When I was 11 years old, I decided to ask Christ to come into my heart, and He saved me. At that time I attended church regularly with my mother and grandmother. I enjoyed being around other children my age who loved God and loved to sing and worship together. This lasted until I was in middle school.

Then peer pressure set in. I began walking a broken road. Yes!! In middle school, just becoming a teenager, I began partying, lying, and getting into whatever trouble you could possibly think of. At this point I had strayed away from God and was living a life for myself, a sinful life, and doing what I wanted to do.

Living the life that I was choosing to live led me to grow up very quickly; I had my first child when I was 17 years old. I dropped out of school, got married and decided to settle down and raise my son. Unfortunately, I was raising a child without allowing the Lord to be part of my life and having the relationship with him that I should have had. After settling down and having a child, I began working to support and take care of my son and I worried about how much material things I could have for us and to give to others. Besides my son, I seemed to be just living for money and possessions.

When my son turned 4 years old, I knew how much I enjoyed raising him and decided I wanted another child, so in November 2005, I conceived another child. A baby girl named Aliya. At this time I thought everything was going good. I was living well off. I had a good job, a house, a car, all of the things that most people want in this world. Then the day after my son’s 5th birthday, I went in for my 38 week check up at the doctor’s and I was told to go to the hospital. When I got there I was thinking, “Wow, I am about to have my baby girl.” Then the nurse came in to check the baby’s heart beat and do a sonogram. Once they were done, a doctor came into my room and said,  “I  am very sorry but there is no more heart beat and the baby is gone”. I was hysterical, sad, and confused, and I still had to deliver my baby.

During this time a family friend (Pastor) and his wife come to the hospital and prayed with me and my family several times. I remember that during this experience it felt like I was looking up through a dream, and I had an overwhelming sense of peace. After some of the shock had calmed down and I returned home to deal with all these emotions, I remember just praying all the time. This was the moment my heart had opened back up to Christ.

After this very sad event in my life, I was given comfort and peace by God. Most of my family and friends, that did not believe in Jesus or ever had a relationship with Him did not understand how I was able to go on doing what I needed to do. Some even thought that I was just not dealing with the situation. However, I knew what was in my heart and where my strength and comfort was coming from, and I had peace knowing that my child was in the most safe loving and peaceful place she could ever be.

I knew at this point that I wanted to develop a relationship with Christ again, but I was not surrounded by believers and I did not know where to go or how to start. It had been so long since I had lived a life with Christ. I was lost. So a couple of years had passed, and I decided to make some changes in my personal life. Then I met my husband, who also felt the need to have a relationship with Christ.  He told me about NAC and we decided to go together.

I remember the excitement and the overwhelming presence of God as I heard the worship team and saw Pastor James come out on stage. I thought, Wow, he has a unique way of preaching,” but as he spoke, I felt like his words were given for me to hear. After continuing to attend church at NAC and learning the word of God, I have developed my own convictions. This has helped me to grow so much spiritually and I am amazed with the relationship I have built with Christ since having NAC in my life. Not only has NAC helped me along my faith journey, but they have helped my husband and I teach our children how to live a life with Christ.
I am truly thankful for NAC and all the very special and gifted people that are there to serve and worship the Lord.

Alicia Ogden