Below is a Story of Transformation from Ashley Power who became a member of FGCC and was baptized in the river on September 3rd.
My name is Ashley Power. I am sixteen years old and am going into the eleventh grade at Centennial Collegiate. I grew up in a home that didn’t teach me much about God or who Jesus was. So the first place where I heard the Gospel was at Camp Kadesh when I was eleven years old. Like many, I went to camp with the intention of having fun with my friends for a week but God got my attention through worship and by the joy that the staff members had while sharing about Jesus. I went back to camp for a couple years and each summer I would go home with the “camp high”. I so badly wanted to read my Bible everyday and get connected to a church but I would always fall into the routine of the school year and I would forget about all the things I learned at camp. It wasn’t until I was going into grade seven when I started to take my relationship with Jesus seriously. I went to camp that summer and like usual I left with the camp high but the difference that year was my best friend invited me to Grove Youth that September. I went for the first time and immediately felt welcomed and at home there. I continued to go every single Friday because it was like a weekly check up on my faith and reminded me about why I chose to follow Jesus in the first place. Going to youth was the best thing I could do for my relationship with God at the time – it allowed me to grow throughout the whole year and not just for one week in the summer. Since then my faith has been a priority for me. I got more involved at Forest Grove and started coming on Sundays. I also joined the Service Team and discovered the love I had for service.
While I have grown over the years, I have also had some bumps in my walk with Jesus. I realized that I loved God so much, but I didn’t trust him at all. I struggle with anxiety and the idea of placing everything at God’s feet and allowing Him to have ultimate control over my life was terrifying for me. This year I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Belize on Project Serve which is a short term missions trip. It was through that experience that I was challenged more than ever to trust in God. In fundraising, when it felt like I wouldn’t have enough money to go, I had to trust that God would provide. In times of utter exhaustion, I learned to lean on God for energy. This experience as a whole also taught me so much about God’s character through the children I got to spend time with.
This summer I got to serve at camp as a junior cabin leader and I learned that I can’t do things on my own strength. That I need God in all aspects of my life because for me to think that I can do everything on my own gives me way too much credit and Him not nearly enough. I am still learning to give up the need to control everything and to allow room for God’s plan for my life.
Baptism has been on my mind for a long time. I always dismissed the thought telling myself I was “too young” or that I wasn’t “ready”. I have never been the person who clearly hears God or who sees distinct signs from him, but as I was wrestling with the idea of getting baptized, for the first time it was clear to me that this was what He wanted for me right now. To end off I’m going to share some scripture that I come back to in times of anxiety or doubt,
“From the ends of the earth I will call unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed lead me back to the rock that is higher than I.” – Psalm 61:2