Author: Harmony Oswald Personal Growth

Echo: Big Vision & Local Impact

South Bay/Echo Church may have a big vision, but I believe it is quality local relationships that make it great. I found this out during my first year of attendance, in 2013, after my family moved to the area from Pennsylvania, and I began attending Santa Clara University School of Law.

Law school years were extremely taxing for our family of 4. I was a mother of two teens as I took the journey, and I named the dreadful period of adjusting to the Socratic Method in law school as “Gish,” after the San Jose road we would pass each Sunday on our way to South Bay Church. To me, the name Gish sounded like an appropriate term to depict the difficult season. Although I had grown up in a Christian family, and considered myself as a person with a strong faith for many years, law school certainly tested my faith in ways I had not foreseen. On October 20, 2013, during my first semester as a 1L student, I was baptized at South Bay Church. That act of public display of faith in Jesus helped me move closer to God during a time of hardship. I remain grateful that I found South Bay Church and was blessed with the opportunity to be baptized during that time.

Also during law school, I served as Vice President on the Board of the Christian Legal Society. South Bay supported the university mission by providing books, signs, and marketing materials for CLS to borrow and use at our meetings. For example, we were able to teach the students the lessons during the “Fear Not” sermon series. That was an appropriate message during law school, which required students to exercise great faith and reliance that God will see them through times that would make any reasonable person feel afraid. Many students in the Santa Clara community benefited immeasurably due to the generosity of South Bay Church to share its resources during that time.

In addition, my family recently experienced some medical issues. Pastor Philip, of the South San Jose Campus, graciously took time to pray with my husband and me prior to a service. He also made time in his busy schedule to discuss how South Bay Church might help. The church has repeatedly been a source of strong faith, encouragement, and community to my family and me. Thus, although South Bay/Echo Church has a broad vision to make a positive impact around the world, it is quality personal relationships at a local level that I recognize and am thankful for.

Last but not least, South Bay Church has provided me with the great opportunity to volunteer alongside amazing women to write for the Breathe Blog. I am very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to meet wonderful, strong women such as Stacie, Kendall, Syzette, and more. These women care about God, their families, their communities, and each other. I am truly blessed with the opportunity to participate as a writer for Breathe. Thanks, South Bay/Echo Church!

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