Fields of Faith moves indoors for annual testimonies

Once a year, hundreds of students from sixth grade to college gather at Cedar Falls High School for the FCA ( Fellowship of Christian Athletes) Fields of Faith event. There, participants listen to the testimonies of peers that tell of their struggles and successes in their faith life.

This year, because of the chilly weather, the group was moved inside to the gymnasium from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Students sat in the risers and on the floor with blankets to cuddle up in.

Five people gave their faith testaments, speaking on how Jesus impacted their lives and their struggles. They were chosen by the FCA leaders of the high school and Holmes.

Corey Peters, the physical education coach and an FCA leader at Holmes, said, “You guys sit and listen to adults all day. We want you to come here and hear people your own age speak.”

The first speaker, Ben Bowman, is an eighth grader at Holmes. His testimony was on his recent battle with a bad infection that caused him great pain. He thought that God had abandoned him during this fight, and he really struggled with his faith. Bowman reached a wide audience — especially eighth grader Noah Weigel. “I related to Ben because there have been times in my life when I wonder why God doesn’t help me at my time of need, but really, he is giving me a learning moment.”

The second speaker was Allie Grinstead, a ninth grader at Holmes. She spoke about her problems with bullying in elementary school and how God helped her overcome the “mean girls” in her class. Many students, girls especially, understood Grinstead’s pain.

Madi Terhune, another ninth grader at Holmes, said that she related to this testimony because “I have been through a similar situation, and I just didn’t get the opportunity to connect and let God help me through those times.”

Grinstead said that she was inspired to share her story because “I wanted to help people going through this know that they are not alone in this. We can do it together with God.”

The third speaker, Ethan Hayes talked about his injury and how he trusted God to help him find the way to the right college and life in general. Drew Hoth, an eighth grader said, “You don’t know when you can get hurt, so you have to believe in him and talk to him about what is happening.”

The fifth speaker was Ezra Szczyrbak, a college graduate. He began speaking straight to the point, beginning with the unexpected death of his brother when he was very young. After that, he became involved in drugs, sex and pornography. One day, he was lying on a park bench, blaming God for putting him in his position in life. Then, his life was turned on it’s back as a stranger, later identified as Peters, biked up and asked if he could pray for him. “I was compelled to go talk to him, and I now know why.”

After listening to the testimonies, students got in groups with FCA leaders from UNI, and they spoke about their experiences and prayed for each other.

Eighth grader Clayton Peterson was one of many in attendance who was moved by the event. He said the events of the night “taught me that God reveals himself differently to different people.”

Leaving, students felt uplifted in their spiritual lives. Lauren Bauer, the girl’s physical education coach at Holmes, encouraged all students, not just Christians, to partake in the FCA activities. She said, “To me, one of the most inspiring parts of our huddle is that everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be an athlete, and you don’t have to be a believer in Christ; it’s something that anyone can be a part of.”

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