Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Journeys


I have begun a new journey. To be honest, it is one that I never thought I would take. I've known for a while now that ministry is where I want to go, and even college ministry where I desired to find myself, but I honestly did not expect God to invite me into doing ministry with Cru (the United States ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ). Yet here I am at the beginning on a brand new journey trusting that God knows what he is doing.

Do you remember being in college? What is the one thing that comes to mind when you pause and reflect on your college experience? Some common images might be your friends, days lazily spent down at the beach playing volleyball, all night study sessions in random study rooms on campus, or the terrible food in the dining hall. Whatever it is that comes to mind when you stop and reflect on your college experience, most of us are able to stop and reflect on those times with a full sense of nostalgia.

Yet for most of us, college is the first time we have really ever been out on our own. We lived with our parents for the 18 years before we enrolled in school, so our college experiences are also marked with a new sense of freedom that we have not been able to experience before. I was fortunate enough to attend a public university (UCSD, Go Tritons!), and for the first time in my life did not have any rules to follow like I did living at home. There was no curfew, it did not matter how long I stayed out, I could get in a friend's car and head to Mexico and there was no one to stop me or tell me that it might not be a good idea.

When you give it some thought, it seems silly that when we turn 18 we are just released into the world with only very little life experience to guide us!

For those of us that came into college with a background of faith, it may have been one of the first times that the validity of our faith was actually challenged, and challenged by people in authority. I can remember many professors at UCSD who would blatantly mock the Christian faith and ridicule those who would hold Christian viewpoints in their classes. In fact, I was told recently about a professor at the University of Texas who told his students, "While you are in this class, you will be expected to be an Agnostic or Atheist. Anyone with sincere religious beliefs will be expected to take of his religious hat." For a young college student experiencing this new found freedom for the first time, even a student with a strong Christian background, this type of statement can be confusing and damaging to their faith, especially if they do not have a community of believers to process these challenges with.

I was fortunate that one of my older sisters had made the long trek from Sacramento to San Diego already so I had someone to show me the ropes of college. She helped me get plugged in with a good church, which I've ended up working for in some capacity for the last six years. She was involved Cru (the United States ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ) on campus and she helped me get plugged in there. I did not have to feel fully lost and alone in the world when I moved to San Diego for school because I had someone to walk along side of me and help me get my feet planted on the ground before the craziness of college really kicked in. 

Most people I met at UCSD did not know anyone else when they moved into the dorms. They were all alone at a school of over 30,000 students, and if you take that experience to be more normative than mine was, that would mean that in San Diego alone, there are over 150,000 college students experiencing a new found freedom at one of the city's colleges and universities, with no one to help them through the process except for people who have also yet to figure out their new found freedom. In 2013, nation wide, there was nearly 17.5 million college students in the country, most of whom do not know what it is like to live away from the structure of the family they came from. We end up being left with a culture of confused college kids, attempting to show the younger confused college kids how to be a confused college kid. It is a classic image of the blind leading the blind.

This does not need to be the case.

I have recently been invited to work with an organization called Cru (the United States ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ) on the two major college campuses in San Diego, San Diego State University (SDSU), and the University of California; San Diego (UCSD). I will be working with these college students who are trying to figure out their new found freedom in life, and guiding them toward making clear and healthy decisions. I will be mentoring them, discipling them, and showing them how to be in college and still keep their faith.

There is a huge need for people to be on campus walking along side of these students during are four (or more) of the most formative years of their lives. I have chosen to respond to the invitation that God has presented me with; to take the step of faith to begin working on campus with these students and to be a consistent presence in their lives helping to show them who Christ is and how he wants to work in and through them during their time in college and beyond.

I am looking to develop a team of ministry partners who share my vision for reaching college students for the Kingdom of God and are willing to partner with me by giving financially to my ministry on a consistent, monthly basis, and who will be committed to praying for my ministry and the work that God has invited me to do.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in hearing more about my ministry with Cru or would like to become a financial or prayer partner, feel free to shoot me an email using the address on my complete profile, or click here to go to my Cru online profile.

Also, if you know of anyone who might be interested in hearing more about my work with Cru, please connect them with me! Direct them to this blog post or pass them my contact info from my complete profile!