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Following is a complete transcript from Raquel Saharig’s reflection, presented during the 2023 Senior Celebration Night.

Good evening, My name is Raquel Saharig and I will be sharing my experience at EC. I have been at EC since 2nd grade, but my sophomore year at EC was nonexistent. I decided to leave EC and attend my public school during my sophomore year. It was during this time that I learned to actively use the skills and test some values that EC taught me. Sophomore year was the year of complete isolation and online learning. I found myself cooped up in my room and not interacting with people as I normally would. This was detrimental to my faith and my mental health. I found myself at a crossroads. Although my isolation led me to deepen my faith in God, I realized that I took EC for granted and didn’t value the fellowship that it provided. I would pray and meditate on the Word, but I still longed for a connection with other believers and wanted to talk about my walk with God. This was not available to me at my public school. I was not able to speak out about my religion and could not relate to other people in my grade. 

In a sense, this threatened my faith, and I felt as though I needed to surround myself with a Christian community. I was longing for fellowship and understanding in a biblical sense. I was in an isolated state when I turned to scripture and a specific verse. Philippians 4:13 states,  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” This verse stood out to me because I felt like God was calling me toward him. I was at such a vulnerable place, and this verse helped me to overcome the obstacles. This verse led me to become closer to God and ultimately make the decision to come back to EC. I returned to EC my junior year, and ever since, I have never looked back. I believe that God brought me back to EC to strengthen my relationship with him. Since coming back, I have developed great relationships with friends and can talk with them about my walk with God.  I do not regret the decision, and I believe that God placed me here to grow and help others grow in their faith for the future. I can strengthen my faith and my core values to guide me in the future as I move on to the next chapter. Overall, I thank EC for long-lasting friendships and strong values that will have on my life.

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