Bethany is a second year psychology major, who gets overly excited about food, loves being crafty (in terms of DIY projects, not being sneaky) and enjoys speaking fondly of her days working at Jamba Juice.
By the grace of God I was raised in a Christian home. I am extremely thankful for this, as from the beginning, my life was characterized by running away from God. I learned about the Gospel in Sunday school, but the only thing that stuck out to me and continued to haunt me was my sin that could only be punished by hell. I distinctly remember so many of my nights as a kid, praying over and over asking for God to forgive my sins and not send me to hell. So while I understood the depth of my sin, that God is a God of forgiveness and Jesus died to save me from my sins, I failed to understand true grace, and that it is by grace alone that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8). As a result, I attempted to accept Christ multiple times as a kid, each time worrying that Christ’s sacrifice was not enough to save me. Two times occurred at my church’s VBS (Vacation Bible School) when I was about 3 and 4 years old, and the final time was with my mom, when I was 6. During the final time, I had accepted Christ as Savior, understanding that Jesus’ death on the cross was enough to atone for all of my sins and that when God looks upon me, He sees Christ in my place.
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David is a delicate flower who enjoys playing games on his mobile phone. However, his love for God is greater than his love for said games.
I believed myself to be a fairly tolerant person. I felt that each individual was entitled to live however they pleased as long as they lived without troubling others. This mentality led my to clash with Christian ideology on a few occasions growing up, especially in high school. The media made Christians appear intolerant and hateful. I looked down on them for their closed-mindedness and dogmatic beliefs that they insisted were truth and I hated how they imposed that truth on the world.
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Stacey is a senior Applied Linguistics major and English minor. She loves running, cooking, and crafting! She hopes to work with autistic and special needs children in the future.
My testimony is a story all about God, who in His great love and mercy saved me, a wretched and undeserving sinner. Romans 3:23-26 says:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
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Edward is a 3rd year (formerly chemistry, but now) applied math major. He’s generally quiet, but will always love a good conversation! He also enjoys playing piano, traveling…and enjoying dorm food while he still can (hehehe)!
I was first exposed to Christianity as a kid when my parents took me to church. My family was relatively new to Christianity at the time, and didn’t have a clear understanding of good doctrine or what to look for in a church. After attending a few churches, we settled down at a charismatic church, where the prosperity gospel was prevalent and solid biblical teaching almost nonexistent. I spent the majority of my time growing up here and consequently, had a rather inaccurate understanding of the Christian faith and what it meant to be a believer. I considered myself Christian, but my life showed little sign of it. My pursuit of Christianity was largely motivated by my self-interests, and I had very little genuine understanding of my sinfulness or the sacrifice that Christ had made for me. I placed my hope in my academics and struggled with sins like lust and pride. Though I sometimes noticed I didn’t have a strong desire for God, I continued to live as I always had, blind to the ways in which I was rebelling against God.
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Kim graduated from UCLA in 2015 and is currently serving on staff at GOC. She works as a tax accountant, and enjoys coffee, reading, and basketball (watching and playing).
I did not grow up in a Christian family, but my parents sent me and my sister to a Christian school from Kindergarten through high school. I never went to church, but I heard about Christianity and parts of the Gospel throughout my time in school. I began to call myself a Christian in junior high – mainly because all my friends also said they were Christians. I did not doubt the existence of God and I believed a vague notion that “Jesus died for my sins”, but I never truly understood what it meant to be a Christian or what the Gospel was. Although I grew up at a Christian school, I never really got the full Gospel and its implications.
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Riley is a first year, Human Biology and Society major (though this may change soon…) that loves candy, God, nature, music, sports, bad jokes, and good conversation! (not in that order)
The story of my salvation is likely similar to what you’ve heard before, and that in itself is a miracle. I grew up in a Sacramento suburb as the youngest son to godly parents who attended a blessed church. For as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by God-honoring worship, faithful preaching of the Word, and rich discussions of the Gospel. As the typical, “ideal” church kid, I could probably count the times I missed church on one hand. Reflecting on this, it astounds me that I lived so blind to my sin and ignorant of God’s Gospel for so long.
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Joyce is a second year computer science major with a love for consuming authentic pumpkin flavored foods, reveling in the beauty of gloomy days with pouring rain, attempting to lift heavy items, and listening to acoustic mellow music and hymns.
I grew up in a Christian home and was consequently exposed to the Gospel very early on by my parents, who always graciously and readily displayed a deep love for God through their actions, the Christian school I attended until eighth grade, and the church that I’ve attended for almost my whole life. According to my parents, I raised my hand to accept Christ at Vacation Bible School when I was two years old. Obviously, at such a young age, I couldn’t consciously comprehend the weight of that decision, and in Kindergarten, I accepted Christ into my heart again, yet with only little more understanding. Initially, this decision was most likely motivated by a desire just to escape hell and go to heaven. I was also influenced by those around me, who clearly demonstrated a faith that I thought was normal. Everything made sense to me in a childlike acceptance of the truth I heard, yet I didn’t fully comprehend the true meaning of grace. Though I believed in Christ as my Savior and Redeemer, I can remember multiple times where I asked to accept Christ into my heart again, worrying I hadn’t been sincere enough the times before, or that perhaps I hadn’t fully understood last time, not truly comprehending that there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
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