My name is Angela and today I will be sharing my graduation testimony. Honestly, it’s unbelievable that I’m already graduating because it feels like time stopped in 2020 when I was in grade 11. But, here I am standing in front of you all today so I wanted to take this opportunity to share what God has provided for me and thank all those who were a significant part of my time at The Seed Youth.
The first person I would like to thank and talk about is my youth shepherd, Sarah. When I was younger, I called myself a Christian because I was born in a Christian family but I didn’t really know what that meant. I had many core values from my parents, but I didn’t really think much of why or how I came to those values. As I got older, however, I started to form my own opinions and started to reflect why I ended up going to church every week. I knew my parents’ went to church every week because they believed in God and had their own personal convictions, but I didn’t have my ‘why’. With a lack of a ‘why’, I gradually started to think that there was no reason for me to attend church every week and actively engage in the church activities. Then, 5 years ago, I joined Sarah’s house church because I thought she was really cool and funny. Although I joined simply because Sarah was cool, I was intrigued to find out that Sarah and I had such similar personality traits. Furthermore, she was there for me through all of my struggles, difficulties, stresses, and successes. I remember I was having a difficult time with my friend, but that was when we met up every week for Growing Point, and she listened and gave me advice. I nearly gave up but, thanks to Sarah, I mustered up the courage to speak to my friend to try and resolve the conflict, which in fact the conflict resolved right away. Whenever I was fearful, nervous, or anxious, Sarah texted me throughout it, shared bible verses, praise songs, and prayed for me. We went on a winter retreat during a time where I was afraid and stressed, and while I was talking to her, I honestly don’t know how things escalated like that, but I started crying and she hugged me and cried with me. Through these events, I started to build a stronger relationship with Sarah, and I started to find a stable place in the church community. Gradually, the reason why I attended church shifted from going because I always went since I was a baby, to meeting Sarah and my house church members. Through these small but powerful events, I started to open my heart and perception towards God.
And I think the final touch before I decided I wanted to become a Christian was by Pastor Caleb, as when I went up to receive a prayer from him during a retreat, he prayed and said things that I thought to myself but haven’t told others about. That’s when I knew that God was listening to me this whole time and that I wasn’t alone.
Recently, I am tremendously grateful for my praise team leader, Jenn. Throughout the pandemic, there were many instances where I was struggling with my faith and it was just so easy to be lazy and not go to church. But I think almost every single time, it was Jenn and praise that got me back on my feet, as Jenn shared her personal relatable stories about her faith. I started to realize the emotions or thoughts that were in my head were completely normal. It gave me motivation to not give up and to continue on.
I wanted to take this testimony to explain that I didn’t and couldn’t have reached this point without The Seed community. I am so grateful and I feel so blessed for everyone in my life. I would like to thank Sarah, Pastor Caleb, Jenn, Pastor Anthony, my house church members, our praise team, and all the leaders and shepherds for creating such a warm and welcoming community. The Seed has slowly but drastically changed who I am and I definitely think it was for the better. I want to tell others to try meeting or reaching out to new people in The Seed and try getting involved because you never know that it might become the biggest blessing in your life. After meeting Christ, my ‘why’ for attending church has shifted to come to church to connect with God and connect with my community in Christ. I also would like to thank my parents for being here with me through everything and I thank you for helping me grow in my faith. Just before I end, I just want to say, I’m going to miss my house church members, Bori, Casey, Selina, Ashante and of course our leader Sarah! Thank you for the unforgettable memories! And good luck to all of the graduating students! I’m excited to see where God takes us each. Lastly, I want to thank God for blessing me with such an amazing church community. I know the path of faith is not going to be easy but I’m confident that with these people, I can go through everything.