“If it wasn’t for Trinity Western University, I would have never trusted God the way I do now,” says Lindsay Ries (’17). When she first attended Trinity Western, her faith in God was luke-warm, at best. She grew up in a Christian home, but never really made the Christian faith her own until she was sixteen. Even then, she struggled to trust God with her life.
“I did not want to surrender my full life and give up the sinful ways I was living,” says Ries. But during her undergraduate years, she found herself challenged by members of the community in ways that would leave a lasting impact.
A Community That Cares
Ries credits many aspects of the Trinity Western community for her coming to fully commit to God, such as God-centered dorm meetings, being involved in leadership positons, joining the Impact Dance Team, and attending events like Sunday Night Alive and chapel.
“I had a community of Christians who were going through similar things as me,” says Ries. “I had role models, mentors, and women who encouraged me in my faith. I was allowed to be myself, but still be challenged.”
It was the love she felt from people in this community that really helped her come to the decision to give up her old life and turn to God. It took time, but as she continued to dig into the community at Trinity Western, her heart began to change.
“In my first year of University, my faith grew immensely. I was so excited about the way I was living. But when I left for the summer break in 2014, all the progress I had made was forgotten, and I regressed to my previous lifestyle,” says Ries. “However, as the years went on, I regressed less and less.”
Ries was baptised in 2016, surrounded by forty different people from Trinity Western who came to support and celebrate with her.
what came next
By the time of her graduation, Ries felt like an entirely different person. But despite all the progress she made, she was afraid.
“I had found a community that loved me for who I was and encouraged me to dig deeper with God,” says Ries. “I suppose I wasn’t worried that I would lose my faith, but that I would lack community to support me in the hard times.”
Her fear was short lived, however. What came after graduation was not a lack of community, but a time of connecting with other Christians from around the world and sharing the love she’d received to others in need.
As a grad present to herself, Ries travelled to South Africa. She’d always wanted to visit, since her family is originally from there, and she wanted to learn more about her heritage. After this, she went to New Zealand, where she attended a YWAM training camp and prepared for her first missions trip. For some time, she’d sensed God’s call on her to share His love and serve people from other nations.
A Call To Serve
After praying about where to go, Ries joined a team headed to Cambodia and Thailand. It was an incredible time, filled with miracle after miracle that left her breathless.
“I became so reliant on God to give me the basics to survive, and He did just that and more,” says Ries. “This year, I saw miracles after miracles. Broken bones being healed. A community being saved. Receiving words of knowledge that only God would know. People who were coughing blood, who were on the verge of death, healed in front of my eyes.”
Ries is overwhelmed by the amazing things God has done in and through her life, and says with certainty that she would never have trusted Him the way she does now if not for Trinity Western and the community of people who invested in her.
“It’s an epic love story,” says Ries, “and it’s only just beginning.”