Ashley Zinda: God's Directed Adventure

Ashley Zinda: God's Directed Adventure

Ashley "Shay" Zinda's life growing up was filled with trials, but the Ohio native has discovered these events were part of God's plan for her adventure.

Ashley ZindaShay is from Cleveland Heights - a little town near Lake Erie. Now a junior in her second year at BBC, she is majoring in Specialized Ministries and plans to become involved in ministries reaching out to teenage girls who have been abused. Shay currently serves on the Student Leadership Council as an Executive Representative.

I grew up in a Christian family but never really accepted the faith until later. I had a lot of bitterness because of events that occurred in my life and wanted nothing to do with God whatsoever. God had to break me out of that lifestyle and kind of snap my head back on straight. Coming out of that, I got to see what Christ did not only through my life but others too. This has been a motivation for me to help others and see them grow in Christ.

God has changed my life completely. At a very young age, I joined a swimming program that had potential to take the participants to the Olympics. But an injury at age 12 caused me to drop it. Through another event in my life, I became bitter and rebelled against God. In living my own life and experiencing the world, I suffered a great deal and fell into depression. God broke me down when a friend met with me. As we sat with puddles of tears around us, we gave our lives to Him.

My previous plan before coming to BBC was to go to Florida to become an NCIS agent. I had no plans to go to a Christian college, one that had snow, and not anywhere within 10 hours of my home. But God had other plans by sending me to a small Christian college in the cold and snowy weather of northeast Pennsylvania. At this point in my life, I am willing to go wherever God wants me. It is going to be an adventure.

God has revealed to me why I have gone through tough times in my life by using my experiences in ministry. Our story is not our story; its God's story. Every single aspect of our story will be used by God even though it is hard to see why the hard times occur. These events that occur in our life are potentially something that can be used by God in our testimony. I want to use that for His glory by helping girls who have been hurt. I want to serve them by revealing that Christ does heal all of the scars. God has already helped me open up to share my testimony and I have been blessed to see it impact girls who have been abused. All of my suffering has meaning, and I can honestly say now that everything in my life happened for a purpose.

My ministry right now is the Student Leadership Council. I have been involved in re-crafting the Student Handbook. We have more activities and projects planned for students as well. We want to be more ministry-minded in our events. I think BBC has great potential for more. We have huge opportunities for leaders and people who want to serve Christ and there is a real opportunity to come along as brothers and sisters in Christ to help them achieve their goals, along with helping them grow spiritually.

Recently I switched my major from Camping Ministries to Specialized Ministries with a focus on Intercultural Studies.I want to throw some wilderness therapy in there as well. My desire is to work with teen girls who have been abused. The hope and plan is to use the wilderness setting to disciple them and bring them together toward Christ.

Currently I am working for BBC Security. I have been working night shift, which has been an adventure and adjustment for someone who typically goes to bed early. I have been on the BBC Cross Country team for two seasons. A friend and I will be training for a half-marathon over the winter.

I love horseback riding. Horses were my life growing up. Running and swimming are also activities I enjoy. I really like to do things with people, like rock climbing, hiking, and going on adventures. When time is available, I enjoy drawing and sketching. I love movies; I could sit down all day and watch movies while eating nothing but fries and pizza.

This year I have been able to build personal relationships with my professors. The professors have taken time to teach me a lot about what ministry and discipleship looks like. Professor Dennis Wilhite has taught me to not look at people as problems and flaws, but instead look at them and wonder what God is doing in their life.

At BBC, you can walk down the sidewalk and know or recognize everyone's face. This provides for deeper friendships and accountability. There is the ability to build into each other more here with such a community-minded campus. The way the residence halls are structured is based off of building relationships, which is what our culture as a whole is really losing. BBC has students who are honest to each other, pour into each other's lives, and confront one another. It is more difficult to hide at BBC where there are genuine people who are intentional in their relationships. This college is intimate and personal.

If you come to be BBC with a heart desiring to learn, God will do wonders with you. BBC is very focused and directed for where they want their students to end up. The professors will bend over backwards in order to see you succeed. Most of them will invest as much as they can into your life. BBC thrives off experiential learning outside and as well as in the classroom. You will be challenged to go one step further than you think you can go now. You will be able to see God's hand working here and have the chance to be a part of the work here.

Contact Information

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers outstanding Christian higher education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to think biblically, grow spiritually, and serve faithfully as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 1/2/2014 11:24:53 AM

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