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  • Angela Baerg

A Seed in Fertile Soil: The Spiritual Journey of a Nosoca Pines Ranch Camper

Felicia Sanders’ week at Nosoca Pines Ranch Summer Camp was pivotal, her first memory of being in a church environment. She had begun praying and studying her Bible at age 13, but while she was at camp, God spoke to her very clearly. The week culminated in a performance set to the song “Without Jesus,” where 16-year-old Felicia played the main character who was running to the foot of the cross. That skit reflected her real-life journey. Back home, answering God’s call to her heart, she began to regularly attend Lincolnton Seventh-Day Adventist Church in N.C. In 2020, she was baptized. She also put her faith first when it came to choosing a college, enrolling in Southern Adventist University. Initially she was nervous about her new adventure, but she stepped out in faith. “The more you say yes to God, the greater the heights He brings you to,” Felicia says. “I was a seed ready to burst, and I am grateful that I was planted in fertile soil at Southern.”

Felicia joined SALT (Soul-winning And Leadership Training), an outreach program organized by Southern in partnership with It Is Written. The program is founded on the theory that all of God’s followers are called to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:14). Felicia enjoyed going two-by-two to knock on doors and share the gospel. Her favorite memory was when a particular man answered the door, and his face lit up. “He was so excited for his Bible study with us,” Felicia remembers. “He had been recently released from prison, and he had some big challenges and some hard questions.” Felicia has participated in many ministries during her time at Southern. She has spent time canvassing through LEAD (Literature Evangelism and Discipleship), which is an opportunity for Southern students through Georgia-Cumberland Conference. She has taken part in three mission trips, and especially enjoyed collaborating with her peers to write and present their own youth evangelistic series in New Zealand. In addition, she has been involved with LifeGroups, which are small groups on campus aimed at encouraging spiritual growth, and she currently leads a LifeGroup with the friends she made in SALT. She loves collaborating to find ways to apply God’s word to the challenges they encounter in their daily lives.

“Coals stay warm together,” she says. “Separate one and it goes dim. I know, for many people, LifeGroups can be their anchor point for the week.” Felicia, currently a junior psychology and religious studies double major, plans to pursue a master’s degree in biblical counseling. She hopes to use the skills she is developing through her outreach activities to integrate a biblically-founded mental health message into her counseling and help people battle difficulties such as anxiety, depression, and addiction. From her time at Nosoca Pines Ranch to now being at Southern, Felicia is following where God leads so she can share Him with others. “Being at Southern opens me up to a world of mission opportunities, and for that I am most grateful,” she says. “In addition to academics, I’m being equipped to share Jesus wherever and with whomever the Lord should lead me to!”

—Angela Baerg, Southern Adventist University

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