I started attending Ventura Missionary Church just this year with my friend Nicole and her family.
I met Nicole in a class and I thought she seemed kind and funny. After discovering that we lived not too far away from one another, we started jogging and became fast friends. I got to know her as a person-- we swapped stories and eventually she shared with me a little about her faith.
I’ve spent most of adulthood trying to live life my way, and addiction has been a struggle of mine since High School. It is a dark and lonely existence--damaging job opportunities, friendships and relationships along the way.
Around the time I met Nicole, I felt like I was in a good place and on the right track, but I also expressed to her that I felt a little... stuck-- that I knew I had to seek and do God’s will, but that I didn’t quite know what that meant. I knew on some level those answers were in Scripture, but, having not attended church until just a couple years ago and growing up not knowing Jesus, the whole thing just seemed so intimidating.
Eventually, I just started asking Nicole questions--big ones, small ones, dumb ones-- mostly through text, and she very patiently encouraged and pointed me in the right direction.
It's not an exaggeration to say that those conversations have changed my life.
I feel closer to Jesus than I have ever felt. I trust God and I know I can always look to Him for peace. I was baptized at Ventura Missionary Church on February 9th.
I’m writing this to express thanks to Nicole and her family - for picking me up and getting me to church every Sunday, helping me get connected, and treating me like a long-time friend. I am so grateful for their generosity of time and spirit.