Spring 2015 Newsletter

Thomas asked Jesus, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. ———– John 14:6

Dulce-PerezWhen you first meet Dulce, you cannot help but be struck by her sweet, gentle demeanor. However, it does not take long to see her passion to draw other youth in her church to meet Jesus, and witness to his presence in their lives. Her passion is lived out in a youth prayer group, as well as being a part of a group of leaders who are working on creating one Sunday mass a month that is focused on being ‘Youth Friendly’. This means Dulce works with other church leaders in having music that other youth enjoy, as well as sharing with the priest how to communicate the message of God in ways that youth will listen. As Dulce has shared, “Our most important job is to show to the youth that there is a place for them in the church.” What is very impressive is Dulce accomplishing this while working full-time AND attending school full-time at Pierce College. Where does she find the time to be so active in her church? She found the time because of her motivation to bring others to Jesus. As you know, all our students have come to us already demonstrating Christian leadership in their respective churches. So, it is no surprise that her church recommended her to receive the Archbishop’s Recognition of Ministry Award for her dedication and service to her church of Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood.

IMG-20110914-00002-(2)One does not need to be around Emmanuel (Manny) long to know how much he is an amazing and dynamic vessel of God’s presence to others. His enthusiasm and excitement prove to be gifts that have drawn others to Christ. In one of his ministries with Victory Bible Church in Pasadena, Manny is a leader among his peers in a men’s support group. He has journeyed with other men who seek to release their own God-given gifts, as well as find God’s guidance in difficult times. Knowing how much Ascending Lights has been helping him reach his goals, Manny invited Gary Krauss and Justin Beck (mentor) to share the strengths, and not-so-secret tools of Ascending Lights, including how to go about pursuing a higher education. The result was some of the men taking steps to obtain a college degree for themselves.

Meeting God through basketball? This has proven to be a slam dunk ministry that Manny started by inviting those who are either not currently or are nominally engaged in relating to Jesus and/or a church. Manny is an example to these individuals, inviting them to see God’s presence in all circumstances, even on a basketball court. This fun and non-threatening activity is a great example of how God inspires His ministers to use non-traditional circumstances to invite others into a relationship with Him, and then to educational opportunities.

Dulce and Manny, along with many of our other students and graduates, have attended our iGraduate training, learning the Academic Road Map to Success tool. With the support of Ascending Lights, they are now able to mentor other community college students, as they have been mentored, enabling each to reach their academic goals in their churches and neighborhoods. These are just two inspirational examples of how our students have been instrumental in introducing Jesus to others, and showing others the pathways to educational success. The ripple-effect of their ministries have truly brought others to seek the Lord in their lives, desiring to know Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life.

With much gratitude,

Gary Krauss, M.B.A

Anne Lobsinger, M.S.W.
Executive Director