Unfinished Story | My Testimony | Oceans Edge Intern
By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern. My unfinished story begins when I gave my heart to Jesus at age 11. Growing up I participated in campus ministries, discipleship groups and Bible studies while walking closely with God for many years. When I turned 21, I began my gradual drift from God and became enticed with partying. Although I never denounced Jesus, I began questioning God’s goodness. Why would a “good” God forbid something seeming so fun and life giving? I had one foot in the “God door” and the other in a “party door”. I didn’t know it at the time, but I received a high from partying. Unfortunately, that “high” was actually a false imitation of the abundant life I was truly searching for. As I continued this party routine, I began feeling my life lose fullness and meaning. Consequentially, I drifted further from intimacy with Jesus.
At 22, I graduated college and moved to work in Australia for one year. I was sick of the emptiness that partying had brought, and I needed a change. I promised myself I would ditch the party lifestyle and find a church and Christian community in Australia. By the grace of God, I did just that. In my free time, I surfed and attended a Bible study through Christian Surfers Australia. After being involved with this ministry for about 6 months, I began serving as a Christian Surfer leader to the kids in the local surf community. I also began to attend a local church called Thrive. I wanted to get more involved at church, so I volunteered with the high-school youth group. As a result, I discovered a passion and gifting for reaching and impacting youth for Jesus.
Change of Scenery
After my Australian work visa expired in November 2015, I applied for a six-month work visa in New Zealand, and moved to a small beach town called New Plymouth. I worked as a waitress to make money and became involved serving with Christian Surfers New Zealand by helping teach kids to surf. In April 2016, I moved back to the States and worked for a Christian summer camp called TbarM Christian Camps. I was a camp counselor mostly working with high-school-aged girls.
At the end of camp, I was trying to sort out what my next steps should be, so I talked with my boss, Natalie. She shared with me about a mission trip she went on for a month in Jaco, Costa Rica. As a result, she suggested I check out a local church there. I emailed the pastor’s wife, Sarah, and she said there was a need in the church that I could help fill as an intern. Soon after I committed to going and now I am living in Costa Rica for six months. In conclusion, if the Lord leads me to stay longer, I will make an additional 1-2 year commitment. I am curious and excited to see how my unfinished story will continue.