Chino Hills, California | 18 years old
I’m Amanda Machado and I’m 18 years old from Chino Hills, California. Four months ago I didn’t even know what Summit was. My youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills pulled me aside after service one day and told me that the church was sending some students to this conference at Biola over the summer and he’d like me to go. After doing research with my parents, I was on my way to Summit with 28 other students from Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. I ultimately decided to attend Summit Student Conferences because of the topics that were discussed and because the Lord has given me a passion for learning more about apologetics and how to defend my faith. I also want to reach out to people who have different worldviews, and I felt as though this conference was perfect for that!
Something that surprised me about Summit, though, was that not everyone shares the exact same worldview. Students and leaders come from all around the country, and even the world, to join together at Summit. As a result, there are many differing views regarding the teachings that allow for intelligent discussion, disagreement, and debate. Summit is a great place to exercise discernment. Honestly, I grew the most in my personal relationship with Christ, not from the sessions or the social interactions, but from personally discerning what’s right and wrong according to the Word of God.
I’m a theology and apologetics nerd so I was beyond excited to learn about topics such as abortion, homosexuality, world religions, evolution, and religious liberty. I absolutely love learning about what other people believe and comparing it to what the Bible says. I cherish the opportunities that I get to share my faith with other people of different worldviews. I have always had unclear views about the specific beliefs of transcendental religions and Mormonism, and I was able to grow in my knowledge of those beliefs. I learned so much from those lectures and I’m excited to apply the truths that I learned to my passion for evangelism.
A Summit experience I’ll never forget was getting to discuss the sessions with like-minded believers. It was hard sometimes to decipher what was fact and opinion in the lectures, but Christ gave me the discernment to know His truth and to cling to His word. Having quality fellowship with others really encouraged me to keep pressing forward and I grew a lot as a result of that. Summit was designed to be a place for us to become better equipped to engage the culture while growing deeper in an intimate personal relationship with the Living God. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity that I was given to become better equipped to engage the culture and I can’t wait to apply everything that I have learned.