Category Archives: Stories Of A Student

A Holy Union

Exactly one year ago today my mother walked out on my dad after 23 years of marriage. If you would have known anything about my parents you would have never imagined my mother leaving. My mother was a professing Christian who always taught me how sacred the vow of marriage is. Because of what my mother did my view of marriage had been changed. Somehow I had gotten to this place where I thought all marriages would soon fail no matter how hard you tried, because eventually someone would decide that being married and taking a vow wasn’t really worth it. I found myself at a place where I was scared to really let myself trust someone because I thought one day they would leave just like my mother.
Coming to City of Refuge has been an eye-opening and heart-changing experience seeing young married people who love each other, but more importantly love Jesus, has been an encouragement to me. Seeing those same people put their full trust in Jesus and each other makes me realize that not all marriages fail. If two people die daily to themselves and make Jesus the center of their marriage He will help them survive the good and the bad times. Marriage is a holy union of two sinful people who want Jesus to be the center of their lives. It’s about learning to live with each other and accept the flaws that you have while keeping Jesus in the center.
-Savannah, WWAM Student, Florida

The Privilege it is to Serve

We just had a full week with 8 college students from Bryan College. It was interesting to see their reactions to all that we do and all who we serve. I was very encouraged to see how united and joyful they approached each task. I was filled with a new thanksgiving about where I am and the privilege it is to serve here.

God has been giving me more and more peace as each day goes by. Not the type of peace that makes one complacent, but that kind of peace that leaves me free to love boldly for Jesus’ kingdom.

I was also very encouraged to see one of the college team members disciplined in writing in his journal. He would write about 3 pages a night, regardless of all the commotion around him. He said it helped him to keep his thoughts organized. I plan to do the same, so next time I write it should be better.


A Girl Called Priscilla

A couple of weeks ago was the first time I went to a parking lot where City of Refuge has been serving which lets families stay in their cars overnight when they have no where else to go. We bring them food and spend time with them on Thursday nights, there I met        a girl called Priscilla who lives in a small car with her mom, and every time since that I have gone we play checkers with her plastic travel kit. and every single game she beats me, without fail. And it’s not like I go easy on her I get pretty competitive but I have still yet to have a victory over this 12 year old girl. She’s simply a checkers genius! I love that about her and I love that we are able to sit on the concrete under the street lights and play a board game, its an experience that I will never ever forget and has truly touched my heart, God uses me and grows me simultaneous in those moments and it’s beyond amazing.

– Genevieve WWAM Student (New Zealand)

Faith Like a Child

Every week we have a chance to work with the kids from the neighborhood and every week I’m amazed at the way the kids want to know more about Jesus. The Bible tells us to have faith like a child. I’ve always wondered what that means and now I know. It means believing with all your heart, trusting in God and God alone to fulfill your needs. It means not letting questions of “why?” and “how?” flood your mind but just accepting what the Bible tells us and loving Jesus with everything we have.

-Savannah WWAM Student (Florida)

The Whole Atmosphere Changed

Last Saturday’s worship at the Warehouse was powerful. That morning I had felt very heavy-hearted for no apparent reason to myself. I started pondering the reality of hell and trusting God that many, many people will end up there; this caused a heartache that I know had no comparison to Jesus’ pain at those who refuse His love. I felt this heaviness all the way through the morning worship. But when David started praying and he rebuked the work of the devil and then we prayed for Jesus to take our burdens away.The Holy Spirit was moving and the whole atmosphere changed. A lot of people asked for prayer and a few even asked Jesus to be their Savior. Jesus showed me that although many will be lost I should maintain hope because He still has much work to be done.

– Lawrence WWAM Student (San Diego)

Even in the Smallest Things

Since being at City of Refuge I have learnt a lot of things, more than I thought I would in this short space of time. I’ve learnt the importance of meeting people where they are at, whether it’s through learning their lives or just learning a few words of their language. I’ve learnt how simple acts can hugely impact someone who is hungry for kindness, and most beautifully I’ve learnt how God is the one who does these things through you. He calls us to show love to all people and even in the smallest things God’s love moves, it’s amazing to be a link in this movement and to be with a group of people who have made it their lives to pass on his love, I only hope I can continue to soak it all in.

Genevieve WWAM Student (New Zealand)

This Love Isn’t Natural

It’s about a month now that I live at the City of Refuge and I got to know a lot of really nice people. I’m happy that God placed me here, cause I already see how he’s changing me through this time.

I see people that love God and actually do the things Jesus did while he was on earth, serving others. I see how they love the poor and I know that this love isn’t natural, it’s the love of our heavenly Father.
I learn to take my cross upon me and follow Jesus.
All honor belongs to Him, He is the reason we’re able to serve with thankfulness in our hearts. Cause He gave everything for us, so I want to give everything for Him.

-Elli WWAM Student (Germany)

My First Two Weeks

My first two weeks at City of Refuge have been filled with new experiences, new people, and seeing new ways to serve those in need. I have never met people before who have such a heart for serving those in needs. You can tell as soon as you come here that everyone in the community loves Jesus and has a desire to show others Jesus’ love. I look forward to really stepping out of my comfort zone and helping people while showing them the love of Jesus.

-Savannah WWAM Student (Florida)

My First Week

Wow! I’ve only been here five days and so much has happened.

I was thinking about it and at the City of Refuge about 20 people serve 1000!

I have 7 wonderful housemates. I am so excited to get to know everyone!! I get to interact with so many different people, I hope God gives me the discernment when and how much to talk about Jesus. I want to talk about Him all the time, but I realize sometimes too much, too soon can be abrasive. I believe as I trust God more, He will make it more natural. The Mission House is the bomb, Jesus’ love binds us and grow us in unity.

P.S. We all eat together (about 20 people) for dinner and that is just plain awesome.

-Lawrence WWAM Student (San Diego)

Stories of A Student

Beautiful, Messy and Full of Belonging

I stole this title from a true friend of mine, Anna Hull, who was able to sum up my life here in San Diego better than I could have hoped to.
Doing life with others…the painful parts, the funny parts, the parts that make you laugh so hard you look like a dork, the parts that make you wish you could just walk away, the parts that make it hurt to think of walking away, the parts that make you wonder why you ever did life any different than this—were ever scared of a life like this…All of that is beautiful. That broken people would find other broken people. That all our brokenness is in the process of being redeemed. And we get to share in each other’s redemption. Beauty.
Something so beautiful cannot escape being messy. That kind of beauty results in tear-filled eyes and snot-covered faces. That kind of beauty leaves me with a newly-developed and sporadic stutter as I fight to find the words to do it justice. That beauty makes me ache all the way to my soul. That beauty makes so many things not worth fighting for…and makes other things worth fighting harder for.
All of that beauty…and all of that messy…is something I get to be a little part of. We all have our niches in life…the spaces we find and do our best to fill. That is true of all relationships…and that is true of community. I don’t doubt that I, like everyone else here, has a role to play. We each have our own words to tell our own stories. We each have our own pain to share with others. We each have hearts that love in special ways. And we are each touched by things that don’t seem to touch others as much…and all of that makes us who we are.
One of the greatest gifts is to be given the chance to be a part of someone else’s life. Someone giving you space to be in their life, and you giving them space to be in yours. That space doesn’t dictate who they can and cannot be. It is space that says, “You’re more than welcome. You’re more than loved. You belong here. You as you and not as what I want you to be.”
If I have learned nothing in my time here but how to share life with others, I will consider this year beyond worth it. Because when I share life and love others, I’m playing a part in building community. And where community is built, healing comes. And where healing comes, redemption takes over.
-Hannah (W.W.A.M Student)