April 10, 2013

Baptism Profile: Hannah Perez

Name: Hannah Perez
Hometown: Bunker Hill, IN
Vocation: Customer Support for Cuvée Coffee
Favorite Ice Cream: Dessert Trio Blue Bell

1. Tell us how your story started
I grew up in a non-Christian home in small-town Indiana. I went to church maybe 5 times total before 5th grade, with friends whenever I would stay over for the weekend or things like that. I fell in with really great friends in believing families even in pre-school.

2. Tell us about how your story intersected with Jesus’ story
In fifth grade, a friend asked me to go to some sort of special service with her at her church. It’s funny to me that I don’t even remember what the service was or what it was for, but at the end of the evening I asked the Lord into my heart and life. I had pretty much no idea what that meant, but I continued to go to church and got involved in youth group because I was able to get rides and hang out with my friends. In high school I kept going to church and youth group, but eventually it just got really hard to keep being “the girl that drives herself to church and is the only one her age that doesn’t have her parents with her.” I desperately wanted the church to reach out and take me in, but I just didn’t feel claimed or noticed. I felt really hurt and alone in that church, so when I didn’t know exactly what to do, I just stopped going altogether.

It wasn’t until college that I really made my faith my own. I attended church, led bible study, did some local and national missions, and started really seeking the Lord. It was probably then that I started to feel this pull to be baptized. I’m 24 and being baptized for the first time.

3. What does resurrection mean to you day to day?
Day to day the resurrection means I am forgiven and completely wiped clean of my shortcomings EVERY DAY (whew!). But it also is definitely a daily reminder that that same grace and forgiveness that is given to me should be extended to those around me.

4. What has been difficult in your journey?
Because of my experiences with the church early in my faith in high school, I have just always had a really hard time trusting within the Church. I have a hard time opening up because I have trouble accepting that people are genuine and actually WANT to care for me. I’ve wanted to be baptized for probably four years now, I just wasn’t comfortable with any church community enough to let myself be that vulnerable again.

5. What’s one word to describe your decision to be baptized and why?
Found. I was lost and don’t know how or why but the Lord found me and directed my steps even from my childhood. Now I have finally found myself in a community where I feel comfortable and accepted enough to commit to and be baptized in.

6. Final Thoughts?
I am so thankful to have found a church like Vox where I finally feel comfortable taking this big step!

[Photo by lainers @ Flickr]

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