Alumni Profile: Zhivonne Armstrong

Posted by: DVULI | June 25, 2024

By Eileen Schuring, Intern

ALUMNI: Zhivonne Armstrong (Denver 2021)

ORGANIZATIONS: Pure Lyfe & Colorado Uplift 

POSITION: Pure Lyfe Owner/Operator, Colorado Uplift Teacher/Mentor 

Zhivonne Armstrong owns and operates Pure Lyfe, a nonprofit organization that guides urban youth toward God’s design for purity. She currently works full-time as a teacher and mentor at Colorado Uplift, a Denver-based nonprofit that builds long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth, equipping them to thrive and contribute to their community. Zhivonne holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Metropolitan State University Denver.  

Why do you think God called you to this type of ministry? 

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, my personal journey led me to a realization during a sexual purity conference: God has a bigger plan for our understanding of sex. As I transitioned into adulthood, I began leading youth through True Love Waits, an abstinence-centered program at my church. However, I soon recognized that we needed to address more than just abstinence.  

In urban churches, discussions around sexual purity were scarce and mainly focused on the goal of not getting pregnant before high school graduation. We needed to shift the conversation away from mere abstinence and share God’s design and the sacredness of purity. Curriculum specifically relating to urban youth and the unique challenges they faced was desperately needed. That’s when I founded Pure Lyfe. My commitment to remaining sexually pure transformed my own life, and I felt compelled to share this perspective with youth—to impact their lives now and shape their future. 

What challenges have you overcome? 

 I was initially very excited to begin Pure Lyfe but quickly found myself stretched thin. My first conference took place at a church where there was a lack of support, insufficient financial resources, and an attitude of “figure it out yourself.” I was burned out in ministry and disheartened by the lack of support from church leadership. I was angry, bitter, and felt alone. I often questioned if this was my true calling.

At my lowest point, I left my church for about a month, and during that time, a friend recommended I apply to DVULI. At NC1, I realized the lack of balance in my life and the unhealthy paradigms I held. Always sacrificing myself for others left me tired, frustrated, and disillusioned. A revelation washed over me: I must prioritize myself. DVULI not only transformed my personal life but also enhanced my ministry. As a result, my health improved, as did my career. The tools I acquired through DVULI are now shared with everyone around me—I shout it from the rooftops! They’ve brought balance to every aspect of my life and everyone I’m connected to.   


What are you most proud of in your ministry work? 

I committed to abstinence at age 13 and kept that promise until marriage. Living by example with my husband, Jeff, of 19 years, and three children (Zephaniah, Jeffrey, and Willow) has created a legacy that impacts my own children and the youth I serve. I am deeply humbled that God uses me in this way. 

After dedicating years to Pure Lyfe, I received encouragement from my DVULI cohort members, the late Sirena Rodriguez (Denver 2021), and Inez Robinson (Denver 2021), to join the Colorado Uplift team and integrate elements of Pure Lyfe.  Colorado Uplift offers an elective class in Denver middle and high schools where we teach students leadership and character skills. After school, we mentor them in their faith. 

God wastes nothing! Now, I meet monthly with students from five Denver high schools to engage in Pure Lyfe conversations. Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss relationships and sexual purity with 60 students during our last Urban Youth Ministry retreat.  

What I love about this program is that as much as the enemy tries to put the mute button on spreading the gospel in public schools, here we are representing Christ. 

What can your DVULI family be praying for moving forward? 

Pray for more reach with Pure Lyfe. Because of the success at the Colorado Uplift retreat, a door has been opened to conversations about potentially launching a Pure Lyfe conference next year through Urban Youth Ministries, a ministerial partner of Colorado Uplift.    

Pray for the Denver area. We are in a modern-day desert of folks not knowing or hearing the gospel; there is a lot of unchurched. Pray for revival and the impact we have on youth and their families. 

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