I grew up going to a small church in New York, but by the time I got to high school I had determined that I didn’t have any good reasons to believe what I was taught there. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong or malicious, but I just felt indifferent and unsure about the claims that were made in Sunday School. So, I became an agnostic through most of high school. Towards the end of my high school years, however, I started asking more questions about God and started taking slow baby steps towards faith in Christ. By the time I got to Hopkins, I affirmed my belief in Christ as my Savior.
It was during the Spring semester of my freshman year that this faith started having a bigger impact on my life than I had initially signed up for! God started showing me the deeply rooted self-centeredness and wickedness of my heart, and He made it abundantly clear that I was not able to rid myself of these things out of my own willpower. For the first time in my life the good news of Jesus Christ sunk in for me – His word pierced my heart like a sword and laid every thought bare. But in that moment of despair, He showed me that I was completely purified in the blood of Jesus Christ. That God Himself would bear the weight of my sin was something I had never truly conceived of, though I’d probably heard that story many times growing up.
It was after these experiences freshman year that my faith started developing into something that was more central to my life, rather than a peripheral accessory. I grew in my love for God’s Word, and wanted to get involved with anything and everything related to ministry. Over the years there have been countless joys, pains, delights, and struggles. Through it all I’ve learned, and continue to learn, that God is faithful. I rest not in my own strength or abilities, but in the One who holds the whole world in His hands. I’m so thankful for the ways that God has worked in my life, and above all I’m thankful that I can cry out, with Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” and my Lord Jesus welcomes me in.
Steps into Ministry
While I’ve been with Stepping Stone for 6+ years, it’s the past 3+ years of serving with Volunteer Staff that stand out to me as the most formative. I was always excited about serving while I was an undergrad, but it was my time as an alumnus that brought the lion’s share of the struggles related to serving. Thankfully, it was in the midst of those trials that my heart for ministry grew even larger. Looking back at the past few years, I know that whether I do vocational ministry for the rest of my life or not, I will never stop being part of the ministry that God calls me (and all of us!) to.
That being said, as I’ve worked full time for a few years while doing ministry on the side, I’ve noticed that my heart and mind tend to be set on ministry more than anything else. In light of this realization, and after prayer and counsel spanning 3+ years, I’m incredibly excited and enormously privileged to take this step into full-time ministry! I truly cannot imagine a greater joy.
My vision for ministry is to show people the wonders of our God, exemplified most brightly and clearly in the cross of Jesus Christ, who was broken so that we might be healed. I want to see people having experiences like Isaiah, who was so struck by the holiness of God that he was undone; so struck by the grace of God that he could stand freely before Him; and so struck by God’s character and actions that he immediately went out to proclaim His works (Isa. 6). Isaiah later prophesied that Christ would come to “open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness” (Isa. 42:7). My hope is to see the light of Christ shine brightly into the darkness of the prodigal sons and daughters of God, just as He was pleased to shine into the darkness of my own life. I’m so thankful for His gracious gift, of which I am so undeserving, and if I could give my entire life for just one person to experience the eternal joy of freedom and salvation in Christ, then I’d gladly give it. To Christ be all the glory, honor, and praise!