Karen is a ChristLife volunteer at St. Martin de Porres in Poughkeepsie, NY. At the 2017 ChristLife National Conference, Karen spoke about how ChristLife has transformed her life and parish. The following is Karen’s testimony edited for the blog.

By: Karen - Poughkeepsie, New York

I was going through a transitional time in my life. I started seeking and attending church more. God started leading people into my life who began to introduce me to the idea of a personal relationship with Christ—how our God is a personal God.

Around this time, I moved to Poughkeepsie, New York. I started attending a non-denominational church, which was an awesome church. I never felt 100% comfortable there, but I kept going.

I was interested in starting a program and I spoke to the pastor about it. In turn, he gave me some advice about getting involved in the church. It was good advice, but not what I wanted to hear at the time. So I thought, "Okay, I'm going to get involved. But not here, I'm going to get involved at the Catholic Church"—thinking I was being rebellious.

I researched Catholic churches in the area, looking for different ministries I could get involved in. There weren't a ton of options. I then came across Discovering Christ on St. Martin's website. I immediately contacted them about it. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get in because it was close to their start, but by the grace of God, I did. That's how I came to Discovering Christ.

Four really significant things have happened since going through the ChristLife series.

The first is that I've fully come back to the Catholic Church. I became a member of St. Martin's, where I went through ChristLife.

The second is that I went back to confession for the first time in 20 years! It was a really moving experience. What I realized is that there is power in speaking the words of your sin and hearing forgiveness back.

The third thing, which brings me much joy to talk about, is our church family. We have such an amazing community of people. We love each other, build one another up, and support each other. I go to church now and they're not strangers. We greet each other with hugs. We even like each other so much we hang out outside of church!

The last thing is that I decided to become part of the ChristLife team at our parish. I just love Jesus SO much! And I want everyone to know. My heart is really in telling people about the relationship they can have with Jesus; the peace, the love, and the freedom they can experience from that. I don't want anyone to ever be denied the opportunity of knowing that [a relationship with Jesus] is a possibility for them.

I want to thank the ChristLife team, the priests that allow this in their parishes, and the volunteers for your vision and being obedient to what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do, so that we can continue to bring souls to Jesus.

Did the Lord work in your life through ChristLife? Would you like to share your experience? We'd love to hear your story! Contact us.