Alexis Baergas, president of the Salvation Army Student Fellowship (SASF) at Houghton College, talks about mission trips to the Columbus Ohio Corps, hosting parties for the community, and seeking guidance from the book of Exodus.
I’m the third child of four girls in my family. I have two older sisters, ages 24 and 25, and a younger sister who is 15. I like having two older siblings who I can look up to while also having a younger sibling to look after. I am a role model who is still learning from other role models. I see this as good preparation for entering the workforce someday. I want to pursue occupational therapy. In that field, I could lead a team while I still answer to and learn from others.
For this year’s SASF mission trip, we visited the Columbus Ohio Corps to meet families, host game nights, and participate in their music and Bible studies. Before our first day, I prayed to God and admitted that I was scared. I didn’t feel I had enough experience as president of the SASF to lead this team. Then God brought to mind the story of Moses. God could have simply reminded Moses that he was qualified and worthy of being a leader. Instead, God wanted him to know that in His name, Moses could do all things. That’s when it clicked. Though I may feel unsure of myself, God does miracles far beyond my understanding. I can have faith in Him. From the first day in Columbus until the end, God made our trip a success.
Halloween parties have become a tradition for the Houghton SASF and the Salvation Army Wellsville, N.Y., Corps. The event is as large as a block party, with rides, free food, and games for families in the community. We also host prayer booths, and keep the corps doors open at night. Last year, I was in charge of a game table, and I could see how happy the children were to participate. Their families were surprised that we were doing this for free. These parties are a powerful ministry for the SASF. We reach out to children in a way that speaks to them. They know that they can dress in costumes; learn about God’s love; and celebrate in a fun, safe place.
I was intentional about choosing Houghton College. Four years ago, I wanted to go someplace where I would experience spiritual growth. In high school, I had never been around Christians. To me, Houghton was a spiritual Disneyland. Like many young people, I thought going to college would be a defining moment in my life. In reality, Houghton was a stepping stone to developing my identity and becoming the person who I want to be.
The book of Exodus is a story about people unsure of their future. As I finish college, I am also unsure of my next step in life. But as God transformed Moses into a leader, I know that God also has a plan for me. I’m taking His plan, one step at a time. I know I won’t be disappointed.