Her name was Becca, a youth sponsor at our church in Michigan, and she was my first spiritual mentor. I had grown up in a Christian home, accepted Christ at age seven, and attended Christian school for most of my education. But it was the summer of 2000, at age 16 on a youth hiking trip, that I first saw what it really meant to follow Christ, to know Him, to pursue Him whole- heartedly.
Becca was one of the leaders for our summer adventure. This hiking trip was supposed to be a week long, but for me lasted only 3 days; not for lack of will or effort, but due an accident where I spilled a pot of boiling water on my lap. Fast forward through being carried to the nearest trail head, an ambulance ride to the ER, 2nd degree burns, and I found myself rooming with Becca in some random hotel for the next four days. But it was in those four days, as I observed her habits, listened to her testimony, experienced the joy she found in Christ, that I began to see how to know Christ.
Becca loved Jesus with every fiber of her being, and that love fueled a deep desire to know Him. As she mentored me over the next 18 months, I began to learn how to trust Him, to love Him. I learned that the first step to knowing Christ is obeying Him. And I learned how to see unexpected pain in life as a way to draw nearer still to Him
-Jackie Diercks, photo circa 2001