I grew up in St. Luke’s, but I only knew two people. Eventually, as I got involved in Sunday Sing (Thanks, Jane Long!) and later in Student Ministries and Pure Sound, I began to make more and more friends. These friendships helped me through some rough times. I had started to become resentful toward God and believed He didn’t care about me at all. I started to harden my heart toward Him, and then I spoke up about it to my friends. They showed me God truly does love me. They stuck by me and loved me until I decided to open up my heart and listen to what they had to say. Then, I began to believe that God actually does care for me and is there for me when I need him. Even if He doesn’t answer instantly, His ways are always good. Through this community, God brought me to a place where I could receive his love. I can’t imagine where I would be if these people hadn’t been in my life.

Samuel Montano is one of our rising seniors, is a student leader, a constant presence in Pure Sound productions and is core member of our student community. Like so many of us, he was desperate for a sense of belonging. It was his peers simply seeing another person beyond their own needs and living out the gospel that brought him through that season of struggle. What Samuel won’t tell you is the number of middle school students who name him as the person who has inspired them to take the next step in their faith. They name Sam as the one who made them feel seen, loved, and like they belong. They name him as their inspiration to become part of our student leadership, so they can have the chance to do the same for another like he did for them.

Joseph Patty, Associate Director of Student Ministries