Marlene Saravia, 21, is a native of Guatemala. Through an incredible story of God’s providence, she found herself a sophomore Worship Arts major at GC. Savaria lived in Guatemala her entire life, where her parents and two older sisters are missionaries. She learned English throughout her childhood by listening to her parents’ conversations with people from the US, and now uses her bilingual abilities for the good of the GC community.
When she was twelve or thirteen, Saravia knew she wanted to dedicate her life to God. When she graduated high school, she did a six-month discipleship training school with Youth For a Mission, a program focused on meeting people from around the world and traveling. After the training was over, Saravia did a semester at a college in Guatemala, but decided that social work was not the program for her and felt peace with her decision to drop out. “I was really scared to make a decision about the direction of my life.” Saravia explained. “I prayed, ‘God, I want to be in the center of your will and I don’t know what that looks like.’ But the Lord’s plans are greater than ours.”
After two and a half years of waiting on the Lord, Saravia was led to GC, where she has already made a significant impact. In addition to her involvement leading a
Pursuit team, she helped re-launch Spanish chapel, which happens two Fridays a semester. Saravia works with a small team of musicians and faculty to provide this incredible experience. “It’s always fun to bring your culture to other people, and Spanish to people who want to learn Spanish.” Saravia exclaimed. “It’s also good to expose people to different ways of worshipping. You can learn so much from God through that.” Saravia loves both to impact people and to grow personally through Pursuit. “God really pushes me through Pursuit. At first I was intimidated, but I had a great leader last year who I learned a lot from. He was a perfect example for me as I became a leader this year.”
Going forward, Saravia would like to simply dedicate herself to ministry. She is humbled by the way that God has provided for her so far and knows He has great plans for her, no matter where that takes. “Country-wise I’ve learned that every place is beautiful.The people are beautiful, the cultures are beautiful—it all reflects the diversity that God has placed in us, that reflect His character and who He is, because he’s so big and we can’t even comprehend it.”
by Mandy Pennington