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Mari Grajales

Associate College Minister

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About Mari

I was born and raised in Panama City, Panama. I grew up in a Jesus-loving family, and I don’t have memories of Jesus not being present in my life. Throughout my life, I have witnessed God's faithfulness. 

The year 2018 marked a pivotal transition as I ventured to Texas for higher education, my initial separation from home. It was a season of severe anxiety in my life, and that's when I learned what real dependence on the Lord was like. God opened doors for me to move to Dallas and go to UTD. I didn't have any friends or family here, but I trusted God and moved. Two weeks into the semester, I was sitting in my room, asking God why he brought me to Dallas and what my purpose was here. For a whole year, I kept asking him the same question, but I didn't get an answer then. I remember calling my mom and telling her about it and how hard it was, and we prayed about it and prayed for a good Christian community. Miraculously, the very next day, I encountered Campus Outreach, which aligned seamlessly with Citizens Church.

I started attending Citizens Church in the fall of 2019. This community played a very special role in my walk with Jesus and my college experience. I graduated in the spring of 2022 with a Bachelors of Science in neuroscience and was on track to go to medical school. I had a timeline and plans, and I thought I had everything figured out. But during this time, I started thinking, "What if God was calling me to do something else, like college ministry?" After a couple of months, I realized that I was not in control, but God was, that my thoughts were not his thoughts, nor my ways were his ways. Gradually, I relinquished control, acknowledging God's sovereignty and discerning His purpose for me in Dallas: to serve Him wholeheartedly. Now, I am privileged to contribute to the college team of this transformative ministry that shaped my formative years.

My Hope for Citizens Church

My hope for Citizens Church is that we would love others as Jesus loves us, and people can find a loving community here. I pray that our ministry would be a reflection of our love for Jesus.

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We hold to the central beliefs of the Christian faith, as communicated throughout Scripture and summed up in the ancient creeds of the Church.