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Stories

God is working in many lives and we hope you find encouragement by some of these stories. 

Is God working in your life? Tell us about it, we'd love to hear what God is doing. 

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Lauren Grisa

Lauren Grisa

"...I can now say that my decision to become baptized is out of a desire to be obedient to the Lord in this sacrament and identify with His death, burial and resurrection; unite with this body of believers; demonstrate humility before this congregation..."

Read the rest of Lauren's story here.

Chris Cavadini

"...I began to understand how much Christ wanted me, and I couldn’t help but respond in gratitude and a willingness to serve Him..."

Read the rest of Chris' story here.

Liz Cavadini

Liz Cavadini

"...On the very last night, the speaker was reading through Romans 5:6-8, and it finally clicked for me. I was overwhelmed with emotion to hear that even at my lowest, darkest point, God had been there and had been seeking me, even when I had abandoned Him..." 

Read the rest of Liz's story here.

Annalise Benjamin

"...After some time I decided to accept Jesus into my heart and let him be Lord of my life..."

Read the rest of Annalise's story here.

Annalise Benjamin
Philip Cowles

Philip Cowles

"...I had known those things since the days my first memories formed, but this time I thought about Him differently—as one who really deserves my worship and one who truly plays a role in my life in spite of any sin or mistakes that I have made..."

Read the rest of Philip's story here.

Matthew Haak

"...Suddenly I was looking at everything with new eyes, it all made sense, creation, my sinful condition, my need for a savior, God himself coming to pay the price. Everything that I ever wanted to be true even though I didn’t know it really was true..."

Read the rest of Matthew's story here.

Matthew Haak
Holly McKee

Holly McKee

"...I got up that Sunday but when I got there the service had already started because I had the time wrong, and being new, I didn’t want to walk in late. I got on my phone and found out that High Point had a later service that I would still be able to make..."

Read the rest of Holly's story here.

Asher Tatreau

"I became a Christian at age 5 because the rest of my family were Christians. Back then I didn't exactly understand what Christianity was, but now, because of High Point Church and School, I understand more. I am ready to be baptized for a representation of my faith and so other people can feel comfortable talking to me about Christianity and religious stuff knowing I'm a Christian."

Natalie Pinka

"...I don’t know everything about being a Christian, but I continue to be surrounded by people that are teaching me about God and showing by example what it means to be a Christian. I feel like my next step in faith is to be baptized."

Read the rest of Natalie's story here.

Before I was a Christian, I got good grades from work and sports for myself. At times, I wouldn't tell the truth because I was tired. Sometimes I would get confronted and I would say I am sorry without really meaning it.

I heard many times at church and at home of how to except Jesus into my heart. I thought about it and ask questions. After some time, I decided to except Jesus into my heart and let him be Lord of my life.

After I excepted Jesus into my heart, I decided to start a Bible study for me and my friends. That way we can grow in our relationship with Christ. I started to do things for the glory of God, and not just for myself.

I don’t remember a time that I didn’t know Christ. I was about 5 years old when I decided to follow Jesus. My parents were the first people that I can remember that told me about Christianity. I can also remember Mrs. Phyl (My four-five room Sunday school teacher) having a large impact on me. I didn’t fully understand Christianity then, but I did know that Mrs. Phyl was a Christian and she was always kind and compassionate. She made me want to become a Christian.  

I have been going to church for as long as I can remember. I have learned that I am a sinner and that the only person that could live a perfect life was Jesus. Jesus died for my sins so I could be with God when I die. I wanted this and one day I sat down with my mom in our computer room and I prayed to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation.

Knowing Jesus, I learned that some things that other people do were sinful and that I shouldn’t do them, like saying God’s name in vain. All through elementary school, I was known as the “goody two shoes”. I didn’t swear or say “oh my god." I didn’t realize that people really thought of me as the “goody two shoes” until about 5th grade. I thought that maybe I was being too good and should start acting like them. I don’t like to stand out, but I now know that being a Christian, you probably will. I have also learned that you only feel weird about the way that you act when you are around people that don’t act like you. Now I’m more careful about who I hang around with.  

Sometimes standing out can be a good thing. I met a girl in 5th grade whose mom is a drug addict and she didn’t have a dad. She told me things like how she was worried about her mom and how her mom was dating someone who was also a drug addict. I was glad that she felt like she could tell me these things and I felt honored that she trusted me. I realize now that it was a missed opportunity and that it was the perfect time to share Christ with her.  

I don’t know everything about being a Christian, but I continue to be surrounded by people that are teaching me about God and showing by example what it means to be a Christian. I feel like my next step in faith is to be baptized.

I grew up in Rockford, IL with two amazing, supportive parents who did not practice any religion but always pushed me to explore and make the decision of what I believed on my own. They did send me to Lutheran school throughout my education because of the quality of the school, so I was able to study the stories and scriptures in depth prior to my relationship with God. I was also surrounded with teachers and friends, who I trusted throughout my childhood, all believing in God’s word.

Starting around 6th grade, I remember begging my mom to take me to a middle school small group hosted by a local church every Wednesday. The reason I wanted to be there was because all my friends were going but what I gained from those groups changed my life forever. I started to have a relationship with God and realized that there was so much more to life when you walked with Him, but still was always skeptical because I didn’t understand how it could be real if the two most important people in my life didn’t believe in it.

Throughout high school I continued to attend these types of events—including attending weekly Sunday services with a choir my high school had, singing at a different service each week. I continued to question the validity of a relationship with God but was amazed hearing the things he was doing in the lives of those surrounding me. Although I was still fighting it, I knew deep down that this was the direction I wanted my life to go in.

I came to the University of Wisconsin and attended church irregularly. So, although my relationship with God continued, I would not say that it continued to grow. I then attended graduate school in another part of the country and learned of the death of my best friend’s fathers here in Madison shortly after moving there. It hit me hard and my friend wasn’t allowing anyone to help him get through it. I turned to God more than I ever had before and started attending church regularly to help process, cope and figure out a way to reach my best friend. Every week I went to service, I would pray before, asking for it to help me with someone specific or just be what I needed to hear that week and every week that prayer was answered. I started to truly believe that I was never alone, especially in such a dark time in my life.

After just a few months away, I moved back to Madison and realized on the first weekend here that I needed to find a church to attend. I started to research and found one that was close to me. I got up that Sunday but when I got there the service had already started because I had the time wrong, and being new, I didn’t want to walk in late. I got on my phone and found out that High Point had a later service that I would still be able to make. The first week here, I cried through the entire sermon because it sounded like Nic was talking directly about my life and knew exactly what I needed that day. I know now that God had me miss the service at the church I intended to go to because High Point is where I am supposed to be.

I have never made the step to get baptized, because as you can tell from my testimony, I never stuck with one church for very long. It was hard for me to stay open and listen to what God was saying because I never truly felt like a part of the congregation. I know that High Point is where I will stay and continue to go because of the presence of God I feel when I walk into the doors and all the amazing people here.

Hi everyone, my name is Matthew Haak. I am a senior here at the university and I became a believer in January of this year. Before meeting Jesus I was overall pretty content with my life. I didn’t believe in anything but that wasn’t an issue for me. I was completely comfortable having fun in everything I did while looking forward to making a lot of money in the business world. Sure, there was no real meaning to any of that but I was fine to live in that relative meaning and relative enjoyment throughout my life.

Initially, I was completely set on the idea that there was absolutely nothing, no God and no meaning, life was just a wonderfully coincidence. However, while I was happy to belittle believers for having no ‘evidence’ to support their beliefs, I realized that I did not really have any evidence to support mine. At that point I started being curious about the ways that people answered life’s greatest questions, always thinking that it was ridiculous for anyone to assert that they had knowledge of an absolute truth.

Things really began to matter when it came to belief when I met a wonderfully firm believer who had Christ very near to her heart. Before meeting her, I thought it was ridiculous for people to live their life by any set of beliefs, I saw my religion only as a topic of study, nothing more, but here was someone who clearly had something that I did not, and that really bothered me. I loved asking her questions, she answered from a perspective of certainty and joy that just didn’t make any sense to me. Of course, I mostly thought she was closed-minded about it and frankly a little bit crazy, so naturally I started to fall in love with her, but, though I didn’t know it, I was truly falling in love with what she had that I didn’t, even though I had no idea what that something was. After a while I started to realize that what she had had something to do with God, I knew that much, so I started reading her Bible while she wasn’t in the room and asking more questions as casually as I could. Eventually that desire grew stronger, but I started trying to get to God through her, which of course wasn’t going to work out, at which point we parted ways.

At that point I wasn’t going to waste any time, I was going to examine the evidence for myself and see what the deal was with this whole “Jesus” business. So I read, I read countless articles about atheists becoming Christians. As I read and I read I became obsessed and I realized that if I cared this much about something then on some level I must believe it. Suddenly I was looking at everything with new eyes, it all made sense, creation, my sinful condition, my need for a savior, God himself coming to pay the price. Everything that I ever wanted to be true even though I didn’t know it really was true.

After that night I ran wild with my newfound treasure, I found some community with people who were working with Cru in Bologna, I was studying abroad at the time, and not two weeks after accepting Christ, I was on the streets of Bologna sharing my faith. Getting to know God has since been a great adventure, I loved reading the Bible and listening to sermons all the time. In my mind there was nothing more important, nothing more practical, nothing more interesting and nothing more fun. It has been an adventure getting to know God throughout this year. Suddenly everything matters, you see people as creations of God and not genetic coincidences, things that I do can finally make a difference and can even last forever. I’ve realized that before I never truly dared to dream, I probably still don’t know how to, but “impossible” has gone out the window.

I am unexplainably excited for what lies ahead in my walk with God, even though I have no idea where it is leading me. Life has purpose, life has hope, and there are a lot of people living without either of those things. I can’t wait to tell the world of the treasure I’ve found. 

I was about four years old when I decided I wanted to be a Christian. I can’t tell you a date, but I do remember what I understood and believed that day: there was a Creator who made the earth and all the things on it, including me, my family, and everyone who ever lived. I understood that He sent Jesus—that was His Son—to die on a cross, and I understood that He knew my name and the number of hairs on my head. I knew the basics of the gospel, including the bit about living forever if we believe in Him, so I said a prayer and “asked Jesus into my heart,” as it’s so often phrased in Sunday school.

Week after week as I grew up, I’d hear sermons from The Bible and stories in Sunday school from grown-ups. From kindergarten until 8th grade I went to a small Christian school. My parents would often pray with my brother and me at night. Everywhere I turned, I had great examples and influences who taught scripture, memorization, and school subjects from a God-centered point of view.

Even though I knew all the things that Christians were and weren’t supposed to do, my heart didn’t always sync up with my brain. I wasn’t ever much of a “bad kid,” but most of the time it just didn’t feel exciting or life-changing to be a Christian. Deep down I wanted to be part of the bigger, “cooler” public school. More people, more friends, more freedom, more fun.

Going into high school and college, I eventually entered that bigger world that brought with it more people, along with the wide variety of backgrounds, personalities, and life experiences that came with them. After leaving my home town and going to college, every now and then I would find time to pray, go to church, and actually think about God. But in reality, most of my time in college was spent either pursuing my studies and being fully immersed in classroom projects, or hanging out with friends and partying. It seemed to make sense to me: balance learning and productivity with a good amount of fun.

It wasn’t until my final year of school that my brain pulled a 180. Between the anxiety of several classes and projects, some drama-filled friendships, my grandma passing away, the uncertainty of what a full-time job might look like, and some encouraging readings from the published books of a family friend, I began to think seriously about not just what was next in life, but the grand concept of eternity.

A God existed, and He was a Creator. He made the earth and all the things on it, including me, my family, and everyone who ever lived. I had known those things since the days my first memories formed, but this time I thought about Him differently, as one who really deserves my worship and one who truly plays a role in my life in spite of any sin or mistakes that I have made. I started to absorb sermons, messages, and scripture in a new way, and I began to consistently think about my non-Christian friends and their eternities. I’d casually talk to God about people in my life and think afterwards, “whoa, that seemed way more authentic than it ever has before.”

After transitioning from school to a full-time job, work became my primary focus. With it came some long hours, overwhelming projects and stress, and somewhat of an isolation from community. After a couple years of this routine, I realized a stable community was what I most needed for consistent growth and to live out my faith with others. During the process of a job change, I questioned what other changes I needed to make and became more intentional about seeking that community. High Point became the church in which I found that.

In the years since then, I’ve realized that I have developed a new level of trust and comfort in God, I don’t stress about the world’s ongoing troubles in the midst of headlines filled with fear, and I’ve gained a new understanding of God’s grace despite my own brokenness and sin. Even though I’ve always understood the concept of sin and human fallenness, I now have a greater appreciation and awe for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for those who put their trust in Him.

I’m excited to be baptized because I recognize that at this point in my life, my heart is more in sync with my brain than it’s ever been when it comes to having a walk and an ever-growing relationship with God. I want to make a public declaration of my beliefs to family and friends, and to show that I want Him to be at the heart of my friendships and relationships, my role as a leader in marriage, and someday a family of my own.

 

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