“Surprise! I’m the ‘girl behind the lens.’ Taking photos is a great creative outlet for me which all started shortly before getting to try out my new camera in South Africa about a year ago. Through capturing and collecting Stories of Epic this summer, I loved getting to better know some of the very cool people here at our church. I guess it’s my turn to share a little bit about my own story…
“Born and raised in a Christian home, I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a young age and was blessed to have a Christian education growing up. Looking back, I’m extremely grateful to have been raised in an environment where seeds were continually sown in my life whether I realized it or not. The job and ministry of a Christian schoolteacher or a church youth leader should never be underestimated.
“There were times during my Christian education where a hunger for the Bible and passion for Christ were sparked but not fostered enough to sustain a burning fire. Much of my spiritual growth however occurred during high school and through our youth group. During youth conventions, worship nights, and mission trips to Alabama in 2011 and Johnstown in 2013 where I could feel God’s presence, I was reminded how near God is to those who draw near to Him. It was around that time that I began to try to listen to His voice. During the summer of 2013 around the time of the mission trip to Johnstown, I felt God telling me that I would soon be on a mission trip in Africa. I thought that it was almost like the cliché typical Christian girl thing to do, but soon a passion for Africa stirred in me that I could not deny. A few months later, an opportunity popped up to go to South Africa with a group led by a girl from my old high school. After praying about it, my sister Jess and I decided to go, and the two weeks spent ministering in the squatter camps during the summer of 2014 changed our lives. Completely different from the domestic mission trips we’ve participated in, we learned to connect with people from a totally different culture and minister to them through God’s Word and prayer after practicing some life exchange. One of the main themes that I personally saw on that trip came from 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ It was a time where I had to completely depend on God and surrender to Him because I knew there was nothing I could offer apart from Him. I learned that love has absolutely no language barriers and that the saying, ‘Missions is not an activity on the field but a condition of the heart’ rings true. People all over the world, and in our own communities, are hungry. And the only true satisfaction is found in Jesus. In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus himself says, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.’
“This week, I am going back to DeSales University to start my junior year studying Biology. I hope to enter the Physician Assistant program after I graduate and one day participate in medical missions. Until then, I feel called to start an established Bible study on my campus to start a place of fellowship and growth for students who have a relationship with Jesus and to reach others who have not yet encountered the love of Christ. So far, it seems as though things have been lining up in my favor to make this possible, but I still ask for partnership through prayer J I don’t have any experience in leading a group, but as I have been faithful in being a listener, I now believe that God is choosing to use me as a speaker. Thankfully, God does not call the qualified, He qualifies those He calls. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says, ‘Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.’ Like in Africa, I have to continue to fully depend on God and put my confidence in Him and know that He enables what He commands.
“Currently, my fire for Jesus Christ is being fueled by hearing the testimonies of others, regularly meeting to pray and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, and of course, reading and studying His perfect Word. I believe that our generation will see God move in ways that we haven’t seen before. I am eagerly waiting the next few chapters God is choosing to write in my story, and as He adds to my testimony, I pray that all the glory would go to Him.”
Thanks for joining us for the 2015 #StoriesOfEpic. Be sure to join us for our next edition beginning in June 2016!