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Student Week of Prayer Highlights Personal Testimonies

James Shim, April 30, 2014
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The entire campus—students, staff, and faculty—gathered together as a community of faith during Student Week of Prayer. During this special week, April 14-18, students shared personal testimonies that were both relatable and honest as they described how God has changed their lives in the past and directed their future.

Eleven student speakers presented to a full church sanctuary each morning and evening, with the exception of Thursday evening, when two students, Brandon Olds and Jaryn Hart, spoke.

Pacific Union College hosts a week of spiritual revival every quarter; however, the Week of Prayer during spring quarter is especially significant as it features student speakers sharing about their faith. Hearing peers—both under and lower-classmen—speak openly about their spiritual journeys made the presentations truly relatable and the lessons even more applicable.

“It’s amazing how during Fall and Winter Revival we schedule the ‘big guns’ of Adventism: Jose Rojas, Michael Kelly, etc.,” stated PUC Chaplain Laffit Cortes. “However, they do not have the same effect as the students listening to their peers.”

The presenters represented diverse areas of study, from film and television to psychology, and each shared their unique spiritual journey, illustrating that despite the different types of issues an individual struggles with, God can work in anyone.

Thursday morning’s presentation fell during the college’s Colloquy Speaker Series time and featured senior theology major Miguel Verazas. Verazas shared his testimony about how God’s grace led him through the challenge of putting himself through college and obtaining his degree. After being placed on academic leave at another institution, Verazas found himself unmotivated and without a real passion in his life. During his Student Week of Prayer sermon, he opened up to his fellow students about the passion he found after he put God control in his life. Verasaz will be graduating with June with his degree in theology and embarking on his pastoral career.

A constant theme throughout the week was the student speakers reminding their peers that regardless of how rocky their past may be, God can still use them once they surrender to Him.

Josue Hernandez will be PUC’s student association religious vice president next year and spoke for Friday evening’s Vespers program. “Just the thought of speaking in front of my peers was enough to make my palms sweat and heart beat faster,” Hernandez said. “Any time you have to ‘open up’ about anything there is a certain fear that you have to overcome. Nonetheless, I was greatly blessed by the opportunity to share some of my experiences and see how the students responded afterwards. Needless to say, I was blessed by the support and positive feedback.”