Charissa is the House Manager of Project Bayview. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I grew up knowing about Christ, but not actually following after Him. I began to realize that true faith is more than just knowledge. It wasn’t until I was approaching 12 years old and the brokenness and pain around me really began to hit me, that I really began to see my own sin clearly, and also began to grasp the immense and perfect justice and holiness of God. Once I did, God showed me how rebellious my heart was and how every part of me, even my attempts to do good, were tainted by my sinful heart and were not acceptable in His sight. I began to understand that my sin truly does separate me from Him and cause me to have a broken relationship with Him. As He showed me this from His Word more fully, I realized that knowing Him meant placing my trust in His love for me revealed through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in my place, and repenting and turning away from my sin to follow after Christ and be His disciple. God changed my heart and I became a true follower. Because I was shy and was in a struggling church and family at the time, I didn’t know who to go to with my questions; the Holy Spirit simply drove me to the Word for multiple hours each day for a period of at least 3 years. I must have read the Bible cover to cover at least 2 or 3 times in that period of time because of the hunger to know God that He planted and grew inside of me. I was being discipled by the Holy Spirit through the Word. It was in these years that my passion for discipleship and missions was birthed, as well as my heart for using Scripture to counsel. My idea of being a follower of Christ wasn’t based on what I saw or failed to see around me, but rather was based on God’s Word and His heart as revealed in its pages. I knew then that my life would be guided by the hunger for making disciples and taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth where it has not been heard. God kindly allowed me to spend 6 months in Uganda and Kenya, serving the poor and sharing the love of Christ. He also allowed me to spend a summer in the slums of Kolkata, India, working alongside of women coming out of human trafficking and living in poverty. These two experiences, among many others, continued to shape me and sharpen my passion for discipleship and taking the Gospel to the nations. I started my college career at CSU Chico because I wanted to share Christ in the dorms there; the Lord moved me after a couple of years of intensely discipling and evangelizing there to finish my schooling through an online Bible college, pursuing my passion for Biblical counseling. The Lord brought me here to We Are Church and the Project Bayview Women’s Home in answer to many months of asking the Lord to take me somewhere where I could serve others, disciple, share the love of Christ, preach the Gospel, and be further prepared, trained, and raised up to take the Gospel to the nations long-term. I have fallen in love with the Bayview and my community here in San Francisco, and daily thank the Lord for the undeserved honor and privilege of serving these precious women and sharing Christ’s love, hope, and freedom with them. My greatest passion is treasuring Jesus and sharing the Gospel - the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection - with people from here to the ends of the earth, praying for the Holy Spirit to move and use it to transform, heal, and free them from their bondage in ways similar to His transforming work in my life.