Having come from Kansas City and being a first-generation student attending Lindenwood University, I was certain that I had no idea what I was getting into moving to St. Louis. I hit the ground running at Lindenwood joining Black Student Union, creative writing club, business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and volunteering at campus events. I still felt that I wasn’t maximizing my college experience.
As many students did, I continued to try new things and meet new people to find the purpose in my college experience. My roommate invited me to what I thought was a community service club and turned out to be a ministry called Campus Outreach. This was the first time I heard the Gospel contextualized to my college experience. Intrigued, I continued to pursue my curiosity of this personal Jesus that was being talked about through a leadership and spiritual development conference called New Year's Conference. I gave up my New Year's party routine and got to explore my need for a savior. Before knowing Jesus for myself I knew two things: I pledged my life to anything that made me happy. Second, I knew that there was something or someone my new friends had that I didn’t. By the end of this conference on New Year's Day I gave my life to Jesus, not in hopes of perfection, but in the hope of being made whole.
My college experience shifted in a way I never knew it could. Learning about God has informed me about who I am and what role I play in the Great Commission. As I grew in faith, I became inspired by God’s mission for his church-to seek and save the lost. To this end I believe the local church is underutilized and often overlooked resource for the community. I am in constant prayer for God to bridge the gap between the church and the community. And God gave me the word and a clear calling- “serve.” God has now provided me with a new opportunity to serve as a ministry resident for Redemption Community Church in Kirkwood. A core value of Redemption is to serve the community of Kirkwood and the surrounding areas so that more people would meet, know and live for Jesus. This value made choosing Redemption an easy decision. Although there is a lot of work to be done in the community, in our church and in my heart, I rest in the joy set before me in this verse:<b!>
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”-Hebrews 12:1-2</b!>