Emma Hodowanic

Emma Hodowanic

Local Missions Minister

Life Story

I was raised in a home that focused on sports. My twin sister, Megan, and I were competitive gymnasts on the road to be the first female twins to ever compete at the Olympics for gymnastics, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics were the ultimate goal for our lives. I found my worth and identity in gymnastics, the approval of my parents and coaches, and the need and expectation to be perfect.

For most of my childhood and teen years, I believed in God, but I never had a personal relationship with Him. The extent of our faith was attending church on Sundays with our dad. My parents divorced when I was entering high school, and the years to follow were messy. I attempted to fill the needs of my broken and confused heart with things the world offered me. Then, right before my high school graduation, I found out I was pregnant and made the decision to have an abortion.

I entered college as a cheerleader for The University of Arizona filled with regret, guilt, shame, and bitterness as I carried my dark secrets with me. I was exhausted as I tried to keep up with seeming perfect on the outside, when on the inside I was so lost. Then, by His grace, God used a Christian teammate of mine to show me His loving kindness. Over the coming years, I learned that He was in relentless pursuit of me from the very beginning and was in the process of writing a beautiful redemption story for my life.

The summer of my junior year, Megan attended Athletes in Action’s Ultimate Training Camp where she gave her life to Christ. Her complete transformation and heart change were astounding to me, and I was intrigued to know more about her faith. Over the next year, God started to soften my heart toward Him, and right after graduation, I asked Megan if what she had was available to someone like me. She responded by sharing the gospel with me. My heart was ready for the good news of Christ and His finished work on the cross, and it just clicked. I realized my deep need for a Savior and was overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of God’s grace and forgiveness offered to broken people like me. And that was it. I was all-in for following Jesus and pointing others to Him.

Hope for The Village Church

My hope is that we would continue to boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples from our neighborhoods to the nations. I pray that we would be an authentic, biblical community that walks in the light together, lives humbly out of Christ’s love and kindness for us, and is daily transformed into the image of Jesus.