“Because my relationship with God changed, my life did too.”
Leyla came to the United States from Central Asia as an exchange student. She spoke very little English, knew no one, and schools were shut down because of the pandemic.
“My first year here was not good,” she remembers. “I barely spoke English, and I was failing not only most of my classes at school, but I was failing in life.“
Leyla missed her mother and sister, her familiar culture, and she mourned a difficult relationship with her father, who had left their family years before.
While her host family brought her along to church and youth activities, she seemed disengaged and disinterested in these experiences. Until the church offered Alpha Youth.
“Alpha was a safe space for Leyla to bring her honest questions,” said Tom, one of the church’s student leaders. “She realized she could connect her real-life story, experience, and pain to her faith, and Jesus had something to say about it.”
“At Alpha, I not only had a great time, but it also helped me to stop feeling like I’m not enough, or I am a lost cause,” said Leyla. “It helped me to build a relationship with God. And because my relationship with God changed, my life did too.”
Shelbi, Leyla’s other Alpha Youth leader shared, “One night, Leyla had an experience with the Holy Spirit which looked like an outpouring of his grace to be able to forgive her dad and go on the journey of mending that relationship. It’s been a complete and total transformation in her life.”
Leyla experienced healing through Jesus, and she is now a leader in the student ministry. She regularly prays for other students and shares her testimony with other groups.
“She is there every week, and she recently participated in a local outreach,” said Tom. “She is dedicated, wanting to learn, hungry, and committed.”
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