My name is Andrea (ahn-drrrre-ah), but you can call me Andrea (aun-dre-uh). I am a fourth year Psychology major hoping to pursue Dentistry. I love burritos, TYPING IN CAPS, and moderate exercise (to make up for the lack of vegetables in my diet). But above all, I love God.
My parent’s immigrated to the United States in 1979. By God’s grace, they were granted amnesty and obtained their citizenship through Ronald Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. And as such, they were given the opportunity to establish a permanent life for themselves and my siblings in the United States. I am so thankful for the many blessings that have followed since. In particular, I am thankful because it wasn’t until my parents immigrated to the United States that they first heard the Christian gospel.
Both my parent’s grew up Catholic and followed the footsteps of generations of professing Catholic family members. My Mom became a Christian, but to this day, my Dad has rejected the gospel. (Though, I am thankful because a seed has been planted in his life). My Mom’s conversion to Christianity brought about a lot of disagreement between my parents because they each held differing values. As a result, my Dad distanced himself from our family. Despite this, my Mom always made it a priority to take my siblings and I to church and instill Christian values in our lives.
I grew up in a charismatic church where unfortunately the teaching of the Bible was not solid. I mostly went just to accompany my mom. But, I convinced myself that I was indeed a Christian because I was a good academic student and for the most part, refrained from ungodly behavior. I was very prideful and did the best that I could to exhibit a “put together” demeanor. But, I struggled with constant feelings of anxiety. I believe that my anxiety was a result of many factors, such as not having the emotional support from a fatherly figure, being placed in stressful adult situations as a young child in order to translate for my parents, putting pressure on myself to do well in school in order to ensure a successful future career, not trusting in God, etc.
My anxiety carried over onto my freshmen year of college where I was humbled academically. But, that same year, I joined a Christian Fellowship (Grace on Campus) and also joined a small group. Through solid Bible teachings, I realized that I was a sinner in desperate need of God’s saving grace. I am thankful for the care, patience, and accountability that my small group leaders provided me with. Since then, I have come to understand that my identity is found in Christ alone. Philippians 4: 6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. Through daily prayer and reading the Bible, I am learning to solely depend on His grace and mercy.
Recently, I went to Honduras to serve as part of a Medical Evangelism team. It was on this trip that I grasped the urgency of the gospel and developed a heart for the Spanish-speaking population abroad. I realize that because God has granted me with the ability to communicate in both English and Spanish, I have the capability to reach many individuals for His glory. And because of this, my desire for the future is to serve abroad on Medical Mission trips where I can help the individuals I serve come to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior.