My name is Emanuel Romero, and I am a sophomore at New Hope Christian College. As part of my practical education in ministry, I work under Pastor Guy Higashi who leads our edification team. I have been able to practice pastoral care firsthand by joining Pastor Guy on hospice visits and by visiting retirement homes where I have the opportunity to lead bible studies. I have no doubt that everytime I visit the elderly there, God is with me. I believe I am called to show them God’s light through my visits, and it is a joy to pour back into this community what I’ve learned about God at NHCC. I also have the opportunity to break down language barriers that keep people from Christ by translating New Hope West messages into Spanish on Sundays. I am grateful for this chance to feed God’s word to those who might not otherwise be able to receive it. These experiences have taught me the importance of personal connections in ministry. They also serve as continual reminders of my calling to serve in ministry at New Hope and inspire me to reach those who may not otherwise be reached and that by meeting them where they are and bringing God with me as I come to them.
Another way that I have been blessed to serve is in the mission field. Most recently, I was called to help rebuild the roof of an Open Bible Church in the Grenadines and minister to the people in their community. It was refreshing to experience how welcoming the people there were and to see how hungry they were for God. To me, this trip was a powerful opportunity to serve those in need, which is an important aspect of my faith. It also allowed me to build lasting God-centered relationships with the pastors I had the privilege of serving, as well as the 21 other men that went on this trip. Just three days after arriving on the island, I felt drawn not just to serve alongside these men, but also to grow spiritually alongside them. I not only took my physical luggage with me to the Grenadines, but also a large load of spiritual baggage. I think the Lord meant for me to bring that along, because I felt called to share my struggles with this community, and through time spent in fellowship and service, I was able to leave a lot of that spiritual baggage behind. I learned a great deal about myself and my faith through serving God’s children in another country. When one of the locals I met asked me how much I was being paid to be there and I told him I was working for free, he looked at me as though I had spoken a completely foreign language. Little did I know that through my weeks in the Grenadines, I would continue to speak with him and he would continue to ask me about the faith that would drive me to do something so out of the ordinary from his perspective. Through sharing my faith, he finally began to understand, and before I left he even began to attend the church we were repairing. Through this mission trip, I was able to not only serve a diverse community with great needs, but also build powerful God-filled relationships and communities. Though I was technically the one serving, I feel as though I came away refilled with purpose and with God’s amazing love through this opportunity to engage in fellowship.
As I continue my education over the next two years at NHCC, I feel God calling me to a season of stillness and continued growth as I recover from ACL surgery this February. My experiences in ministry and the mission field have taught me that God will heal me not just physically, but also spiritually in this time. Those who know me well know that I love being active, so being forced to be still will be a difficult season in my life. However, I am confident that God will be my fortress and He will allow me to emerge stronger on the other side. I just know that God is going to do great things from this injury, and He will bring true restoration to my heart. Even through this hardship, I look forward to what God has in store for me to learn in the next two years as I seek to know Him better and prepare my heart for ministry.
Written by a student, Emanuel Romero.