Joel Sam

Joel

I was born in Colorado to Indian immigrant parents but soon moved to Dallas, TX, where I spent all of my formative years. I had the privilege of growing up in a church community that emphatically proclaimed the message of the gospel, and I trusted Christ to save me from the penalty of my sins at a very young age. Unfortunately, this community also had a very academic perspective toward spiritual life, and while I learned a lot of facts and stories about the Bible, I had very little exposure to critically thinking about faith or developing intimacy with God. My identity in high school was based on academic success and developing skills and achievements to impress others.

When I started college at Texas A&M University, I joined the Navigators, a campus ministry focused on helping college students know Christ and make Him known. Through the Navs, I learned how to spend daily time alone with God in prayer and the Bible, to share the gospel with friends and strangers, and to make disciples of Christ. I was able to spend time on mission overseas and attend training programs to develop me as a leader in the body of Christ. During this time, I saw a shift in placing my identity in my academics and achievements to primarily identifying myself as a follower of Christ committed to proclaiming His glory wherever He placed me.

After college, I once again experienced dramatic transformation in my life through a season of depression and transition, where I developed intimacy with God on a much deeper level. Through this time, I learned that I had much less control over my life than I had previously assumed, and I saw that God was not done teaching me lessons. In the months that followed, I experienced an unparalleled abundance of life in Christ, where I could look back and see God’s love and faithfulness in future times of distress.

I’m still embarking on the mysterious journey that is life, and I know God has many experiences in store for me. I’m hoping that my story, as well as my work here on Come Awake encourages you to develop your own relationship with God, and to live your life with a spirit of awe and adventure.