My name is Rianna, I am 16 years old and I am a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian.
My faith is a very important part of my life, and recently, I have been struggling with my spirituality – not for want of trying but because I have been finding it difficult to see or find God in the centre of a city and in a secular education system. Also, the occasional academic conflict with my religious principles can be very challenging and, combined with the workload, can often take my focus off of God. At first, I was averse to applying, as I thought it was too far from home, and was very unsure about studying in America. However, as the days went by, I was convicted to apply, as I began to believe more strongly that this was God’s long-awaited answer to my prayer of my struggles; both spiritually and academically.
Weimar Academy – the school I have applied to, and would attend from August of 2016 – is a Seventh-Day Adventist in Sacramento, California. The school program – which combines elements of doctrinal fundamentals of our denomination, an emphasis on physical work and academic and spiritual development – holds God at the centre of everything, so it is harder to lose focus on Him. I truly believe that this is where God wants me to be.
Naturally, however, with every bold venture comes a debilitating drawback: finances.
As there are limited Seventh-Day Adventist institutions internationally, the demand for these is mostly private, and so Weimar will cost me a little more than $18,000 a year (which is about £14,000) - this includes tuition fees, room and board, international student fees and international student health insurance. I don’t come from a wealthy or affluent background, and myself and my parents are financially unable to cover all the costs without any form of assistance.
There is no doubt that the experience I will have at Weimar – spiritually, physically and emotionally – will be unparalleled by any experience I could have the opportunity to have anywhere else. This is not just something that I desire. This is something which I believe God also desires for me. I have complete faith that God will provide financially but I also believe that “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20) I believe that I need to trust in God but that I also need to be proactive.
So this – my fundraising page – is me taking a step of faith.
God has opened many doors for me before, and He has made many things possible that I could only imagine. I know that He will, once again, make a way for me in a manner that seems impossible and I trust and believe that I will, with His help, be able to raise the £14,000 I need for this coming academic year.
Thank you for reading, and I pray that you will support me throughout my venture; both emotionally and financially.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7