My year started off in Servant Leadership classes. This is not a required class, but one that you ask to be in. It is unlike any Bible class I have ever attended. The campus ministries team relies heavily on the participation of those in the Servant Leadership program. We, as student leaders, went through training that helped me understand what makes a good leader spiritually and in day to day life. To serve is to lead! Sounds backwards right? It’s not! Jesus came down and served us all and gave us the gift of eternal life!
Since I was a senior, I was finally able to attend Senior Outbreak! Going on this trip, at first, meant that I got a trip out of state! I had no idea it would be one of the most spiritually moving moments of my life. I had gone to school with some of these people for three years, but it was on Outbreak that we were able to individually express the gratitude we had for each other. Some of my fellow classmates had come to the end of their ropes prior to Outbreak and on this trip and were given a lifeline formed together by the bonds created by a campfire. My class, though it didn’t always seem like it, was a loving class. We were reminded of the fact that we were the Seniors and that we had a job when we got back to school. We needed to be guides to the others we came across at school. I took that to heart, and so began my call to ministry.
My spiritual journey hit an all time high in January on a trip to Kulaqua called Prayer Conference. All of the Southern Conference high schools come together for a week to praise Jesus in small groups. I went as a leader and, along with my co-leader Sky, had small group discussions about our faith. It was refreshing to make life long bonds while we were there. It was amazing to see how everyone of us connected in such a short time. I felt God working through me that week. In everything I did, everyone I met, and everything I said, I felt His touch. It was on this trip that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Up until this point in time, I was flying blind. Now I felt God speaking to me. He had been calling me to ministry the entire year and I was ignoring him. On the final night I let Him speak to me again. On that night in the gym, with tears in my eyes I accepted His call. I knew then that I was going to be a pastor some day!
All spiritual journeys have a low point. Mine came the day Caleb Acosta lost his fight to brain cancer. Caleb and I were not best friends, but through pathfinders and my old church we had our share of interactions. When I heard of his passing, it hit all of Forest Lake hard. We had all hoped he would pull through. Though he is not here to read this, I owe him a big part of my spiritual growth. He spoke on the topic of faith as often as he could. In my entire life, and for the rest of my life, I’m sure I will never meet someone with as strong a faith as Caleb Acosta. When everything was against him, he kept a peace that was inspiring to everyone he came in contact with. He is, and will always be, an inspiration to us. When the students of Forest Lake Academy arrive in heaven, I know he will be there with the smile that has become a representation of spiritual peace in my mind. Because of him I have a goal! A goal to have faith like that everyday and to tell everyone about the unconditional love Christ has for all of us!
Forest Lake Academy has a unique style of worship! One that challenged how I thought of God, and made everything I had learned thus far in Adventist Education practical. What I mean by this is that unlike most schools, Forest Lake puts you in the driver seat of campus worship. With the backing of being a servant leader for God. To be Jesus to everyone you meet and to always serve in His name. Through the guidance over the last four years, I met God. Instead of being someone I heard about in church, he has become someone I talk to, someone I walk with, and someone I want to imitate to others as an example of who they are looking for. God is with Forest Lake Academy, and He is working hard!