jasmineOn August 21, 2014, I came to The Ohio State University for graduate school. I learned about IFI during Student Orientation Week at OSU. I was interested immediately because I am passionate about Jesus Christ and enjoy learning about different cultures.

Having no friends or family in Columbus made me uncomfortable. But when I started to attend the IFI Bible study led by Rich Mendola, I felt accepted and welcomed. I knew that learning about IFI and meeting Pastor Rich wasn’t a coincidence; this was God’s plan.

Although I am an introvert, being in Bible study grew me spiritually. I became bolder than ever been before. I used to be very afraid of meeting new people and always worried about others’ opinions of me, so I never spoke much in large groups. At Friday night Bible studies, I became comfortable expressing myself and opening up in the presence of others. I learned to step outside my comfort zone. I was never this active in any organization as an undergraduate!

In Pastor Rich’s group, we studied the Book of Acts. It was very inspiring to see the apostles’ boldness. I also grew in Christ by seeing people from different backgrounds, cultures, and traditions worship and serve one God together. No matter how different we are as people, we are one in Christ. It is amazing to be part of how Christ is moving in every nation. This is why I love IFI.

I have found Pastor Rich to be a passionate man of God of great integrity. I pray that one day I’ll be able to lead people the way Pastor Rich does. I’m grateful that I was under his leadership as God prepares me for what He has ordained for my life.