When I first met Christine, it was in a nice air-conditioned Starbucks on a hot summer day after her freshman year. I had heard of Christine through my staff partner, Emery.
Christine had had an incredibly transformational experience at Greek Conference. As we chatted I thought to myself that this was a down-to-earth woman who had seen a lot already as a young woman, yet was privileged to have the clear work of God’s healing in her life.
Christine started a house ministry in Alpha Phi the next year, and shortly afterwards it became Northwestern University’s largest sorority ministry. Her leadership led to the fast growth. By the end of the year, Alpha Phi had become a strong sorority ministry.
The next summer, Christine and I would not be in much air conditioning as we spent the summer in Cairo on an InterVarsity Global Urban Trek serving among the poor. A moment that is frozen in time in my head was the time when we came to the aid of an elderly widow who had been rejected by her family, lost everything to robbers, and had no one but God to provide for her. Christine and I were both moved by her faith in Jesus, as she would be so thankful to have her needs met every day. We walked out together with tears in our eyes, realizing that we had experienced the presence of God.
Christine would continue to see God’s power realized around her as she faithfully prayed and witnessed to one of her closest sisters in the sorority who was clearly far from God. At Greek Conference, she and I and two other student leaders prayed together for this woman who was wrestling with God. Tears flowed from our eyes as the Holy Spirit revealed to us the depth of her pain, and we prayed that God would deliver her. Christine’s sorority sister became a Christian that day, a true miracle as we saw God’s saving power on display.
It was natural that Christine would become president of Greek InterVarsity her senior year – the selection team was unanimous in that decision. As we worked together, the potential that so many had seen in her became realized in full.
My favorite moments as a staff worker are when I see students leading. I can step into the background and celebrate them as they become the disciples and leaders Jesus calls them to be. I saw Christine leading and discipling women, as well as bringing a new emphasis on prayer to the Greek ministry at Northwestern University.
Christine and I were reflecting on our friendship over these years, and she said to me, “Andy, you believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself.” Tears welled in my eyes as I reflected on her words. I paused and realized how much greater God is to have believed in us when were weren’t worth believing in, because of the sin that kept us from him and continues to destroy our world.
The privilege of ministry to students is walking alongside them as they become what they never dreamed they could be, believing in them as God believes that broken people can be healed to change the world.
Andy Bilhorn is a campus staff member with Greek InterVarsity on the campus of Northwestern University. More stories on Greek ministry can be found at http://greekintervarsity.org/.