Leader Spotlight: Ryan Veil

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This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down and if you’d like to take a minute just sit right there…I’ll tell you how I became the national director of Spoke Folk.

Yes, Will Smith and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will always have a spot in my heart.

I was born in North Dakota. Grew up in Mankato, Minnesota. Spent a couple years of high school in Pennsylvania and Maryland. I played basketball and soccer through my school years. I was on a bowling team most of the time (because bowling is awesome) and played way too much Mario Kart. I inherited the “collecting” bug from my grandfather and at various times in my life collected stamps, pogs, hot wheels, baseball cards, Bobcat models, root beer bottles, keychains, action figures, and anything to do with Michael Jordan (best basketball player of all time).

While living in Maryland I was introduced to Congress, Captive Free, and Spoke Folk…all ministries of Youth Encounter (a youth ministry organization that is no longer around). I attended a weekend youth retreat called Congress and met a group of about 40 Spoke Folk alumni. They were crazy and told stories I really didn’t understand but I knew I wanted to be part of that community so next time I would understand their weirdness. That summer was my first tour, Michigan 2001.

God used Spoke Folk to show me unconditional love, meaningful praise and worship, and that we should all thank God each and every hot shower we take (hose showers on SF are no joke!)

I’ve toured every year since 2001 (except the years I didn’t) totaling 19 tours-to-date. I’ve been a participant, counselor, director, board member, and now national director. There’s no place that compares with being on Spoke Folk. I believe people are their best versions of themselves and who God made them to be while on tour. This is because people are loved and accepted and free to let down their walls. That’s a big part of what keeps me coming back. I have a heart for youth ministry and helping youth know they are loved.

Snapshot of my life in 2018 – Allie & I have been married 8 years. We have 2 kids – Savannah (22 mo) and August (3 wks). I still enjoy bowling (because it’s awesome). Sundays are for watching football. I host game nights as often as I can to play board games. We have a dog, Lucy. Allie & I love traveling to new places. My hobbies include woodworking, talking about woodworking, and pretending I do more woodworking than I do…and changing diapers. I own Studio Veil…we do photo, video, DJ, and photo booth services for weddings and other events. That’s what I do for work. Allie works with me part time cause she really likes me and we plan to force our kids to take over the business in 20 years or so.

Allie & I took over Spoke Folk January 2018 after Eric was ready to step down. He kept this ministry going for 15 years and we’re excited to do our part to make sure it’s still around for our kids when they get older. God is good and we’re thankful for this opportunity!

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