Hi, everybody! To help you get to know our team, we’ll be posting a short series where each team member will share a bit about themselves, as well as what drew them to serve in Malawi. This week, we have Bridget, Carissa, Jeffery, Ivanna!
Hello! I’m Bridget, and this upcoming fall, I will be entering my junior year at UCLA. I am currently majoring in psychology and attempting to pursue a minor in statistics. I enjoy running outdoors, listening to Christmas music year round, waking up early without an alarm, eating snacks from Trader Joe’s, and visiting national parks with my family. I grew up in a Christian home with loving parents, and I never really doubted that God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for sinners. However, in my arrogance, I did not acknowledge that I was a wretched sinner myself. I thought that I was a good person who was fine without a Savior because I attended church events, memorized all my Sunday school Bible verses, wrote Mother’s and Father’s Day cards, and always turned in my homework on time. I stubbornly refused to believe that sin was a reality for me and my own attempts at righteousness were futile. It was not until middle school that God graciously opened my eyes to see the gravity of my sin and my depraved state and brought me to repentance. Since then, God has been changing my prideful, self-righteous, and rebellious heart into one that seeks to love Him, His Word, and His people more.
Throughout college, God has especially taught me so much about the richness of the gospel and the joys of the fellowship in the body. As God grew my love for the gospel and His people, I started to think and pray about missions. God graciously extended the opportunity for me to join the Malawi STM this summer, and I am looking forward to seeing how He will use me and grow my love for the gospel and the global church. I am so excited to serve alongside, fellowship with, and learn from my fellow brothers and sisters in Malawi! Praise God that He is building and growing His church both locally and globally! Please pray that we would be a loving source of encouragement to the missionaries in Malawi and students at CAPA and that we would serve humbly and wholeheartedly unto God’s glory! Thank you so much for your prayers and support!
Bonjour! I’m Carissa (the white one), and I’m going into my third year at UCLA as a History major with an English minor *shoutout to endless papers*. I liked this picture because it shows #1: I don’t know how to take a serious picture #2: Yosemite is the best #3: I like having fun 😀
I was born in Boise, ID (yeah, where the potatoes are) and moved to LA when I was 5 so my dad could attend The Master’s Seminary. I liked growing up as a pastor’s kid, I thought it was fun to be at church all the time (mostly to hang out with friends and get in trouble since I went to great lengths to be funny). I am blessed God allowed me to have great parents who love the Lord and strove to raise us up in the Word. I never doubted who God is, but obeyed His commandments out of fear for Him and His wrath. It was not until around 7th grade when I truly understood the gospel and had a heart change concerning how I lived and my motivations. I had been squandering the grace of God and not truly living in light of Christ’s death on the cross for my sin.
As both my parents were Bruins (and sister and grandma…), UCLA was a great choice (plus in LA – the greatest city in the world). They were involved with Grace on Campus as students (in the ‘80s), and coming to this ministry my Sophomore year blessed me immensely. The UCLA campus is a huge mission field and taking advantage of that through sharing the gospel to strangers, classmates, and building up fellow believers is a rare blessing. As Christians we are called to spread the gospel to all nations and I fulfill that command in a different way this summer. The Lord opened the doors which allowed me to go to Malawi and aid his servants there. I’m excited to see how the Lord will use us across the pond. Please pray for us as we cultivate humble hearts for serving the missionaries and students, not to go on this trip with any semblance that it’s about us. Pray we be a blessing not a burden and look to Christ’s example and rely on the Spirit. Thank you all so much for reading, praying, and supporting our team! Love you all!
Also, fun fact: my dad will also be teaching the pastors at CAPA while we’re there 🙂
Hi! I’m Jeffery and I’ll be entering my junior year at UCLA, with a major in Computer Science and possibly a minor in Statistics. Some things I enjoy include hiking, kayaking, reading, playing board games, and organizing things with spreadsheets. By God’s grace, I grew up in a home with Christian parents who faithfully brought me to join in worship with a local church every Sunday, and continually exemplified to me what it meant to serve the body of Christ. God worked in my heart from a young age to increase in faith and love for Him, but it wasn’t until my early in high school where I came to a heightened realization that the wages of my innate sin was death, but that Christ on the cross paid that debt for me. Since then, my love for Him has increased all the more and along with it my love for the church and for those still lost. In the words of the hymn writer Isaac Watts, “We long to see thy churches full, / that all the chosen race / may with one voice and heart and soul / sing thy redeeming grace.”
One evening in early March during the Shepherd’s Conference, Amy and I were talking briefly to Jim Ayres and Dave Temple when Jim encouraged us both to join them in Malawi for the coming STM trip. Though the trip was not much on my mind before that time, I realized that I was indeed available to go if I had the desire to. And after some more thought and prayer regarding the opportunity, you can now see that I do desire to go as a manner of meeting the needs of our missionaries! I am excited to meet and serve the church in Malawi and hear the many stories of the students at CAPA who are aiming to love God and others faithfully through progressing in their studies. Please be praying for us that we would recognize the privilege it is to go on this STM and be preparing ourselves even now so that God will orient us from the heart to humbly, sacrificially, and joyfully serve the church and students in Malawi.
Hello! My name is Ivanna and I am a soon-to-be sophomore at UCLA studying physiological sciences. I enjoy playing the piano, eating ice cream, hiking, making lists, and crafty/hands-on projects and activities.
I am grateful that my parents started bringing me to church at a young age. While I did not fully understand the severity of sin and God’s saving grace, it was at least a start. Over the years, God worked in my heart to make me realize that I was a sinner who needed a savior. With encouragement and wisdom from church aunties, in about 10th grade, I decided to accept Christ as my Lord and savior. I am still sinful, and prideful, and constantly running away from God. But with His great love, He is always bringing me back.
One night near the end of winter quarter this past year, GOCers were having ice cream together. Whilst indulging in ice cream, Elliot asked me if I wanted to go to Malawi, and he and my small group leader tag-teamed to convince me on why I should go on an STM. One of the reasons was to understand the global church better — and what better way to get to know the global church better than to go there and serve. I am very excited to be going to Malawi (in already less than a month!) to meet and serve the body of Christ there, the students, and the missionaries. Thank you so much for all of your encouragement, support, and prayers! Please continue to pray for us, that we would be humble and joyful as we serve and work diligently for His glory!