The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

Seed, Time, and Harvest: A Feature on the Strength in Christ Club

The Strength in Christ Club, one of the newest clubs established at GC, aims to create a community of faith where students can come together to better understand God’s word through weekly Bible studies.
Lucas Benavides ’24
The Strength in Christ Club, one of the newest clubs established at GC, aims to create a community of faith where students can come together to better understand God’s word through weekly Bible studies.

Throughout history, there have been many success stories of people and companies that have had humble beginnings but have turned out to be pinnacles of our culture and our day-to-day lives.

McDonald’s first started as a stand-alone hamburger stand in San Bernardino, California. Walmart started out as a small store in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the population of the town was less than 3,000 people. And major corporations such as Amazon and Apple were once small start-up companies that began in the garages of their now billion-dollar founders.

So what do all of these companies have in common? They were able to create multi-million (and even billion) dollar empires– despite having humble beginnings. 

You could say the same thing about the Strength in Christ Club, one of the newest clubs created at GC. However, instead of trying to sell products and create profits for individual gain, the Strength in Christ Club has a different goal – to create a community of faith where students can come together to better understand God’s word. 

GC prides itself on its tradition of faith, and the Strength in Christ Club helps to promote that strong tradition so that it is actually seen within the walls of the school. Lucas Benavides ‘24 is one of the co-leaders of the Strength in Christ Club. He first had the idea of having a Bible study during a beach trip this past July.

“It all started at Bethany Beach on the 4th of July,” Benavides recalled. “Me and Aidan [Bollweg ‘24] were talking the day before and then we decided, ‘Hey, why don’t we get together in the morning on the beach, watch the sun rise, and read the Bible?’ And we did, and it was an awesome experience.”

Little did they know that this would be the start of a much larger movement. 

“After we came home from the beach, we said, ‘Hey, we wanna keep doing this. This is really fun!’” Benavides continued. “So we started meeting at the Royal Bagel Bakery in Olney, and we ended up building this community.”

A pillar of that “community” includes Danny Montero ‘24, who has been a regular attendee of the studies since they first began.

“One day, I saw on Lucas’ story that he was having a Bible study,” Montero recalled. “I was like, ‘You know what? I have nothing to do, let me head on down there and see what they got going on.” What started out as just an activity to do turned into much more. Since then, Danny has assumed a major leadership role within the Strength in Christ Club, whether it is by planning and leading studies or by recruiting new members. When I asked him what made him want to assume these responsibilities, his response was simple.

“Because that’s what God wants,” Montero responded. “In the Bible, it says to evangelize, and I took those as orders of what to do with my life.”

And Danny believes that God is rewarding him for his efforts to tell others about the love of Jesus.

“The sensation and happiness that I get from inviting someone to come to the Bible studies, and then they come and tell me how amazing it was and how it really impacted them – I feel like that’s my reward for doing what God wants me to do,” Montero affirmed.

This sense of community has been important for people like PJ Deoudes ‘24, a regular attendee of the weekly studies. He says that being a part of the Strength in Christ Club has given him a community that he had been missing since coming to Good Counsel. 

“To get to know people closer and more intimately is huge,” Deoudes said.  “It’s a sense of community that I had prior to Good Counsel, but it was something I was missing at GC. I could never point my finger to what was missing, and now I can see what it was.”

And there are many others that would agree with PJ’s sentiment. Here is just a small sample of the feedback of other participants in the club:

“The studies have shown me how I can grow as a leader, but most importantly, helped me grow in Christ through the stories of my peers and our shared experiences.”   

— Aidan Bollweg ‘24 (co-leader, Strength in Christ Club)

“The best part about the studies is seeing the unity we truly have as a Good Counsel community— learning and helping each other grow closer to God.

— Nevin Rutabanzibwa ‘25

 Aside from improving my walk with Christ, these studies have helped me talk in a public setting in front of a lot of people, and improve my speech giving abilities.   

— Yiannis Rosenthal ‘25

“The best part about the club is the support, inclusivity, and open mindedness it provides.

—Eli Torbay ‘24

“The best part about the Strength in Christ Club is seeing everyone want to grow in their faith.”                                                                                                                                            

— Owen Bollweg ‘26

“The [Strength in Christ] Club makes us better people because the discussions [we have] help us see how to be loving members of the community, and our eyes are opened to different perspectives.”

— Charlie Myers ‘24

“The community is truly so welcoming and supportive, so I believe if anyone is unsure about attending they should give it a chance because they may end up loving the experience and feel some peace as they disconnect from their hectic lives.”

—Valentina Rodriguez-Arraiz ‘24

And this outreach stretches beyond the GC campus. Students from other schools across the area are part of a Snapchat group chat where they can share scriptures and prayer requests with each other.

Johann Rojas, who attends Sherwood High School, is one of those people that is able to participate in the group despite not being a GC student.

“Before the studies started, I felt like I was surrounding myself with negative people, people that would bring me down, people that wouldn’t have the same beliefs and ideals as me,” Rojas said. 

“So I feel like the Bible studies give me the chance to connect with other people that also believe in God and follow his word.”

Looking back now, Lucas appreciates that he took that leap of faith to start these Bible studies over the summer. He references a verse in Ecclesiastes that is one of his guiding verses.

“In Ecclesiastes 11:4 (ERV), it says ‘If you wait for perfect weather, you will never plant your seeds,’” Benavides said. “Starting this Bible study was definitely out of my comfort zone, but look what it’s become now. We have so many people that are so knowledgeable and eager to continue this legacy, and I am confident in the club’s success even after I graduate.”

And even if you are not a believer in Christ (even Lucas and Danny were atheists at one point in time), this analogy of having faith as small as a mustard seed can apply to any arena in life. 

PJ Deoudes ’24 said it best: 

“If you have that one inclination, if you think ‘That Bible study group looks kinda cool, maybe I’ll go one day.’ – that’s just the first step. That’s just the first mustard seed of faith, and it can grow into a whole garden of faith. It can grow so monumentally that it can change your life.”


Sources (Intro paragraph): 

“History of Small Business – From Roman Times to Present Time.”,’s,population%202%2C900%20at%20the%20time. Accessed 8 Oct. 2023.

“6 Incredible Businesses That Started In A Garage.” American, Accessed 8 Oct. 2023.