We Will Serve is a non-profit organization that enables parents & caregivers to provide their children with clothing and essential items.

AJ’s Testimony

I was raised in a Christian home and learned about God at an early age. I grew to know and love the Lord by way of my church youth group leaders, Jan and Dave Herrmann. They taught me who Christ was and showed me how to come alongside people in their time of need. We went on several mission trips during my teens in U.S. cities that had experienced some sort of natural disaster or other tragedy.

My father died when I was 23 in a traffic accident and I blamed his death on God and turned my back on the church. Almost immediately after denouncing God, the enemy showed up in a big way in my life. At the time, I owned my own company, which allowed me to travel the world, doing crazy single-guy things from country to country. Moving to California in 1994, I took on this new freedom with reckless abandon, abusing my body with drugs and alcohol on a regular basis, getting caught up in the “Hollywood scene”. I became very good at avoiding relationships during this time of my life. I basically avoided everyone that cared about me, because I was afraid of being found out. My relationship with God was nonexistent. I had many people in my life, but most of them were party friends, that came and went like the seasons. I was the life of the party, the funny guy that everyone wanted to have around. I was the envy of all my married buddies and most of my single ones. But my life was completely empty. This went on year after year until I met Jo in 2005 in Newport Beach. She was the attractive neighbor girl that I had a secret crush on. I would see her often on my way home from work.

When Jo became pregnant my “world” was rocked. I didn’t know how to deal with the reality of what was happening so I did what I always tried to do, avoid the pain and manipulate the situation to my advantage. I took Jo to an abortion clinic and tried to talk her into “taking care of it”. I told her I wasn’t ready to be a dad (at 38) and that this was going to ruin my life. I said many things to her that I’ll never be able to take back. The irony is, that little life that I tried to destroy, ended up being the very life that actually saved mine…

After I got over the initial shock, I realized with the lifestyle I was living, the only way I was ever going to settle down was exactly the way it happened…by fate and a divine hand. (I had always dreamt of being a father)

So I called her and said “let’s do this!” We immediately found a church (Newport Mesa) to attend together, to begin the process of raising a child in a Christian environment. We sat in the back row and cried through the entire service, for three weeks straight. This is when we met Rick Francis, who ended up having a huge impact on my life as a mentor and friend.

AJ & Jo Sexton on building mission togetherWe were married in May of 2006, and AJ was born in September of that year. (Yes, I literally married the “girl next door”)

In 2007 Jo and I decided we were going take a bold step and move our family to Panama; build a home near the beach and start a church. We were hot for God and had just been baptized that May. We made the mistake of NOT consulting God on “our” plans. We invested nearly all of our money into building a home there. I remember I had a large commission check coming from my company in about 45 days, and I told Jo that we just needed to live lean for a month or so until I was paid. Between the time I wrote the check for the Panama home, and when I was to receive the check, my company went out of business (June of 2007) and our family lost everything.

Jo and I, along with our 9 month old (AJ6) went from living on the beach in Newport, to living with a friend in San Clemente. Our new family went from luxury beachfront living to federal assistance in the blink of an eye. This is where we really found God. Face down, borrowing money from friends and family to survive. It took us several months to save up enough money to afford a one bedroom (affectionately nicknamed “the shoebox”) in Irvine in late 2007.

In our brokenness, Jo and I started We Will Serve to assist other struggling caregivers in providing clothing and food for their families.

God’s provision has been amazing in our lives and things are much better now. Jo and I talk about those hard times a lot. We’ve decided that if we had it to do all over again, we wouldn’t change a thing. Because it was through those trials & tribulations that we came to know each other, ourselves and our God.