Most of my friends at school are not Christians. In High School it’s hard being friends with people outside the friendship group, not in a ‘Mean Girls’ kind of way, but it’s like an unspoken rule.
I started at my new school last year, and very quickly realised Jem was one of the popular girls. We had a lot of classes together and I could see she was super confident, really beautiful and everyone wanted to be like her… but I never talked to her because I was known as the ‘church girl’.
One day during a study period, I had my earphones in listening to Young & Free’s “Alive” while I did my work. Jem happened to catch a glimpse of the track I had been listening to. Straight away she said, “Oh, you go to Hillsong? That’s cool, I’ve always wanted to go.”
I couldn’t believe it, but didn’t skip a beat – it was almost like reflex. I said, “We have Youth every Friday, you should come.” It was that easy, and so she came that Friday.
At first she was surprised that everyone was so happy at Youth, especially because at school everyone thinks you can’t have fun in church. When we went back to school on Monday she told everyone it was like a big party.
That week at RDG (Bible study), my leader encouraged us to invite someone to Young & Free Conference that was coming up, and I felt like God wanted me to invite Jem but I felt really nervous. Wasn’t asking her to come to youth enough? I prayed about it and eventually worked up the courage to text her.
She didn’t reply, and even at school the next day she didn’t talk to me the whole day so I figured she was avoiding me. But that night she text me back, and I remember her saying that it sounded cool and that her mum also said yes! I was sooooo happy, but even then it took about 6 weeks of me still asking her every day until she finally registered.
Young & Free Conference was incredible. We would meet every morning before the sessions started with our RDG and she got more excited with each new day. She met a lot of friends & Tribal Wars was her absolute favourite! Later on we talked about everything that had happened that day and she said Robert Madu really impacted her when he spoke about influencing people at school.
I see my school differently now. Before, I thought that my school was too big for me to make a difference, but I have realised that I can have an influence on everyone I meet.