About Gear Up
Gear Up Ministry is a non-profit organization that exists to train, share, equip and connect with firefighters and EMS workers in international communities, all for the glory of God.
The 4-Fold Focus:
TRAINING: One of the primary goals of Gear Up is to provide high caliber professional training in order to meet the specific needs of each international department we are privileged to serve. In order to accomplish this, we select candidates that demonstrate passion and excellence in their field of expertise and have a heart to serve, as well as a willingness to be used and stretched by God.
SHARING: Gear Up gives Christian American firefighters and EMS personnel a global platform from which to share their professional knowledge and experience, as well as their faith in Christ. Ultimately, in the sharing of their skills, time and resources via short-term ministry trips, the heart of Christ and the message of the Gospel are presented.
EQUIPPING: Through professional and tactical training, Gear Up equips our international brothers and sisters in their overall proficiency in order to better serve their departments and communities. Additionally, throughout each week of training, we clearly present the Good News of the Gospel which will equip them for life and eternity.
CONNECTING: Not only do the mission team members individually connect with members of the international community, Gear Up is intentional about connecting national pastors, churches and missionaries to the firefighters and EMS workers that attend one of our training weeks. We know that it's only through on-going, intentional connections with a local body of Christ that discipleship will truly occur for those whose hearts are open to the message of the Gospel.
Every "God-thing" has a "backstory." Here's the short version of Gear Up's:
When Darin Coyle and his family were living and serving as missionaries in Quito, Ecuador, he received an unexpected phone call from an American missionary pastor (Jeff Davoll) that he had developed an acquaintance with in 2010. Since 2014, this pastor has been specifically reaching out to the police and military forces in Ecuador, offering tactical training that is provided by police personnel from the US. How Jeff ended up doing his "God-thing" has a pretty cool "backstory," as well. Ultimately, through the targeted training that is provided, along with the sharing of the Gospel and on-going follow-up discipleship, the number of Ecuadorian police and military personnel that have given their lives to Christ and are growing in their faith is simply astounding. So that day in March, Jeff asked Darin if he would be open to gathering and facilitating a group of fire and EMS personnel from the States that would be willing to train and serve a local fire department about 30 minutes outside of Quito.
What's so interesting about his phone call to Darin is that throughout the Coyle family's years of serving in Ecuador, Darin had often mentioned what an awesome ministry opportunity it would be to provide specialized training for the local fire departments. Though he had retired from the fire department to follow God's call to Ecuador in 2010, perhaps the "brotherhood" of the fire service never completely left him. In hindsight, it seems that God was beginning to plant an idea in Darin's thoughts and heart that would give birth years later, in the fullness of God's sovereign timing.
Additionally, in the exact timeframe of Jeff Davoll's call, God was orchestrating something else: a new friendship between Darin and a pastor (Carnie Hedgepeth) from North Carolina, someone who has a heart for missions and almost 30 years in the fire service, and presently serves as the Emergency Service Director for Beaufort County, NC. During this timeframe, there was no denying that God was up to something; and in the weeks and months that transpired, even though there were other ministry desires and opportunities on the radar, it became clear that God's Spirit was stirring Darin's spirit to "gear up" and follow His lead. And so, the early stages of development of the first team began.
By May of that same year, in a relatively short, unplanned manner, the Coyle family knew God was impressing them to return to the States for an extended furlough, in order to renew, reenergize and regroup. Three months later they arrived in North Carolina, uncertain about the future, but certain about the care and provisions of their Good Shepherd who "leads in paths of righteousness for His name sake." Over the months that unfolded, God's Spirit began confirming the mission and ministry of Gear Up.
Indeed, to look back on many specific details that came together over a span of time (too many to share here) is nothing short than seeing God's spot- on sovereignty at work. That's why, fueled by His Spirit and upheld by His grace, they continue to move forward in faith with the One who seeks and saves, rescues and redeems. All for the glory of God!