God redeemed a sinner like me through Winter Conference.
When I first heard about Winter Conference my freshman year, I had no interest in it. I was uncomfortable with going because I wasn’t a Christian at the time and I felt overwhelmed by the idea of spending multiple days with believers. The only reason why I was in KCM in the first place was because a close buddy of mine made me go with him. He told me WinterCon would be fun and that it would be an opportunity to find someone (aka our potential girlfriends). So I signed up. But funny enough, my friend backed out. To make things more discomforting, none of the freshmen at Pepperdine were going. I didn’t want to go anymore and I asked one of the upperclassmen if I could get my money back. I told him that I didn’t want to go because I felt like it wasn’t for me and I didn’t feel comfortable without any of my friends, but he somehow persuaded me and I ended up going anyways.
Although I wasn’t looking forward to Winter Conference initially, my time there was truly life changing. The theme of the retreat was “Redemption”, which was honestly God’s plan to redeem me. Before going to retreat, I never paid attention to any sermons in GM or at church. Most of the time I would sit in the very back looking at my phone, but for some reason Winter Conference was different. I remember the first night at Winter Con so clearly as if it were yesterday. The pastor who was speaking really grabbed my attention by sharing a sermon on sin. I couldn’t believe he would share his sins so openly to us, but the thing that hit me the most was when he exposed my sins. I honestly didn’t know what sin was, but on that day I came to realize that I was a great sinner. God was exposing my sins and I came to realize it.
But God didn’t just stop there. I remember Pastor Richard sharing his sermon/testimony to us. The sermon penetrated my heart like no other and I couldn’t get a hold of myself. I remember sitting there feeling so broken. I didn’t know how broken I was and how much I tried to hide my pain through the materialistic things of this world. All I was looking for was to be loved and it was a challenging season for me to find it. But that’s when I heard PR say that there is someone who loves me even though I am a broken sinner. I thought to myself, who can love me for who I am? My mom? And then he said, “God loves me.” I don’t know why but it hit me hard. It was at that moment at Winter Conference when I decided to follow Christ. It was the first time when I decided to seek God even though I was unsure. After Winter Con, I was able to grow my faith. From being a non-believer, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I realized that God led me to KCM in order for me to have a relationship with Him. I’m so thankful and blessed that I went to Winter Con.
So to all who are debating whether or not you should go, I encourage you to come to Winter Con! You’ll get to hear amazing sermons as well as build great friendships with other collegians from various schools. It was at Winter Con where I was able to meet some of my closest friends. Honestly, if I didn’t go to Winter Conference, I can confidently say that I wouldn’t have been saved, I wouldn’t have been part of KCM, and I wouldn’t have made great friends that I can share life with today. So go! God will work in unexpected ways and I know He will show you something great in Winter Conference! See what God has in store for you!