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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.

Intentional Change

Testimony of intentional change in Australia, change of scenery in New Zealand and next steps, Unfinished Story
Unfinished Story

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

Testimony, intentional change, Australia, change of scenery,New Zealand, next steps, unfinished story
Unfinished story

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.


Next Steps

Testimony, intentional change, Australia, change of scenery,New Zealand, next steps, unfinished story
Unfinished Story

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.