The four years of high school are some of the greatest (and maybe worst) years of our lives. It’s a season of making new friends, figuring out our identity, having our faith challenged; it’s truly a season of growth and transformation.
Hejira, a senior at Point Loma High School, has been attending Rock Youth since 6th grade. Her mom wanted her to have a community her age and decided she needed to attend despite her fears of not knowing anyone.
“I grew up in a Christian home. My father was an alcoholic for many years and I thought it was my fault, so I did everything I could to get his attention. I played sports, played music, got good grades. None of it worked. I then found the Rock Youth and got saved at 6th grade summer camp. I was serving all the time, falling in love with Jesus, and finding great friends. Then high school came and I became really busy with sports and school, so I slacked off with church and I became really depressed because I thought was a failure. Then one day I sat down and thought about when I get the most joy and it was serving among my Rock Youth family. So I came back and was welcomed back like the prodigal son, and the rest is history.”
Ask anyone on the Youth Staff or Volunteer team and you will quickly find that Hejira is family. Hejira is the epitome of a young woman after the heart of Jesus," says Stevi Moultrie, a youth leader. "She loves well, serves relentlessly, and radiates joy. I've watched as Hejira has purposefully stepped foot into discomfort in obedience to God, humbly admitting where she helps. She is a true power house."
Rock Youth leaders have been partnering with Urban Youth Collaborative to host a Bible club on Point Loma High School’s campus for a few years now. Last year, Hejira joined them to share her testimony. Little did she know that over 300 students would show up that day at lunch! “That was probably the most insane moment of my life, because it's easier to tell your story in front of people that you won't see again or don't really know. But some of those people I have known since kindergarten. It was the beginning of my last year of high school so what I [talked about] was why I am the way I am and basically the story of how God changed my life. I didn't hear about anyone getting saved from my testimony or having a revelation, however I do know that the words I did say are in God’s hands and God never gives anything void. Even if one person heard and was changed it makes it all worth it.”
Hejira felt God stirring in her heart to get more involved with the Bible club and recently she decided to take it over and lead! However, running a Bible club on a public school campus certainly comes with opposition. Right around the time Hejira decided to help take over the club, a few parents raised some concerns. The club offers pizza at all of their meetings and some of the parents felt like their kids were being coaxed into a Bible club they didn’t mean to attend. These legal issues made it difficult for the team to restart the club.
“We have to be careful of what we say and how we present ourselves and we have to be careful with any posters we decide to make. We were put on a sanction and have some restrictions on what the new club is going to look like,” Hejira said. Despite the opposition this group of students faced, they have been committed to making sure their fellow students get to hear the Gospel. For Hejira, she says this has been a season of patience and prayer.
“Ezra 10:4 says ‘Take courage and do it’. You only get one lifetime on Earth,” she says. “Pray for a stranger, say something nice to someone, give money to the homeless. God provides the opportunities so take advantage. And have faith because people will try to convince you that your faith is silly, but the real evidence of God is His work in your own life, so share it.”
Ashley Escobar, Rock Youth Admin and leader, says that "Hejira is loved by all. She is a true servants heart even int he midst of her crazy, busy schedule as a senior in high school. Her humility and genuine love for people and Jesus spills out to all those around her."
Hejira has been accepted at PLNU and is still waiting to hear from CalPoly, CSU Monterey Bay, CSU Northridge, and SDSU. She plans to major in Communications with an emphasis on Graphic or Visual Comm. “Rock Youth has shown me practical ways to keep your focus on God and giving me opportunities to be a leader, to listen, and speak publicly about my faith.”
For more information on how you can support Bible clubs in San Diego public schools contact Urban Youth Collaborative.