I've been going to church almost every Sunday for my whole life. We decided to switch churches and began attending services at LEFC when I was in third grade. Growing up Christian and hearing the same sermons and messages started to seem repetitive, so I just began to tune them out altogether. My faith became a "Sunday thing” and wasn't being applied to other areas of my life. I had little to no connection with God. This continued until I began attending LEFC's youth group in seventh grade. One of the first lessons I remember is how to incorporate God into your daily life. As I was listening, I remember thinking that this felt directed at me. Was God trying to tell me something? In the weeks following I started a habit of praying randomly during the day when I felt like I needed God's guidance, as well as reading my Bible app on the bus to school. As my connection with God improved, other parts of my life improved as well. I began to feel less anxious, happier, and cared for in a way that I had never felt before. Suddenly I loved church. Sunday went from being a chore, to being a day I couldn't wait to come. I went on like this for about a year, thoroughly loving my religion, and finding identity in it. Then two missionaries came to youth group to talk to us. They spoke about people who had never even heard of God. I thought about how happy God had made me, and how sad it was they didn't get to experience that too. The idea of sharing my faith sounded scary. What if people judge you, or don't want to listen? That's when I found the verse Psalms 56:3-4, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In you whose word I praise - in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere people do to me?" My faith is never something I should be ashamed of or be afraid to share. God is greater than someone else's judgement. So, my public proclamation of faith is getting baptized. After this, I hope to have the courage to spread God's word without fear of others’ opinions.
I grew up in a Christian home, but I didn’t really know what it meant to be a Christian. I wouldn’t really get any of the passages or anything I would just go because I had to and then wanted to get home as fast as I could. When I started going to Crossover, I started actually understanding what it meant to be a Christian and was participating. I actually wanted to go to church and was understanding all the passages and what they were actually saying. What I learned was that God loved us first and I cannot carry out the marks of a disciple without Him. I learned this on the Operation 717 trip. On the Operation 717 trip, I was hoping to make a decision about getting baptized and one morning we were listening to music and God called me to get baptized.
John 14:6-10 says, “Jesus answered. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.’”
I feel that I know the Lord and I want to show the world that I am a Christian.