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I am fortunate to have grown up with great parents and strong support

consisting of family and friends. I grew up going to church with my parents almost every Sunday. Throughout this time, I knew in my heart that God was real, and I always wanted to become closer to Him. However, I realize now that I did not truly know what it meant to have a real relationship with Christ. My parents raised me to always treat everyone with respect. I always tried to be a bright spot in people’s lives. I felt that this was godly, and the Lord would appreciate that. I did not realize the importance of knowing Jesus personally and entrusting Him to be my Lord and Savior.

I am very blessed to have received a scholarship to play football at USF. I arrived at USF in January leaving behind my second semester of high school. I kept telling my parents that I would find a church to go to. One day, after a practice, I was walking to get lunch and a guy was outside the building asking some of my teammates to take a short survey. He then asked me to take it and I did. The survey asked about my relationship with God. When I completed the survey, it asked If I would like to know how to get connected to a Bible study and church on campus. A few days went by, and I got a call from a campus minister to find a time to meet

up. From there we started doing Bible studies virtually, during the pandemic, and then later in person on campus and also began going to church with him. Throughout these Bible studies I realized that I did not truly know Christ personally, nor did I have the relationship with him that I wanted. So I made the decision to repent and put my trust in Christ. After this I got baptized and decided to become a member of Cornerstone.

After being saved and reading the Bible more, I felt genuine change in my heart. I feel and think differently about things in life. I look at sin in a different light now. Looking back, I see now how I was living a sinful life before being saved. I was surrounded by worldly people and now I have formed friendships with men who have encouraged me to grow in my relationship with Christ. I plan to continue to grow, become closer to God, and spread His word and love to those around me, so they can experience the love of Christ in life changing ways.

~ Jalen


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