From Chaperone to Christ Follower

Posted on by Aaron Stokes

Steven Shipman went on a mission trip to Nicaragua this past summer with Greensboro Youth For Christ to ease his wife's mind as their daughter traveled out of the country for the first time. Read in Steven's own words the powerful story of how a simple decision led him from Chaperone to Christ Follower...

I grew up not going to church.  My thoughts on religion were that if I was “good enough”, a good person, then things would be okay.  I lived my life that way until July 13, 2017.  I had known for several years that my daughter Mackenzie had accepted Christ.  She had always gone to church with friends and was very active in Campus Life for her 3 years in middle school.  At the end of 2016 my daughter was presented with an opportunity to go to Nicaragua on a mission trip with Youth for Christ.  The group needed chaperones and, my wife felt strongly that I go since this was our daughters first trip outside the United States.  So, I volunteered thinking I was going to just help with the kids and as labor… boy was I wrong!

            On July 8, 2017 we gathered at the airport as a group of 23 headed to Nicaragua. As the week progressed I felt something speaking to my heart.  On July 13, 2017   I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.   I was overwhelmed with the sense of peace in my heart that I had never known before.  I shared with my daughter that night that I had accepted Christ, she cried.

            Once we arrived home it was time to fill-in the rest of our family on our trip and our spiritual growth.   Mackenzie was sitting with my wife and, they were just starting to talk about my experience when Mackenzie began to cry again.  I thought she was crying because she was proud of me… then she shared her own powerful story, one I had never heard until that night.

             Mackenzie shared that she had been praying for me to accept Christ for a long time.  Two weeks before the Nicaragua trip she had been at a youth camp. While at camp an illustration was given to the group: “All of us are fish, but we are not useful until God catches us.”  Next, they were asked to write down the names of the people in their lives they hoped would be caught by God. Mackenzie wrote down several names including mine, I never knew this until we had returned from our trip.  Her tears were tears of awe in seeing her own prayer answered through my salvation.  This was powerful and had it not been for Youth for Christ facilitating the trip and spiritual guidance I do not know that I would have this story to share. 

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