ARISE, for me, is the continuing of a journey. My journey became a reality two years ago with a challenge from a friend who said, “If we believe this stuff, we should do it.” At that point I wasn’t even sure if I “believed this stuff” but I decided right then to not fake my way through life pretending to be a Christian. I prayed an earnest and sincere prayer for truth and it was then that a new life of meaning began. ARISE promotes this earnest searching and enables the students to have confidence in the Bible as the living, powerful, life-changing Word of God.

ARISE, for me, is about relationships. In the class of 2010 there were about 50 students from all over the world. I found that friendships formed through the common denominator of the love of Christ are the strongest friendships that exist. True joy is experienced in sharing the love of God with others, and for three months my wife and I were able to experience this real joy on a daily basis. I remember all of us singing one Friday night (50+ people), loving God with all our hearts and souls through song, and then looking at a friend we had met when we were going door to door. She wasn’t singing–she wasn’t able to because she had tears of joy streaming down her face. For her and for all of us such moments were little tastes of what heaven will be like.

She wasn’t singing–she wasn’t able to because she had tears of joy streaming down her face.

ARISE, for me, is about learning. ARISE teachers know the Bible because they have wrestled with it and have asked God for wisdom. ARISE teachers are human; they became our friends. At ARISE we memorized scripture, read books, and found out why we believe what we believe. I can’t tell you what my favorite class was because it continues to change even now as I look over my notes almost six months later.

ARISE, for me, is about a changed life. Everybody has a story. We have all at some point in our lives fallen short of the glory of God. ARISE brings these stories out. But they aren’t really painful regrets. They become joyous realizations that who we were, we no longer need to be. In Christ we are a new creation. What’s your testimony? If you have a hard time answering this question, ask God what He is doing in you. And consider going to ARISE.

Kevin and his wife Danelle are graduates of our Cornerstone program and are currently Bibleworking at the South Hill Adventist Church in Spokane, WA..