As an eighth grader, I didn't believe in God. At least, I didn't believe he had anything to do with my life... until the REAP Team came. I went on a REAP retreat, and the testimony and witness of one of the team members struck me as being real and awesome. I invited God into my life and everything changed. I had a new best friend who would listen to me all the time, who was always there, who lived in my heart.
I joined the REAP Team the following year and found it completely nerve-wracking, but exciting and fun to give retreats and talk about my faith to my peers. I gave up weekends and days off school to help out whenever my parents would let me. I had given my life to God because of one person's testimony--I hoped that God would use me to do the same for someone else. After jumping around at colleges and doing a semester internship with the REAP Team, I ended up at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where I completed a bachelor's degree in theology and history. Now I'm back in St. Louis, working as a religion teacher at St. Dominic High School in O'Fallon, Missouri. I recently took nineteen students on Life Matters with the OYM, something I couldn't have done on my own! It's my first year, and it's tough! I have a lot to learn, but I want to learn to be excellent, because the person I'm teaching about, God!, is the most important thing they will ever hear.
I'm glad to be a witness to the power of God working through the OYM. Through their ministry, God touched me in eighth grade, then I was able to assist in ministry in high school and college, and now, as a high school religion teacher, I can take part in their ministry again.