Grace Fox


I grew up going to church, the first church I remember attending was PC3 when I was 4, When my family moved back to Maryland, we did not go to church on a regular basis. A few years later we moved back to Wilmington and continued going to Port City Community church. I personally first started to learn about who God was, when I was 9 or 10, in my small group at Treasure Island.  In seventh grade I got sick, and was in the hospital for two weeks, at this point I felt like I had lost a connection with God, but also built upon my existing relationship at the same time.

I remained faithful through this time, even when I did not know what was going on. I knew that God had kept me alive, and had answered prayers that most people would think impossible. This strengthened my faith. After I was better, I stopped going to Tsunami, because I was afraid.  Due to the time I spent away from youth group I felt alone, and I was not taking time in my day to spend with God.

A few years later, I decided to go back to youth group, and try out Ripple effect. This day was important to me, because it was my small group leader Ashley’s last day, which I was not aware of, but because of this I decided to join Lisa Scribner's group to be with my friends. This was a turning point in my faith, because I was apart of a group- one that helped me grow in my walk with God. I am thankful that my small group stayed together through High School, because during my Junior year I had a stroke. This was the biggest turning point in my faith.

From the time I had the stroke, I knew God was with me, I knew that even when the doctors did not know if I would live, that God had a plan for me. I was able to see God working in me every step of the way. I could not see or walk, but each day I continued to remain faithful, and would remind myself of the verse “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. This has always been my favorite verse, and it helped me through this tough time, because it was a constant reminder that God did have a plan for my life, and having the stroke was a part of his plan, and that I needed to trust in him, no matter how scared I was.

I am so grateful to all those who prayed for me, and that I never felt God leave my side. I feel that by sharing my story I can thank God. At first I was afraid to tell others that I had a stroke, but I have learned that it is not something I should be ashamed of, but something I should be praising, because I can use this to show others how God has impacted my life.

My biggest piece of advice that I have taken from this experience is to not let the fear of what others might think stop you from telling your story. I feel that I can use my story to encourage others at church, or school that they do not have to be afraid to talk about their relationship with God.

Ryan Bigg


I was born in Wilmington, and I was around 4 years old when my parents separated. My parents decided that we should go through counseling so that there would be a better transition and help us get the “perfect schedule”.  It took us around two years. My mom raised me for 7 years by herself. We moved to Leland, but I still got to see my dad, and life was pretty good. My mom remarried a couple years ago.

I grew up going to a regular Catholic Church until I went to the PC3. Catholic Church was extremely different when I first started going. I went to Saint Marks in First Grade, which was connected to the church. All we did was listen to scripture and then it would seem like that was it. There would be no other meaning behind it. I had never really enjoyed church until I started going to PC3. I remember sitting in the school gymnasium in Leland, they had just opened the church campus there. I did the Tsunami program there and absolutely loved it. I really liked that there was only a small group of us, I had a better way of expressing myself and talking about my faith with them. They made me feel as if I was truly home and appreciated there. I think I started truly thinking that the idea of being a part of the church community all started because of TSU in 8th grade. I started of Ripple Effect my freshman year at the Leland Campus until my mom and I decided to move back to Wilmington. I wanted to go to Hoggard for highschool and my mom had gotten a new job, so it seemed to fit well. The change from the Leland to the Wilmington campus was a big change. I felt like I was upgrading to a University version of the church. It was probably the best change I have ever been through. I have been going to PC3 Wilmington ever since, and going to PC3 for the past 10 years is what started my journey with God.

Freshman year was a struggle for me. I was trying to get used to coming back and living in Wilmington again. It was a little different and I had a hard time connecting with the people around me. I did not go to church as much and I was just trying to find people I could connect with. I became friends with some people at school who started drinking. Slowly, I began to join them. I think that sophmore year was the worst part, I went overboard with drinking and other things. For example alcohol and weed those are the biggest factors. Another big thing that really made it hard for me to get through sophomore year was peer pressure. After that I decided to change my ways and focus more on myself. I stopped everything and began to focus on staying healthy and working on my relationship with God.  

It wasn't until my Sophomore and Junior years of Highschool that I started to want to have a deeper connection and a better walk with God. I believe that Ripple Effect and the church had made me more of an open person during that time, and I wanted to be connected with its peers. My leaders Elliotte and Chad had been extremely helpful, because I could relate to them. Outside of the church, God has made me make decisions on my own and focus on my gut feelings with him around. Highschool has affected me in many ways- It surely changed me from a shy child to the outgoing guy I am today.  I started getting into sports and I think that football was a huge part of the my change in who I am today, because the religious connection in which they partake has given me confidence in my beliefs as well and has helped me in my walk with God.

This year, Chris Sasser invited me to help host a Podcast for the students of Ripple Effect, and I thought this was an amazing opportunity to jump in. I wanted to tell people about my story and for others to tell theirs. It helps us to know one another and for us to better understand the connections we all have in our own walks with God. The stories that I have heard so far have made such an impact on my life. One of the biggest things that has changed me was when one of the people whom we have interviewed said,” We should not run away from God, but we need to walk towards him.” I hope to make this podcast more than just an thing in our community, and help it spread around the US in the future, to connect what we do here at the church to others in need. I want teens to come to church and start a walk with God on their own free will, instead of by parents decisions. It makes their journeys so much more meaningful.

Life is too short, we need to make the most of it!



Carleigh Causey


I grew up in the church, so I have always known about God and who He is. I didn’t really start to know him personally until my freshman year of highschool. That entire year was pretty hard for me, I didn’t really have any good friends, my relationship with my dad wasn’t the best, and overall I felt really lost. At this time I felt very distant from God. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing with my life or why things kept turning out so bad for me. Once Ripple Effect started, that began to change a little bit. I was in a new small group, with a new leader, and in a house full of people I didn’t know. At first it was a little strange but I got comfortable very quickly. My small group started hanging out more and more outside of Ripple Effect. I had great friends and surrounded myself with amazing people but I still felt a little lost.

After my parents divorced, my dad and I haven't really gotten along. At this time in particular I just felt so down all the time because of it. Fuse that year was a huge turning point for me. The last night, Stuart was speaking about our relationship with God. He talked about how we should think of God as “Abba”, which means dad, rather than “father”. This hit me pretty hard because I didn’t have the best relationship with my dad. Stuart said that there were some of us there that didn’t have great relationships with our dads and that God loved us no matter what. I remember praying that night and just feeling myself get so much closer to God.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. This verse has impacted my life so much. I used to get upset with God any time something bad would happen but now I know it is part of his plan. I no longer stress about things out of my control and get upset over things that don’t go my way. I always say “if it’s supposed to happen, it will happen” because God knows how your life is going to turn out, so just give all your worries and doubts to him and trust that he has a plan for you.

Last year I struggled a lot with my self esteem. I realized how much being at my school had affected me. I couldn’t stand being around the teachers or most of the students. I felt like God kept telling me I needed a change and then my best friend, who couldn’t stand the school either, transferred to Waterview and a few weeks later I ended up transferring there too. Taking myself out of that school was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now I’m surrounded by people that make me feel good about myself and teachers who only want to see me succeed. After switching schools things just kept getting better and better.

I would say this past summer was the closest I’ve felt to God. I went on a mission trip and learned so much about not only him but myself. I have connected with so many amazing people that God brought into my life over this summer. I basically spent the entire summer talking to and spending time with God and I have never felt closer to him.

“God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime” I love this saying because it is so true and it makes me think about how everything on Earth is nothing in comparison to God. It reminds me that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you because God will always love you and that's all that matters.

I think that God has put me where I am at with school and work for me to reach out to my classmates and coworkers. There are a lot of them that don’t believe in anything, some just don’t like Christian stereotypes, and some don’t know who God is at all. Fortunately I have had the chance to discuss these things with a lot of them. They know I am christian so they come to me with questions and just to talk about things going on in their lives.

I am a Christian because I know how much God loves me and that he made me just the way I am. He put me on this Earth for a specific purpose and has a plan for my life. I have seen the way he works in my life and in other people's lives and I want to share his love with others



Lacie Brown


I have grown up in the church my whole life. My dad has been my pastor for 17 years. I get asked all the time ,” Are you that goody goody pastors daughter, or are you a rebel?” As if those are the only two options. It doesn’t even bother me anymore the stereotypes I have been placed in before even meeting that person.

I became a Christian when I was 7 years old. I have looked up to my older sister Maggie, literally since I was born. One night, I told my dad that I wanted to live for Jesus like my sister did and be happy and selfless all the time, like her. We prayed that night and that is when I became a Christian. I definitely think that being so young I could not fully comprehend the decision I made and what that meant for my life, however I knew it was something my heart needed. I have been determined to grow in my relationship with God ever since then.

My life has been pretty easy and I have been blessed beyond measures with the family I am able to live with. I look up to my parents more than anyone and they have taught me how to persevere through the challenges in my life.

July 26, about four months ago, my mom was admitted into Duke Hospital with severe pancreatitis. She spent about 3 1/2 months in the ICU fighting for her life. My mom missed every single one of my senior year volleyball games, college tours, and life events that happened while she wasn’t here. Life continued to go when I just wanted it to stop. My dad stayed bedside with her, so I was either house jumping or staying with my grandparents. Uncertainty is a very scary thing. And just when I heard good news about mom, something bad would pop up and the discharge date extended and extended. So I eventually gave up on thinking she’d come home this year.

On Thanksgiving of this year, my mom was discharged from the hospital and is improving at home. While the road to full recovery is still very long, I know that God has made our family so much stronger. I know that God has made me much stronger through this.

Amidst tragedies, fear, uncertainty, or grief, people tend to push away or question God. God uses these ‘bad things’ to draw us to Him. I realized that God was showing me how faithful and loving He is this whole time, even when it didn’t feel like it. God’s purpose to drawing people to Him is through the scary and sad times, because we are reminded how powerful He truly is. I could have never gone through this dark and scary time if I were not constantly talking to God and trusting Him every step of the way.

Uncertainty, fear, tragedy, grief, change, and evil will always be there. Do not let those things take control of your life. Exodus 14:14 reminds us that the Lord will fight for us. He is always fighting for you.



The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
— Exodus 14: 14

Madi Ripa


I grew up in the church, I have always gone to Port City. I learned about God in Grow Zone and Treasure Island. I first came to God when I was young but I didn’t really understand it. I stayed at Port City up through Tsunami but I didn't really understand the whole God concept in 6th grade. At fuse my 7th-grade year Stuart Hall said, “If you want to accept Jesus and make it public, stand up.” I am very introverted and don’t like all the attention on me, so I didn’t stand up at first. But my heart was telling me “you need to stand up,” so all of a sudden I stood up. That was the turning point where I decided I needed to go to church for me and this is what it means to be a Christian. In 7th-grade we went to the Winter Jam and Sadie Robertson spoke that night. It was a big turning point for me. I really thought about what she said and that night I was thinking about it and that was when I decided to make my faith my own.

In 7th and 8th grade there was so much drama happening, I was really insecure about myself, and my friends were just dropping like flies. I had maybe one true friend and the rest of them all left. I felt like it was God’s fault that I was so insecure and losing friends. I felt really distant from him, I would go to Tsunami and feel like I wasn’t a good Christian because I kept blaming God for it. I was blaming him 24/7 for me not being a good Christian, not looking how society wanted me to look, and not having true friends. Now that I look back on it I thank God for all the drama I went through. I can now see the qualities of a true friend and I will be able to see which people I should and shouldn’t surround myself with.

My biggest struggle right now is insecurity. On the last night of SMSN the speaker was talking about how she was insecure about herself but now she feels like the only label she needs is “child of God.” Hearing that helped me but I haven't overcome it completely. When I read the bible it makes me feel empowered and I know that I might not be what society wants me to be but at least I’m what God wants me to be.

A verse that has impacted me would be John 3:16. It has shown me that Jesus died on the cross for me and I should be thankful for who I am and its helped me a lot through struggles in life. A worship song that has impacted me would be Oceans by Hillsong. Whenever I hear it all of my worries about the world just go away. I just focus on the song and thank God. I don't have to worry about what’s happening right now, what's going to happen in the future, or what’s happened in the past.

An important person in my faith journey would be Sarah, my small group leader from Fuse this year. Whenever we first met the night before Fuse I could tell she was a little nervous but we got really close during the week. During Fuse, she showed me a new view of God. When I got scared before white water rafting she told me that God wants me to be courageous. It was a turning point for me because she showed me a perspective of God without just saying bible verses.

I started journaling this summer and I’ve seen a change in my life. Instead of keeping all of my emotions in and not understanding or writing down what I think the scripture is saying, it’s made me feel more happy about life and more thankful for who I am and who I am growing up to be. It has made me more thankful for everything instead of just looking down and saying ”why am I not like this person, why did this happen to me, why is this not happening.” So journaling has been really impactful for me.

In 8th-grade, I got an award for being the “most optimistic.” I looked back on the year and saw how much people would come to me for advice. It showed me that even though I’m not saying bible verses and that God loves them, I can still talk to them about things and use what God has given me to help people through hard times. One piece of advice I would like to share is “don't be afraid to be who you are.” If you’re always being someone you’re not you’ll feel trapped and you won't find true happiness in life. If you're being yourself and find people who actually accept you for you and not who society wants you to be, then you’ll be truly happy and not just faking a smile each day.

During the D.C. mission trip last year I felt really close to God. I saw so much hurt but also I heard stories of how those people overcame their hurt. It really impacted me because I saw that even though someone goes through a really hard time they can still overcome it. There were a bunch of people that said God helped them through being homeless. It showed just how good God is and made me feel so close to him.

I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and I believe I have been made for something more than what society has made me. I am perfectly perfect the way I am. No matter what society says all I have to remember is God loves me no matter what and knowing that has helped me through so much in life.

[Carleigh Causey]


Davis Kranchalk


I first started going to church at Saint Marks when I was three and moved to PC3 when it was at Roland Grise and have stayed here until now. My parents would always make me go to church, but I never really enjoyed it until Tsunami and Treasure Island, because the student ministry is so much fun. I think the first time I really felt connected with God was two years ago at Fuse. When Stuart spoke I really felt him there. It was almost as if I was just going through the motions before and he really opened my eyes. These past two years at Fuse have been turning points for me. I really started taking my faith into my own hands. I’ve started journaling and trying to do quiet time on a regular basis. And it has gotten a lot easier for me now that I have really heard and seen God. I think I definitely felt closest to God this past year at Fuse. And there have definitely been times where I felt something happen because of him and I felt him doing things in my life.

At dinner one night I had this conversation with my parents about where I wanted to go with soccer. I said that I wanted to play in college and they told me I had to work way harder than I was now. God made the right people have the right conversation at the right time and it has made me realize that it’s something that I really need to put more time into. I am really glad that we had that talk when we did because now I am going to try a lot harder and make it happen. God has been putting the right people in front of me all of my life saying what I need to hear and helping me with everything. Dawn Oxendine is one, she offered to help me keep up with doing quiet times every day and I really appreciated that and I’m going to take her up on it. Another would be Jim Gratton, he has been one of the key people in my life. My first year at Fuse he was my fill in small group leader and we really connected. He has always been someone I go to if I need to talk and he has always encouraged me in my journey of faith. He was a big reason for me coming to ripple effect.

Adjusting from middle school to high school was a pretty big struggle for me. I guess I never really had to study in middle school, those three years I didn’t really have to work for my A’s. This past year I really had to work for it. I get pretty good grades but there are some classes that I just really struggled with. So this year I decided I really needed to put my faith in God and and trust that he would help me get back on track and he did.

Journaling has really helped me with so much in life. For me it’s just writing as if I am talking to God, putting down things I need help with and what he has done for me. It helps me figure things out day to day and helps me in prayer. It helps me gather my thoughts and what I need to pray about.

All of the songs that we sing at Ripple Effect and Fuse have impacted me but one specifically is Cornerstone by Hillsong. It makes me realize that whatever you're going through and whatever hardships you have, none of it really matters because he is there and he is the cornerstone for you, something to hold onto in the midst of chaos.

There's a lot of different things people have said to me over the years but one thing that really impacted me was “make the most of every situation.” A lot of times we get put into bad situations and our first instinct is to complain. I am trying to always see the upside to things and do what I can with whatever situation I am in.

One of my friends is atheist so I don’t really talk about God directly around or to him. A lot of times I feel like there’s not much I can do, which is discouraging, but I think if people see me living my life through God and making the best out of everything they see how God has influenced me. I think that starts with me bringing him up more to my friends, even though it’s hard. I always try and show God through my actions by doing the right thing and standing up for others.

I am a Christian because I have been made with a purpose and I have been made to spread God’s word and show people that God saves and loves everyone. Even the people that have done horrible things, God still loves them no matter what. No matter what happens God will always be there for you.

[Carleigh Causey]


Gavin Teets


I was 2 or 3 when I started attending Port City, and started off in Growzone. I’ve worked my way up to Treasure Island, Tsunami, and Ripple Effect. One piece of advice that has impacted my life is, you never know what someone else is going through, so just be nice to them.

I found out I had brain tumors in second grade, and had surgery. I was really afraid of the tumors because my best friend Jake died of brain cancer while I was in 2nd grade. In 3rd grade the tumors began to cause seizures. When I was in a coma in third grade, I had a dream that I saw Jesus, Jake, and my great grandfather.

In middle school I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). I struggled with POTS a lot--whenever I stand up my blood pressure drops, and my heart starts racing--it makes me feel like I'm gonna pass out and I’m tired all the time. It has completely changed my life. Having gone through many health issues, I want to help others going through similar situations. For my 13th and 14th birthdays, I had giant party, and raised money for kids at Duke Hospital who are terminally ill.

My faith really started picking up during Tsunami. Scott West--my small group leader--has showed me what it’s like to have fun while still being a Christian and gentleman. He’s helped to show me how important quiet time is, and how important it is to have a personal relationship with Christ. Because Scott has made such an impact on my life, I wanted to pay it forward and do the same by becoming a Tsunami small group leader. By serving in tsunami I have learned how amazing even the smallest of victories are (laughs). Through all the struggles in my life, I have found how important it is to rely on God to get through all of it. My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, because it shows that no matter what happens, God’s got it.”



Will Champagne


I get invited to parties all the time where I can go smoke and drink and these people are cool and super nice people, but they’re also not doing the right thing- and that’s where I know that I’m living my life through Christ. I no longer have that desire to go and do those things, because I’ve given my life to him.

My family has gone in and out of houses, from couch to couch. We had big time financial issues- especially when I was younger. Just recently I got into a really toxic relationship, and instead of revolving myself around God and the bible and letting that control my life, my center concentration was this girl. I let her control my life and that lead me down several negative paths that got me into serious trouble. One day, about two weeks after we broke up, I was crying in my room and I thought to myself- I have no one to turn to. I felt like my mom hates me, and I had no friends to turn to, because I gave everything up for this girl. Who do I turn to?  So I started to pray to God that night and trying to get my life together. After a month of praying and trying to do right, God just kind of took over. He’s been there ever since.

I felt like if I was going to rely on God, I’m not just going to only put in partial effort or give him only some parts of my life, but keep some to myself and live it how I want to. I was like- I’m going to do it your way. I’m going to give my whole life to Him and let Him control it.

I’ve always said that I love God and believe in God, but I’ve never felt it like I have these past four months. 1st Corinthian 13: 4-7 talks about the love we’re supposed to have for each other and it has influenced me so much. One of my young life leaders told me to replace one of those words with Jesus, and that just shows how much Jesus loves us. The fact that he died on the cross for us and that he can forgive, gives us the power to forgive and love others, just as he does for us. It’s overwhelming honestly, because he loves us so much.

Just be nice to people. Don’t slam a bible at them- build a relationship with them. Then if they ever need someone to come to, they know they can trust you. They can have somebody. That's how I show God's love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
— 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Alanne Francis


Something I would share with other High Schoolers is to just keep going. Everyone faces struggles and we’re all gonna have ups and downs, but keep going through everything. Know that God has your back.

My family has always been Christian, but we didn’t go to church. We only went for special occasions and with other family and friends. I struggled with anxiety a lot when I was in elementary school, and my counselor actually recommended that I go to church. So I tried Port City and I went to Fuse right after sixth grade. My small group leader introduced me to everything about God and I accepted Jesus into my heart. That was the first moment I was like “Wow, this is so awesome. I want to be apart of this and I want to have God in my life.”

My anxiety was a difficult thing to go through. It started in Kindergarten. I have a twin brother & in preschool we were always together, but they started to separate us in elementary school. So I went from always having my mom or my brother around, to being by myself.  Elementary school it was just a struggle. I cared about other people's opinions of me and just what I wore. I would plan what I wore every Sunday and have it all laid out. That ties into perfectionism, which is something else that I’ve really struggled with. I tried to be perfect in everyway, but that’s impossible because Jesus is the only one that’s perfect- I can’t ever be close to perfect. That’s something I continue to struggle with, but I’ve accepted now.

I would encourage other High Schoolers is to just keep going. Everyone faces struggles and we’re all gonna have ups and downs, but keep going through everything. Know that God has your back. Simple actions and consistently being kind has a degree of the Christian values. It’s a lot easier when you’re in school, since religion is kind of a topic people avoid. Smiling and being positive really helps. Inviting people to go do things with you and slowly start talking to them about God.


Be adamant about your faith. Don’t let society or peers influence you in your decisions because it’s so easy to just go along with a different crowd or just act a certain way when you’re around certain people. Be continually strong in your faith and always let that show because that’s the biggest part of who you are and that's what's going to follow you into eternity.

[Kylie Slater]


He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
— Colossians 1:17 (NIV)

Zach St. Pierre


I feel like I’ve had clicks before, I know the first Fuse I went to was a moment in my life when everything changed. My biggest moment was with Geoff- I started doing counseling with him and actually started moving away from all the depression and darkness. I hated everything and everyone- that changed a year and a half ago. That’s my big ‘when I met God moment’. That’s when I started to actually believe for myself. I started going to church because that’s what I believed and that’s what I needed to do. I didn’t just go because it’s what my mom wanted me to do.

For the longest time, I would just roll my eyes at everything. I hated God. I hated everyone, including myself. I realized that’s not how the world works and that’s not how, or who, God is. It’s a hard realization to have at sixteen. I just knew that I had never seen anyone at the church or anyone who claimed to know God, be hateful. No one here is hateful. Everyone is happy, even when things don’t go their way, even when they have every human right to be hateful. It’s just not in them. God isn’t hate.

My dad left me when I was seven. I didn’t see him for nine years and it was actually a month and a half ago when I saw him for the first time. For the longest time, I didn’t rely on my faith at all to get me through that, because I was just angry. It just gave me another reason to be angry at the world. But recently when I talk about it to people, they don’t understand why I’m not angry, because I’m never mad at him. I think the reason is, there’s no point in being mad. It doesn’t do anything for me, it doesn’t do anything for him and more importantly, it doesn’t do anything for God to just be angry all the time. My father left my mom I and have every right in the world to tell him he’s terrible and never talk to him for the rest of my life. It doesn’t do anything for me.

I think it’s a really good opportunity to tell people about forgiveness when they ask why I’m not angry. I believe in forgiveness and I believe that we’re called to forgive people. Forgiveness is almost never about what the other person either did or did not do. Forgiveness is almost entirely about you and God. It has almost nothing to do with the person who wronged you. It’s giving up any hatred you have and giving it away to God. It’s saying “this is what happened, God, I forgive this person and what they’ve done” and doing openhandledly. That’s the reason you don’t see a lot of hate in the church. They know how to forgive and not hold resentment in their heart. And that’s hard and I don’t do that all the time, but I’ve shared that with several nonbelievers and they’re just blown away by the fact that I’m not angry.


Missions do something in your heart. Anyone can go and build a house for widows in Guatemala, believer or non-believer. But there’s something about God calling you to go to a completely different hemisphere that changes things. About a month before I went to Guatemala, I was freaking out. I didn’t know why out of all the humans in the world, I was going. I didn’t think I was right to go. And then I got all the money I needed to, and about every step of the way, I’ve been smacked in the face to go. Just go. Everything just unfolded the way it was supposed to. Right before I left, I was just like “I see what you’re doing God.”

I came home with a different appreciation of the world. There’s so much more than the American culture I’ve been raised in. There’s life and family, giving and receiving. Everything was out of goodwill and family, and it’s a big deal to be called someones family. They’re really rich there. Not like American rich- they don’t drive cars, most of them don’t have shoes, most of them don’t have houses. But they’re happier. It’s weird to see that they’re living the opposite of what we’ve always been told- that money, cars, and things will make you happy. But there content.

Whenever I was in church, I would just roll my eyes and never pay attention because I was just angry at God. I didn’t want to be there. There are kids that sit in Ripple Effect and talk to their friends and roll their eyes and there’s nothing I can say that will stop them from doing that, but I hope one day they realize that you can’t just roll your eyes at everything. I did that for the longest time and it doesn’t work at all. Just care about whatever situation you’re in, whatever people you meet. Care about church, as cliche as that is. You don’t have to be grown up to care.


[Kylie Slater]