Natalia Balcer

Gdansk, Poland

I need a personal relationship with God

As I enter students’ dorm corridor on my way to a Bible study, only small glowing points help me navigate through a heavy cigarette smoke. It is a typical Saturday evening, a party time. I can hear laughter and bottles being open. Here I am, once a “party animal” myself and now a small Bible group leader.

I grew up in a Catholic tradition, however, my parents were not religious. When I was a child, it was my grandmother who taught me to pray and encouraged me to go to church. When I was eleven I read Patricia’s St. John “The Tanglewood’s Secret”. This Christian novel moved me very much, but I didn’t have anyone who could explain to me what does it mean to have a relationship with God. Later in my teens I became disappointed with faith. Believing that God is only a product of a human mind and Jesus a kind of legend I entered college.

I was living in a dorm with a hope of my room becoming the center of a social life. I imagined my learning career as a never-ending party with short brakes for some lectures. Easy to guess, I quickly became frustrated as the reality appeared to be opposite to my expectations. I was doing my best to win approval of every single person around me, hiding my true feelings deep in my heart. At the beginning of my sophomore year I struggled with feelings rejection and disappointment. I felt totally lost. It was then, when my friends invited me to a New Year’s Eve party.

It was a Christian event. I was full of prejudice and expected to see a bunch of unsociable freaks. To my surprise I got to know nice people. It was the first time in my life when I heard people pray with their own words and talk about their ionship with God. One girl shared withme that God loves me the way I am. I was shocked. How can Jesus accept me, knowing who I truly am? If I was to trust Him I needed to know more. I asked many questions and, for the firs time in my life, I started to read the Bible. Soon I realized that I desperately needed God’s grace in my life. One evening, alone in my room, I told God with my own words that I am grateful for what Jesus has done for me on the cross and invited Him to my life as Lord and Savior. 

My life began to change. It was a process and well…it still is. I quit smoking. My relationships were restored as I confessed to my friends things I had lied them about. Later, God gave me courage to share my faith and led me to serve other students as a leader in Campus Crusade for Christ. Getting to know God better in a small Bible group helped me to grow so much. I thought it would be great for every student to have an opportunity to know God personally.

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