by Victoria Terry, Florida
Gratitude is the only word I have to define my experience at Summit. It is surreal to know that I learned how to help people where they are, and that God came and met me where I was. My journey to Summit was nothing short of a miracle and I’m so excited to share it with you.
I spent all four of my High School years in Kenya, Africa with my parents and twin sister. I got to see ministry up close and personal. I knew that I loved ministry and that I wanted to help people gain a relationship with God. What I didn’t know was that in a matter of years, America had completely changed through the end of President Obama’s term. I moved back after finishing school ready to make an impact, only to feel shocked and disappointed in myself.
“Was it me?”
“Am I a bad Christian?”
“Why are people so distant from God?”
These were daily questions for me because I had a hard time relating to people outside of my church.
I went through a Christian leadership academy when I moved back which taught me to be a servant leader. God grew me so much in that year, so I thought I had learned how to meet people where they were. Quickly after I graduated, I learned that I still knew nothing about the world, but only the church side of the equation.
I was introduced to apologetics a few months after moving out on my own and started consuming as much as I could. I listened to podcasts, went to conferences, and started reading the Bible in Genesis. I knew I didn’t know enough to help the people that needed it based on today’s arguments and my ignorance.
Then, a family friend told me about Summit and as I learned more, I quickly grew to love everything about its mission. Summit was addressing my doubts about God, so I knew I needed to go to the Student Conference.
While preparing to attend Summit, hurricane Michael hit 25 miles away from my house. The aftermath of lost lives, broken hearts, and lost businesses was all that was talked about. I had no idea how to spiritually guide people when they would ask questions like “Why did God take so much away from me?” So, it was another push towards the necessity of attending Summit.
When May 19th came, I boarded a plane and a few hours later I was seeing mountains and smiling faces of Summit staff and other students. Through my first week, I was allowed to meet with staff and share my burdens. I was able to ask some hard questions and some hard questions were asked of me. I was given hope.
I firmly believe I laughed more at Summit than the entire two years since moving back to America. I felt reborn emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I was given challenges that provoked my biblical understanding as well as my relationship with Christ. Through the challenges; Summit staff shared ears, stories, and tears. I never would have believed you could get so close to someone in such a short amount of time. But that is a Summit for you!
I was given a true understanding of the body of Christ and steps toward the knowledge of sharing it with the people around me. I am so excited to start using the information that was given to me and to walk out my destiny in Jesus!