“On the first day of school, when I saw InterVarsity’s Proxe Station What Do You Want to Accomplish This Semester? I walked right up to the students running the station and said, ‘I want to be involved,’” recalled Lindsay Young.
Even before Lindsay came to college, she had heard about InterVarsity from her childhood friend Stephani, who was five years older and was involved in InterVarsity at Central College in Pella, Iowa.
“Stephani was so passionate about InterVarsity and the Urban Plunge that she had been a part of,” said Lindsay, “that by the time I got to Central College, I knew that I wanted to get involved in InterVarsity too.”
Kelsey Welcomes Lindsay
At the Proxe Station, Lindsay met another InterVarsity student, Kelsey. Kelsey was a warm and welcoming student, and incredibly cheerful. So when it was announced at InterVarsity’s Large Group meeting that Kelsey was leading a small group Bible study for first-year females, Lindsay knew she wanted to join.
“The first week, there were over 20 first-year women in Kelsey’s little dorm room, and she loved it!” said Lindsay. “But the next week that we got together, Kelsey and her coleader explained that they really wanted closer relationships with us—so they decided to split their 20-person small group Bible study into two smaller groups. It showed me that Kelsey and her co-leader really did want to have relationships with us, not just to teach us.”
Every week, Kelsey prioritized asking the women in her small group about their lives and would let the group share about their weeks before they focused on studying Scripture.
“Through that Bible study, Kelsey made us feel so comfortable on campus,” said Lindsay. “We shared life together, we were vulnerable together, and we learned about Jesus’ love for us and all people. Kelsey was and is an amazing mentor.”
Share Your Story Week
This last year—her third year—Lindsay continued growing in her own faith when she attended Urbana 12. She also was invited to serve as her chapter’s Special Event Coordinator. She and a team of students planned an outreach event—a weeklong, campus-wide event called Share Your Story Week—aimed at helping people tell personal stories about disbelief, mental health, body image issues, and other tough topics.
“As we planned for this event, there was a lot of stress and frustration, and at times I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it,” said Lindsay. “But when the event finally happened, I remember talking to people I never would have dreamed of talking to and being vulnerable by sharing my story with them. This experience really required me to step out in faith.”
During Share Your Story Week, Christians and non-Christians gathered together, and people were invited to get up before an open microphone and simply share their stories.
“I was amazed by students’ responses during the week,” said Lindsay. “Many shared stories of abuse, bullying, hope, and love—people were so vulnerable and everyone involved in this event felt so close by the end of the week.”
Every night, InterVarsity students offered prayer to anyone who wanted it, and on the last night of sharing, InterVarsity students shared their stories and shared about the hope and love that Jesus offers the world. Then students were invited to start following Jesus if that was something they wanted. Lindsay was amazed to see one of her friends accept this invitation.
A Spiritual Shepherd Sent Into the World
Over the past few years, Lindsay has learned about the importance of stepping out and inviting others to follow Jesus—and inviting people to grow in their own relationship with Jesus. This summer Lindsay is going on a Global Project with InterVarsity where she will build relationships with college students and learn to share the gospel cross-culturally.
“I was very reluctant to go on this trip,” said Lindsay. “When my staff worker asked if I would consider going, I said no; I was scared to be away for that long in an unfamiliar place.”
But she decided to take a risk and sign up anyway because of how she sensed God leading her through prayer.
“I hope that through this trip, God will show me his provision and also teach me more about his love for all people,” said Lindsay. “I am already praying that I will be stretched in ways that I’ve never dreamed of. I know that I will truly need to trust Christ to take care of me while I am overseas.”
As Lindsay continues to follow Jesus overseas this summer, she will take with her the things that she has learned through InterVarsity—like being missional wherever she is, even in another country.