Emma Hodowanic

Connections Associate

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 was the “ultimate goal” for our little lives. I found my worth and identity in gymnastics, the approval of my parents and coaches, and the incessant 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, and I’ll admit that I mostly just went for the donuts.

My parents divorced when I was entering high school, and the years to follow were messy, as I attempted to fill the needs of my broken heart with the attractive things the world offered me. I entered college as a cheerleader for The University of Arizona with a ton of baggage—filled with regrets, secrets, guilt, shame and mistakes that haunted me. I was exhausted, broken and empty. Then, out of nowhere, God met me right where I was. He used a Christian teammate of mine to woo me back to Him. 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 so intrigued to know more about her faith. Over the next year, God started to soften my heart toward Him, and right after graduation in 2013, Megan shared the gospel with me. It was the first time that I realized my deep need for a Savior and the depth and breadth of God’s grace, love and mercy offered to us through the finished work on the cross. Jesus flooded my heart, and I fell in love with Him that day.

The Lord has given me a passion for people and a specific passion to walk alongside them in their faith journey. I am excited to be a part of what God is doing here and to put roots in Texas! It is such a blessing to have a church family to walk in the light with as we venture into the next chapter of our lives together!

Hope for The Village Church

My hope for The Village is that we would continue to boldly proclaim the gospel and the riches of God’s grace and mercy to the world. That we would be an authentic, biblical community who walks in the light together, recognizes our incessant need for a Savior and is a family that lives humbly out of Christ’s love and kindness for us, daily being transformed into His image.