Current Status: Alumni
Graduation Year: 2015
While working at an immigration law firm as a paralegal, Mariah Bliss (BA '15) sensed God nudging her to pursue a Master of Divinity degree. The job frequently required overtime, and Mariah knew that if she wanted to focus on her graduate education she would need to cut back her hours significantly. When the law firm denied her request to work part-time, she quit.
Reaching out to her virtual community online, Mariah enlisted her social media network to pray for job opportunities. Within the hour, she was contacted by a staff member at Amor Ministries, a compassion ministry founded by HIU alumni Gayla (BA '77, MA '89) and Scott (MA '89) Congdon. Mariah applied for the Amor Trip Coordinator position, and is now assisting leaders as they plan outreach trips to Mexico.
"At Amor, we thrive on serving others. For me, learning servant leadership at Hope, rather than focusing on my own needs, is bearing fruit in my life," Mariah shares as she reflects on HIU’s significant influence in shaping her life. “Also, my HIU education has been vital in my pursuit of – and passion for – academia. One of my greatest pleasures is in deconstructing the Bible and formulating questions that deepen my relationship with Christ.”
Along with serving at Amor, and studying for her M.Div., Mariah is working on a non-fiction novel in which she hopes to share some of her life experiences to help young girls cope with similar hardships. "I love helping others (and myself) understand the not-so-pretty aspects of life," Mariah says of the inspiration behind her book. "I feel that young girls often struggle and feel like they are all alone. I want to be a piece of the puzzle that shows them otherwise."
"Within the last 5 years, God has been teaching me about the beauty of time and patience. Although I wish I had my novel published already, I realize I am still growing and learning, which can’t help but enhance my writing. Meanwhile, I have this great opportunity to help impoverished people in Mexico through my work at Amor."