Why Finding Community Matters

I just recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Theatre Arts. As I sat in Squires studio theatre, listening to the department head describe in a few sentences my four years at Tech, I was overwhelmed and encouraged by how those four years were defined by one very amazing community, [nlcf].

God has always been a part of my life, whether I noticed Him or not. I grew up going to church and attending youth group and even going on mission trips, but even through all of that, I was missing something; I was missing a relationship with God. Love and acceptance are the things I most long for, and I turned to the things of this world as a means of finding fulfillment.

My freshman year of college was a turning point in my life. All the stress of relationships and school were weighing me down, and I knew that something had to change in my life. That is when I turned to those around me who knew Christ intimately and I heard for the first time the gospel explained in a way that was personal and life changing. It was then, at 4am, in my friend Maggie’s room, that I gave my life to Christ.

I got involved in [nlcf] and a small group. It was the first time I experienced friendships with a solid foundation of faith bringing us together. Through some of my closest friends, I learned a lot about Christ’s love being patient and honest. I look back over the last four years and see how God used the community of [nlcf] to teach me time and time again of His character and His goodness.

My friends and mentors in [nlcf] have walked with me through lots of things and seen me cry pretty tears as well as what I like to call the “ugly cry.” They have also praised God with me as God has healed me and given me many opportunities to share my faith with students in the theatre department, and led me into full-time ministry as a career. I’m so grateful to have had a community to share in all the different seasons of life with me. Being a part of [nlcf] makes my heart feel at home, and I believe it’s because the Spirit emanates through those in this church.

– Adriana Maniere

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