Written With Tears: conviction and excitement from a middle-class visitor

Hello Pastor Dorrell,

My name is Audrey H. and I am a freshman at Baylor University. I actually just moved onto Baylor campus this past Wednesday, and I attended service at your church just a few hours ago with a few of my welcome week leaders.

First of all, I just wanted to tell you how much the service meant to me. I'm not going to lie and tell you that I didn't feel uncomfortable. I am a white, middle class girl. The brothers and sisters in your congregation are family in Christ that I have never encountered, the sort of family that comfortable, Americanized church doesn't usually attract. Based on my background in church, the unspoken assumption is that these are the sort of people you donate money to but never acknowledge out of fear, discomfort, and honestly guilt: why do I have when these do not? I am accustomed to sweeping these people under the rug because it is easier to find excuses than to love them. I'm tired of that.

I want so much more than I have ever experienced, and the moment that you began to talk about your church being a place for the marginalized, united in Christ, I knew I had to learn more. I am a Special Education major at Baylor because God has called me to love those with special needs. I have been kicked out of churches before because my brother (who has a mild form of autism) was not accepted. My ultimate goal, past the dream of becoming a teacher, has been to find a way for those with special needs to come to church to worship God. God has graciously put a love in my heart that I cannot explain in anything less than my conviction that it is His for those with special needs, and it is the sort of love that cannot be contained. This is the first church that I have found where that love was being acted out for ALL.

I'm so sorry to be going on and on, but I'm in tears writing this. Who can I talk to to know how to get more involved and how to serve (whether it is with those with special needs, if that is a need that you have in your congregation, or otherwise)? I just want to know God, and as I pursue Him on my own for the first time in my life, I realize that what I need cannot be found in the typical churches of America. I need Christ, raw and unedited, and I have a hope that this could be the place for me. Again, I'm not going to lie and tell you that this absolutely terrifies me and is completely out of my comfort zone, but simultaneously I am unbelievably excited. Could I get that by stopping by the office, or is there anyone on campus I can talk to? In short, how can I get involved?

And I'm sorry to bother you because I know that I could probably get more information on the website, and I likely will, but I just wanted to get in touch with you because I know myself far too well. If I put this in writing, I cannot find an excuse not to jump in and serve. And I'm sure that sounds terrible, but I am so tired of trying to seem perfect and wonderful and Christian...which is why I am interested in Church Under the Bridge. The church is supposed to be a place for people to come and love and share just as they are to find God. That is what I am looking for. I would much rather be honest about where I am at than pretend.

Thank you so much!

Audrey H.
Baylor Freshman, Fall 2014