Celebrating Michael Flickinger

Michael Flickinger, affectionately known as Flick, is the most rounded member of the Wonder Voyage community. Flick first attended Wonder Voyage in 2001 as a recent high school graduate. His team was a conservative evangelical Minnesota church on an Irish pilgrimage.  

A few years later, after serving in the Navy, Flick moved to Dallas to become a part-time intern with Wonder Voyage while pursuing his English degree. His forward thinking and ingenuity with practical systems allowed Wonder Voyage to scale the organization as we grew in leaps and bounds during the early 2000s. 

The Flick beyond Wonder Voyage

Mike started as an assistant guide and became a Voyage Coordinator, creating and leading mission trips and pilgrimages. Since then, we’ve watched Mike grow from a student to a high school teacher, husband, and father of a buzzing nest of children. And, to boot, he served for a few years as a Board Member. 

Life is busy for our Flick. Between herding children, an active church life, and a teacher’s overworked and under-appreciated career, Flick finds time to lead voyages and speak into the life of the Wonder Voyage community.

A worldview overhaul

Recently, I asked Mike if there was a particular moment on his first trip that gave him pause and secured his sights on joining Wonder Voyage. His moment came in the Emerald Isle. That summer, Wonder Voyage curated five teams in the West of Ireland. We housed our teams at the pastoral Esker Monastery in Athenry. For hundreds of years, the Esker monks had established a sanctuary for those seeking enlightenment, rest, and actual secret Eucharists during the English persecutions. 

Raised in Evangelical Christianity, Flick had a narrow viewpoint of faith. He jokingly said the word around his sect of Christianity was Catholics weren’t Christians. His head was already spinning as he wandered a place full of Christian imagery, numerous chapels, holy wells, statues of the Virgin Mary, and prayer from the monks ringing out at all times of the day. His narrow view of faith started to hemorrhage. 

The tea time that changed his life

Wonder Voyage arranged for a tea time with two local Catholic lay ministers who spoke to the group. Their passion for Jesus, the Word of God, and a display of joy blew his mind. He had never seen such a fervor in someone who proclaimed to seek Jesus. God’s Presence filled the room as they prayed for the team of students. Mike said, “All my ideas and categories about being a Christian were totally rearranged. Those guys were funny, wonderfully crude, and totally authentic. They clearly loved Jesus.”

Mike’s clean and neat church world was blown to bits over a cup of Irish tea. He had lived in a faith silo. He related to these odd guys from a tradition he knew nothing about, which had been maligned by those in his strain of faith, which made no sense to his mind. In his heart, he connected, especially as he witnessed signs of faith embedded everywhere in Ireland.

Mike continued, “This was one of my primary reasons for seeking a chair at the Wonder Voyage table. Having presuppositions blown to bits, exploring all faith traditions, and eradicating our silos, that’s a mission I believe in.”

The Flick of today

This summer, Flick is leading a voyage in Germany. He suspects silos will continue to be obliterated as moments of wonder unexpectedly meet his team. We are so thankful that we, in the community, have watched Flick grow up Wonder Voyage, knowing he is challenging others to experience an authentic faith without boundaries.


After a decade working in parish youth ministry Shawn started Wonder Voyage Missions. Over the last 15 years, WVM has led thousands of pilgrims to over forty countries. Shawn is a storyteller and an award winning filmmaker. He is an author who brings the gift of engaging narrative to our journeys. Shawn is dedicated to creating voyages that give people abundant opportunities to encounter God.

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