‘I shine the light God has put in me’

| Michaela Nesvarova

The UT hosts a diverse community of students and employees of various backgrounds. With Christmas fast approaching, we have talked to several people from the UT about their faith and how they experience this festive period. Today: Paulina Ansaa Asante, UT student originally from Ghana.

Who: Paulina Ansaa Asante

Position: Master’s student at ITC faculty

Faith: Christian (member of International Christian Fellowship in Enschede)

‘My faith makes me happy, I feel at peace and strong. When I read the Bible, it gives me insight into what I see around me. My faith affects everything I do. I show love more. I learnt it is about shining the light God has put in me.’

‘Nobody can believe for you’

‘I’m a Christian, but I do not identify with a specific church. As long as we all believe in the same God and follow the same principals, it doesn’t matter if you call yourself a Catholic or an Orthodox Christian. Although my parents are practicing Christians, it was my own decision to follow the faith. I had to choose to follow Christ, because nobody else can believe for you. Now I read the Bible, pray, go to Bible study and go to church because I want to, not because somebody is directing me.’

‘I fully emerged myself in faith when I began my studies at a university in Ghana. I had some issues at the time and I stopped going to church. Then one person talked to me and explained that I should let Christ in, that I should give everything to him, that he will help me and I don’t have to fight my battles alone. That was the first time I heard about the love God has for me and it really touched my heart. I decided to let God work on me, guide me through everything.’

God as a friend

‘At the last Bible study, I asked others: Who is God to you? The answer is: God is who you want him to be in your life. For me, he is my savior, my strength, my joy, my father and my friend. I pray and talk to him every day. He is the one who knows everything, he knows all my flaws and still accepts me. He is a friend who always cheers me up.’

‘When I moved here from Ghana, my relationship with God did and did not change. Before I came here, I felt really strong, but when I arrived, I drifted away a bit. However, God pulled me back and made me even stronger. I started doing things I didn’t do back at home. For example, I joined the Bible study and a choir, because I realized that there are many ways to praise God.’

Christmas: light coming into the darkness

‘For me, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, of light coming into the darkness, it is time to celebrate the light that came to humanity. I enjoy Christmas, it is a symbol of a new beginning, day to celebrate – to eat, drink, sing, dance and be with the people you love. I don’t have to go to church, you don’t need a special building, because anytime we gather, it is already a celebration, a church in itself.’

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