Unlike most of my Christian friends I did not grow up in a Christian home. I had good parents who taught me good morals, but they weren't Godly morals. I didn't know much about Jesus or the Bible. I never went to church, and didn't know any of the Bible stories. So, to no surprise, when one of my friends from school invited me to his church I was pretty nervous about going. After turning down his invitation several times, I finally said yes to visit his church. Around that same time, things for me were getting really rough in my life. My parents were fighting a lot, they both were heavy drinkers, and my dad was dealing with health issues. I was also struggling with jealousy towards my friends and all that they possessed. Things were getting so rough in my life I started hating my friends, family, and even myself. I hated myself so much there were times I even wanted to kill myself. Despite feeling that way, I thank God that I never attempted it.
When I went to church for the first time, I walked in and they shared something with me that I've never seen or heard. Not only did my friend, and his church family, verbally share the gospel with me time after time, they also constantly showed me the love of Christ through their actions. They were giving me a type of love that I had never experienced before at home. I never understood it, and still today it still baffles me. I know now that the love that the world has to offer, and the love that God has to offer are two totally different things.
After hearing the gospel over and over, going to church, and witnessing the love of God shown through their actions, I accepted Christ as my savior one night in the Fall of 2010. At that moment, I felt Jesus come in to my heart. In June of 2011 I went on my first mission trip with my church to Nicaragua. God MESSED ME UP. During that week my youth pastor, and a leader from my church, came to me and asked me if I would like to get baptized. I eagerly said yes. One day after doing fiestas, we drove out to the Pacific Ocean, and I was baptized. So for me, when I'm here in Nicaragua, it is so much more than a mission trip. I'm coming to a country where my heart lives. I'm coming to minister to a people who are a part of who I am. People I love. People I care about. Nicaragua has become like home to me.