I met Shino when I was a sophomore in high school almost 10 years ago. She was my Asian Young Life leader then and I loved spending time with her because it meant I got to eat delicious things and talk about God. We met at least once a week and having her invest in my life and speak Biblical wisdom changed the way I saw the world. God became my foundation and my lens, and when I went to college, I began to take more ownership of my faith- in part because of the discipleship I was still doing over the phone with Shino. Through the many life changes that would come: changing majors, transferring schools, graduating, and then transitioning to adulthood, i continued to reach out to Shino and pursue discipleship with her because I knew one thing for sure: She had a genuine relationship with God and that was what she was sharing with me. Now, as a young adult who mentors and disciples others as well, I aspire to bring the same fiery passion and commitment to truth that I learned from Shino. This is why - though I work full time as a nurse, attend graduate school, and have commitments at church - I make it a point to spend a few hours with Shino and the Verner family each week for discipleship. I find myself learning not just about faith, but also about life in my time with her, Antony, and Aiden, and I am so blessed to have her in my life.
Discipleship has been an essential part of my relationship with Jesus. When I entered Curtis in 2015 and started my discipleship with Shino, I learned that although I had grown up in the church and believed in Jesus (and even desired to please Him), I didn't have an active relationship with Him. I discovered that through reading the Word, communicating with God through prayer, and worshiping were all necessary, daily elements to a healthy relationship with God. I also learned that God is our Healer and Provider, and when I claimed healing and provision for myself, I saw my two-and-a-half-year music performance injury get completely healed by our Father, and experienced multiple ways in which He provided for me, including receiving finances to help pay off student loan debt. On the emotional level, I learned that depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are not God's will for us to battle, and after experiencing Jesus' love for me, I was completely healed of all those thoughts. Discipleship was the key in all of this growth because it was through this personal time with Shino that I delved into these issues and learned how Father God saw me as His daughter, and how Jesus saw me as His beloved bride. Being able to talk at length about these personal things is the core of discipleship, which allows me to be guided to what God is prompting for personal growth and revelation.