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I was blessed to have grown up in a Christian family. My family and I would

always go to church on Sundays and say our prayers before dinner. Since I was young however, I never really knew the meaning of any of it or what being a Christian really meant. For me every Sunday morning was basically just a time for me to goof around and play with friends. After a little while my family and I moved away from the church and backed away from the faith. I always knew God was real and am extremely grateful for the seeds that were sown in my heart during that time. Through middle school and high school I never realized how important it was to have an actual relationship with God. I thought that my good deeds would be able to save me. I always tried to be the “good guy” in my friend group. I never got drunk or did any drugs, thinking that my actions could be a replacement for repentance and genuine faith. I was always polite to adults, I respected my coaches, I made good grades. I believed that my reputation as a “nice young man” would make me look righteous in the eyes of God. It wasn’t until my first semester at USF that I realized I had it all wrong.

When I met a minister at Cornerstone Church, he showed me the danger that I was in. Through weekly Bible studies with him I learned that we all fall short of the glory of God and nothing I could ever do in this world would be able to save me. With this revelation, I knew something needed to change but I didn’t even know where to start. I had no idea how to have a relationship with Christ, or at least I never had anyone to teach me until I started doing Bible studies. I learned about the importance of repentance along with faith in God. I was able to see how badly I needed a true relationship with Christ and that’s when I decided to fully repent and give my life to God and then get baptized.

Since then, I’ve been able to really grow in my faith and create meaningful relationships with others founded on the love of Christ. These relationships have opened my eyes to the promises God has for his followers and the genuine compassion we have for one another. As I continue my studies at USF I plan on further involving myself by learning to serve through the church and ministering to classmates. I will also be volunteering with the Bulls4Life (our pro-life club) on campus to connect and share my faith with more students.

~ Bennett


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