Trading Comfort for Calling

Written by Josue Gutierrez (Entering Sophomore Year at NHCC)

When Mikayla, a graduate and recruiter at the NHCC (New Hope Christian College), asked me out of nowhere, “So when are you going to attend this college?” I hesitated and pondered on the absurdity of the idea. I was a Christian and attended the high school ministry on campus, but I had never considered becoming a Bible college student. I was planning to enter a prestigious university where I could get a well-paying job with a degree and live comfortably for the rest of my life. During that stage of my spiritual maturity, I was hardly thinking of what God wanted from me. I was so focused on myself and my own success, but I gradually became so convicted that I had to do something. I didn’t want to live an average life for Jesus, I wanted to give Him my all. So I threw away my desire to live a rich and comfortable life, gave up on satisfying my parent’s wishes, and followed God’s call to become a student at New Hope Christian College. 

Before I attended here, I was familiar with the standard Christian practices of prayer, worship, fasting, and Bible reading. But that was all they were to me—mundane practices that every Christian had to do because God said so. It was only when I came here that I really grasped the seriousness and sanctity of these spiritual practices. Whenever we do these holy things, we are communing with God our creator and Father, the maker of the heavens and the earth. Isn’t that incredible? Jesus even explains in the parable of the persistent widow that even an ungodly and uncaring judge hears and does something for the widow just to get rid of the inconvenience. So how much more will God, who is a loving and just judge, listen to us and act? Not only do we have 24/7 access to God, unlike the widow and the judge, but He also wants to listen to our pleas! Now the point is not to feel convicted and go away feeling sad like, “Yeah, I should pray more.” It’s to rejoice from the fact that we get to pray and commune with our creator and Heavenly Father. Now, the widow had all the disadvantages except one, and it’s that she could see the judge. That’s why Jesus questions whether or not he will find faith when he comes back to the earth. But all I know is that my faith has done nothing but increase during my time here. And now when I pray, I know that something special and real is happening. I am also honored to announce that after becoming a student, I made the decision to become baptized.

Another way I have spiritually grown is in my willingness to serve in ministry. At first, I was reluctant to serve with kids from 1st-5th grade, because I had previously held the thought that I did not naturally work well with them. I was automatically biased and questioned whether or not anything I was doing here would lead to anywhere fruitful. I really wanted to hang out with the middle and high schoolers. I thought they were a way cooler ministry, and at least the youth listened to me there. However, I soon learned to appreciate just how much God loves every being on this planet. Every single human on earth has the image of Christ inside of them, and we must treat them as so. In Matthew 25:35, Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Every day, I have more of God’s love for His people. I will never comprehend it, because it transcends understanding, but I feel the Holy Spirit dwell inside me, filling me up with the love of God for every single one of His creation.

I am forever grateful that I decided to listen to God’s calling for my life, to put aside my own desires or preconceived notions of what the future should hold. Being a student at NHCC has allowed me to recognize that practices such as prayer are not mundane but an amazing connection to our Father in Heaven. Through the classes, discussions, and fellowship at NHCC, God has transformed how I approach Him. Furthermore, attending this college provided me with the opportunity to experience ministry in ways I had never thought of before. New Hope’s personal approach and focus on each individual student’s relationship with the Lord is so critical for believers who want to learn how to minister in the ministry and marketplace. The cost of college may be great, but the growth you experience is priceless!

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