salvation

Wanting a Change.

Wanting a Change.

“Hi, I go to FIU but I’m not a Christian, I do want to get involved and be more connected to God. Please contact me, thanks.”

God had been working in Andrea’s life. She was spiritually hungry and searching for a different way to live. Her email went to one of Destino’s leaders, Rachel, in Miami. A few days later, Rachel, and another student, Nicole, met with Andrea.

Andrea grew up with a faith tradition that she wasn’t practicing and wanted to know more about God. As the women opened up to one another, Rachel and Nicole shared God’s message of love and forgiveness with her, and she said it was something that interested her but had a lot of questions. They began to meet regularly for more conversation.

After a few more times, Andrea asked them how God could guide her life. They told her He needed to be in her life to be her guide. She also wondered how she could become a better person. Rachel replied, “The only way to become a better person is if God changes you. You need to ask Him to come into your life and make you the kind of person He wants you to be. Is that something you want to do?”

Andrea didn’t hesitate for a second. She was ready for His solutions and gave her life to Christ.

Over the next six weeks, Andrea eagerly learned more about what it means to walk with Christ. Not only that, she sought out community through a Bible study and weekly campus gatherings.

For a week, the students focused on looking for ways to share their faith stories. Andrea was nervous, yet trusted God to help her join in. She spoke with several people, and one guy came to the group as a result.

When God’s changing your life, and you see Him at work, you want to share it with others. That’s what Andrea’s experiencing as God uses her to influence other students.

Posted by Devin Tressler in Outreach, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
Wendy’s Story

Wendy’s Story

A woman came to speak to my basketball team after practice one night in December. She talked about us being physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and that the best athletes are growing in all those areas.

My family went to church every week, but I wasn’t doing much about that side of my life. When I sat down with her later, she asked me what I thought would happen if I crossed the street and got hit by a car and died. I said I’d go to heaven because that’s what I’d heard in church. But that night, alone in my room, I wondered how can you know? What if, despite my best efforts, I wasn’t good enough?

I started to hang out with some Christians who seemed like they really knew God, like it made a difference in their day-to-day life. I learned that I could be sure about things like heaven and my purpose in life by having a one-to-one relationship with God.  

I’d always thought it was like a giant scale, if I did enough good things to outweigh the bad, I was “in” with Him. But they explained that no one is good enough, we’re all separated from a relationship with God.

The great news is that He didn’t leave us there; He loved me so much He sent Jesus as a GIFT to connect me back to God. “So that’s it!” I’d never really understood my need for Jesus (other than the occasional “Help me!”) or why people said they were saved—saved from what?! Suddenly I understood that I was saved from that separation and always trying to be good enough.

What a phenomenal Christmas present I received that year, when Jesus’ GIFT of forgiveness and new life became mine.

Wendy is on staff with Destino in Indiana.

Photo credit:  kris_mouser-brown.

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