Faith goes from disconnected to discipleship

CEDARVILLE — Many students come to Cedarville University having grown up in a Christian environment and attending church their whole lives. But that doesn’t mean they have their faith figured out.

That’s the story of Heidi Vizino, a junior nursing major from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Vizino enrolled at Cedarville University feeling apathetic about her faith. She wanted to change but didn’t know how, and she hoped that her college years would be when she would find answers.

Vizino’s faith underwent a re-awakening during the annual Fall Bible Conference her freshman year as Clayton King, founder of Clayton King Ministries and teaching pastor at NewSpring Church, spoke about embracing weakness to find strength. He emphasized the gospel — that Jesus had paid for sins, defeated death through the resurrection, and made a way to have a right relationship with God.

His messages were a wake-up call for Vizino, who sensed that her own life needed to change. She wanted to not just know about the gospel but have her whole life be driven by the gospel, just as King described. After a long season of apathy toward her faith, she finally wanted to learn, to start reading the Bible consistently and to build relationships around her faith.

“I knew that my relationship with God wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but I wasn’t doing anything about it,” Vizino said. “When the Lord brought me to Cedarville, he just opened my eyes and I was able to see that this is the kind of community I had been craving. I saw in other people a deep affection for God that I wanted to have and knew I didn’t have.”

Vizino began consistently reading the Bible every morning along with her roommate, and this ignited an intense interest in helping others in their faith journey.

She began serving with Cedarville’s discipleship ministries during her sophomore year, and became more active in seeking ways to grow spiritually, including mentoring younger students.

Today, Vizino serves as a member of Discipleship Council, a team of students who serve as leaders in the discipleship ministries program. She also chose to stay in Printy Hall, a residence hall traditionally filled with freshmen, so she can care for other students as they grow in their faith.

“I see the potential to get to pour into girls who are just starting out and maybe for the first time actually taking their faith seriously,” Vizino said. “The Lord has just given me a heart for that because of what he did for me.”