Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Twitter Expert Gives Her Heart to God

Claire Diaz-Ortiz was born and raised in Berkeley, California, a town famous for its leftist political history. She was eager to find people who shared her faith, but her small Presbyterian church seemed to lose members every Sunday.

But I had (church) camp. Every summer my parents shipped me off to Westminster Woods among the redwoods of Northern California. Those weeks of music and fellowship kept me grounded in faith.

For several years at camp, I had learned about what it would mean to accept Christ into my heart. I had heard, but I hadn’t been ready. Until the summer I was 12. One night, wondering what it would mean if no God existed at all, I made my decision. A simple solo prayer on the steps of my cabin sealed the deal.

For the next dozen years, Claire’s faith rose and fell. Some years she felt connected to God. Other years she just went through the motions. She continued going to church and attended a small group Bible study, but Claire said, “I still wasn’t all in.”

She and a friend spent 2006 traveling the world. They visited 19 countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe, including climbing to Everest Base Camp. There altitude sickness struck her and she had to descend to a lower altitude to regain clear-headedness. But that didn’t stop Claire and her friend from attempting to climb Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak in Africa.

In Nairobi they decided to move on to a guesthouse near the base of the mount which was cheap and owned by a nearby orphanage. The next morning, Claire was surprised to see that the orphanage had sent a bus, their only vehicle, on the eight-hour journey to bring them to the guesthouse.

When we arrived, we were told that the elders had invited us to lunch. It was in the middle of lunch that life as I knew it changed. I had felt the stirring of something I couldn’t explain. I asked to use the restroom.

Looking into the bathroom mirror, I asked God to come into my life and heart again, as I had done all those years before. Then I went further, asking him a question: “If you put this orphanage in our road for a reason, will you open my eyes so I can see the way forward?” In that Kenyan bathroom, all the power of God’s presence entered my heart, telling me to trust. An hour after that, I began to believe that God was telling me to stay at the orphanage.

That moment at the bathroom mirror set my life on an entirely new path—one that led to starting a nonprofit (Hope Runs) and joining a then-tiny startup called Twitter. By sending my first tweets from that orphanage in Kenya, I placed myself early on at the nexus of Twitter. In 2009, when Twitter cofounder Biz Stone offered me a spot at the company, I leaped.

Throughout it all, I have often thought back on that moment in the orphanage bathroom. The moment I became the Christian I was born to be. The moment where I fell, headlong. All in.

Editor’s Note: Claire Diaz-Ortiz is an author, speaker and Silicon Valley innovator who was an early employee at Twitter. She was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.

Related Sermon Illustrations

A Secular Jew Gets Baptized

Jewish novelist Andrew Klavan shares his testimony of coming to faith in Christ:

When he was 13-years-old Andrew Klavan received thousands of dollars in gifts at his bar mitzvah. But ...

[Read More]

Former Bank Robber Becomes a Law Professor

Shon Hopwood grew up in a Christian home in rural Nebraska. When his high-school basketball career faded and college and the military fell through, he was left with a complete lack ...

[Read More]