October 28, 2020

Student On Friendships Despite Different Beliefs

Courtesy of Jessica Victor.

By Jessica Victor ’20

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is where I call home. Born and raised in a Muslim country but a Christian family, I did not have the freedom to speak about my faith openly at all times. I grew up with people from all around the world; people that believed in different religions and had different opinions. Through them I had the opportunity to learn to respect and build valuable relationships with them; they became who my friends and family are today.

I was not always comfortable being confronted with questions about my faith because I was afraid of saying the wrong things or having a conflict of interest or making things awkward. My neighbors were Muslim, my classmates were Muslim, my school bus driver was Muslim. So, it was a frequent situation for me to be asked, “Why are you a Christian?” to which I would answer, “Because Jesus loved me so much that he gave his life away for me, Christianity is not a religion but a relationship”  

The more I was asked, the more I looked for answers to know what it means to be a Christian. My church became my safe place. I found myself not being judged. I was free. Eventually, I got closer in my walk with God.

After I graduated high school and while applying to colleges, I found peace in the thought of going to a Christian liberal arts college, even if it meant that I would be a 15 hour plane ride away from home. The fact that I could grow academically and spiritually at the same time seemed so exciting to me. And when I made the decision to go to Gordon, not only did I feel blessed but thankful that the obstacles I went through made me realize how important it means to be God’s child.

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