Giving Up a “Good Thing.”

Giving Up a “Good Thing.”

One of our staff members, Silas, texted Jose to see if he’d like to meet over coffee or a Coke. Jose responded he’d like to meet.  From Jose’s answers on a Destino survey, you would assume that he was a Christ follower. When they found each other, they sat down to get to know one another before Silas asked, “On the survey, you indicated you wanted to know more about Destino. What about it is of interest to you?”

When asked questions about their answers, sometimes students get nervous. Jose, however, was the very opposite: “Honestly, I’ve been involved in Bible studies, went to a Christian school, and took a hermeneutics [that is, Bible interpretation] class. But I don’t get what Christianity is all about.”

As Silas listened to Jose, he could tell how sincerely Jose wanted to understand what others around him believe.“I know what the Bible says. I can tell you different things. But honestly, I just don’t get it,” he admitted.

They spent a lot of time talking together. Jose began to open up about his potential drinking problem. He found at first it was fun, however, now it’s unsatisfying. He admitted, “I just don’t get how some of my friends–when they became a Christian–gave up drinking. How could they give up something like that?”

Silas asked, “Well, what could make you give up an already good thing in your eyes?” Jose had no answer.

“Only something or SOMEONE that is far greater?” suggested Silas. What a great concept to consider! Destino offers students a place where they can discuss the questions they have about faith. We’re hoping Jose will continue his journey to consider how Jesus can be a great thing in his life!

 

Image Credit: Stefan Insam

 

Posted by Devin Tressler in Discipleship, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
When you hit a wall.

When you hit a wall.

What do you do when your best plans hit a brick wall? Nate’s default was to panic.

He and his wife Jess, both staff members with Destino in Texas, wanted to meet students from one particular dorm on their campus. They’d already met lots of freshmen earlier this semester. Yet, no one from that particular dorm seemed to want to know about Destino.

Add to that new campus policies that make it more difficult to expose dorm residents to what Destino has to offer. Nate felt a bit of panic. He and Jess knew only one course of action: prayer. With an existing student leader, they walked through the dorm, praying for God to open doors to meet students.

Then, Nate and another guy tossed around a football by the dorm. Within a few minutes they convinced one resident, Marco, to throw around with them. Then another, Alonzo, joined them.

Today, both Marco and Alonzo are involved with Destino and have re-dedicated their lives to Jesus, Alonzo’s two roommates, Ivan and Eric, also have surrendered their lives to Christ.

The dorm Bible study has swelled to 17 as Alonzo and Marco invited their friends to check it out. God had some miraculous connections ready in response to Nate and Jess’s prayer. He proves again and again that no human obstacle will stop His mission to bring His new life to those who seek Him.

 

Image Credit:  ok, shawna.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
A Calling to Lead

A Calling to Lead

Arielle and Jaymison are juniors at New Mexico State. While neither comes from a Latino family, they share a desire to see God use them as student leaders in Destino.

“I want to do as much as I can during college to serve God,” says Arielle. She and Jaymison are on the Student Leadership Team at NMSU. Together with local staff members, they’re helping to shape and guide Destino.

Jaymison explained his call: “I believe I have a calling to minister with Destino…I think Destino can be an incredible campus ministry that has much potential.”

Do you want to see God use you to reach your peers on campus?  You can get involved on your campus, or help get a new chapter started!

And don’t think your walk with God has to be perfect! Jaymison says, “God has been teaching me about doubt, that it’s not bad to have doubts….I’m learning there are ways to have doubts and still approach God with my insecurities.” The Lord loves when we take steps of faith, are available to Him and open to learning.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Outreach, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
Joining the Big Familia!

Joining the Big Familia!

Last January, after the first night of Destino Winter Conference, a lot of students were jammed in one of only two elevators in the hotel!  Everyone was tired after traveling all day, the first session, then late registration for some.

As they rode together, students began to introduce themselves, also saying what campus they were from. There were two young ladies from a smaller school, and someone asked them if they were the only ones from their campus. One of them laughed saying, “We’re the only ones in our Destino! We’re actually here because we’re getting ready to start Destino this semester.” Some of the other students started clapping and cheering, “Welcome to the family!”

And that’s exactly what it’s like when you start Destino at your campus! Like you’re joining a really big, fun, nation-wide family!

Photo credit:  Allen Stanley.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Culturally Connected, 0 comments
Remembered as a Spiritual Influencer

Remembered as a Spiritual Influencer

“I felt lost and overwhelmed,” admits Katrina as she describes her first quarter at UCLA. “I didn’t know anyone. I’d just go to class and go back and eat by myself and wait for the weekend to go home. But then I found Destino, and it all changed.”

Katrina is now involved in a women’s Bible study. She’s also spending time with a mentor, a woman who is staff with Destino in LA. Recently Katrina told Lauren about two of her friends who have been going to church with her. One of her friends, Sydney, works with her at the dorm front desk. Sydney grew up going to church but stopped when she got to UCLA.

 

“Someday, 10 years from now I’m going to remember you as the person
who helped bring me back to faith. You’re so on fire for God!”

God’s using Katrina to encourage her friend. Sydney told her, “Someday, 10 years from now I’m going to remember you as the person who helped bring me back to faith. You’re so on fire for God!”

Kimberly never thought she could be the type of person that influences others for Christ. But just by being herself and living out her faith, she is!

Who are the people around you that might be influenced positively as you live out your faith?

 

Image credit:  Bryan Jones.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Discipleship, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
“We want to study the Bible!”

“We want to study the Bible!”

Julia grew up in a Spanish-speaking church, but since she started attending college at a predominately white university, she missed having a spiritual connection that felt like home. She had been involved with Cru for a few years, made friends and grew in her faith. But she noticed that among 600 students involved with Cru, there were virtually no other Latino/a students. She suspected that others felt similarly to her—they wanted a place on campus that felt like home. So she set out to launch Destino, Cru’s ministry among Latino students. She got connected to the Destino distance coaching team and got some ideas for getting started. The first week of classes, Julia met 34 Latino/a students interested in Destino, and 16 came to their first meeting!

|”So, um, what do y’all want to do?” Julia asked.
They replied, “We want to study the Bible!”

Caught off guard by the turnout, she asked, “So, um, what do y’all want to do?” They replied, “We want to study the Bible!” Students on college campuses want a relationship with God and to find meaning in their lives! Having a special outreach focused on engaging Latino/a students uncovered this thirst for truth and significance.

Devin is on staff with Destino in St. Louis, MO.

Photo Credit:  Mark Grapengater

 

Posted by Devin Tressler in Culturally Connected, Outreach, 0 comments
Where are you spiritually right now?

Where are you spiritually right now?

As this school year started we’ve met lots of students!

We asked, “What are you hoping for this semester?” and you answered things like, “success” and “good friends.”

Destino likes to ask, “Where are you spiritually right now?” And on one campus students could circle motions like frustrated, excited, and/or empty.

Maybe you relate to Tyrell, a second-year student who identified himself as disappointed, confused and growing. He agreed to meet up for lunch with Matt.

After learning more about each other, Matt asked Tyrell about the words that he used to describe his spiritual life. Tyrell said he was “disappointed” because he doesn’t feel like he lives the way God wants him to live. “Confused” because he isn’t sure how God wants him to live, but doesn’t really understand what the Bible says sometimes. And “growing” because he wants to know God and tries to learn about him in spite of his negative feelings. Don’t you feel some of those things sometimes?!

Matt asked Tyrell what he thought would help his spiritual life, and Tyrell said, “I think I want to study the Bible and learn how God wants me to live.” Just this week, Tyrell and several other students began to do that!

Are you in a small group to study the Bible and/or discuss growing closer to God? Would you like to be?  Find out what’s happening on your campus!

Photo Credit: djromanj.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Discipleship, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
Students just like you!

Students just like you!

“I see you as one of my teachers, teaching me something I never knew before.”

“I feel a lot better knowing there’s a place for me here to open up about my faith.”

“I’m not religious like my mom, but I still believe in God and would really want to learn more about Him with others.”

“I want Jesus to be on the throne of my life; He’s not fully there now, but I’d like Him to be.”

“I want to join your group so my grandmother will feel more at peace that I found a good group to keep learning about God. Plus I like you guys.”

“I don’t have a Bible or have ever read it, but I’m open to learn about it.”

Come, be part of Destino’s familia!

Photo Credit:  Allen Stanley.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Outreach, 0 comments
Odds Against Him

Odds Against Him

Sergio sat by himself in the student union. Two Destino staff women, Stephanie and Diana, asked if they could join him for lunch. And as they sat together, they listened to his story. Raised by his grandparents, Sergio’s mother and father weren’t around much. His older brothers were incarcerated, and now, he’s the first in his family to go to college.

Diana couldn’t help but wonder, “Wow, what’s he doing here? All odds are against him. No one in his family expects him to graduate; no one has hope for him to be any different than the other men in his family.”

But that’s why Destino is here! We believe God has a plan for students like Sergio. On his second day of his second year, Sergio heard about God’s love and forgiveness clearly, for the first time. Over Taco Bell burritos, he assured Stephanie and Diana that he’d think about making that decision to follow God.

Join us in praying for students like Sergio who are hearing about God’s desire to know them and be known by them. We love listening to students and sharing our stories with them!  And we’d love to share with you more about a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Outreach, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments

“Wow, that’s beautiful!”

“Sorry for interrupting, I couldn’t help but overhear…if everything has a cause then where did God come from?”

A Destino staff member, Matt, was talking with a student when he heard another student from behind him ask that question.  After talking a bit more with the first student, Matt walked around the bench and sat down beside Adolfo, who seemed eager to hear a response to his question, “Where does God come from?”

Adolfo had grown up in a Christian home but didn’t remember much about it. At 18, he joined the military, now, at 29, Adolfo was pursuing his undergrad degree. During his time in the military, he began to question what God was like, which he said led him to be agnostic.

Together, Matt and Adolfo began to discuss different religions and what makes Christianity so unique. Adolfo asked Matt to explain the main point of Christianity since he didn’t remember much. After Matt shared about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, Adolfo’s response was simple:

|“Wow, that’s beautiful!”

As they continued their conversation, Adolfo said he’d never heard Christianity talked about like this. He wasn’t ready to change his agnostic beliefs, but he wanted to know if they could meet again to discuss more things like these.

“Of course!” replied Matt. And as he walked away, Matt couldn’t stop repeating Adolfo’s observation, “Wow! That’s beautiful.”

The gospel is beautiful. Matt’s conversation with Adolfo reminded him just how beautiful the good news of God’s love and forgiveness is.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Outreach, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments