Alumni Highlight: Jalaya Taylor – B.Th 2022

The Journey:

Jalaya came to PBC in August of 2018 after graduating high school. Born and raised in Canada, she was the second oldest of five children. She loves her three sisters and brother dearly. Family is important to Jalaya, and she is grateful that two of her sisters are still there in school as well. But never had she thought that God would bring her outside of her hometown; she wanted to remain home because it was comfortable and familiar. Her thoughts about school were a local university or college. After trying multiple times to get into an ultrasound technician program before finishing high school, Jalaya decided to just give it to God and see what would happen. Her time in prayer and thought eventually led her to Portland Bible College. Despite the distance from home, she felt an overwhelming peace with her decision.

College life had plenty of challenges, not only because she had to learn a new culture and city but also because the Covid pandemic made life extraordinarily unpredictable and challenging. But, through it all, she saw God’s faithfulness. She recognizes that PBC was preparing her for her professional and ministry journey by teaching her how to hear the voice of God. She knows the importance of being prepared, armored with God, and of good character.

She says, “I love these two verses in James 1:5-6 which reads, ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.’ Not only does it demonstrate that we need to have complete reliance on God, but is also gives insight to our natural humanness – that we will face the temptation of indecision and doubt. When these temptations come, what have we rooted ourselves in? God’s voice is easily discernable. God’s voice, however, can also be easily undetectable. It all depends on what seeds we have allowed to grow in our garden. If we plant God’s Word, the truth about who He is and what He think of us in our plot, then we will be able to yield to His guidance. If we have also allowed plants of lies, immorality, and offenses to dwell though, these become weeds that can overpower the clarity of the work that God is doing in us. It is essential that we go through seasons of uprooting, therefore, so that the beautiful things that God has in store for us can remain strong and on course. PBC is the training ground for these seasons, and enables us to build the right foundation for what God has called of us to do for His Kingdom.”

Currently, she works at Oregon Right to Life as the Community Outreach Specialist in Portland, OR. She looks forward to continuing her impact on women, educating them about the value of life in Oregon through their organization as well as supporting Pregnancy Resource Centers. Through working for Oregon Right to Life, she has been invited to speak at churches and schools about the value of life and what our role should be in protecting it. 

She is currently involved at Mannahouse in Portland, OR, in multiple ministries. As far as her future, Jalaya is excited to take trips overseas and invest in missionary trips and programs to work within different countries and cultures. God’s calling for her life continues to surprise her, and she is excited to be used by Him and be an extension of His Kingdom in all places that He brings her.

One of the greatest lessons Jalaya learned while at PBC was that her life was not her own:

“We are designed to be God’s vessels and be utlized to carry out His mission in the capacity that He asks us to. This goes against everytyhing that the world teaches us, and even what our flesh desires. We naturally desire things to be a certain way. If we believe that He is in control, we are able to submit our will over to Him, and trust that He is guiding our steps daily. The journey doesn’t always make sense, however trusting Him and adhering to His voice will make the journey easier and be exactly where He wants us to be”

Jalaya’s Message to Current Students:

“It is very easy to dictate what you would like to do and what you want to see happen, especially if you are in a place that you never envisioned for yourself. If you are not including God in this picture, however, it is going to fall apart because you are essentially building it. God needs to be the foundation of any vision that we have faith in, as He is going to be the One that not only produces it but prepares us to walk into it. When He asks us to do something, even if it doesn’t make sense, are we willing to do it wholeheartedly? Portland Bible College is a special place. Not only is it designed to help you discover your gifts, but also highlights the areas that need healing/growth. While its main focus is theology and music, it is going to act as the building block for the next place that God wants to bring you. Your step of obedience to being at PBC is going to continue to be confusing as long as you are looking at it through an incorrect lens and striving toward where you think you need to be. The world presents that we need to discover the career that best fits us: our personality, our abilities, and/or our potential talents. From a Kingdom standpoint, however, God knows who we are and what He has called of us better than we do. He also knows the tools that we will need to get to the places that He has for us. Most of all though, He knows the character that we will require to sustain us to where He leads us. My encouragement would be to embrace where God has currently brought you and to enjoy it. Trust God, and know that He sees the desires of your heart and will fulfill them in the best way, in His timing.”