UCSD InterVarsity Seniors share their last words of encouragement for the community. It is amazing how many of them encouraged the fellowship to be intentional with non-Christians; it is evidence of a faithful culture of evangelism and witness in our community. Praise God!
“I’ve grown up in a family of Christians, but I never truly knew Christ as the God of love. Instead I knew him as the God of judgment that would frown upon my every wrong. At the same time, I was fighting through a life full of rejection and darkness. Finally, a few weeks ago, I found myself with a great challenge: I found that I would be graduating a year and a half earlier than I expected. This would mean going back to my home which brought me memories of pain and hurt, but God used this as an opportunity. A few weeks before I went to Spring Retreat, God sent a John the Baptist to prepare my heart for what would be a life-changing experience. He gave me a community that would not reject me, no matter how hard I tried to push them away. Then came the moment that would change my life: Spring Retreat. God spoke to us through Anna and Julie. We were all moved when we realized that God’s love was unconditional, already given to us before we were even created. He showed that He would rather take us to our darkest fears in order for us to grow in faith. It finally hit home when I was standing on a bluff overlooking the sea and just speaking to God. I felt him telling me I was to be sent back home to not only grow in faith, but also for healing. Healing that would touch the wounds that divide my family. It has been almost a week now since Spring Retreat and I already can see God working in our family. I recently had a talk with my Mom and wounds were soothed and scars were healed. I am grateful to many people in IV who have changed my life, but I owe it all to the Lord who has changed me in ways I would never have imagine.”
*Name changed to maintain privacy
“Does God belong in the discussion about social justice?”… “Is there a connection between God and sex?”…”Does God play favorites?”
These are the questions that we have been asking to find out what UCSD students think about God and relevant issues. We set up a chalkboard with one of the questions each week in the most trafficked area on campus and asked students to “vote” and give us their thoughts. The first day, I (Anna) had a conversation with a student who was so open and wanting to learn about Jesus that I had a bible study with her right on the spot! About a half hour later, I ended up having a conversation with the editor-in-chief of “the Koala,” the most controversial student newspaper on campus. He self-identified as a secular humanist (a type of atheism) and instead of debating with him, which would’ve just been unfruitful, I just asked him questions to listen where he was coming from. We’ve been having conversations with many atheists and though it has been really hard to change their minds about God, we just hope that we can at least change their minds about Christians and that we are not just people trying to shove the Bible down people’s throats, but that we are people willing to listen. The amazing thing is that the student I talked to who wanted to learn about Jesus agreed to meet up with me again later that week AND she came to visit our church that Sunday! I asked her where she was at in her spiritual journey and she said that she is like a sponge right now, wanting to just soak everything in about God. I’m going to be meeting with her again to look at Jesus’ life together so please be praying for her! The Lord is definitely pursuing his children!
Check out new believer, Shirley’s (name changed for privacy) testimony!
My name is Shirley and I’m an exchange student from China.
Five years ago, I went to New Zealand with my mom for summer vacation. One night, we stayed at a very cozy, family-styled hotel. It was very late. My mom was sleeping. But I couldn’t fall asleep. My head was occupied by tons of unhappy moments that I had been through that year. It felt like a cyclone just swirled through, leaving only mess behind. I looked around the room and I found a bible on the desk beside the bed. I opened it. I sat on the edge of the bed with the Bible in my hands and read several sentences, amazed…
This is UCSD student, Amy’s, testimony on what she learned and experienced in Anna’s “Ethnic Identity” track at UCSD’s fall retreat. Check it out!