Junior shares her faith though new podcast during COVID

On any typical Sunday in Cedar Falls, hundreds of churchgoers pile into Orchard Hill Church for a morning of praise. Aisle after aisle is usually packed with families while worship leaders sing from up on stage. Now, the churchgoers sit at home and virtually join Monday night Bible study. The worship leaders post videos from their homes on Facebook, trying to maintain a sense of normalcy for the congregation. 

Coronavirus has changed the way that people live their daily lives and has now impacted something that many hold closest to them: their faith. Junior Annie Brown is heavily involved with the youth ministry programs at Trinity Bible Church. She said that the many changes as a result of coronavirus have greatly impacted her. “The hardest part for me has just been adapting,” Brown said. “I was not ready for this change like most people. I am realizing how much I rely on my busy schedule so when all my plans and activities were canceled I didn’t know what to do with myself. I like to be busy so trying to stay busy inside my home has been weird and not normal.”

But for her, school cancellations have given Brown a chance to dive deeper into her faith by creating a podcast for Christian teens. “It’s definitely been a challenge to remain committed to practicing my faith during this time. The biggest thing for me is to sit down and read my Bible. Just to read God’s truths and promises—that really helps me stay grounded and not go too crazy. The best thing about corona right now is the time it has given me to explore my faith and grow the podcast. God canceled the whole world basically and gave me all this time so why not use it for His glory?” Brown said. 

Creating a podcast about her faith was not something Brown had really considered until attending a mission trip with her church. “I was driving to Colorado with my youth group and my youth pastor joked around saying I should start a podcast. I thought he was joking, but he really pushed me to explore this idea. Especially since all my plans were canceled because of coronavirus, I had nothing else to do but try it out,” Brown said. “It’s weird to say, but the podcast helps grow my faith. I ask more questions and dig deeper into God’s Word. By reading God’s Word in the Bible, it’s truths directly from Him. It’s reassuring to read about hope, promises and never-ending love He gives.”

Brown’s podcast is called “And if Not” and currently has five episodes available on Spotify. She said that through her podcast she wants to give teens a safe place to explore their faith without fear of judgment. “My podcast is about reaching teens who need to hear good news, talk about hard topics, explore their faith and discover their purpose. I wanted to create a safe place for teens to come and listen and be a teen. The whole point is to listen to a peer talk about things we all are going through,” Brown said. 

Brown said that her faith is an integral part of who she is. “My faith is my identity. I live by the fact that I love God and He loves me. If I’m not living my life for God then my life is pointless. It says in the Bible, in James, that if I have faith but do nothing about it then my faith is pointless. I can’t imagine a world without my faith and who I am through Christ. It’s built my relationships. It helps me through the hard times. It gives me hope for something better,” Brown said. 

When it comes to getting through the Coronavirus pandemic, Brown said that she wants other teens to know that while the world gets crazier, faith can remain constant. “I think other Christain teens should know that when you feel sad, lonely, anxious, scared—turn to God. He doesn’t change, we do. This time is scary and uncertain which no one wants or even likes, but it is happening for a reason so why not make the most of it,” Brown said. “If you need hope, turn to God. If you need love, turn to God. Rest in His promises and truths. He is the only thing that will keep us sane through this time.”

Annie’s Podcast is available on Spotify where she regularly posts new episodes. Check it out: https://open.spotify.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=bd_consumer&utm_campaign=acquisition_chromewebstore_gb&utm_content=gb500008

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