Mesa student, Myles, and Alan
Myles had been in and out of the InterVarsity community for the last 7 months, his first interaction with us was outside the library on campus. When I (Alan) had first spoken with Myles he had told me bluntly that “I am an atheist and I don’t believe in Jesus, but I’m checking things out”. I tried to tell him about how Jesus was worth exploring, to be honest I never knew why he stuck around after that challenge. It was probably the Holy Spirit working in his life, but after that Myles began listening at a distance. He was sporadic at best in attending bible studies on campus and our large group gatherings. However, he did “feel good” about serving the poor with us whenever we served at the homeless shelter.
Everything changed at Spring Break Camp….
I asked him to consider coming with InterVarsity to Mark Camp and study the bible inductively. He had a couple excuses about work, school, etc. but in the end he decided to go with us. Myles was hungering for something in his soul and he knew it but could not admit it. What was articulated to me was, “I feel like an outsider.” When we began our first night session I led page 1 line 1 of the book of Mark, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God” and he was blown away. Myles had never even read the bible and the Spirit of God just hit him in the face, we analyzed the first line and he was enjoying the investigative manner that we approached the bible. Students were not given any answers but resource books and each other. The approach we took gave Myles trust and engaged his skeptical mind. It all started making sense to him.
The Scriptures were opened and made sense to him. As each session passed Myles just dug deeper into the Scriptures marinating in Jesus’ words and actions, his reaction was complete awe. Concerning the Kingdom of God he responded “If this Kingdom of God thing is real than it is going to change the world.” After each parable, Myles explained to me what he thought Jesus was doing. He was quite accurate in his interpretations. So I asked him, “You get it, and love it, so what is keeping you from Jesus?” and Myles responded, “I guess it is my ego…myself.” In an earlier section I challenged the group about dropping nets like the disciples did when Jesus called them to follow him, I had the students write on a rock and when they were ready to “drop their nets” they would throw their rock into the ocean. Myles’ rock said “Me” and that was the only thing keeping him from trusting in Jesus. I told him that Jesus can give us a new identity and how we need to lay our pride and hard hearts down so that he can change us. Myles said yes and that night at 1:20am he gave his life over to Jesus. We gathered the community (college students never sleep) and watched him throw his rock into the ocean. After that Myles began praying for others and was filled with God’s Spirit.
Myles gets it now. He told me that there are those that come to IV because they need it, those that come to investigate, and those that don’t even know about God. He said to me, “I want to tell those people that don’t even know about God how good he really is”. Since we came back from Catalina Island 5 days ago he has shared with his art professor, family, best friend, girl friend, and random people about his transformative experience with God. This is really what inspires me to stay on staff and continue with the work God has called me to. I love sharing stories like this and I hope it is inspiring and uplifting to you.