James Brooks’ [BA 2007] viewpoint on freedom is “one of discipline…when I was younger I was very much a believer that freedom meant doing whatever I wanted...But the freedom to be what you want…comes at a cost of discipline and hard work,” says James.

After graduating from Tyndale, James didn’t know what to do with his life. He went on a mission trip to India because it was something he had always wanted to do. James, who notes that he never really thought about how he made decisions, says, “I’ve always told people I don’t know what prompted me to go.”

When he returned he decided he needed to focus on making a living so he started to work for a car dealership and then cleaning pools. He felt he “could make lots of money and then go back to India.”

Later, he realized that he needed to do more than just make money. He loved his time at Tyndale so when a job in the Admissions department came up, he applied. James felt the job was a way to contribute value and meaning into people’s lives.

“Coming back to Tyndale on staff really made me appreciate the school a whole lot more,” he says. James went on more mission trips and felt he was starting to move towards where his passions were leading him. “Admissions was great and I loved it, but I still needed to be doing something more in-line with my passions.” Something was beginning to change in him.

James was faced with the decision to leave his job in admissions and explore his options with mission organizations. He met with two of his pastors. “They both have known me for quite some time and I really valued their input into my life. I wanted to get their perspective, but also I wanted affirmation.” James realized he wanted to facilitate and run mission trips for young people.

The day that he met Barry Smith, Vice President of Student Services, was the day he saw the Intercultural Initiatives Coordinator position posting. The recruitment process was lengthy, but James felt God’s provision over his life and knew things would work out either way. He states, “I’m not a firm believer that there’s only one path. Especially when you’re faced with a fork in the road...I don’t think God would have been disappointed with either.”

James came to realize that God spoke to him through his passions. Speaking with his pastors and walking through open doors were the affirmation of God that he was making a decision in His will.

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