Going to church on Sundays was no longer enough for Cade. He wanted to see his congregation fight for justice outside of the sanctuary walls. He wanted to see the hope of Jesus proclaimed in the streets for all people to hear.
Cade’s parents were in InterVarsity when they were in college.He was raised to be intentional about his faith, to live it out and take ownership of it. He did this by being passionate about social justice. But when Cade saw that the actions of the people in his church didn’t seem to reflect the Bible, he struggled. “I never was over Jesus, but I was definitely over organized religion coming to college,” he said.
Cade tried InterVarsity at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) after his parents urged him to give at least one Christian club a try. He joined an InterVarsity Zoom meeting in 2020 and was welcomed by two students who were excited to meet him. Cade immediately connected with them, so he decided to get fully involved in Bible studies and large group gatherings.
Before InterVarsity, Cade never met people his age who were so serious about their faith while taking the time to get to know him and his hobbies, play video games with him, and even help him choose what classes to take. They did life together. They grew in love for Jesus together. “They reminded me more of Jesus than most of the people I had met before,” Cade said.
Soon, Cade met Kang, a student from Malaysia who was the only Christian in his family. Kang mentored Cade and taught him the joy of witnessing to others despite the challenges that came with it. Although it was sometimes uncomfortable for Kang to share God with his loved ones, he did so anyway because knowing God's love transformed his life. Seeing Kang’s boldness transformed Cade’s faith into something that wasn’t just comfortable and safe but sacrificial and loving.
In his sophomore year, which was also his first year fully on campus after the pandemic, Cade decided to take up a leadership role in his InterVarsity chapter. This involved taking risks to lead Proxe outreaches on campus. Growing up, he never thought he would be bold enough to share the gospel, let alone talk to strangers who were walking to class. But he saw, for the first time, what it meant for the Holy Spirit to act on his behalf. “I truly learned what it looked like to allow Christ to choose my actions for me by doing things that were not in my character.”
Currently, Cade is a “cluster leader” which means he leads a group of other small group leaders. His chapter divides the school into different areas so that they can focus on reaching all corners of the university. He spends time empowering student leaders and reminding them that they can lead not because of who they are but because of who God is––something Cade had to grow in too. “Doing God’s work is the best thing I can do with my life and that is truly fulfilling,” he said.
Cade wants to spend his last year on campus investing in fellow leaders. With a firm conviction that God will meet students and do transformative work in their hearts, he continues sharing his faith in love.
“God's faithfulness only makes me trust him for bigger things,” Cade said. “And as I've trusted him for bigger things, I've met him in bigger ways.”
I was operating unconsciously as if everybody shared my Christian knowledge and views. It was my wake-up call. I needed to invest in friendships with non-Christians again, and that would require intentional effort.
When Esther arrived at Harrisburg, her faith wasn’t her main focus. She thought that she could follow Jesus on her own and wasn’t seeking Christian community –– until a friend invited her to an InterVarsity Bible study.
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.