When I was 18 and fresh out of high school, I joined the Army. I come from a family of servicemen, so it seemed like a next step to take in my life. I enlisted in 1999… I was a young woman who was excited to share the gospel in a way I hadn’t before—by being a light in a tough environment. I was a happy person, so even in the midst of basic training when some of my buddies were having a hard time, I was the girl laughing and trying to make the best of things. I was different because of God, and it showed.

Unfortunately, just three months in, I experienced a traumatic, life-changing event that left me questioning why God had left me alone in my darkest hour. I grew up in a church where I was focused on a checklist, and in my mind, I had been doing all the right things: daily devotionals, prayer, helping others, and leading others to Christ, including three of my Army friends… Why didn’t God protect me when I needed Him most? I was so mad at Him, and for a few years, I didn’t want to be anywhere near Him.

Thankfully, a couple of years later and after taking many hard steps towards forgiving my offenders, I found my way back to God through forgiveness, which changed me forever. In time, my joy also returned. During that dark time, I missed opportunities to share Jesus with others—especially with one of my good Army buddies who was killed in a car accident shortly after coming home from deployment. I felt so much guilt over her death, and it was hard.

It’s part of my motivation to reach unbelievers for Christ. It’s also one of the reasons why I spent the last nearly 10 years leading Starting Point groups at CRC—the program that really transformed my relationship with Jesus into what it is today. During many of those 10 years, I also had the pleasure of working at The Ridge and sharing the gospel with countless people. And now that I work outside the church in a new career, I have even more access to unbelievers. Day in and day out, I’m in the midst of hurting and curious people, and I hear so many stories of how people are suffering. I feel so honored and blessed that I can be a light in this broken world and tell people about the only One who can make it better.

Lisa

People of the Ridge: Tokunbo

I grew up in Nigeria, and after college, I got my master’s in Sweden, and then my Ph.d. in statistics at WVU, where I’ll be a visiting assistant professor this fall. Growing up in Nigeria, my family was Muslim, but religion didn’t really play a role in our home. I...

People of the Ridge: Liz

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