I was born and have lived in the United States all my life, a country where opportunity is available at every corner, yet still so many are hurting and do not know God. In the United States, we can freely share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone willing to listen. The great challenge in a country with so much abundance is that there is so many distraction and so many other choices for people to turn to for what “ails” their soul, that it’s difficult to find someone who is willing to listen to the one thing that can truly heal their ailing soul.
Rick Warren once said in one of his books, “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts”. I believe that statement to be true so that I will share my story here.
I grew up in the church, but I didn’t know Jesus until much later in my life. I knew the Bible, hymns, and songs about Jesus, Christian and church doctrine, and I even accepted Christ into my life in my teens, but I didn’t have a relationship with Christ until about five years ago when my life completely derailed.
Through my actions, I was arrested, lost my job, lost my nursing license, and lost my purpose for living. In those darkest hours of my life, I wondered how I could have possibly gotten to that place in my life. Through much soul-searching and prayer, I realized I lacked the one thing that truly mattered…a relationship with Christ. My entire life I knew something was missing. Others had it. I searched for it everywhere, but it seemed elusive. You may wonder how a person who grew up in the church, accepted Christ as their Savior and knew the Bible could be in that state, but I was.
Out of my most profound hurt, my ministry dream was born…to reach a world of hurting people who are searching for the missing link. Not just to become “saved,” though that is the essential step in beginning the journey; but to honestly have a relationship with their Savior. Intertwined in the core desire to reach a hurting world is to also reach out through medical missions to bring physical and emotional healing through medicine and prayer to those in areas and countries where medical care is lacking.
The Getting Started class has strengthened my walk with God through the affirmation and belief that only in truly having a relationship with Christ can one grow and bloom in their Christian walk. To have a relationship with Christ, there must be time and devotion and prayer spent with the Father. It doesn’t miraculously happen when we are saved. It is a relationship that, like any other, in order to be healthy and to grow, needs to be cultivated.
If I had to choose which word in ministry resonates with me, I would have to say, pastor, because it means to care for and teach the flock. My heart is to take care of people and my ministry is to care for people and teach people how to walk with God, so I believe a pastor would be the word that describes what I consider to be my calling, though that may evolve and change as I progress through the CLI program.
Through achieving my degrees in nursing and as a family nurse practitioner, I have accumulated a lot of debt in student loans that will take the rest of my life to pay off. I believe it is vitally important to have a solid knowledge of the Bible and ministry to be able to efficiently lead and teach others about the Bible and Christ. The scholarship at CLI will allow me the opportunity to study more about the Bible and ministry, and to become an effective Christian leader. Without the scholarship, because of my tremendous student loan debt, I would not be able to pursue this opportunity. I am so unbelievably grateful that this opportunity does exist and that the Lord lead me to it so that I can fulfill His mission placed within me.