Reggie Anderson

Ozora Student Pastor

Growing up, I was always taught to do the “right thing”. At home, it seemed to go well for me, but when I went to school and other arenas, I discovered that doing the “right thing” doesn’t always end well. It leads to being “stuck on an island” and more times than not, leads to many disappointments. Nevertheless, at this time I considered myself a Christian solely because our family consistently went to church and people knew me as a “good person”. One Sunday morning, the summer between my fourth and fifth grade year, my Youth Pastor asked if everyone knew what it meant to be a Christian
 and understood why we were participating in the Lord's Supper.

Honestly, my parents never allowed me to partake in the Lord’s Supper because they wanted me to do it when I fully understood what it meant. However, this Sunday, students were allowed to participate in it during our own youth group. I was like, “Oh yeah! This is my opportunity to have the juice and the wafer”. Anyway, the Youth Pastor said that if we did not understand what it means to be a Christian, or if we did not understand The Lord’s Supper, that we should return the juice and wafer. In a room of thirty five students, some being close friends of mine, I expected to be one of many students who would return their juice and wafer but soon discovered that I was one of only two. And to make matters worse, I had never met the other student. An awkward moment for sure, but it was the best moment of my life. Afterwards, my Youth Pastor talked with me privately and explained what it means to be a Christian, how to become one and the joy of living life with Jesus.

This moment brought clarity to Romans 10:9-10 and gave me reasons for doing the “right thing”. I no longer did the “right thing” to stay out of trouble, but because Jesus wanted me to. In the following days, months and years, I discovered Jesus to be my “best friend”. Jesus comforted me through lonely moments of school and gave me the love and confidence to talk with anyone, even strangers. Today, Jesus has given me a beautiful wife, and two loving kids. I enjoy the journey God has placed me on and I would not trade it for anything!

Being an outsider is tough, but there’s great joy in being accepted by Jesus. Without my personal encounters with Him, I would never be interested in doing good things, nor would I have the heart for people that I currently possess. People are hurting, but I firmly believe that Jesus is willing to comfort them.