An amazing work in me, at USFSP and East Asia
Good morning, everyone! My name is Danielle Appleget. I’m a first year student at USFSP and this is my second semester being a part of COMission. I grew up knowing hardly anything about the story of God, much less being affected by it in any way. I came to school in the fall looking for a purpose, as many other college students do. Through high school I spent a lot of time worried and unsure of my future. My older sister Allyssa would come home from college and share with me. She even bought me a bible. I was encouraged by her story and could definitely see a change, but I don’t think I truly believed.
In just one semester, God did an amazing work in me through COMission. In one of my first conversations with Hannah Hutchings, I was invited to a community group game night. I was hesitant, but the moment I walked in the door I was greeted with hugs and care. I was intrigued by how much everyone in COMission truly cared for one another, and I didn’t know then, but everyone there was reflecting Christ’s love. They showed me a preview of what it was like to follow Him, and from there I strived to learn more.
I was always asking questions, began praying more often, starting regularly attending Gulf Coast, and going to as many COMission meetings as possible. God put nursing on my heart and showed me the importance of sharing the gospel – giving me the purpose in life that I had been looking for, for years. I began delighting in His word and even started doing Colossians and Luke studies with Hannah and a few other girls. The 901 and community group nights really encouraged me to pursue a personal relationship with God. After seeing three guys baptized and being encouraged by their testimonies, I became curious about baptism and what it meant to declare your faith. With Ryan and Hannah, I looked over how the bible addresses baptism and what it’s all about. On December 4th, I was baptized in the fountain on campus.
Before my baptism, I heard plenty of stories about the East Asia trip last summer. I was encouraged by the amazing works the nine members shared with me. I was awe-stricken by His provision and preparation of the team, as well as the work being done while in East Asia. After my baptism, though, I knew I wanted to be a part of the team for this year. Reflecting on what God had done personally, and the sacrifice He made for each of us, really fueled me and made me eager to share as much as possible. So to do that with people who have heard little to nothing about Jesus, seemed like an amazing opportunity. I wanted, more than anything, to be a part of God’s renewal and restoration and to see more people come to know Jesus and be saved.
My hopes for this trip are to mature my personal faith and grow closer in community with the team, while we plant seeds and share the gospel with people that haven’t heard it before in East Asia. I hope that even through talking about this trip with friends on campus, or sending support letters to family and friends all over the place, COMission can tell more people about Jesus. The preparation and trip itself will also really help us to be more equipped to make disciples who make disciples at USFSP. I think that seeing how God works in other cultures, like in East Asia, will really help prepare us for sharing with fellow students on campus. I hope to bring back a stronger faith in God’s strength, goodness, and sovereignty. Campus ministry will definitely be strengthened by this trip and I’m excited to see what God shows us through this experience.