A Love for God Brings New Sisters in Christ
The reason Lisa Wierenga, InterVarsity staff at Illinois State University-Normal, is on campus is to share God’s love through Christ. Sometimes that looks like feeding the sheep, and sometimes it looks like bringing new sheep into the care of the Shepherd.
Three girls have accepted Jesus as the Savior of their lives this year. Kristen and Alaina realized that although they believed that Jesus died for their sins, they had not accepted Christ as Savior of their daily lives. Another young woman, Marie, made a commitment to follow Christ during an outreach that took place in one of the residence halls. Eric, the small group leader who put together the outreach, prayed with her to accept Christ.
80 to 158! The Influence of the Gospel Is Spreading
This year, students involved in the InterVarsity chapter at the University of Southern California – Los Angeles, took risks in their faith. Partnering with the student leaders, they started a ministry to international students, to students in the arts, and to students living off campus. With their ministry to Black students in its second year and the ministry to students on campus in the dorms, the fellowship doubled!
One of the core values of InterVarsity is to offer leadership training to develop students’ skills. Thirty-seven students are committed to devoting their time and energy to InterVarsity’s ministry during the next school year. Students will be leading more small groups next year where students can discuss their faith and encourage each other as they follow Christ. Michelle, Eric, and Sarah will reach out to students in fraternities and sororities in the hopes of starting a GIG, a Bible study for non-Christians.
Many InterVarsity students are actively involved in their Fellowship by leading non-Christian friends through Bible studies and eventually into the Kingdom of God. Ten students accepted Jesus as their Savior. Students are actively seeking ways in which they can get involved and make a difference in God’s Kingdom, instead of waiting for someone else to invite them to participate.
The New Eyes of Faith
Each May, InterVarsity sends hundreds of students to year-end Chapter Camps. Students are trained in leadership and evangelism; experiencing God through worship, speakers, and quiet times; and planning campus outreach for the following year. The Retreat of Silence is a three-hour block of time for students to spend in silence in God’s presence.
This year, Barbie, a first year student at the University of Kentucky-Lexington, gave her life to Christ during the Retreat of Silence. “When I first sat down I thought to myself, ‘What on earth can I do for 3 hours?’ After praying for a little while I opened my Bible and began to read from one of the suggested passages. It was the account of the crucifixion in the Gospel of John. As I read it, I began to realize that Jesus understands the suffering I’ve gone through in my life. For the first time I began to believe that Jesus wasn’t just a really good man who had done a great thing on the cross, but that he was God himself and was sent to die for us. I decided right there to give my life to Him. Immediately, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest. I knew that from now on things were going to be different.”