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Bronx, NY 10471
Dear Seek Sponsors,
Thank you so much for funding the SEEK conference and providing me an opportunity to go to SEEK 2015 in Nashville, TN. If it wasn’t for your donations I would not have been able to go. I am so grateful for attending SEEK. It was a life-changing experience. I wanted to attend SEEK so that I could meet new friends in Christ and so that I could grow closer to God; my wish was abundantly granted. Immediately on the bus traveling to SEEK from New York, God began speaking to me through the conversations I had with new friends on the bus. I took to heart Father Emmanuel’s words that we should not wait to get to the conference before opening our hearts to encountering God; we can experience God even through our mundane bus ride conversations. From the bus ride to attending the conference in Nashville, I had many providential conversations with new and old friends, in which we encouraged and prayed for each other to overcome our individual struggles. Each day God gave me peace and hope through the people I met at SEEK.
I witnessed Jesus fulfill his words “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew18:20). Our beloved campus missionary, Niru de Silva, poignantly observed, “We are 5,000 more than Jesus’s quota of being in our midst.” The Holy Spirit presented Himself at the conference, from daily Mass, to the impact sessions, to the seemingly ordinary people I talked with. There was an air of joy and peace. Many of the impact sessions encouraged me and even challenged me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
One particular impact session shook me to the core and directly challenged my complacency about the pro-life movement. Abby Johnson gave a talk titled “How Conversions Happen;” as a former non-believer and employee of Planned Parenthood, she described the horror and reality of abortion. Her simple descriptions were so unnerving that I wanted to leave the room, which also explains her impulse for leaving Planned Parenthood and beginning her conversion to Catholicism. When she described how she assisted in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week old baby, I felt like I had just witnessed a murder and was helpless to prevent it. I could only sit there and listen to her words. Abby told us that the reason why abortion still exists in our society is because we remain silent. That’s when I decided that I no longer wanted to contribute to the deaths of innocent unborn babies by my silence. Abby said that when it comes to ending abortion, prayer without action is not enough. I felt convicted because I didn’t even pray for ending abortion, let alone speak out against it. I grew up believing in the pro-choice political view, but even after being convinced of the innate value of unborn human beings, I was still complacent about acting against abortion. Now I want to be actively pro-life and speak the truth in love to others.
From clearly realizing the atrocities of abortion to being comforted by the presence of 10,000 people seeking Christ at SEEK, I came to an awareness of how deeply God loves me and wants to guide me into His truth and life. I was initially nervous about going to SEEK, but after the conference finished, I unexpectedly observed that I was now afraid to return back to my normal worldly life with the risk of losing the flame set ablaze in my heart. I pray that God will keep this flame lit throughout the year. I will treasure my memory of SEEK, and I feel blessed to begin my new year with rejuvenated faith, hope, and love.