“Wait, how old are you?” People ask with curious smiles. I grin knowingly, and answer, anticipating the shocked reaction I will receive. “You’re fifteen? No way!”
Aloha! My name is Teuila Lafi. I am a first-year student here at New Hope Christian College, and I am pursuing a degree in Creative Arts. What you’re probably wondering is, how does someone come to be involved at New Hope Christian College at only fifteen years of age? To answer this, I’ll have to start from the beginning.
I’ve always wanted to sing, act, and dance for Jesus. From a young age, I knew I wanted to glorify him onstage. I grew up in Hawaii, and when I was twelve years old, my family moved to the mainland. My passion for theater and singing grew, and I used it in my church consistently. During these high school days, I started homeschooling. I worked really hard, really fast, and before I knew it, I graduated! There was only one small problem–I was only fifteen years old!
At this point, I knew that I wanted to go to college to pursue a degree. I’d had my eyes set on New Hope for a while. Because I’d been involved with New Hope in Hawaii, going to college seemed like the reasonable thing to do. However, at the time, my family was looking to move to Ohio, and they strongly encouraged me to go to a Christian college there. I knew in my heart that God had a different plan.
When we finally made it up to Oregon, we fell in love with the community. We served at summer camp, and my brother even broke a bone for the first time. (Ah, good memories!) When we flew back to Arizona, I felt as if the Lord was calling me to NHCC. I remember talking in the car with my dad. I said, “Dad, I think we need to move up to Oregon.” The first thing we did was ask mom. Then we prayed. We knew he had a call on our hearts to go. We sold our home within a month. I started college a year earlier than I had planned to move up. And, my entire family of seven moved up to Eugene, Oregon with me!
Since then, I’ve had the wonderful privilege to engage, study, and grow here. I’ve even worked in areas I never thought I would, but areas God has used me in nevertheless. I’ve learned so many practical things that I would not have if I had not come here! My personal favorite is mopping the bathrooms. It’s very humbling!
Through all of this, I’ve learned the importance of listening to God’s direction in every aspect of my life. Though I don’t know what God’s plans for me are after I graduate, I do know that His timing is perfect. I feel I’ve already been equipped here with the tools I need to share His word everywhere, and I’m just starting!