I was born in Queens, New York and I was raised here in Tampa by my mom. For years my mom had encouraged me to read the Bible and preached to me on placing God first in my life. Although I believed in God, I was not walking with the Lord. In 2012, during my Freshmen Orientation, I met someone from Cornerstone Christian Church who gave me a survey about what I believed and asked if I wanted to do a Bible study. I was curious to learn more about the Bible since I had considered myself to be Christian but never really had opened it up for myself. I met for the Bible study with one of the campus ministers at Cornerstone who I would later befriend and I would consider not only my friend but someone to look to as an example of how a man of God should conduct himself. Up to the point that I had done my first Bible study, I had not spoken to my father in 11 years. I had sworn that I would never become like him and had curtailed my relationship with him. For this reason, I was rebellious and mistrusting of authority. This unresolved feeling of rejection did not allow me to trust people and my ange towards my father was projected onto the people around me.
Sitting down in these Bible studies, I began to learn about God, how He is a Father to the fatherless, and about his undeniable love. Through God’s grace, the hate and the feeling of rejection I had held in my heart was beginning to be healed. I still remember the day I felt that the burden lifted up as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders as I gave my life to Jesus! I cried out and rejoiced as I knew that the hate I had was taken up by my Lord and Savior, Jesus, who had borne my shame and my burdens.
Shortly after that, I was able to call my father. A year later I visited him, spent time with him, and started anew. I am thankful to God that He used the people in my life and at Cornerstone as instruments to help me see His love for me. Now I am looking to graduate from USF in the fall of 2016 with a degree in Civil Engineering and I already have a job in Tampa in my field. I can’t wait to see what God has next!