I was introduced to Ablaze through Louisa and Cass. At that time, I did not have any interest in religion as I grew up in a non-religious household. To be honest, I was quite turned off by it because when I met a religious person and got asked if I was religious, they would start cursing me to hell and say other incredibly confronting insults because I said no. I was taken aback thinking, “Is this what religion is? If it is, then I do not want to be a part of it.”

As the year went on, I went through some tough experiences that affected me in drastic ways. At that time, my parents were arguing quite often over simple matters that resulted in me becoming very distant, which then impacted my education and social abilities. I would often share with Louisa about my issues, and one day she brought me to the school health nurse to talk about my personal problems. She advised me that I should see a doctor, which I did. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and was advised to see a psychologist. However, my psychologist was not helpful, so I relied more on the school health nurse.

One day, Louisa invited me to church and hoped that over time my life would be turned around. I still remembered my first time at church, I was awkward and shy, thinking what everyone else might be thinking of me. Many approached me and wanted to get to know me. At first, I was quite apprehensive because I had never experienced someone openly approaching me and wanting to know me. It was weird, but also great at the same time – to know that the people at church are the most caring, genuine and amazing people I could have ever met.

Over time, I opened my heart, until just over a month ago when I decided to commit my life to following Jesus Christ. I still remembered Pastor Torch was with me, arm around my shoulder just praying for the Lord to come and bless my soul. And He did. He came down from the heavens, put His arm around my shoulder and walked me through a bright white door leaving everything else behind. I remembered telling this to Pastor Torch afterwards, that this commitment I am making is not a new chapter in my life. It is a new book, and God was the teacher while I was the student taking down notes.

Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

That night, I knew I had to surrender everything to him – by seeking him with all my heart, and submitting everything in my life to follow in his light. While my depression and anxiety were not completely eradicated from my life, I knew that God will always be there for me. Whether it be for prayer or just to tell him about my day or how I feel, I knew he would always be there to listen to me. Becoming a Christian was a big jump for me, and it has brought me one huge step closer to my recovery. It may take weeks or months, but nonetheless, I have God, and most importantly, I have the church, as a family.

Anthony Quach
Graphic Design Student
Ablaze Powerhouse, Ablaze Service