I ironically found my way to the desert to reunite with God.  For the last 7 years, Jesus has been my inspiration on how to live with peace, joy and true happiness!  I’m thankful every day for my relationship with Him and look forward to spending the rest of my life getting to know Him better each day.