While earning his master’s degree overseas, White Bear Lake native and long-time Eagle Brook attender Ryan Olson tuned in online to stay connected to home and continue growing in his faith—even from 4,000 miles away.
I am a White Bear native and have been attending Eagle Brook ever since I can remember. I graduated from White Bear High School in 2010, and last year I lived in London, where I attended the University of East London, taking graduate courses in Strength & Conditioning and Elite Athletic Performance, as well as training as a professional runner. I lived there for about a year and loved every minute of it. It was such an incredible cultural experience and it was so cool to branch out and live on the opposite side of the world. But it was also quite overwhelming at times.
But whenever I felt overwhelmed, I was always so thankful for Eagle Brook. I love this church so much, and the fact that I could still tune in every weekend from 4,000 miles away to hear amazing messages week in and week out was incredible. I’m so thankful that I was able to stay connected while living overseas. I never thought I would move halfway across the world to live and train as a runner, and I truly think God put me in that city of 8 million people for a reason.
Eagle Brook has also had a huge impact on my relationship with my girlfriend, Kari. While I was in London, we would Facetime to discuss the message each week after watching it on our own, which caused both of us to grow deeper in our faith and intentionally put Christ at the center of our relationship, even from 4,000 miles away. Eagle Brook has impacted our relationship so much.
Today, I’m back in Minnesota, working and training as I seek to run professionally. Kari and I are able to serve together on the weekends now, which is awesome! This past year, I also helped lead a group of 8th graders in Ground Zero on Wednesday evenings, and that was and incredible experience.
After spending a year away, I am even more grateful for the ways Eagle Brook has impacted my life, and I love that I was able to stay connected with this community while living overseas. It made all the difference when I was so far from home.
I thank God every day for this church and for Bob and Jason, as our pastors, because it has helped me in so many ways.