I grew up in church, but never really saw it as important and never wholeheartedly pursued it. I saw church as more of an obligation, something my mom dragged me to every weekend. It wasn’t my choice, it was hers… until I was brought to Asylum.
Everyone was so loving and seemed genuinely happy to be there. I immediately knew Asylum was a place I wanted to come back to every week. The leaders at Asylum were interested in my life, they made me feel wanted and important. At first, it was a place I went to have fun and meet new people, but soon after it grew into much more.
I decided to go to Forest Home Summer Camp that year, but it wasn’t without hesitation as I had never liked the idea of being away from home and was unsure about the whole “church camp” thing. I went anyways, hoping for the best. And the best it was. It was the first time I had ever experienced the overwhelming presence of God. I knew I had been called to that camp for a reason as everything in my life was about to change. While there, I committed my life to Jesus and it has since been the best decision I have ever made.
Flash forward four years to today, and I am still so thankful. I continue to grow in my relationship with God and am learning how to spread his grace and love to everyone I meet. I have had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco multiples times with City Impact in order to serve the homeless. I have had the opportunity to give the 4th through 6th graders of St. Andrew’s the same love and warm welcome that I was given. I have been given the opportunity to share my testimony on multiple occasions and have even experienced the joy of leading others to faith.
Through Refuge and Asylum, I have met lifelong friends and mentors. These programs have done more for me than I ever could have imagined as a 7th grader. I don’t hesitate to say that God has most assuredly used these programs, and the leaders within these programs, to make me who I am today. These are relationships and memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Thank you St. Andrew’s youth programs, for guiding me and equipping me to continue on this journey with Jesus, to love my neighbors and to seek and save the lost.