An End Is A New BeginningJuly 20, 2012
By Timothy Hill, ELN student in Westminster, CA, at Catalyst
Only days separate me from my graduation from Catalyst, the ELN program here in Westminster California. I now have the privilege to look back on the amazing moments, memories, and life changing experiences I had while being an ELN student. I know, spiritually speaking, it’s impossible to take a before and after picture and see the change, but I know God did some amazing things in my life. Aside from getting my spiritual walk rock solid, my outward actions have begun to change as well, and I even feel different. I’m sure that every ELN student can attest to the amazing things they experienced, but this is my story.
Two years ago I was just finishing up High School. My heart was set on going to a four-year university to become a police officer. God was ultimately the deciding factor for me to come to Westminster. Each ELN program is unique and offers different things. Catalyst is a one or two year internship in beautiful Orange County. I moved from Washington State to join this program not knowing exactly what I should expect. It was a huge step of faith into the unknown, trusting God that He will guide and take care of me. I knew that dedicating the next two years of my life to the Lord would be positive, so I went for it!
I discovered that ELN programs don’t remove you from reality, but they allow you to experience daily life and the challenges that come along with it. Some of the greatest lessons I learned from being in ELN happened when I had to deal with real life issues that stretched me way passed my comfort zone.
I’ll never forget being asked by our lead pastor, Aaron Bull, to help him with the Sunday message. I was immediately stricken with fear and doubted my abilities. “Who am I? All the people in our church are much wiser than I am”. But my pastor saw my potential and pushed me to accomplish things I had previously thought were impossible. After that experience I began to have more confidence in myself as a minister. After going through Catalyst and constantly breaking through my comfort zones, I now know I am way more capable than what I ever thought possible.
The greatest victory for me was being able to manage my stress in the face of adversity. My first year of Catalyst was filled with things that continually were stressing me (going to camps, serving in the church, serving in the community and going abroad). I felt overwhelmed began to literally worry myself sick. But during my second year, God has taught me how to take each day as it comes and to stay calm, trusting in Him, despite how overwhelming a challenge or task may seem to be. I am proud to say that today marks 14 months I haven’t been sick! God is good.
Catalyst has rocked my world and my walk with Jesus is stronger than ever. As my ELN time comes to an end I am not saddened or worried about what is next. I know that this end is just a new beginning. For me, I am called to become a missionary, so after I graduate I will be spending time serving my church as a Missions Director. I have been blessed to meet and network with some amazing people while being an ELN and it has opened doors that will allow me to take my next steps. I encourage people to look into ELN programs like Catalyst. I know without a doubt in my mind it would radically change your life.
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).
This entry was posted in Articles, Featured and tagged Catalyst, Discipleship, ELN, ELN Student, Ministry, School of Ministry, Southwest District, Stories. Bookmark the permalink.