My Life in Christ: Hannah Gibson’s Faith Story

by Abigail Reed

“God called me from the chaos of my childhood to APU, providing a way even when it seemed impossible. Even though I don’t have parents in my life, God has brought me a family community through APU, showing me what it means to truly love and care for others.”

For the first 14 years of her life, Hannah Gibson ’22 was not allowed to celebrate Christmas. In fact, her parents prohibited anything related to religion—namely Christianity—and refused to mention Jesus in their household. When her parents abandoned her as a teen and left her without a place to stay, Gibson turned to the kindness of one of her high school teachers, an APU alumnus. He opened his family’s house to her, under one condition: she would go to church with them on Sundays. She went, and an overwhelming wave of understanding flooded Gibson’s mind. Jesus offers forgiveness, boundless grace, and freedom from condemnation. She wanted to know more and quickly developed a dream of attending APU.

The financial realities of her life, however, made that path seem impossible. This realization drove Gibson to surrender her dreams to Jesus: she would go wherever He took her. As she let go, God spoke, telling her to write her story and send it to the admissions counselor. Struck by her life journey, APU partnered with Gibson to make her education possible. She arrived on campus that fall, blown away by God’s provision and eager to experience more of Him.

Since coming to APU, Gibson has cultivated her love for developing community and teaching others, whether serving as a resident advisor (RA) to leading an action team in East Asia. “All my experiences grew me, but God stretched my faith for the first time during RA training while backpacking in the wilderness,” said Gibson. “I realized the impact of my life story, learned from the ministry of others, and grew closer to Jesus.”

This year, Gibson will serve as an RA for a second year in a row, coming alongside freshman in the dorms. Through these opportunities, God recently called Gibson to take a leap of faith and switch her major to Christian ministries. She looks to the future with hopes of continuing to teach and encourage others in their faith journeys, sharing her story along the way.

This article is part of a series that features the inspiring faith stories of APU's students, faculty, and staff. If you are a member of the APU community and would like to share your faith story, contact Rachel White at rewhite@apu.edu.

Abigail Reed is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a liberal studies major with an honors humanities minor.