InterVarsity alumni - Maria Gerges

Maria Gerges comes from an Egyptian family and was baptized in the Coptic Orthodox Church, but she attended a Lutheran church growing up in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. Arriving at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire campus, she and a friend from high school searched for Christian fellowship and found it at the InterVarsity chapter.

Maria planned on attending law school after graduation, but she wasn’t sure that was God’s plan for her, until she joined a small group Bible study that investigated what God says in scripture about injustice. The Bible study showed her that as an attorney she could help people by being their advocate against injustice.

She and her friends were greatly challenged by what they studied. Two of the other members of the group are now in ministry, one on staff with InterVarsity and one working with the military. “The social justice group showed me how to make my career honor God, and focus on God,” Maria said.

Pursuing a Career in Law

This fall Maria is starting her second year of law school at the University of the District of Columbia. She misses her InterVarsity chapter, but she feels that her time at the UW-Eau Claire prepared her well for this stage in her life and the challenges ahead.

She’s not sure exactly where her career will lead at this point. The church she’s attending is challenging her in ways similar to her InterVarsity chapter. In fact she was surprised to find that this church is in some ways like an InterVarsity chapter, even though it’s a Coptic Orthodox church. “I’ve never been to a church where everybody does a daily quiet time and everyone’s in a small group,” she said.

Desire to Serve

Her church has a Mission Life Center that offers many opportunities to help people. Her law school also offers clinics for the under-privileged. She’s looking forward to opportunities to serve through both avenues.

“I was surprised to find out how much of the law really comes down to morality and ethics,” Maria said. “I’m happy to be at a law school that cares about people.”

Maria found the fellowship of her InterVarsity chapter at the UW–Eau Claire stimulating and life changing. “It was great to be surrounded by people who encouraged you and cared about your spiritual walk and didn’t leave you,” she said. “We need each other and InterVarsity taught me that. InterVarsity has been one of the biggest blessings my life has seen.”