Atlantic Union Conference Youth and Young Adults Share Their Testimonies
Many have been tested and tried during this coronavirus pandemic. A few youth and young adults from around the Atlantic Union Conference share their testimony on how dealing with the pandemic has affected their faith.
“As a young adult exploring the world of Christianity and trying to find my purpose, I have found that the quarantine has set a different tone for what I want for my life as a Christian. I have learned what it means to be patient; I learned the true meaning of gratitude; I learned how to “define” the word resilience; I learned to love others and extend my hand when they are in need. But overall, I learned to put my full trust in God and to not lean on my own understanding.”—Mikayla Williams, 20; Sharon church, Mount Vernon, New York
“To me, the pandemic was just another indicator that our Lord and Savior, Jesus, is coming soon. The pandemic was the fulfillment of a part of prophecy that disease would come in the end time, [as well as] civil unrest and political turmoil, which is more fulfillment of prophecy. Due to all of this, my faith in God’s Word was strengthened and, in turn, my relationship with God.”—Anya Barrett, 18; Worcester Pleasant Street church, Worcester, Massachusetts
“I got a better understanding of who God is, and I gave my life to Him again (but this time doing it for me and not to just do it). . . . Before the pandemic I had faith in God, but it wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, [nor] as strong as I thought it was. I used to believe in God, go to church, do my Sabbath School lessons, etc., but I never felt the real experiences that other people said they felt. With the help of this pandemic, I’ve felt those experiences; I’ve felt more comfortable and open about my religion/faith; and I’ve felt God’s presence, even when I was at my lowest during this pandemic. I’ve started reading the Bible and noticing that all the things I needed were right there in front of me. I’ve even found friends online that have the same love for God as I do, and I follow more people [on social media] who inspire me to share God’s Word. I even enjoy doing Bible studies!”—Zaria Hill, 15; Southampton church, Southampton, Bermuda
“In the beginning of 2020, I realized that there was something off in my life. I took the initiative and I started to work on the outside of my life. I started to cut toxic people out of my life and I deleted all social media from my phone. As quarantine started, I realized that changing the outside was a good start, but I still felt off. I felt like something needed to be done. So, I started to work on the inside of my life. I started to work on my relationship with God. I began to do daily devotionals and started reading the Bible more. As I was doing all of that, I started to cross paths and encounter people who were struggling with their faith. I told them my story of what I’ve been through and how God has seen me through my trials. While I was doing that, I also started to read the Bible and do devotionals with them. As time went on, they started to believe more in God and started to help other people in their life who were struggling with their faith. I joined a prayer line made up of some members of my church. We read chapters of the Bible and talked about what each chapter means and what God wants us to take away from each chapter.
“Recently, I started to work on my mental health. What I have been doing is to pre-write quotes with random Bible verses about faith on each one. I do not know what the verse says, but I know where it is taken from. Every morning I take a quote and I read it. I tape it in my notebook and then write about how I would interpret the quote. Then I copy down the Bible verse and do the same. Furthermore, at the end, I talk about how both relate to each other and how it can benefit my present and my future. After that, instead of just praying to God, I go the extra mile and I write down my prayers and tape them on my prayer wall. This process allows me to put all my feelings down and it makes prayer more personal to me.
“This journey has not been easy, but this is not the end. I will continue to grow and prosper in my relationship with God. As a result, quarantine has helped me refocus and reignite
the fire back on God.”—Amarigé Salvador, 22; Broadway Spanish church, New York, New York
“The impacts of COVID-19 on my spiritual life have been surprising to say the least. When churches were closed because of COVID-19, the SNEC [Southern New England Conference] Youth department decided that the youth federations would serve as an online spiritual presence and host daily prayer Zoom calls [around] the theme, “It’s Possible to Connect.”
As a member of SNEC’s Rhode Island Youth and Young Adult Federation, I was tasked with being the co-host of the weekly prayer meetings [on Thursdays]. Let me tell you, it sounds easy,
but it’s hard. This new COVID-19 responsibility challenged me to strengthen my commitment to my personal spiritual development and provide a safe, recurring, and virtual space for the
spiritual development of others. And it’s been such a blessing that we’ve continued it long after churches have started reopening.
COVID-19 has been tough, but the silver lining for me has been our tremendous efforts in daily online worship.”—Randie Almonte, 26; Providence Spanish church, Providence, Rhode Island
“The pandemic has assured me that I’m living in the last days, and that realization has led me closer to Jesus. It has also made me depend on God more, which I’ve done, not just by praying
[about] my worries or problems, but also by praising Him for all the good He has done for my life, so far. I’ve also been led to cherish God’s Word more. It’s a light in the dark and truth in a world of error, [and] it is full of promises that I can claim for my daily battles.”—Daniel A. Cordero, 16; Bridgeport Spanish church, Bridgeport, Connecticut