From Terror to Trust

For my whole life, I had no clue about God. I grew up with a mother who was straying from the religious path and an abusive, atheistic father.

In February 2001, my mom was involved in a terrible automobile accident. After the accident she began thinking seriously about her life, and started attending church. She took my sister and me with her. I was so frightened of God that going to church nearly scared me to death.

There was one person in my youth class—Kenneth Erwin, who was the only person my age I knew who was not ashamed of God. His confidence in God helped me feel safe, and I began to grow closer to God.

Then that summer I got into trouble and my mom suggested it might be good for me to go to Gem State Academy. I refused. I was NOT going to a boarding school!

One day Dianne Emslie, our pastor’s wife, was at our house for our weekly Bible study. She and my younger sister began talking about Gem State. I just sat there. When the study was over, I asked her about the school.

The following week she took us to tour the campus and I warmed up to the idea. But there were still obstacles.

It was two weeks before registration. Could we raise enough money?

We sent letters to my family and friends asking for financial support. It was amazing! By registration day, we had raised enough money that, with my campus job and a worthy student scholarship, I was able to register and move into the dorm.

I am so happy to be at Gem State. I now see that God was working through a lot of people to reach me, including people I don’t even know who care enough to give to the worthy student fund.

I still have more to learn about God. But I now know that He cares about me and I am determined to make the most of this opportunity. •

Featured in: April 2003