“Coming from a Venezuelan background I grew up in a Catholic household where I was baptized as a child. However, I had no spiritual life with God and never touched the Bible. During my high school career all my best friends moved outside the U.S leaving me alone. Being alone made me start to live in fear of my future and lack confidence due to having no one to support me. I started giving in to lustful thoughts and pride. Because high school was just an endless cycle of school, study, and sleep, I questioned if my life held any purpose.
When I began going to UTSA I met my small group leader who helped me move in at Chisholm Hall. After spending a few weeks with him I realized he had the things that I sought for my whole life: joy, confidence, and community. After he told me about Chi Alpha and handed me my first ever Bible, I realized that it held all the answers I was looking for. Through reading the Bible and growing in relationship with Jesus I found a purpose in my life and a new side of me that I never realized I had. I became confident, fearless, and joyful in Jesus and lived life with a community that cared about me. Based on what I now knew about Jesus, I decided to get baptized again because now He was Lord of my life, but I feared my parents would shame me due to their Catholic background. But Matthew 10:37 says, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me," and Matthew 10:32-33 says, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." God placed these verses on my heart and it made me think that I couldn't teach and disciple others if I wasn’t obedient to God's word, so I got baptized in the summer of 2019.
One verse that really touched my heart as I was transitioning to a life with God was Joshua 1:9 which says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." This verse gave me confidence in who I was meant to be in God: strong, courageous, and having no fear because even if lose everything I have, I have Someone who will always protect me and be my best friend.”