“Only God could let my mom get lost in McAllen on her way to Monterrey, Mexico and convince her to purchase a house there. Only God could give me the courage to get up and follow my mom there when I was in the midst of my own marital problems. Only God could use our move to Texas to change our hearts make us new again,” shares SCS student, Melissa Astudillo. “My whole life God knew I would come to praise Him, but He had to bring me to my knees to do it.” 

A Chicago native, the way Melissa moved to Texas is best described as providential. “Growing up, we would drive through Texas on our way to Mexico, and I always vowed I would never live there,” Melissa says. “The funny thing is my parents moved back to Chicago after a year in Texas, but my family decided to stay.”

God radically began changing Melissa and her family once they were in Texas. “My husband was growing in his faith and kept asking me to attend church for about 4 months. I finally gave in, and six weeks later, the Holy Spirit presented himself to me through one of the pastors at church,” Melissa says. “Since then, my hunger to know more about God has increased, and I have felt a call on my life to marriage counseling and women’s ministry.” 

Melissa started attending SCS in 2018 after one of her pastors encouraged her to take a class. “At first, I was nervous that all the students would be younger and more knowledgeable than me. I soon realized SCS is like a big family, and I loved my first semester,” Melissa tells us. “I love the diversity of the students and staff, because I come from a proud Hispanic family who believes that everything you do should revolve around the Lord. My culture is very important to me, and I am extremely thankful to be in an environment that both encourages me in my call and values my experiences.”

Outside of classes, you can find Melissa serving as an intern for the SCS campus in McAllen, serving in the Women’s Ministry Team at BT.Church, and chasing around her three kids.