An Alpha Story: April Valdez

For a long time, I had been hearing about Alpha on Sunday mornings and was curious about what it was and why people spoke so enthusiastically about it. Not only that, people would attend it multiple times! It sounded life changing for others and I wanted to find out what it was all about. The only challenge was that it met on Wednesday nights which was logistically impossible with our family’s unique schedule.

Then one Sunday it was announced that a weekday morning Alpha group was kicking off and I knew this was my chance. I wondered how this could possibly change my life as I have been a Christian my whole life. From the first meeting, I enjoyed the Nicky Gumbel DVD and the questions it brought up really did get me thinking, quietly at first.

Our group had both men and women in it and having both perspectives represented was not only insightful but also very interesting and often humorous. We looked forward to sharing breakfast together and catching up with one another before the DVD and meeting began.

As weeks went by, we started having honest, deep conversations within our small group during the discussion time and it led to us really listening and encouraging one another. One week we felt led to pray for each person individually and it was an amazing spiritual experience for all of us. Each Sunday when we see each other now, we are sure to greet each other and check in on how each other is and there are some people that I have developed stronger friendships with and a couple of people that I am beginning new friendships with. Alpha is such a non-stressful, easy way to get to know people better.

Towards the end of Alpha, I started noticing a hunger about reading God’s Word and showing God’s love towards others. I learned about some helpful phone apps that I have continued to use to stay in God’s Word throughout the day.

Alpha challenged me to be more open about my faith during everyday experiences. After seeing the people being interviewed in the DVD, it became even more clear that many, if not most, people are desperately searching for meaning, answers and their own sense of worth in this world. In the past, my thinking was that “I didn’t want to bother or impose on them” because I thought in order to show God’s love and share His message, I needed to “witness” to them. Alpha changed my thinking – first, people are so lost and lonely and looking to fill that emptiness inside and secondly, if I am honest and open about how God’s love, grace, and the value I have in Him has changed my life and continues to do so on a daily basis, people will want to ask about it and be open to God.

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