All throughout my high school career and into my first year at UNM I thought I had my life figured out. I had always told myself to only do what made me happy and do what I thought was right, which often times led to frustration. My first semester at UNM I was stopped several times by campus ministers who were asking people what they believed about God. I always told them that I would be interested in meeting up for a Bible study, but whenever they would call me I would ignore them.
During my second semester a guy that I went to high school with passed away, and I started getting really confused about what happens after we die. A little while after this my friend and I, who was already a member of New Covenant Christian Church, were listening to an open-air preacher on campus. I started asking my friend questions about what the preacher was saying; he then asked me if I wanted to learn more about the Bible and I said yes. Later that week I met up with Andrew, a campus minister with New Covenant Christian Church, for a Bible study. He shared his testimony with me about all that God has done in his life and I was amazed by it because I could relate parts of my life with his. He invited me to church and during one of the sermons Jim, the pastor, gave the analogy “if you are sitting in a classroom taking a test and the teacher says, ‘if you want the answers to your test just come up and ask me for them.’ You wouldn’t try to sit there and take the test by yourself would you?” he then went on to say, “that’s how God is with our lives and all we have to do is ask Him for help.” This completely amazed me and I knew that this is what I needed to do. At the end of the sermon Jim asked those who wanted to give their life to God to pray a silent prayer while he prayed one out loud so I did and that’s when I gave my life to Jesus!
Since that sermon, God has opened my eyes and completely changed the way I think about life and how there is no real joy outside of life with Him.
Growing up I attended a Catholic church and believed that everything I was doing was all for God. I got baptized when I was a baby; I did my first Holy Communion, and I did my confirmation. After my confirmation I went to church every Sunday and felt good every time I would go. I thought I knew what mass was about every time I would walk out of church, but in reality I never knew what the actual message of God’s word was. I would leave without actually taking anything from the service. I still lived my life the way I wanted for myself; to fulfill my wants and needs and not God’s. I felt as if I knew who God was but I didn’t really know Him personally.
I couldn’t go on living my life the way I was. I was tired of feeling nothing but sadness in my heart. One day I prayed to God to help me overcome my past and to strengthen my faith because it was something that I had been dealing with for years. A few days later I met April, a campus minister from the New Covenant Christian Church. She asked me questions about God that I never thought to think about; questions that helped me see that Jesus was the key I was looking for. God answered my prayer by putting the right people in my path.
April had offered to study the Bible with me and to attend church with her that following Sunday. I didn’t have to think about it for a split second to accept her offer. After attending church and a Bible study, my eyes and heart opened to God. I was then able to truly understand Gods word and apply it to my life. The Bible helped me see the parts of my life that were not right. Even though I was never considered a “bad person” according to society, I had many things inside of me that were just not right. I constantly felt guilty and was never really able to enjoy the happy moments with the people I love.
It was November 23rd that I made the decision to surrender my life to Jesus Christ. The moment I decided to let everything from my past go and to live for God, my life changed! I got baptized in water two weeks later. After getting baptized I was no longer the same person I was before. I was able to see and understand for myself what it meant to live a life with happiness, joy, and peace; with no guilt. I began to live for God and not for myself and other people. Being able to repent for the sins of my past helped me to move on and not dwell on them any longer. I now personally know God and have put my complete faith in my life with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Before giving my life to Jesus, I was living my life, making my own decisions thinking it was the best. I never doubted the existence of God. I knew God was up watching over me but I was just too blind to see it.
The summer before I started college, I was working at a fast-food restaurant and it was really busy. The cars stopped so I looked through the window to see what was going on. To my surprise I saw a man in black pointing a gun at my head and wanted to rob the store. I’m not sure what happened but he suddenly put the gun down. It seemed as if something was between us that forced him to put his gun away. After that, I took some time off from work. Two weeks later I decided to go back to work and the store got robbed again. That night when I got home I prayed to God, crying and asking him why he gave me a second chance. I thanked Him that I was still alive and knew He had more for me to do in this world.
Summer was over and I was getting ready to start college at UNM. At the end of orientation I was walking to my dorm room to check out, I met April, a campus minister with New Covenant Christian Church. She asked if I was interested in studying the Bible. I didn’t think twice about it and I sign up. April showed me many of the promises of God in the Bible. And after seeing what God was willing to do for me, I decided to give my life to Jesus!
April invited me to church the following Sunday. It was the perfect church for me, I loved going and I loved worshiping God. Every Sunday morning I am ready to get up and get ready for church. It isn’t something I feel I have an obligation to do, it is more just because I am excited to go.
Later we began talking about baptism in water. When I read about it in the Bible I noticed that everyone was baptized after surrendering their lives to Jesus. So I decided to get baptized. My relationship with God was growing stronger, and I decided to become a member of New Covenant Christian Church. After completing the membership manual I had the opportunity to meet with my pastor, Jim Cooper. He started telling me his story and the experiences he had before and after giving his life to Jesus. I was so amazed after hearing stories of how powerfully God can move in someone’s life. I wanted to have a story to tell to other people. I wanted to be a witness of what the power of God can do. I soon started to see the power of God move in my life and I was thanking God for showing me that I was not alone. I needed that so much, God empowered me to boldly tell others about the amazing things He has done for me. I have heard the Gospel many times before, but this time I felt it.
I now have a story to tell, something that I want other people to experience. I thank God for it and I know he wants me to share this with other people so that they can see God is there for us. And for those who believe and have trust in Him, He will show them His power and what He is capable of.