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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
13 Times a Day

13 Times a Day

“It is just so hard to think positive things about myself
and to believe that is really how God sees me.”

That’s what Melody, a Destino staff woman, heard from a student in Miami. Melody was leading an exercise to help students evaluate their identity as individuals, including who has most influenced their lives, and how they view themselves.

When her friend expressed that, Melody shared this startling statistic:  The average woman thinks critically about herself at least 13 times per day.  “If you had a friend who texted, or called you just to criticize you 13 times a day,” Melody asked, “how long would it take you to block their call, unfriend them, and stop talking to them?”

The young woman was quick to respond, “No more than a day.”

“Then why do we put up with believing the lies and criticism of the enemy and of ourselves that we’ve become used to day after day?!”

What an incredible privilege to base our view of ourselves on what God says is true!  What would it be like if you took 13 more times a day to focus on your identity in Christ and to reflect God’s love to those around you?!

Posted by Devin Tressler in Discipleship, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
The Value of Community in My Ethnic Identity Journey

The Value of Community in My Ethnic Identity Journey

“So you and your family are from Mexico, huh?” Emily, my freshman roommate asked soon after I moved into the dorm room my first semester in college.

“Yes, but I grew up in Deer Park, a suburb of Houston,” I replied, trying to deflect the question. In fact I had moved to Deer Park at the age of seven, where the majority of people at my school, as well as my friends, were white.

Her curiosity persisted, “So this must be very different for you. Do y’all have running water in Mexico?” Her face was completely serious, and from her expression I couldn’t figure out if she knew she was being offensive or not. This had never happened to me.

“Monterrey is a huge, very modern and industrialized city. We have running water,” I replied slightly annoyed. She went on to ask if my parents knew how to read and write and if we used donkeys as our main mode of transportation. I couldn’t believe she was seriously asking any of these things.

I had never felt insecure about my ethnic identity until that moment.

Can I just blend in?

Immediately I could tell I was very different to the majority of students on campus, and that it was a bad thing. I looked around my economics class from the back of a large auditorium and started wondering how many Latinos were in the class. I began to feel so insecure about being one of the few Latinos on campus; I wished so badly at that moment that I could blend in and be like the majority of students in class.

Although I didn’t consciously decide I wanted to look more white, I dyed my hair platinum blonde and put light colored contacts in my eyes because that’s what most girls in my classes looked like. I was not ready to admit to the world who I really was. I wanted to be accepted.

No more hiding

It wasn’t until I joined Destino that I realized I had been desperately trying to hide my ethnic identity from the world. It was then that I knew I was in a safe environment that accepted who I really was and not who I had to pretend to be in order to blend in and be accepted. I could unashamedly admit that my favorite breakfast is barbacoa with tortillas de harina, and that I like listening to Luis Miguel.

I even became aware that when I prayed silently I did so in Spanish, so when I was asked to pray aloud in English I became tongue-tied. The language I use to communicate with God is Spanish.  My Destino friends didn’t mind however, in fact they understood, because some of them felt the same way.

Ana Villarreal Bush served as an intern with Destino in Texas.

photo courtesy: jorislouwes

Posted by Devin Tressler in Culturally Connected, Discipleship, 0 comments