Bachelor of Science, Youth Ministry, 2003, Columbia International University
Director of Counseling, Church at Sandhurst
It was the summer of 1998, and I was in Eastern Europe serving Christ through sports outreach. While I thought I was in Eastern Europe to showcase all 5’9” of my exceptional basketball skills, God had other plans. During that time, God clearly spoke to me and told me I was to abandon my plan and follow His. I knew that meant attending Columbia International University. I was hesitant at first, but I could not escape God’s leading in my life. Since then I have learned that His ways are always best, though not always easy.
It was during my time at CIU that I learned the importance of the Word of God and how to minister to people in various contexts. Through various ministry opportunities at CIU, I grew to love the Lord and recognize the power of His Word – a power that is unaffected by culture.
The skills I acquired at CIU have been invaluable to my work as director of counseling at the Church at Sandhurst. One thing I have learned at Sandhurst is that everyone has a story. Because of my education at CIU, I am equipped to truly listen and to speak the truth of God’s Word with grace and compassion.
I am reminded of one young man in particular that I counseled who was full of hurt and anger. His story, unfortunately like many others in our world today, was one of a broken family, financial struggle and the absence of a full-time father figure. His anger was intense and overbearing at times. I often wanted to shout of all the things in his life for which he should be thankful. Most of the time, I was able to resist that urge and instead encourage him. It was my privilege to watch this angry boy grow into a young man, graduate from college and start his own career. But most importantly, he loves the Lord and is walking with Him.
Through the skills I learned at CIU I was able to be used by God to play a small role in the redemptive story He was writing in this young man’s life – and that’s a privilege of unfathomable worth!