I knew I was in for something special.

As Randy and Shandra Ban picked me up from the airport, I asked them what ARISE was all about – was it a school for missionaries? They told me it was a school that connected people with Jesus. I nodded my head, pleased.

We drove up a steep, winding road for what seemed like hours. As the sun was setting, I looked out through the trees to the world below. Eventually the “ARISE” sign came into view and we came to a stop in the parking lot.

“What is this? The United Nations?”

Upon climbing out of the van, I met my roommate; a Frenchman named Gaetan. I stepped into the kitchen where I met my British classmate, Yon, whose style words cannot describe; Rayon, from Holland, was the ideal European; Nelis, a dashing white man from South Africa; and KC, a friendly girl from the Philippines who immediately offered me tiny tropical bananas.

I thought to myself, “What is this? The United Nations?”

That feeling that this was something special was growing. I couldn’t believe that God had brought me all the way from the city of Philadelphia to the top of a mountain in Sonora, California to be a part of this.

I would learn more in the next three-and-a-half months than I thought was possible to grasp in an entire lifetime. I was to be equipped with the tools necessary for soulwinning by instructors who were both challenging and inspiring. There were no excuses left: I was to be a missionary everywhere I went for the rest of my life.

But most importantly, I would see that Jesus–His Spirit, His love, and His Word–must live inside of me. During Bible Boot Camp, while Matt Parra was teaching the Remnant Church Bible study, I had the most amazing epiphany: I am part of God’s remnant church, a part of the most exciting work that is to be done in these last days!

What’s cooler than that?

I would learn more in the next three-and-a-half months than I thought was possible to grasp in an entire lifetime.

No move is more fantastic. No story more gripping or intriguing than the one God is writing while He uses His remnant people to warn and prepare the world for His soon return!

I thought to myself, “This is it! This is where I want to be. There is no better use of my time, life, blood, sweat and tears. I am part of God’s great end-time movement and this is not a fantasy. It’s a reality.”

Lee G is a graduate of our Cornerstone program and is currently Bibleworking at the Germantown Adventist Church in Philadelphia, PA. This summer, he will be returning to the Pennsylvania Youth Challenge to serve as a mentor and group leader. He is also an amazing  poet and a musician.