God had beautiful plans for Jordan. Plans to pursue her. Plans to surround her with community. Plans to heal her identity. Plans to grow her into a leader.
But Jordan wasn’t looking for any of that when she started her freshman year at Metropolitan State University in Auraria, Colorado. She wasn’t a Christian, despite her mom trying to convince her to consider Jesus for years. Jordan didn’t see the point.
I don't know if [Christianity] really solves all my problems or works the way that I want it to, she thought.
After meeting Gwen, an InterVarsity staff minister on campus, Jordan decided to take another look at Christianity. She started going to InterVarsity Bible studies, community, events, worship nights…and through that process, discovered Jesus’ deep love for her.
“I don't know how to put it in any other words than I got to experience Jesus pursuing me,” Jordan said. “Like leaving the 99 and I was the lost one.”
After deciding to follow Jesus, Jordan was hooked. She became a leader in her chapter and even started reaching out to other students in her dorm.
Jesus showed Jordan how fulfilling life with him could be, but this was just the beginning.
Surprises at Fall Conference
“Growing up I didn't realize the significance of being low identifying in my Black identity. There are a lot of ways that I had been told by people in school or society or social media that being biracial discounted me from being fully Black,” Jordan shared.
This insecurity stuck with her even after a fall conference in 2021, where she met the Black Campus Ministries (BCM) chapter from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC).
“We were not expecting this,” she said. “We’re so used to Colorado being a pretty white state.”
The BCM chapter at UNC was thriving. Black UNC students came to Fall conference and were gathering every week on campus to spend time in community and study the Bible together. Jordan wanted that on her campus, so she began praying with Gwen about it.
“We've seen a piece of what you can do on other campuses. What does it look like in Auraria?" Jordan prayed.
At the time, Jordan was the only Black student in the MSU chapter that had leadership experience. It seemed clear, after weeks of prayer and discernment, that God wanted her to start BCM on her campus. Internally, though, she believed that her bi-racial identity meant she was only supposed to start BCM and then pass it on to a more “qualified” leader.
Healing through Leading
When Black students began showing up to the group Jordan started, they not only found a much-needed community on campus but also found a space to discuss how Jesus could heal their feelings of brokenness.
“Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of racial injustice or talks about the brokenness that is race in our country. And it can be really easy as Black students to get caught up in that and feel that it’s hopeless to be who we are,” Jordan said. “There’s goodness in what God is doing and in what it means to be Black.”
One day, during listening prayer, Jordan discovered that there was goodness and intentionality in how God made her too.
It had been a semester since she started leading BCM and she was still struggling with feelings of doubt over whether she was right for the task. But in that time of prayer, Jesus revealed to her that he chose her with intention, and she was enough. Jordan gained the confidence she needed to finally go all in with BCM, no longer feeling weary or timid, but hopeful and affirmed.
An Act of Worship
Jordan compares the journey God has taken her on to an act of worship.
“He gives us a chance to partner with him in what he's doing, and we make that choice to say, ‘God, what are you doing? I want to go alongside that.’ It reminds me of worship.”
Stepping into college, Jordan never envisioned herself leading a BCM chapter. Then again, she never envisioned any of this — that God would reveal himself to her, heal her complicated feelings surrounding identity, and even use her to start a community for Black students to meet Jesus and grow in their faith on campus.
“I'm so hopeful to see a thriving witnessing community at Auraria that will long outlive however long I'm on campus. Regardless of my own involvement, I really hope to see this seed that we're trying to plant here just grow,” she said. “I know that God's going to do something amazing.”
Emily Baez is a writer on InterVarsity’s Communications Team in Madison, Wisconsin. She enjoys long hikes, watching movies, and overly competitive game nights with friends. You can support her ministry at donate.intervarsity.org/donate#22836.
Antonio was a nominal Chrisitan going through a particularly tough time during the spring of 2020. His therapist, seeing the need for Antionio to have community, recommended he connect with InterVarsity.
No one would have thought that Lucas, the freshman drained by the church, would become Lucas the senior who would lead his chapter in studying Scripture, having a heart posture of worship, and creating a community that reflects the love that Jesus has for each of us.
To celebrate Black History Month, we’re featuring God’s work through InterVarsity’s Black Campus Ministries (BCM) in Alabama. As a student herself, all Summer wanted was a deeper relationship with Jesus. Now as a campus minister, she gets to witness Jesus drawing students closer to himself. Read more of her story below.