The Power Of An Invitation

My name is Herbie Sanders. I am one of the oldest students on campus at almost 40 years old; I have four children and am married to a fantastic woman named Misty. I am a sophomore here at New Hope Christian College studying Christian counseling. I currently serve on the Levite ministry at New Hope West. As a Levite, I get to help with the set-up and breakdown of the main auditorium every Sunday.

God brought my family and me to New Hope West in an unexpected way that left an eternal impact on all of us. The abridged version is that in late 2020, our family was going through some trials that deeply impacted us all. Our family had not been to church in several years, but God allowed a member of New Hope to intercede in the life of one of my daughters when she was amidst struggles. This member invited us to service in February of 2021. For my wife, this was an answered prayer, but to be honest, for me, it felt like the opposite. Upon our first visit, I attempted to look for every reason not to continue attending; however, thanks to the persistence of my wonderful wife, Misty, we continued.

Misty then encouraged me to attend the Saturday Men’s group to seek help with our familial problems. Again, I was hesitant, but because of the authenticity and vulnerability I witnessed among such strong men of God, I began to change my mind. Even though I started attending reluctantly, God blessed me for pushing through. My heart began to soften, and God created a path for me to witness His miracles unfolding in my life. God was bringing healing to my family, and for the first time in a long time, our lives were starting to improve.

Then, in October 2021, I unexpectedly lost my job. In the midst of this new tragedy, I felt the pull to step out in faith and trust that God was the one in control. This was a scary decision for me to completely change directions, from being a custodian for the past 14 years to going to college to become a counselor. I questioned if I could even continue my education and if God was truly calling me to NHCC. However, again, I reluctantly took a step in faith and began classes in the spring term of 2022. Now I am in my third term and have a 4.0 GPA. It has not been easy to balance family, school, and work, but it is through the grace and strength of God and the support of my family that I have been able to excel here at NHCC.

The on-campus staff and my fellow students have been extremely accepting of me—just as I am. Although I have children the same age as many of the students, they don’t treat me any differently than they do each other. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to learn more about the Bible and counseling along with the chance to grow and do life with the students and staff. The Lord has been faithful, and I am excited to see where He takes me next. 

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