Over the past five years, I have seen the Lord work in miraculous and marvelous ways both at Mercy Hill and in my own life, often both at the same time. MH College Live means more stories like this one. Here’s a story of five years, two Chelseas, and one Greta.
1. Five Years Ago – Chelsea Blanford and Greta Griswold
Five years ago, I began my college career at High Point University as a student athlete looking to make much of Jesus. I knew the Lord had placed me on the volleyball team so that my teammates might hear the gospel, fall in love with Jesus, and be forever changed. I was a small fish in a big pond; overwhelmed and exhausted. One evening after a three-a-day (if you know, you know), I fell onto my bed in an empty dorm and wept. Volleyball wasn’t going as well as I’d hoped, and I had a decision to make. I was either going to let volleyball define me or let the Lord define me.
For about a month, I had been praying for my teammates, sharing my faith with them, and inviting them to church…nothing. In October, I decided to get baptized at Mercy Hill. I’d been a believer for a few years but had not been baptized. Once again, I shared with my teammates and invited them. Finally, someone said they would come with me, Chelsea Blanford. She would tell you she was far from God, and I thought she was the last person on the team who would understand the gospel. Praise God for the fact that he is not stopped by our foolishness. Chelsea heard the gospel fully preached for the first time that night, and later that week she decided to follow Jesus. We walked through discipleship for several months and on April 6, 2014—through teary eyes—I baptized my sweet sister and teammate.
2. Three Years Ago – Chelsea Blanford and Chelsea Davis
Soon after Chelsea Blanford got baptized, she began to mentor and walk through scripture with Chelsea Davis, a volleyball player at the time at HPCA. Clearly we like to keep it in the volleyball family. For the next year, both Chelseas walked through the messiness of discipleship. At times it seemed as if nothing would change, as if Chelsea Blanford was laboring in vain. Chelsea Blanford and I prayed over and over again, and God moved. On February 28, 2016 Chelsea Blanford baptized Chelsea Davis. Obviously, my eyes were teary then too.
They continued to walk alongside one another as Chelsea Blanford modeled what it really looked like to follow Jesus for Chelsea Davis until the Lord told Chelsea Blanford to go and be a missionary in Canada. Which leads us to…
3. One Year Ago – Chelsea Davis and Greta Griswold
After being pushed and encouraged for quite some time, Chelsea Davis decided to do City Project. The Lord did a work in her heart to leverage her life for the mission of God. After that summer, Chelsea walked up to me and asked me to disciple her. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure. We didn’t have the relationship she and Chelsea had, but I appreciated her desire to even ask. For the last year we have been rocking it out through suffering and joy. I got to have a front row seat to how the Lord would raise up a leader before my eyes and send her to the nations for a summer to take the gospel where it had not been heard.
During the summer, we kept in touch, and I was constantly encouraged by what the Lord was doing. One message was particularly encouraging to me: “Well, I am prepared for whatever you’re throwing my way next year.”
Chelsea Davis went from someone who thought she was a Christian to someone passionate about others knowing and following Jesus. Chelsea Blanford went from pursuing whatever she wanted to pursuing God’s mission among an unreached people group. I went from seeking my own glory in leadership to seeking God’s glory through developing leaders.
These are just three stores of lives that have been changed through MH College, and I believe that MH College Live will provide a space for the Lord to multiply stories like ours.
-Greta Griswold (College Resident)