Interview and Personal Testimony with Christian Women Living magazine

https://www.christianwomenliving.com/ministries-that-amaze-us/?fbclid=IwAR2RqkZcZM9NLYxlx1xMm0SqQeMPI-GjQn3xzr03XEa0W2x1qy55PmHKvdI

Christian Women Living Magazine is excited to introduce this wonderful couple with a unique ministry. They have been sharing God’s Word on a platform that could ultimately reach thousands of people, especially the younger age group. Through video game chit chat, this couple dives into the word of God in a way that gamers can understand. Meet the couple behind the ministry, Finding God in the World of Video Games, Steven, and Arielle.

Cyndi Kay: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Steven & Arielle: We are a husband and wife team who work together to write and produce articles, videos, and gaming streams under the name “Finding God in the World of Video Games”. This has been our labor of love for the last five years, blending our personal appreciation for the medium of video games with our heartfelt desire to reach this generation with the Gospel of Christ.

CK: Please share a summary of your journey with Christ.
Steven: I grew up in a traditional church environment… Sunday School, services four times a week, and was active in everything from the church choir to youth groups, the whole nine yards. But throughout that process I gained an incredible amount of head knowledge, but I did not experience a true heart change. Over the years I fell further away from the Lord, struggled through the consequences of a sinful lifestyle, and finally realized that I could no longer live life on my own terms. I finally gave my full heart to pursuing the Lord and have been chasing Him ever since.

Arielle: I, on the other hand, did not grow up in a church environment. I grew up knowing who God was, and my parents would read the Bible to us every now and again, but my family disagreed on the value of church attendance. I grew up having a pretty skewed view on the church, what it actually means to be a Christian, and on God Himself. I learned over the years that there is a huge difference between knowing who God is and actually knowing Him. The older I got, the more open I became to going to church, reading the Bible, and spending actual time in prayer. I met my wonderful husband and we found the perfect church together. Now I walk daily with the Lord (rather than once every blue moon) and have given Him my heart fully and completely.

CK: Tell us about your unique ministry.
Steven: The mission of our weekly articles and videos is to encourage both Christians and non-believers alike of the relevance and necessity of a daily, personal walk with Jesus Christ while challenging some of our perspectives, long-held perceptions. and preconceived notions along the way. The world of gaming is an incredible way to experience an emotional journey, spend time with your family, or simply stay connected with friends around the world. It gives us a rich, common language that is shared across all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds in every walk of life. And the reality of God is so much more than what we often give Him credit for because our mortal minds struggle to comprehend Him. When walking the earth Jesus often used allegories and parables to help us understand the complex concepts of God, faith, and living this Christian life. And through our gaming anecdotes, favorite video game narratives, and our passion for all things “nerdy” we aim to uncover the deep truths of God in our day to day adventures in the vibrant world of gaming.

CK: What is a gamer? Which one of you got “hooked” first?
Arielle:  A “gamer” is anyone who enjoys playing video games for entertainment, and what is really cool about the gaming community is how inclusive it is. You can play games competitively or just for fun… you can be a fan of just one game or enjoy hundreds of different games. You can play alone to enjoy the interactive stories or you can play online with hundreds of people to enjoy the shared social experiences. Anyone can enjoy the world of gaming regardless of their age, race, gender… whether it’s short, occasional, bite-sized gaming experiences or getting lost for hundreds of hours in another world.

Steven: I would absolutely say that I was probably the first to get hooked on gaming… I have been a gamer pretty much all of my life, ever since that fateful day my Dad came home with a great deal from a closing arcade on an Asteroids arcade cabinet many moons ago (He also came home with a Star Trek pinball machine that never, EVER worked, but that is a frustrating story for another time). I earned my stripes in the arcades each Saturday with a fistful of quarters and have never looked back.

CK: What was the first game you played and then realized you were now a “gamer”?
Steven: Hmmm… while the first game I played was probably Space Invaders, the game that truly made me a “gamer” was the first Metal Gear Solid on the original PlayStation system. That title changed the way I looked at games forever… it was heavily cinematic, featuring a roster of fully realized and compelling characters, a dramatic soundtrack, and a narrative full of twists and turns that still stand up to this day. From that point forward I looked at games as not only an occasional hobby or a fun way to burn off steam after a long day of work, but as my preferred method of enjoying a story as well.

Arielle: I grew up playing a lot of games with my family, but I have to say that Halo 2 is what got me hooked as a “gamer”. I would look forward to playing it every weekend with my uncle, dad, brothers and cousins. My uncle even owned a gaming store in our small town and built a gaming room with four TV’s and  four couches where we would have weekend tournaments as a family together… and it was probably one of the biggest highlights of my childhood for sure!

CK: Do you feel that we as a society have allowed video games to become the babysitter of our kids?
Steven: It’s a fair question, and like any entertainment medium there are unhealthy levels of use and attachment that parents are responsible for monitoring. As a child my parents certainly enforced a balance between screen time, outdoor activities, scholastic achievements, and family time. What we believe is important is that parents are involved in their children’s passions and pursuits across the board. If your child is in organized sports activities, as parents we would typically be present to cheer them on and celebrate their participation. We believe it is equally important to be engaged with the media our children are digesting, whether that is games, television, movies, or books. Sit and watch them play, join them when possible, ask them questions about the game, and monitor the content.

CK: Do you target your content toward one specific gaming console or is it orientated toward the game itself?
Arielle: We are equal opportunity gamers, and we play games across all consoles and enjoy a large variety of different games. Most of the time we are just playing a game for fun together and inspiration strikes us for an article/video, or there is news in the gaming world that reminds us of a particular lesson we have recently learned in our personal devotional time.

CK: Tell us about a time that God directly answered a prayer.
Arielle: The largest and most personal answer to prayer for me was the birth of my beautiful daughter. It was always a dream of mine to be a mother, but my first two pregnancies both ended in devastating miscarriages. They were the most painful experiences I have ever personally endured, and there were days where I absolutely felt abandoned by God and completely alone despite my husband, family, and friends all sharing in my pain and doing their best to comfort me. I spent almost every waking hour praying for peace, the restoration of my joy, and the fulfillment of my dream to hold my baby in my arms. The Lord was gracious to us, and our third pregnancy resulted in a sweet, healthy baby girl who fills my life with so much joy and happiness that I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

CK: Can you recall a time when you know that God was the only way you had a provision through a certain situation?
Steven: One of the largest times that the Lord clearly provided for me was during a major transitional period in my life in which I was moving halfway across the United States for a new job opportunity. I was moving to a state where I didn’t know a single soul, had no family or friends, and had just a handful of belongings loaded up in a Uhaul truck. I didn’t even know where I was going to live or have a plan for a vehicle once I turned this Uhaul truck in! I prayed during the entire drive that the Lord would guide me… and He certainly did. I found a simple apartment that was located close to my job responsibilities that had an immediate opening, and directly across from that apartment was a resident who “just happened” to sell cars he purchased from local auctions. He asked me how much I had to spend and I had $2,000 to my name… he came back that night with a simple but stable vehicle that served me faithfully for years. He moved out a week later and I never heard from him again. In just 48 hours the Lord took my challenging situation and landed me on solid ground with a new job, a car, and a place to live. And no matter what happens, He has continued to provide faithfully (even if it is in the eleventh hour), and still does each and every day.

CK: What inspires you?
Arielle: I am inspired and encouraged by the knowledge that all of the mistakes I have made, the challenges I have been through, and even my darkest times can be used by God to help someone else who is going through similar circumstances. Through our articles and videos we can share some of these hard times, and every time the Lord has been faithful to show us that we are NOT alone in what we are going through. As a matter of fact, that is what most of the Bible is… the history of other normal people just like you and me who lived, struggled, made mistakes, and were still used by the Lord in mighty and powerful ways!

CK: Tell us about a time when your ministry has had an impact on someone you may or may not know.
Steven: One day I was trying to encourage a friend to keep strong through a challenging period in their life. I shared a Bible story that the Lord had placed on my heart that I believed would give them strength through their storm. Unfortunately, they were not a believer and had no point of reference to understand the context or principle of the portion of Scripture I was sharing with them. But we DID share a passion for gaming, and God brought an example to my mind that helped me frame the Biblical concept through a gaming narrative that we both knew very well. After we had talked through their situation and prayed together, they told me that they had never really thought about the Bible in this way. That conversation became one of my very first written blogs, “When God Needed a Hitman – Living Up to the Assassin’s Creed”, and from that humble beginning we have been writing and sharing ever since.

CK: What is your favorite quote?
Arielle: My favorite quote is Psalm 16:8, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me”. That has helped me through some VERY tough times in life.

Steven: I have so many, but if I have to choose just one I would have to go with Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” It can be incredibly challenging in our moments of pain to believe that everything serves a purpose, but whether it is a few weeks, months, years, or maybe not until we reach the other side of eternity, we can rest assured that it will all work together for good.

CK: Where do you think our youth has the biggest challenge in this uncertain world of chaos and Covid?
Steven: The largest challenge any generation faces is understanding that God is in control, but that doesn’t mean that everything is going to be all rainbows and butterflies. The Bible is chock full of stories where God’s chosen people suffered… sometimes because of their sinful choices, but other times because of the ever-present evil that has plagued our planet ever since sin entered the world. From Cain killing his brother Abel, to the crucifixion of Christ, to the martyrdom of Stephen… even good people suffer and sometimes it can look like God is not as involved with His creation the way we would like Him to be. But even those circumstances were used by God to bring about salvation… the death of Abel served as the impetus for the birth of Seth, the beginning of the chosen ancestral line that led to Christ. Christ’s death on the cross was the turning point that bought salvation for every person who chooses to believe, and even the stoning death of Stephen was the catalyst for the missionary career of the greatest evangelist the world has ever known, the Apostle Paul. Our youth today need to hear this message… through all the chaos, God is STILL in control. He always has been and always will be.

CK: Where can our readers contact you or follow your content?
ARIELLE: We are just about anywhere you can think… you can find our articles and videos under “Finding God in the World of Video Games” on Facebook, WordPress and YouTube. We also share our content on Twitter under “FindingGodIn_VG” and Instagram under “FindingGodInVideoGames”, and can be reached via email at FindingGodInVideoGames@gmail.com.

CK: Is there anything else you would like to share about your ministry with our readers?
Steven: It is our prayer that through “Finding God in the World of Video Games” our articles and videos inspire our readers and viewers to see the eternal wisdom of God in a modern light, and provide hope and encouragement in a world that is overflowing with negativity, darkness, and suffering. Along the way we hope we can make others laugh, think, and reflect while exploring the mysteries of Christ from a different point of view than they may have considered before. We hope you will join us as we all share this journey together in the wild world of gaming and this open-world adventure we call life! Please share us freely with anyone you believe would enjoy or appreciate our articles!

Thank you for sharing with our readers today and we look forward to working with you at Christian Women Living Magazine.

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