Perseverance bears fruit in San Diego
“They are equipped, they are ready”
Today, CO San Diego has a thriving women’s ministry. Student leaders are sharing the gospel and discipling others as they walk through God’s Word together.
This week, freshmen Bible studies will begin and for the first time, every one of them will be led by a student.
But two years ago, as CO staff member Berkeley Gomez worked to build a women’s ministry on two separate campuses, she faced continued rejection and disappointment. Coming out of the foreign mission field, Berkeley believed she was fully equipped for her new role on CO staff, but God tested her resilience during those early years in California.
“Going into ministry in San Diego, I thought, ‘this is going to be a breeze. I’ve done this before and it can’t be harder than what I had to do overseas,’” Berkeley remembered.
"I realized I was looking to myself, my strength and my abilities."
For years, Berkeley continued to pursue relationships on campus without gaining much traction, until finally a group of Freshmen girls attended Summer Leadership Project together.
"They came back to campus with the vision to labor and multiply disciples for Christ.
We’d had a couple people attend in the past, but they didn’t really catch that vision,” Berkeley shared. “Those girls are now Seniors, who are discipling Sophomores, who are meeting up with Freshmen to share their faith. They are equipped, they are ready and they are doing it.”
For Berkeley, those years of what she calls "drought" prepared her to train the student leaders she disciples today.
“A lot of those girls are feeling discouraged. They are laboring and see very little fruit. I’m able to share (my early San Diego) experience and it’s so much more powerful than if things had happened quickly,.” she said. “If it had been easy, I would have credited my own strength and abilities. I thought I was rich in Spirit, but now I know how poor in Spirit I really was. I’m definitely depending on the Holy Spirit and on Jesus in my own life and as I pour into these girls’ lives.”
As Berkeley studies the book of Matthew alongside her student leaders, she’s drawn to Matthew 7:17-18.
“The focus isn’t on the fruit, it’s on the root. If we’re rooted in the right thing, the fruit will come in its time. I look back on that time and thank God for stripping away those roots that were in the wrong places.”
“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” Matthew 7:17-18