“Africa changed my life” – by Samuel Furst

This is the story of Samuel Furst. He is a 15-year-old guy from Sherwood Park, AB. 

My name is Samuel Furst and I went on my first mission trip April-May 2016. To be honest I did not want to go. I told my parents that I was looking forward to it so I didn’t look like a bad Christian in a household of powerful believers. The first three days I wished I wasn’t there. It was about the fourth or fifth day of our 2-week trip that I started to enjoy it. I started engaging the people and the language and more importantly God. I’ve always known God was there and He was watching over me. I never really sought Him out though, and never really felt that feeling of desperately seeking after Him… with everything I had.

It was day 6 or 7 and we were going to a small village in the mountains in Rwanda. I was in the middle row of our van sitting beside my mom. The first ever Rwanda sponsor child Emmanuel and my two sisters (Haley and Morgan) were all in the back and they were playfully singing worship songs. Joel Goodnough said “Sing Our God.” So Emmanuel, Haley and Morgan started singing it. As they repeated that same powerful verse “Our God is an awesome God he reigns, from Heaven above with wisdom, power and love our God is an awesome God.” Me -Samuel Furst-  for the first time in my life, felt the presence of God on me. And at the same time, I felt every sin I have ever committed crash down onto me. And I started bawling. Crying so much and my jaw quivering and feeling like my whole life I strayed from God and I’ve finally come into the light.

We got to the village and I couldn’t stop bawling. All day I was praying and repeating that verse and crying. And to this day my walk with God has gotten closer than I’ve ever imagined at such a young age.

A couple of months later we were back in our cushy lifestyles eating at the always-good Sorentinos. My dad and I were eating our expensive meals and we started discussing God a bit. And I told him about that experience in Rwanda and also about the three times I’ve balled in my room listening to that song since we got back. He said to me this one phrase I still remember. “To be able to find Jesus by yourself is the most rewarding experience you’ll ever have. Not your parents or your youth pastor or your teacher. But yourself. To be able to experience Jesus first-hand after finding him yourself is the most incredible thing of faith you can ever do.”

Africa changed my life.

Samuel Furst