Kim’s Story: A Life Transformed
Posted by Michelle Tepper on October 6, 2018
In March, a team of RZIM speakers and volunteers returned to the University of California, Berkeley for a second mission week. One of the many highlights of returning to a campus is that we meet students who seemed totally disinterested the previous year but are just at the point of harvest when we return. This was precisely the case for a student named Kim (Kim’s name has been changed to protect her privacy) who became a Christian on the second day of Fiat Lux*.
Kim was a committed atheist who saw the events advertised the year before but was so against them that she actually walked into a lunch, grabbed the free food, and left. However, this is how she described what was going on inside of her during this time:
“It was hard to be an atheist. My life felt meaningless and it was really very sad. I started to start seeing signs and wanted to believe in God and I started to believe in love again but I didn’t want it to be Jesus and I wouldn’t listen to anyone who suggested Him to me…. After exploring spirituality in almost every other form, including doing drugs and smoking marijuana almost every day, things started happening that made me think about revisiting some of my objections about Jesus, particularly in the weeks leading up to (the second) Fiat Lux.”
This is an important lesson for all of us in our everyday evangelism. So often, those who appear far from God are actually much nearer than we could ever realize.
On the very first evening of the mission, Kim left class early and decided to go for a walk on a part of campus she rarely frequented. She ran into one of our flyering teams and was invited to the “Who Is Jesus?” lunchtime talk the next day. She said she barely slept that night, as she wrestled yet again with her main objections to Jesus Christ. She arrived to the talk the next day exhausted, but ready and willing to ask her most difficult questions. It was at this point of her story that I was introduced to Kim by Caleb, the student who had invited her the previous night. She sat through both lunches and stayed for hours afterward asking both intelligent and honest questions. She told us later, “Everything they were saying made sense more clearly than any other conversation I had ever had about faith. There were even times during the conversation that I felt as if God Himself was speaking to me.” At the end of these long discussions, where her questions were taken seriously, she told us that she wanted to “try to pray” on her own. Kim prayed one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard, repenting of her sins and asking Jesus to come in, make her clean, and fill her with his love.
When she finished, through tears she asked if she could show us a short poem she had posted on Instagram the night before to try and make sense of what she was feeling:
My Journey was certainly planned
Though certainly not by me
I see myself now
Open happy and free
And know it was necessary
Undeniably meant to be.”
Kim knew clearly that the Holy Spirit had been drawing her home even before she had even made up her mind to attend that talk. After she prayed, she was absolutely confident that she had moved from darkness into light.
We invited her to a meeting the next morning. As team members shared stories of what God was doing on campus, she surprised us all when she suddenly put both of her hands up in the air and exclaimed, “You got me!” Incredible joy filled the room as she not only shared her journey of faith, but then encouraged the Christian students on campus to keep going. “This morning I realized that believing in Jesus is the missing puzzle piece to all the negative effects of the past in my life. Suddenly I just feel different and completely new.” She said, “I no longer consider myself spiritual but not religious. I now call myself a Christian.”
Kim was baptized the week after Easter.
This article appears in the Fall 2018 Newsmagazine. To receive the newsmagazine by mail, sign up here.
*Fiat Lux is the motto of UC Berkeley, which is translated from the Latin as “Let There Be Light” and served as the theme for our mission week there.