Christine: Encouraging Spiritual Growth

Age: 24

Years an Adventist: 24

Favorite thing about SOULS Northwest: The spiritual atmosphere and an environment that encourages and promotes personal and spiritual growth.

Favorite Bible text: 1 John 4:18: “Perfect love casts out fear.” Finding freedom in Christ and knowing that He is there to support us in His perfect love means that we don’t have to be afraid of anything.

Vision for the church: I want to see a church body that isn’t satisfied with just coming to church once a week, but a church that is passionate about reaching in to build each other up and reaching out to a community that doesn’t have a true picture of God. I want to see people become willing to step out of their comfort zones to serve others and who are living for the world to come, not just the world right now.

The thing about SOULS is that it not only teaches you the truths about the Bible. It gives you a lot of opportunities to put that knowledge into practice by sharing your faith and learning how to develop young people and how to engage a church in ministry and in personal Bible study. It’s a place where young people come together with a passion for Christ and learn how to channel that passion to help others.

During the first few days at my house-mom's home, she told me about her good friend and neighbor Deanna. They'd been doing acts of kindness for one another since my house-mom, Janet, had stopped by to welcome her new neighbor with some cupcakes.

Two and a half years had gone by since Janet had dropped off the Great Controversy at Deanna's home. Deanna perused it now and then, but God wasn't her primary interest. She believed that He existed, but her devotional life stopped short, right about there.

Janet told me that she wanted me to meet Deanna. She hoped and prayed that this would be the year Deanna would begin her personal walk with God. But one night we woke up to flashing red lights outside — the fire department and an ambulance had arrived. Deanna had been unresponsive and was taken to the emergency room. Janet went with her.

The next day we went to visit her together. After a good hour or so, Janet mustered up the courage to ask Deanna if we could pray for her. A little taken back but not repulsed, Deanna agreed. We prayed. She was so grateful.

Deanna didn't make it to the week of prayer, nor did she make it to either of the two cooking classes that came afterward. But when the Revelation seminars began — she was there. And she was there faithfully. After the meetings, Deanna, Janet and I studied twice a week together, and Deanna shared her desire to be baptized.

It's taken years — years of just being a friend with no strings attached, years of prayer and years of little seeds, here and there. Now that the seeds have sprouted, the plant is growing. And now these two friends have something greater than themselves in common — they have their love for God.

April 24, 2014 / Feature