Lessons Learned in Community

When Dorrell came to college, he was prepared to study science, language, and literature. He was not ready to learn anything about God. Through InterVarsity, he learned who God is and how much God wants a relationship with him.

Dorrel McCalman graduated from Yale University this spring. When he arrived on campus four years ago from Jamaica, he was ready to “take a break from God.” But God was not ready to give Dorrell a break. His roommate and friends invited Dorrell to InterVarsity meetings, Bible studies, and church services.

As Dorrel got to know these people and attended some of the meetings, he gradually realized that Christianity was not a long list of restrictive rules, but a message of God’s grace giving him new life in Christ. Dorrell has become a passionate follower of Jesus over the past two years. Next year, he will join InterVarsity as a campus intern at Yale. Greg Hendrickson, his staff member interviewed Dorrell on his experience with InterVarsity.

What is one of your favorite memories of InterVarsity during your time at Yale?

One of my favorite memories is getting the opportunity to share the Gospel with non-Christians during this year’s spring break trip. Yale Christian Fellowship exists primarily as a testimony to the existence and character of God, and I was able to make that my reason for existing for a whole week. It was as if I suddenly took the Great Commission seriously. God gave me the courage, the words and a listening heart. I felt alive.

What are one or two lessons you have learned through InterVarsity?

I learned that relationships are the most important things in life: firstly, our relationship with God; secondly, our relationship with others. I had never thought deeply about this until coming to college. I have never been a needy person, and I am quite content being by myself and looking out for number one.

I honestly believed that as long as I did not hurt anyone and I didn’t do anything wrong, I was in good standing with God. But we are not called to refrain from hurting our fellow man. We are called to go out of our way to love them. We are not called to refrain from angering God and thus have him be content with our performance. We are called to thrill him with our actions. There is truly a difference.

How has InterVarsity played a role in your college experience?

I believe Christian community is underrated. That’s why many people go to church for only an hour or two a week and think that’s enough. I learned, during my four years, what the apostle meant when he counseled the early church to restore a brother who loses his way (Galatians 6:2) and not forsake the company of the fellow believers (Hebrews 10:25).

When I came to college, I didn’t just need to listen to more sermons, I needed to see living sermons. God fulfilled these needs through InterVarsity.