At 18 years old, I was baptized on November 15, 2020 in the teen ministry of the Seattle Church of Christ.
I was adopted at age four from an orphanage in Armenia. I had many struggles in my early years, like learning English and a new culture. When I was 13, a family invited my family to their family group. My older sister Francesca who was 15 started studying the Bible right away. She was baptized shortly after and this made me start thinking about God.
I was always shy and scared to meet new people. When I was around others, I would hide in the corner and not want to talk to them. I didn’t understand why people prayed to God, studied the Bible and got baptized, but I wanted to know. In my pursuit of God, I continued to come to church and meet people. My mom introduced me to an older woman in the church named Tammy Fleming. She was in town for a year and committed to studying the Bible with me. She became my mentor. Because English was not my first language, I really struggled to understand the context and meaning of the Bible.
I was able to develop a friendship with Tammy and get to know her better. She helped me to connect with God. When she moved, it felt like both she and God abandoned me. I realized I had trust issues and stopped studying the Bible. I struggled a lot with anxiety and depression, as well as in my academics. It was extremely hard for me to make friends. I was also bullied a lot which brought me down at times.
I hadn’t really been to many teen events up to this point. I decided to go to teen camp and it changed my life. After that week of being at camp, getting to know people, and hearing people’s stories and testimonies, I decided to try studying the Bible again. I wanted to put God first. I texted my camp counselor Madeleine about my desire to study the Bible. I was excited to connect with God more than ever and have a better relationship with him. I wanted to get to know his Son, Jesus. I learned from others about their relationship with God, which helped me to continue to pursue God no matter what. I knew I was making the best decision of my life.
My relationships with others are much better now. I know I’ll continue to make mistakes and I will learn from them. Most importantly I know God loves me. I hope to one day study the Bible with another teen girl and help her have a relationship with God. My other dream is to help other teens in our church and be a support for them. I am so excited to continue to learn more about God each day.