I just returned home from campus ministry on the coast. Here is a wonderful God-story from Cabrillo College:
A few years ago we planted a CRU chapter at Cabrillo College. I went back a few days ago to encourage them and continue training them in evangelism and disciple-making. Tryston, one of the CRU student leaders, joined me doing spiritual surveys. One of the young men we spoke with was Doug. Doug shared with us that he grew up in southern CA and had come to Santa Cruz on his own to go to school. He grew up going to church with his family. (He has two older sisters who are both married.) He was involved in the youth group, too. And now… .he is trying to figure things out for himself spiritually. He is not sure if Jesus is the answer, but he is open and eager to learn more. In the midst of our conversation, we discovered that he doesn't really understand the gospel.
“If you have a few more minutes, I’d love to explain the Gospel to you from a verse in the Bible,” I offer. “I’ve got plenty of time!” he responds. I turn to John 3:16 in a pocket-Gospel of John. After reading it to him, I ask, “You ever heard this verse before?” His answer: “I am pretty sure that’s the verse that my sister texted to me this morning!” I say, “No way! Show me.” So he shows me this text from his sister… and sure enough, she had texted him a simple text just a few hours earlier: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
“Doug!” I say. “That’s pretty cool! I don’t know if you’re thinking what I’m thinking…. but I’m thinking that God’s trying to get your attention!”
We share the Gospel with him from John 3:16, and we teach him how to do a One Thing Study. He also expresses interest in meeting up with Tryston again to do One Thing Studies.
Last I heard, Tryston and Doug were texting back and forth to figure out a time to meet up.
Thinking about it later, I processed what is likely going on: Doug’s sister is married and lives in Idaho. She loves her younger brother and is pained by the fact that he has walked away from the faith. She prays for him daily, pouring her heart out to God begging Him to work in her brother’s life - begging God to put people in his path that would love him well and bring him back to Jesus. Once in a while she even texts him Bible verses, hoping and praying that God will somehow use them to stir something in his heart. On the morning of February 1st, she prays for him and then texts him John 3:16. She prays that God would connect him with other believers, even on campus at Cabrillo College hundreds of miles away…. and God uses us to answer her prayer!
Doug is your son. Doug is your daughter. Doug is your grandson. There are so many Dougs on our college campuses! They grew up in the church…. they were a part of the youth group... they even went on mission trips. Now they are in college trying to discover for themselves what life is all about, and if Jesus is relevant.
We are there to proclaim to these ‘Dougs’ that Jesus IS relevant. Jesus is not just relevant, he is LIFE.
Thank you for sending us to the 'Dougs'!
The Yorks are passionate about bringing the Gospel to the nations - especially the unreached of the world (those who have no access to the Gospel). They are convinced that the greatest impact they can have in reaching the unreached is by multiplying disciples on college campuses and equipping churches to be missional disciple-makers.