Coming from a big city in South Carolina, I had all the opportunities to go and make something of myself there. My dream was to attend the state school, University of South Carolina, and be in sports radio. I attended a local community college so I could get my prerequisites out of the way, and go on to pursue my dream of attending USC. During this time I felt God call me to drop what I was doing and listen to Him for my direction in life. It took a year for God to open up the door for my next journey. My father brings a mission team up here to work with the school every year. So, we sat down to talk about the possibility of me attending NEBC. That night, after breaking my promise to never move up North, I let God do His work.
I’ve always hated the cold and the snow. I’ve never liked the North and, to be honest, I thought that it was just a bunch of mean people complaining about having to get a new snow shovel every year. When I moved here I found out that what I thought was correct. The only difference is I thought everyone was cranky but I found out only about 3/4ths of the population is that way. I blame it on the weather, because, hey, there is a reason everyone in Florida is always happy and everyone in New Hampshire is always cranky.
Student-Staff Basketball game, Stephen is 2nd from right on back row.
The weather is one reason for all of these stereotypes, but the true reason is because people here are lost. They don’t have a relationship with God. I was shocked to know that Vermont and New Hampshire were the two least religious states in the US, with Vermont at 2% and New Hampshire at 1%. Coming from a city where if you threw a rock it would bounce off of 5 churches, to the towns in Vermont where, if you were lucky, you might find one Gospel preaching church is an eye-opener.
I’ve grown a lot since being here. I’ve seen what a real need for the Gospel looks like. Growing up in the South, everyone goes to church, and if you don’t, people ask you why. Here, it’s the opposite. I’ve seen what true want and need for the Gospel looks like. Through the teachers and students here, I’ve grown from being just another Christian that wants to do enough to get by, to being a Christian that wants to do more than I could ever imagine. I’ve always wanted to be called what David was called, “a man after God’s own heart.” That to me is the ultimate achievement for a Christian. Without the people of this school, I know that I would never come close to becoming that.
Stephen (center) with Lake Sunapee’s Pastor Sam on left.
Currently, I am attending Lake Sunapee Baptist Church. I help in many different ways. I help park cars, take up the offering, as an altar worker, and help set up for events if needed. It is an amazing place that really has a heart to reach the lost. The Northeast is a dark place. God calls us to be the light in the darkness. Because there is nowhere in the United States that is as dark as the Northeast, it is the perfect place for Christians that want to impact peoples’ lives to come in and change the world.
Coming from the South, I went to church all the time. Everyone goes to church, and there are practically at least 3 churches on every street. The Gospel is obviously needed everywhere, including the South, but if you want to see real change in a community, the North is the place to go. There are plenty of people ministering in the South, but the Northeast needs every single person they can get. The Northeast needs the Gospel. I am excited to see what God does through the lives of the students at this school. I believe God will use NEBC and the students to change the Northeast and ultimately the world.