“Born at 26 weeks, weighing 1lb 7oz I was determined to be a survivor, spending the first 4 months of my life in the NICU. From the beginning, my parents realized my life was a miracle and a gift from God, as I was given a less than 10 percent survival rate. With the odds stacked against me, I was blessed with the name Kristiana meaning One of God. Day by day I beat the odds and lived to fight another day. I have carried this same determination and strength throughout every aspect of my life.
Service and devotion have always been a committed aspect of my life. Throughout high school, I was given the opportunity to represent my class as Vice-President, which brought me a plethora of opportunities: Assembling tie-blankets for donation to The Cancer Center at Medina General Hospital, assisting coordination for Christmas donations for Caring for Kids and allowing me to participate in Key Club. As an active member, Key Club has allowed me amazing outreach activities for my community. Key Club introduced me to the global outreach project and Humanitarian opportunity known as The Thirst Project. To date, over 663 million people are lacking access to clean drinking water, and every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.
Last spring I had the opportunity to travel across the country for a 14-week internship with The Thirst Project, speaking on behalf of the global water crisis. Educating and inspiring individuals through Humanitarian and Community Outreach projects have become a passion for which I plan to continue throughout my career and lifetime. During this time, God intervened, which turned my path in a different direction. I fell asleep at the wheel, veered across 3 lanes of traffic, and overturned the vehicle into a ravine. My survival was nothing short of God’s work, as I walked away with only a few scratches. Sadly, my time as a Road Warrior came to an end in a short 8 weeks. Upon my return home, I enrolled at Baldwin Wallace University, as Pre-Medicine/NeuroBiology Major. During this time, I was introduced to Journey Church by Seth Maxwell, CEO of the Thirst Project. This introduction has been a life-changing event as my connection and devotion to God has flourished. Meeting Pastors Daniel and Daniela Pina have inspired and ignited my passion for ministry. With renewed faith and spirit, I am answering my calling to share the word and message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am now a senior at South Eastern University studying Ministerial Leadership with a minor in Non-Profit Management.
On December 15, 2019, one day after my 20th birthday, I took a leap of faith to publicly re-declared my faith and was baptized for the second time. About a month later I was introduced to The Cleveland Hope Exchange, I had finally found my tribe. Every month serving God alongside my team we get to quite literally be the hands and feet of Jesus; giving people hope who may have lost it, food to those who can not afford it, and my favorite part; leading people to Christ. The Cleveland Hope Exchange has opened my eyes to the world around me but, much more than that it has brought me friends who are quickly turning into my family.”