InterVarsity staff members have been on the campus of Virginia Tech for 35 years, but this last year has been one of the most challenging. On the eve of the first anniversary of last year’s tragic shooting, InterVarsity staff members served as prayer ministers at a student-led worship and prayer service.
On the anniversary day itself, a wide range of commemorative events were held on campus, concluding with an evening candlelight vigil that drew a large assembly to the drill field in the center of campus.
During the day, InterVarsity staff and student leaders made themselves available to talk and pray with students. later in the week a worship service was scheduled with CCF, the Korean American group with whom they shared close fellowship after last year’s shooting.
Campus team leader Wes Barts said this past year has been the most challenging of his career on staff with InterVarsity. The students in the chapter worked hard at starting the school year on a positive note in the fall. “Around mid-October, it became obvious that a good number were still very affected by April 16th,” he said. “I could sense a lack of passion and life. We started talking about it more and opening up to each other about how we really felt.”
By the end of the semester, he noticed an improved atmosphere in the chapter, which he attributed to the healing work of the Holy Spirit. At InterVarsity’s National Staff Conference in January, he felt his own spirit regenerated and a new passion for student ministry.
The spring semester has gone well. Wes reported the students are maturing in their faith and their love for God. He counts at least five students since last April that have decided to follow Jesus.
“As the anniversary of the 16th draws near, we are once again beginning to feel the weight of grief and mourning that we felt last year,” Wes said. “But this year, we are also thankful to God, since we know that Jesus has brought us a long way and has promised to be with us now.”
InterVarsity staff members shared Virginia Tech testimonies at our staff conference last January. Watch the video.
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