From one man he made all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth. He decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live.  God did this so that people would seek him. And perhaps they would reach out for him and find him. They would find him even though he is not far from any of us.
– Acts 17:26-27 NIrV
God constantly orchestrates the times and places in which we live. He does this with the hope that we would discover and choose a close relationship with him. For today’s newsletter, we have a story for you that shows how inspiring it is when we choose to respond to God’s call.
The right place at the right time
Dominic Perez graduated from Washington High School in San Francisco last June. While graduation is usually a time of celebration and hope for the future, it was a time of great uncertainty for Dominic. After enduring difficulties in his youth, persevering through learning challenges, and taking on his own emotional and physical health, Dom and his mother needed to find a new place to live. Little did they know God was actually moving them to exactly where they needed to be to change Dom’s life.
Dom ended up moving just a few blocks away from the Marquez family. Coincidentally, Ed Marquez and Dom’s mother were coworkers. Ed’s son Kai, who was baptized just last December, went to the same high school as Dom. Kai invited Dom to a “painting night” hosted by the San Francisco campus ministry. After seeing how open and accepting the friendships were, Dom was inspired to start studying the Bible to learn how God could help him be open and build his own deep and close relationships.
Dom also learned that many of the college students he had just met also lived in the same neighborhood as he did. They began hanging out, playing basketball, gaming, and serving together as basketball coaches at E-Hoops USF for kids with special needs. The shift in Dom’s life was noticeable—other people in his life were impressed and inspired by how greatly his health was improving physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
Through his Bible studies and daily pursuit of reading the Bible and praying vulnerably, Dom realized that God was the one he had been looking for his whole life. He discovered that God was the ultimate Father who deeply cared about his life and had a vision for who he could become despite the sins Dom saw in his own life.
Dom was compelled to change by the sacrifice Jesus made for him on the cross, fighting to overcome deep roots of bitterness and deceit by learning to forgive and serve others. His mom was also impacted as Dom’s heart change brought their relationship even closer. Dom decided to get baptized just two weeks ago in San Francisco, choosing to live for the new purpose God destined for him: to love and help other friends build a relationship with God, too. Dom is especially looking forward to helping peers at City College of San Francisco know God the same way Kai helped Dom through their friendship.
Faith in action at Friendsgiving
Next weekend, Dom and Kai along with the campus ministry in San Francisco are putting their faith into action by hosting a Friendsgiving dinner open to all students. They know that God has put them in exactly the right places at exactly the right time to build life-changing friendships. Their faith inspires us to imitate them by planning our own holiday events to deepen our connections with our friends, family, and neighbors this season.
Remember, you’re exactly where you need to be to make a difference in someone’s life today.
Until next time.