About Axiom

Globally there is a wave emerging on the horizon; a wave of revolutionary mini-movements in pursuit of an authentic Christianity that may give birth to another world. Axiom Monastic Community, founded 15 years ago, is one of these movements. We look forward to the possibility of journeying with you!

Jeff Pratt, Founder

About Axiom

Axiom Monastic Community is a global network of communities and friends, some of which are home-based in the Yale University town of New Haven, CT. This missional network consists of aspiring contemplative activists; Christian communities and individual participants in over 27 nations of the world.

Axiom builds upon the long and historic monastic traditions established both by the Western and Eastern Church. It provides contemporary expressions of Christian community life and offers a practical and prayerful rhythm for such communities as well as Axiom participants. (This can be found in the Distinct Spirituality page of this site, which has information for those who are interested in journeying with us.)

Axiom is passionate about Jesus and living the God-filled life everywhere. It encourages three things;

  • The practice of regular personal prayer by taking time daily to encounter God and discover afresh who he created you to be and the purpose seeded within you from your creation.
  • Living the God-filled life. Living out God’s life on earth through practical acts of service demonstrating God’s grace, most often in response to the cry of the poor and marginalized, who appear to have no one but God on their side.
  • Building a global network, a virtual community.

Axiom offers:

  • Connectedness through it’s shared daily commitment and rhythm of prayer; 24/7 prayer embracing our world.
  • Listening and learning from each other’s stories: establishing a faith narrative.
  • Local and internationally organized activities such as retreats and pilgrimages; touching base with ourselves and our historical roots.
  • shared action in the service of others; a visible church.

Why the term Monastic?

“The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism, which has only in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time men and women banded together to do this.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

New Monasticism is a growing movement of committed Christians who are recovering a radical discipleship of monasticism and unearthing a fresh expression of Christianity around the world.

Axiom Originators

Jeff Pratt – Founder / Spiritual Director – jpratt@christouraxiom.com

Jeff Pratt was born and raised in a strong Mormon family of seven children. Before making preparations to leave on a Mormon mission, Jesus Christ invaded his life and he left Mormonism in pursuit of an intimate relationship with God and the fulfillment of God’s call on his life.

This call has led him to minister in over 80 countries of the world in various churches, TV programs and Youth With A Mission centers. As an ordained minister, Jeff has been a missionary for over 20 years, helping direct training for Mercy Ships, as well as assisting Melody Green in leading Last Days Ministries.

Jeff is currently providing leadership for YWAM Axiom and Axiom Global Monastic Community while giving shape and definition to an Urban Monastery in the Yale University town of New Haven, Connecticut.

Jeff teaches extensively on various aspects of Intimacy with God, The Father Heart of God, The Spiritual Disciplines of Jesus, etc.. Jeff also adopted two brothers, Brandon and Patrick, almost ten years ago, who all currently reside in New Haven, CT.

Roger and Debbie Andruss

Roger and Deb Andruss

Roger and Deb Andruss – Pastoral Care/Spiritual Directors – rog.andruss@me.com

God has blessed Roger and Deb with a life much different than they could have ever imagined. Both worked in healthcare for over 30 combined years as a Pharmacist and Medical Assistant when God called Roger back to Bible College. They have served in ministry ever since, with Roger teaching/preaching as a Lead Pastor in churches for over 10 years. They transitioned from church ministry to full- time mission work nine years ago when they partnered with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Roger lead the Staff Care & Development team at the University of the Nations, Kona, Hawaii (YWAM’s largest training center) for 3 years.

Roger & Deb’s focus has been to help others thrive by achieving & maintaining wellness – spiritual, physical, emotional & social. They also have a heart for the nations, having traveled to more than 50 countries in the last 10 years.

Roger & Deb joined the Axiom community in 2012, recognizing the key to maintaining wellness is a close, intimate, daily walk with God. Their passion is to see people grow in their love relationship with Jesus so they can better love those around them. They lead out in the New Haven Community until moving to Montana in the summer of 2015 to establish an Axiom Community/Hub of Spiritual Rhythm and Rest. Forty acres, surrounded by wilderness, was purchased in 2016 and is currently being developed.
Greg Valerio

GREG VALERIO is a fair trade jeweller with a background in human rights and environmental advocacy. He is the founder of CRED Jewellery and co-founder of Fair Jewellery Action. He was named The Observer Ethical Awards Campaigner of the Year in 2011. He was also voted by The Retail Jeweller 2011 as one of the Top 100 innovators in the UK Jewellery Industry.

“Valerio, you’re a natural born trouble-maker. Just make sure you make trouble for the right reasons.” GREG VALERIO was expelled from secondary school with these words ringing in his ears. It took a little while to find the right cause, but eventually he took on the international jewellery industry. Notorious for its blood diamonds, worker exploitation, and endemic corruption. For fifteen years Greg criss-crossed the globe striving to apply fair trade standards to the jewellery business. From the Arctic circle, via the diamond fields of Sierra Leone to the South American rain forest, he has fought to give the consumer an ethically pure piece of jewellery, and to reward its producers with a fair wage and good working conditions. Along the way, he has exposed the jewellery industry’s dirty secrets: pollution, child labour, criminality, exploitation, dangerous working practices, and more.

“For me, good campaigning meant three simple things: good education that leads to positive action, and then a change in lifestyle that cements campaigning into daily living.” – GREG VALERIO

Maverick, pain in the arse, social entrepreneur, out of the box, radical, passionate, emotional, unmanageable, direct, to the point, breath of fresh air, rebel, visionary, scruffy, non-conformist, looks like a bum, economic terrorist and dangerous bastard have all been used to describe Greg and his commitment to human rights, ecological responsibility and fair trade in the jewellery sector. Greg is currently working with FAIRTRADE International co-ordinating their International Gold programme and Peace Direct in eastern Congo to support the establishment of a Peace Gold programme with ex-combatants. He is a regular columnist for The National Association of Goldsmiths Jewellery Magazine, writer, public speaker on Ethics in Jewellery. He initiated and currently serves on the British Jewellers Association and National Association of Goldsmiths ethics working group. He acts as an adviser to the Diamond Development Initiative.

Axiom Advisors


Micha Jazz – A Missional Friar – Location:  Southsea, United Kingdom – micha@christouraxiom.com

Micha is a Mystagogue and serves as a spiritual director at St Cuthbert’s Oratory retreat centre, where he welcomes individuals and small groups to explore personal encounter with God, receive spiritual direction and/or journey deeper into the heart of God whilst engaging in mission. He notes that the principal inspirations in his life have been the Rolling Stones, Baloo the bear and Mother Theresa. Between them they have taught him to move freely, live in the moment and do the small things as if his life depended upon them.

The Oratory is a house of prayer, retreat and spiritual formation and also an Axiom Community: www.stcuthbertsoratory.wordpress.com

“As a Contemplative, my time is spent in contemplative prayer, writing, leading retreats and pilgrimages, supporting individuals as a qualified Spiritual Director and accompanying individuals and groups through life’s challenging transition points.

My ministry is focussed on Whole Life Well-being. I creatively support people in attaining their maximum level of function and independence of thought and action in all areas of their life. I enjoy working with individuals in evaluating, planning, and conducting a process that addresses their unique personal, social, and spiritual development. I work together with these individuals or
groups in designing, developing and implementing practical strategies for creative and productive activities that enable each individual to maximize lifeʼs potential. These activities take place during a short retreat or on a more extended pilgrimage and include:

  • reviewing and establishing personal life values,
  • creative life-rhythms,
  • meaningful relationships,
  • creating a bespoke personal vision, mission & purpose statement.

I have a particular interest in people journeying into and through the second half of life in enabling them to reinvigorate their spiritual walk and discover effective ways to continue on in fruitful mission and community regeneration.

I love study and have a PhD in Syriac, and have particular interest in Syriac monasticism and the Eastern Church, martyrdom and the emergence of the Romano-Celtic Church in Britain. I live on the South Coast of England and am married to Jayne. I travel to speak, lead retreats and pilgrimages and am available as a spiritual director.”

Contact Micha direct stcuthbertsoratory@gmail.com.

Axiom Communities & Projects

Roger & Deb Andruss – Axiom Monastic Community, Montana, USA

Axiom Montana is an emerging new community birthed in the Rocky Mountains of Northwest Montana. It will serve as a hub for Axiom in North America, a place where spiritual rhythms are modeled, community is developed, rest is afforded and readiness is facilitated. It will be a wilderness location, yet accessible.

The mountains play a significant role in Scripture – the giving of the Law to Moses, the Sermon on the Mount, the Transfiguration and the Great Commission all occurred on mountains. This hub for Axiom will provide such sacred space to encounter God, so that you may become His very real presence in the world.

In 2016, God provided a beautiful 40 acre property that is surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness for our Axiom Hub.  Renovations are currently underway to help host people for a variety of events.

Axiom Monastic Community, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Axiom New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Axiom Monastic Community, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Axiom New Haven resides in the Yale University town of New Haven, Connecticut, the birthplace and home base for Axiom.  Our diverse & dispersed community is held together by our shared values (rhythms of formation).  These values or practices help us live as closely as possible to the Way of Jesus.  We are simply men and women joining together and agreeing to live out the Gospel of Christ so that we can be, as Mother Teresa said, the fragrance of Christ to New Haven and beyond.

Some of the practices are carried our together as a community (weekly Eucharist, annual retreat or pilgrimage) while others are done individually.  We also organize the two annual New England Contemplative Retreats and several of our global pilgrimages.

Axiom Elk River

Axiom Elk River, Michigan, USA

Ryan Braley – Axiom Elk River, Michigan, USA Community

Bio: I grew up in Denver, CO in a single parent home after my mom decided once and for all to leave my abusive dad. Growing up, despite seeing the hypocrisies of the church and in the life of my “religious” dad, I always believed in God. I sensed that this God loved me, and that this God loved the world. And after spending several years as a young adult in Youth With A Mission, Denver, I became absolutely convinced of it. I now live with my wife and four children near Minneapolis, MN, trying to help others discover this same love of Jesus that has the power to change lives, heal the broken, melt hard hearts, and bring resurrection life to places of death.

Vision: The vision of our Axiom group is simply this: in a culture that fosters individualism and competition, we hope to intentionally share our lives with each other while exploring the depth of a life with Jesus together in this time and in this place. We want to learn to love each other well, to love God well, and to learn how to then go into the world and love the world well.

Axiom Monastic Community in South Africa

Axiom South Africa

Axiom South Africa

Axiom South Africa is a growing network of intentional friends and ministries working to embody a spirit of contemplative activism within the greater Cape Town area. As a diverse body of wanderers, vagrants and recovering sinners Axiom SA seeks to embrace a life in community, the practice of spiritual disciplines via Axiom’s ‘rhythm of formation’, and an evolving dedication to the emancipation of the oppressed through solidarity with the poor.

Steve + Diane

Steve + Diane

Steve and Diane Schallert – He is a contemplative truth seeker, a musician with a passion for proclaiming freedom, an inquisitive risk-taker and can always be found with book in hand.

She is a compassionate artist, always on the search for the hidden treasures of the earth, has a fervor for motherhood and crafts and never leaves home without post-it notes.

Together with their two daughters, Steve & Diane work with YWAM promoting works of justice, active peacemaking and compassion for the poor within the global YWAM network. Over the past 6 years they have traveled all over the world (Afghanistan, Egypt, Panama, Jordan, Haiti and Pakistan to name a few places) spreading the The Way and using art to raise awareness about issues of injustice while affirming the inherent worth of people in each place they serve. Today they call the margins of Cape Town, South Africa home and help give leadership to an intentional missions community which is seeking to empower disenfranchised people and foster reconciliation with the hope of the gospel.

Axiom Zimbabwe

Axiom Zimbabwe

Tinofara Rusike – Overseer of Axiom Zimbabwe

My name is Tinofara Mncedisi Rusike, born on Aug. 27, 1986 in Epworth Harare Zimbabwe. I did my primary education at Epworth primary and my secondary education at Mandedza high school, where I was chosen to be a Prefect at a lower form, which was unusual. This was because of the way I associated and accommodated students from all walks of life, especially those from perverse back grounds. After this, for two years, I worked in South Africa with a christian organization reforming prostitutes and discouraging abortion. I also helped a pastor from our church start up a congregation in BridgeTown, South Africa. I got married to Faith Magora and returned to Zimbabwe to get my family settled. Faith has got a passion for kids, which she acquired from the difficult way of life she grew up in. We have two kids, a little girl named Anesu, who is four years old, and Adonai, a four year old boy. At the moment I am volunteering for Oasis Zimbabwe with the Health and Livelihoods Project. This project helps reform young boys from drug abuse and other immoralities through sports and life skills. I also planted a branch of our church in an area called Glenwood, in Epworth, and my wife and I are the lead Elders of that church.


Jeff with Zimbabwean friends

Since I grew up in Epworth community my passion is to see people get transformed and to get to know God. Epworth is 15KM east of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, it is one of the poorest locations in Harare which accommodates thieves, prostitutes, and drug addicts, etc. We would really appreciate your prayers, and be blessed!

Axiom Venice Beach/Santa Monica, California, USA

Axiom Venice Beach/Santa Monica, California, USA

Jamie and Rachel Burrell – Guerrilla Film Makers and Overseers of Axiom Venice Beach/Santa Monica, California, USA

A little over four years ago, Jamie and Rach started on a pilgrimage to make something beautiful for God. The journey would take them from New York to Florida, then onto Albuquerque, NM and finally here in Los Angeles, CA on the beach at the corner of Venice and Santa Monica. Shortly after arriving, they began pursuing their vision of an urban monastery. As a part of the monastery, the two have combined forces to become guerrilla film makers. In 2014, they will be traveling across the nation with their dogs Meeko and Asa filming for their production company, Much Love Productions. The footage will be released on a global stage as a way to share Abba’s love with as many people as possible.

Chris and Erin Walker, Location: Cong, County Mayo - Republic of Ireland

Chris and Erin Walker, Location: Cong, County Mayo – Republic of Ireland

Chris and Erin Walker, Location: Cong, County Mayo – Republic of Ireland

Chris and Erin had no idea just how much an Axiom retreat would change their lives. They met, had precious times with God, and got married 17 months later. After having worked with YWAM Ireland in Rostrevor, Co. Down, they started to hear God talk about moving to the Republic of Ireland. Many miles on the car later, they drove into Cong, Co. Mayo one day and knew they stumbled upon a very special place on the edge of the Connemara. Now Chris and Erin get to call it home, learning more every week about the incredibly rich history God has written over this land with more stories yet to unfold.
Ireland and its people carry a heavenly song that has impacted the world with its missionaries and Celtic spirituality. Erin and Chris desire to see Ireland not only experience revival again, but reformation that will see all the spheres of society impacted by Kingdom culture. They love equipping, encouraging and empowering people wherever they are at in their relationships with Jesus. They currently spend most of their time doing pastoral care offering retreats, spiritual direction, prayer ministry and coordinating YWAM Associates on the island.

Reconciliation Walk Community, Luton, United Kingdom

Reconciliation Walk Community,
Luton, United Kingdom

Cathy Nobles – Reconciliation Walk Community, Luton, UK

“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too”. Saint Teresa of Avila.  I have been a traveler most of my life, and after 18 years of teaching teen-agers (and it was my passion), I moved from Austin, Texas where I had been learning to walk with God even in the busyness of each day to join YWAM in Lausanne, Switzerland. I had felt God ask me to follow him out into the world to a larger classroom, and so I followed. Now many years on, I have worked with YWAM in both Switzerland and at Highfield Oval, UK. I’ve lead DTS’s both in Switzerland and at the Oval, and the most unusual was leading the DTS on the Next Wave as we sailed from Liverpool to Turkey. Now that’s an adventure. From the Balkans to the Middle East, to Africa, I’ve loved journeying to a new place to walk alongside people, to hear their stories, and to then begin to understand how can we help bring change.

In the midst of these years, I had the privilege to work with Lynn Green and Matthew Hand as we pioneered the Reconciliation Walk from 1995 to 1999. This was to be a journey of repentance on the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade from Cologne, Germany to Jerusalem, we followed in the footsteps of the first crusaders, but instead of a sword, we carried a simple apology for failing to live as Jesus had taught his disciples to live.

As Training Director, it was a privilege to train each team that came on the RW from Turkey to Lebanon/Syria to Israel and Palestine. And as we delivered our apology to ordinary people and to religious and secular leaders, we learned that there were many misunderstandings between the West and the East, and that we wanted to be bridge builders who are seeking to love God and our neighbors by breaks down dividing walls. Out of this time has grown the School of Reconciliation and Justice, as well as our Journey of Understanding that is a 10 day trip to Israel and Palestine to meet people on both sides of the conflict who are seeking to make a difference. www.recwalk.net

Alternative Network, Toronto Canada

Jari and Tanya Koivu – Leaders of YWAM Alternative Network, Toronto Canada

Jari and Tanya Koivu – Leaders of YWAM Alternative Network in Toronto, Canada

The founders of YWAM Alternatives Network (AN), Jari & Tanya Koivu, have been involved in Slavic and Jewish Ministries during their years in YWAM, joining the mission in 1987. Pioneering new works and mission bases has been a part of their YWAM journey. That journey has taken them to Finland, Austria, Russia, Cyprus and Canada.

Jari’s YWAM journey began 1987 in Finland where he did the basic mission training and then worked in the Slavic Ministries department, helping with semi-underground training programs in the Soviet Estonia (when the country was still under KGB control).

After taking a Slavic School of Missions in Switzerland, in 1989 Jari relocated to Austria where thousands of Soviet Jewish and evangelical Christian emigrants were arriving on a daily basis, by the train load.  Jari established a Soviet Jewish outreach ministry in Vienna.  This is also where he met Tanya, who then began to help the missionaries in their outreach. She was one of the Soviet Pentecostal emigrants.

In 1991 Jari & Tanya moved to Canada and established a Jewish ministry in Toronto, where Jari was invited to be a Leadership Council member for YWAM Toronto.  Most of the missionary staff were South Korean.

Jari & Tanya started YWAM in the magnificent city of St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1995. That work included a Discipleship Training School (school of ministry), Street Kids Ministry (with a day centre and night shelter), refugee ministry among Muslims, Jewish Ministry, Train Ministry (evangelism in the local trains!). Pro-Life work in the form of a crisis pregnancy centre became a department of that YWAM base in 1997. In 2003 a similar ministry was pioneered in Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus, where the Koivus had moved from Russia in the end of 2001. Many other believers were mobilized to take part in Pro-Life work both in Russia and Cyprus. The centre in Nicosia is called the Pregnancy Care Centre.

Another aspect of the work in Cyprus was “Touch of Light”, a ministry to victims of sex trafficking. The Koivus also saw the pioneering of a Russian Church, and Jari started the Nicosia Healing Rooms in 2006.

Ministry to Spiritual Seekers became a part of the AN vision in Cyprus. One of our volunteer leaders came from a New Age background. There was a sense that YWAM and other Christians ought to do “something” about the growing presence of Psychics and New Age fairs. Some steps were taken in 2005-2006, like going to some fairs to pray. Jari Koivu went to Basel, Switzerland, where Jeff Fountain (YWAM’s European director) and Hope for Europe held a consultation called “Evangelism in a New Age”.

“This was a defining moment for us as a ministry. We understood that the Lord was calling Christians to a more radical, and contextualized, way of evangelizing Western spiritual seekers. Many in the West are turning to neo-paganism!

By the summer of 2006 we knew that Alternatives Network should move to a region where there are more opportunities for missions mobilization. Toronto began to loom large in the “horizon”, and the AN ministry relocated from Cyprus to Toronto in the summer of 2007.

Love for Israel and ministry to Jewish people have been an important part of our work in different nations. Our main focus has always been on Russian-speaking Jews, but here in Toronto our ministry (Healing Centre) is located in the heart of the larger Jewish community. Our desire is to be an “incarnational” presence here, and reach out through friendship evangelism and pursuing spiritual gifts in evangelism (incl. healing & the prophetic).”

Justice and Freedom Alliance (JAFA) is our ministry that deals with human trafficking issues.

Ministry to Spiritual Seekers goes to New Age and Holistic Expos with a prophetic healing booth, with lots of trained volunteers from local churches. Follow-up is also part of this work.

Haiti Orphan Activists

Haiti Orphan Activists

Scott and Darlene Schmeckpepper – Contemplative Activists in Haiti, home-based on Catalina Island, California, USA

“I have had the privilege of knowing Scott and Darlene for over 20 years. Scott has been active in evangelism and as a pastor for young people and adults for years. Darlene has been facilitating a prayer ministering for as many years on Catalina Island. I highly recommend their work amongst the orphans of Haiti, and hope you have an opportunity to meet them and to assist them in whatever way possible!”    – Jeff Pratt

Vision – United Hearts Haiti has been ministering in Montrouis, Haiti, since 2011. Our mission is to assist existing Haitian run orphanages improve their standard of living by developing sponsorship programs to assist in providing food, medical care, clean water and an education for the orphans in their care. We have a Family Sponsorship Program that provides assistance to families with one parent absent or unable to work so as to encourage these parents to keep their children, rather than abandon them to an orphanage. Our Tools for the Trade program assists these parents in using their skills and abilities or learn a new skill and provide the tools to earn a living so as not to become dependent on our assistance.

Darlene came across her first orphanage in May of 2010 just months after the earthquake. She had been working with YWAM Port au Prince to help with the relief effort. It was her last weekend there and she went for a ride to Montrouis to see more of Haiti. They stopped at this little orphanage to deliver some supplies. The Lord removed a piece of her heart and planted it there. Upon returning to the US, she began working with some of the local YWAMers to send financial assistance to the orphanage for immediate needs, and eight months later she returned herself. Since then Darlene has been traveling to Montrouis, Haiti, 5 times a year, to work along side the Pastor & his wife in helping make a better life for these children. She developed a sponsorship program to bring in financial assistance and has helped in the development of their living environment. Scott is administrative pastor of Avalon Community Church on Catalina Island, CA, but still manages to accompany Darlene on at least 3 trips a year. We regularly take teams to minister to the children and do work projects as needed.

We have been working in partnership with another missionary who has been living and ministering in Haiti for over 35 years. He has been ministering to two other orphanages in neighboring towns of Pierre Peyen and Piarte as well. He is retiring soon so we will be taking over some of his ministry work with these other orphanages. We are developing a sponsorship program to assist one of these orphanages and we have taken on his food delivery program. We will be delivering food boxes every other month to all three orphanages.

We welcome your prayers, donations and financial support as you partner with us to help not only keep these children fed and cared for, but educated as well. We choose to train up the next generation of Haitians that will help change their country for the better. For more information on how you can be involved go to www.unitedheartsorphanage.org

Prayer needs:

  • Pray we are able to solve the water shortage problem on the property
  • Pray for the financial ability to pay our workers a proper wage
  • Pray for a school building as the children are learning in a “brush arbor” building now.
  • Pray for someone with website design experience to help create a better web page.


Johnny Sertin – Overseer of The Earlsfield Friary, near London, Great Britian

Earlsfield Friary  – a story of change in an urban world

Ten minutes by train from the heart of London lies Earlsfield, a mecca for those avoiding the long commute to London for jobs, a place to many indigenous Londoners born and raised, and a haven for those seeking asylum from the horror of other parts of the world. With Clapham Junction, the busiest intersection station in Europe, one stop up, the area reflects this rootless spirit of passing through, thus ever struggling to find a heart.

Now in a number of those streets a group has gathered to find a place called home in this transient environment, to rewrite the story for a better tomorrow. Four families occupy space within a short distance of each other with the purpose of exploring collaborative life – friary life. These families took time initially to dialogue about Friary life and then make some commitments to each other about establishing a street community – four households with one cooperative purpose.

It began when Johnny, Lisa and Bruno Sertin with Leo Patching, came to Earlsfield in 2006 to explore a vision of mission through community and shared life. They were looking for an alternative economy to the social and ecclesial norms. Initially starting in one home with shared living, the friary has grown to the four households living in the one neighborhood.  In the early stages of their journey the Sertins were adopted as partners with CMS, a society with a deep and rich history of mission now looking to refound it’s vision for mission in Britain. Steered initially by the insights of Micha Jazz they discussed four mutuality’s of sharing Friary life. These are a mutual Christ, a mutual rhythm, offering mutual support, and engaging in a mutual mission within the immediate neighborhood.

Over the years, through an annual ritual of reflecting together, a vision of community life and some key practices have emerged: Their quest is ‘to discover ‘home’ through faith, relationships, and the world. Also to foster this space for others to share in.’ They do by curating events in the neighborhood to encourage common ground, staging local installations to nurture an alternative to the norm. Dramatizing stories that incubate connection with God’s big story of ‘creation healed’ and hosting festivities that incite Grace!

The challenge of such a vista is finding a joined up way of enacting this whilst being in a season of life where children are the zenith of our vision! Coming from a history of approaches to family life and faith ranging from seen and not heard, all inclusive to all excluded, or subcontracted to schools be that state, Sunday or home, the community did not want to embark on a journey that did not intentionally integrate the well being and spirituality of their children at the heart of their community, Equally they came to realize their own well being as adults was paramount to this idea. They explored ways to let children share the mutual life. They explored daily, monthly and festive rhythms to their life and found ways to bridge age, time and space whilst valuing the diversity of each person’s respective journey no matter what age. They discovered common ground in the importance of ritual, place, and food in their spirituality and several observations emerged on presence and faith in a contemporary world: They call these the “God is found” liturgy.

On any given day you will find them digging in the earth, eating at a table, chatting in the proverbial playground, at the school gate, planting in wasted space, walking up the hill, rooting through charity shops, craft making, imagining change, drinking at parties, laughing with joy, weeping with loss, embracing the dirty, spontaneously arranging pop up stalls, or causing dissent at the local school or council! They have found a home, they continue to make home and the sign on the porch says ‘welcome’.

Olivia Apple – Administration – postmodernmonalisa@hotmail.com

Hello! My name is Olivia Apple.

I work alongside Jeff Pratt helping to develop the social justice aspect of our training programs and assisting with retreats and pilgrimages.

If you are interested in joining us for any of our events please click the e-mail link below and request an application. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

George Shatwell

We who have met the creator of the universe have been permanently re formed in His image and likeness. This that we see every day is not reality, it is a matrix. The truth is so much better, we are feasting in heaven with The Maker The Word and The Truth. “Christ is now living through me the life that He gave up for my sake.” As long as there are those who continue to follow “the way” Christ exists incarnate. These truths and so many more make me who I am.

I grew up in a small town in north central Arkansas with a large family and lived there until I was 21. I struck out on my own at that point and moved around for a few years until I came to rest in Charlotte, NC in 2004. During my time there I was blessed to be around and involved in alot of amazing ministries, and had more spiritual resources than many people will ever know in a lifetime. I took advantage of all of these I could and spent the next 5 years deepening my understanding and relationship with Christ. My passion lies in seeing those who claim to follow Christ actually come to a realization of how unfathomable this mystical salvation is that they have received. It was while in Charlotte that I first began to understand and see the beauty of having a community of like-minded individuals all working towards a similar goal but using their own unique giftings to do so. This is what I see in Axiom and I am excited to be a part of what they are doing!! Now for the present, or the gift as you see fit. I have been granted the amazing oppurtunity to travel with Jeff and assist him in his teachings. It will be an incredible learning experience, and I look forward to seeing you all at some point!!!

Ian and Carolyn Christmann – Catalyst Studios


Ian and Carolyn Christmann live with their two boys, Sawyer Jude and Roan Thomas,  in a house overlooking the Quinnipiac River in New Haven, Connecticut. When not  busy watching the oyster boats go under the drawbridge, they use their creativity to help local and international nonprofits communicate their mission and message.  As a photographer, Ian is always watching light, with a goal to create images illuminated by God’s light, giving people or places a glimpse of their true beauty and radiance – whether it be a new bride or a neglected landscape.  Carolyn’s days are full of little boys’ laughter and a job she loves – working with the written word. Together with Ian, she coordinates and directs Web sites, annual reports and other communications collateral.

Ian and Carolyn met while working in the Communications Department of the Mercy Ship Anastasis, where they shared an office no bigger than a closet. Needless to say, love and dreams flourished. During their ship days, an encounter with street children in South Africa left their hearts broken and frustrated at the limitations of having only four hands to respond. The encounter, along with their time on the ship, compelled them to use their personal talents in photography and writing to multiply response – with the hope of inspiring four hundred hands or more to provide compassion and care for the impoverished, oppressed and overlooked.

Three years later, having settled in New Haven, they founded Catalyst Studios, which is an arts collective that causes or accelerates awareness and involvement. In 2004, the Christmanns purchased a dilapidated Victorian house called Chetstone with a vision to see its long-neglected rooms full of community and art. Since then, with paint brush and hammer, and sometimes shaky perseverance, they have worked to transform the historic home into its potential as a place of inspiration where artists can live, create and help make a difference in the world.


Jennifer & Vincent Lehmann – Location: Davos, Switzerland – vlehmann@christouraxiom.com

“We grew up in a “perfect” environment and have recognized that this is something we can be very thankful for. As a couple we have the desire to share this privilege and help those who are less fortunate.

We are also extremely grateful for all the people who invested themselves into us as children, teenagers and young adults. We see the significance of this positive influence in our lives and want to do the same by encouraging and challenging youth.

We’re living in the mountain town of Davos in Switzerland and work as volunteers with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Our main responsibility is to prepare and lead the SDTS (Snowboarders Discipleship Training School). At the same time, we support the directors of YWAM Davos in our projects.”

Vince will be offering his skills in extreme sports, and spiritual leadership as a Guide on our Swiss Alps Pilgrimage Tour this summer. It is a real privilege for us to have the Lehmanns as new additions to our Axiom Global Community.

Tobey and Annette Aubert

I began a relationship with Jesus Christ in my preteens. Growing up within church culture in New England I was exposed to a variety of Christian fellowships including Roman Catholic, mainline-Protestant, Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal denominations. After college, I became an ordained minister and served as a youth minister, worship leader and associate pastor for 14 years in two churches in CT. Annette grew up in a Christian background in Texas and did a tour with Mercy Ships and a YWAM DTS before moving to New England. During this time Annette and I married and had two boys Caleb and Micah. God began urging us into a journey of discovering intimacy with Him in failure and in Grace as well as through listening prayer. As we embarked on this inward journey, a move was made to MA to begin a new church.

This is where God turned our world upside down. God directed our lives in such a way that Annette & I stepped back from starting a new church and began a period of dependency on God. For almost two years our family of four has seen God lead us down a road to knowing Him and our life story through the three words God spoke to the Desert Father, Abbot Arsenius, “fly, be silent, rest in prayer.” “Fly” – We stepped back from active involvement in church culture and the demands of popular ministry. We began living what we jokingly call, “suburban solitude.” There we learned to see through the eyes of those outside religious culture, through the eyes of the misunderstood, the poor, and the lonely as we tasted it firsthand. “Be silent” – I stopped trying to persuade people to follow Christ in my own ability, and began listening to the voice of Christ and the stories of those Christ loves. In silence Annette and I are discovering the gift of service that Christ alone chooses to give – so that our actions and words bring His love and healing directly. “Rest in prayer’ – longing, seeking, finding and surrendering to God became the standard lesson to discover the beauty of each moment in the ever renewed encounter with God – the ongoing event of Grace. We have discovered God to be bigger than ever imagined, much less tame then previously believed and closer in this life than we ever thought possible.

We have just welcomed our third son, Samuel, and are now preparing to follow Christ as He leads us in a renewed mission. Our slogan will be, “Know Love. Give Love.” It will find its expression in local community groups focused on providing tools and support for people to know God in the everyday, discover our life story & give of ourselves to the poor.

I have been assisting Axiom in practical resources for the rhythm, “Daily Moments of Reflection” and other Axiom materials.

I first met Jeff Pratt in August of 1980. I found myself standing next to him in the aisle of a country church in Ridgefield, Washington. The Pastor of the church had just issued an invitation to come forward for all those who wished to encounter the Holy Spirit in a new way. I can still remember that moment when our eyes met. I didn’t really understand what the Pastor meant in his invitation and in Jeff’s eyes I could see the same look of uncertain perplexity I felt. I remember asking him if he really knew why we both felt the need to answer the invitation. He just shrugged, but as we spoke it was evident, while we didn’t know the exact purpose of answering the invitation of the Pastor, we both had a strong desire to know God in a deeper way.

Thus began the start of my longest running friendship. Our lives have taken very different paths, over the years, but they have managed to intersect. Jeff was there when my wife Edith and I were married in 1986. He was to be the main soloist until laryngitis set in the morning of our wedding. It was a bit alarming to see him coach a last minute volunteer to sing solo’s he had taken weeks to prepare. In 1990 Jeff was there at the birth of our first born son in Vancouver, Washington. We had invited him to stay in our attic while he was trying to earn funds to return to the mission field. I was able to get him employment at a home for teenagers in crisis, where I had previously worked, and at my then current employer United Parcel Service (UPS). In 1995 I left UPS and Vancouver, Washington to start a delivery Business in Colorado. The idea to start a business that exhibited the “Father Heart of God” had been forming in my mind for over a year. The concept of the “Father Heart of God” was one that Jeff had introduced to me and I felt God prompting me to start a business with that emphasis. Our youngest daughter Nicole was born in Loveland, Colorado in 2003 and Jeff arrived for a visit about a week after. He brought with him his newly adopted sons. I can still see the look of wonder in Brandon’s face as he held our tiny daughter. Jeff continued to be source of counsel, encouragement and friendship through the years as I started and grew the delivery business in Colorado. He also helped me walk through the very recent tough decision to sell my interest in the business I helped found.

Today, Edith and I are “semi-retired” and excited for the next chapter God has for our family.

History of Axiom

“Does not the history of the world show that there would have been no romance in life if there had been no risks?”Mahatma Gandhi

Our risk began with uprooting. Even the thought seemed absurd. Why would we, a group of twenty-five missionaries, leave stable and defined ministries for a life and a calling less explicable? What prompted us to move north from Mercy Ships- Texas, Youth With A Mission-Tyler and all that was familiar?

We carried no tidy package or plan directing what we would create in our new venture, but felt a gentle prodding, as if God was inviting us to be a part of a movie still in the making. Our heart for the un-churched and orphaned generation beckoned us on.

In the mid-nineties, God began gathering a like-minded group of friends—both in world-view and in ministry philosophy. We were a group of people who yearned to live with Jesus as our center, as our very life, and to minister from that place of profound intimacy. Some of us had worked together for years at Last Days Ministries in East Texas, while others came from Youth With a Mission.

As we worked, talked and dreamed together, we longed to create a ministry that would be built around two priorities: learning to love God more, and learning to love people well. We envisioned this ministry moving to a Jesus-centered rhythm that would guard these priorities and reach the unique people groups to which we felt called: the spiritually and physically orphaned.

Our hearts desire was to “be Jesus” to a generation who are skeptical towards the absolute claims of science and spirituality, yet remain open to both. We longed to reach the masses who rarely darken the door of a conventional church, and who are often void of a relevant witness of the Kingdom of God.

So, in 1998, in response to this stirring, we began to meet together for times of prayer and discussion. The Northeast region of the States, with its educational, post-modern bent, immediately drew us. After touring eight cities, we felt that New Haven, Connecticut was an excellent city to pioneer a ministry community called YWAM/ Axiom. (Axiom: a self-evident indisputable truth).

New Haven met the following criteria that we had established: 1. It is home to a major cultural idea center, Yale University. 2. It is small for a good home base, yet close enough to influential cities like New York and Boston to launch like-minded ministries. 3. It is home of the “post-modern thinker”. 4. It is a place for those who are broken and homeless (another important part of our vision).

One unforgettable day in July of 1999 we stood at the top of East Rock Park overlooking New Haven and our new lives. Through many financial and relational miracles, Axiom community was established in New Haven, thanks to God, and the help of many compassionate new friends within the area.

In closing, as you consider our relocation and our beginnings, you may be asking, “Have you found what you are looking for?” “Have you discovered a Jesus-centered rhythm that guards the priorities of loving God and each other well, while impacting contemporary culture?” Our answer would have to be, “Well, no, not yet— not completely”. However, we hear the echoes and calls of this rhythm on the horizon, and we step forward believing, as Robert Louis Stephenson stated, it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.

Jeff PrattAbout Axiom