Mercedes Wenz

17 February, 2016

I moved here to Australia in 2013 with my family from California. In 2009, my parents visited for a holiday, they had loved the life style and desired change for our family. So they prayed about it for a year, and felt that God was calling them, out of faith, to make a big life change.

Having grown up in another country, moving to Australia wasn’t on my to-do list. However, it took a few years to get the visa paper-work process completed, and in that time, God had done some work on my heart to be on board with starting a new chapter of my life.

I grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school. I accepted Christ as my saviour at age seven, yet I had my first major encounter with the Holy Spirit when I was 13 years old. It was then, that I understood what it meant to live out my faith and share God’s love.

My high school years were the pinpoint of my life where God really grew me as a person and my understanding of him. He provided me with positive role models to look up to and many friends to help me grow spiritually. This is where I began to truly grow my relationship with him.

I have always had a passion for dance, and in my teenage years, God taught me the difference between dancing for Him versus for myself. He taught me how to worship him with the talents he had given me. Nurturing this gift, I became involved with church productions as a dancer, converting to the counter-culture of dance. And it was awesome!

Saying good-bye to California, I had asked God a prayer for a dancing opportunity in Australia- whether that be teaching, studying, taking classes…I didn’t want to lose that. And He certainly answered my prayer! I am currently a dance teacher, teaching musical theater and drama. I am also, one of the leaders of a dance ministry called Eleven88 Movement where we use the element of dance as a connecting tool to build relationships and empower young people; focusing on self-worth, providing a safe space for them to be themselves, learning a new skill, and developing friendships.

Psalm 118:8 tells us that, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

God makes it clear that our worth doesn’t come from man or anything of this world, but from Him alone.

So, ever since I have first stepped foot in the Land Down Under, God continues to teach me more about his character, growing me deeper in His love. He continues to cultivate my passions to inspire, encourage, love, and serve young people. And with lots of time dedicated to prayer, I felt led to get involved with the Follow Youth group.

I see that there is a need to invest into the lives of the young people of our community. So to answer that need, Follow Youth promotes a safe, fun, and engaging environment for young people to shape their confidence, build positive relationships with their peers, and most importantly, their faith and relationship with God. But Follow Youth isn’t just about having fun, we desire to see them get involved within the community, and spend time in fellowship with one another; teaching them how to grow and feed themselves spiritually.

I’m really excited to see where God will take Follow Youth this year!

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