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The following is a testimony from our most recent graduating class.
"Hi, my name is Melissa Fonseca, and as of tonight I am an IMPACT195 graduate! Tonight I’m here to tell you that my Father in Heaven has been patiently waiting for you to have a deeper relationship with Him.
In Revelation 3:20 it says, 'Behold, I stand at the door. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door; I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.'
I never thought God would bring me from Honduras to the United States and much less to be here this night sharing my life with all of you. God’s plans are better than the plans that we have.
At the age of four I had my first encounter with my Heavenly Father. I opened the door of my heart and He came in to dine with me. I remember I could not stop crying because I was filled with His joy and I was so hungry to know Him more, even at this young age. It was a sweet day. I wanted Him desperately. After that experience, I remember years later, my earthly father was standing at a door. He hugged me and said goodbye to me. I never saw him again until I came to the United States.
He and my mother had left me and suddenly I was in a place I was not familiar with. The people who were taking care of me were complete strangers. At the age of seven I realized that I didn’t belong to anybody. I did not know what to think when my parents abandoned my siblings and me to come to America in search of a better life for us.
I grew up in an environment where there was no love, no hugs, and no 'I love you'. I remember the words spoken over me one day as I was walking down a dirt road. 'There goes the orphan.'
‘Orphan’ became a word that shaped the way I lived life.
When I came to the United States at the age of ten I was reunited with my mom, but I still carried an identity of been unwanted and unloved. I quickly learned how to isolate and pushdown my feelings to a point of becoming numb to my emotions towards others. My alternative was independence. I opted to choose freedom from the influence of others, including God. I continued life without a clear direction until God divinely intervened and came to my rescue. It all happened while I was working and I heard God say to me 'go to the Rock Church.'
I went to the Rock Church and on this particular day I was in church someone was sharing about their experience as a missionary and Rock Ambassador to Haiti. The word 'missionary' touched my heart. I told myself I needed to go to that equipping school she was sharing about at the time…IMPACT195. All this time, my Heavenly Father had been patiently waiting for me to take the next step into a deeper relationship with Him.
This past year at IMPACT195 has been an incredible journey in experiencing my Heavenly Father revealing His love for me.
The first time I came to IMPACT195, I felt God’s love. People here genuinely cared for me. This love became more tangible when I went on my first life transformation trip. It was a backpacking retreat to Catalina Island where I got to experience the love of my Heavenly Father for me and for others. During one of my quiet times, I read in 1John 4:20 that if someone says, they love God and yet they hate their brothers, they are a liar. ‘For he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?'
This truth pierced my heart. I thought I was walking in His love because all of my life I grew up in the church. But I realized I had been so far from His love. Through this truth, He knocked on the door of my heart and I let Him in. It was then that I was able to listen to all He had to say! For the first time I was not afraid of His gentle voice. All He wanted to do was dine with me. It was a Father and daughter quiet time.
An orphan does not know love and I had been living as an orphan until the day I was able to receive His love. This gift of His love was so deep in me it changed everything.
To dine with Him is to be one with Him; to be loved and to love.
When I got back from wilderness the moment I saw my mom, God supernaturally filled my heart with His love for her. God reconciled my relationship with her.
The journey of knowing His heart also took me to Thailand on an IMPACT International trip. I had the opportunity of visiting a young man in a remote area. He suffered from mental problems, physical ailments, and the majority of his life he had been on his own. He was living in a house made of wood with a rooftop made out of leaves. He showed us his saw which was no longer useful.
At the end of our visit, in this village, we returned to his house with a new saw. I could see in his eyes the happiness to see us one more time and also the hope for a more meaningful existence. Because God had loved me, I could love him and help to meet his needs tangibly, hoping one day He would let God into his heart to dine with Him too.
Tonight Jesus is standing at the door of your heart and He is knocking! He has been waiting for you and He desires to dine with you. Would you dine with Him tonight? I challenge you choose to dine with Jesus.
He will change your life. He will change your world."