"But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14
University of South Carolina
Major: Social Work
I was raised in a Christian household and church was a large part of my life; I was no stranger to the Bible or Christian beliefs. However, in 2009, I unexpectedly lost a close family member. Over the next year, I grew hostile and resentful towards God, and eventually refused to attend church any longer. By my freshman year in college, life had simply gotten harder: I had just ended a difficult relationship, losing friends in the process, and, as dramatic as it may sound, I felt as though my world was falling apart. Through a crazy chain of events (AKA God), I transferred to the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2015. I had decided it was time to clean up my life: quit bad habits, get the right friends, even attend church. Honestly, I got involved with Campus Outreach for the sole purpose of making friends. Praise God, my good friend Diana was one of those friends that led me to Christ. In October of 2015, Diana and I were getting coffee, talking about Jesus, when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to my sin and pride. I had been living my life as my own god, trying to make myself righteous by “being a good person”, and failing miserably. God showed me that all I could offer Him was my brokenness and need, but in return, He would give me Jesus, my Savior.
Campus Outreach has been a vital component of my spiritual growth throughout the near two years that I have been a Christian. I have been taught how to cultivate my relationship with God, the importance of studying the Bible daily, and how to share the Gospel with others. Campus Outreach has also greatly affected the way I view missions, namely, that every Christian is called to share the Gospel, whether at home or overseas. I will (quite literally) be eternally grateful that God allowed me to be a part of Campus Outreach.
University of North Florida
Staff Intern at UNF
I grew up going to the Catholic church and had a very ritualistic understanding of the Gospel and solely believed in the existence of God. After my family moved from Illinois to Florida in 2001, my parents could not enroll my older brother and I in the local Catholic school due to over-crowding, so public school enrollment and year-round baseball playing distanced me from any sort of exposure to anything church-related. Throughout my middle school and high school days, my identity continued to be heavily centered on baseball and in pursuing relationships. However, as I transitioned into college my freshman year, a big break-up and an elbow injury had my two foundations of purpose, security and fulfillment completely shattered and I slipped into a dark period of depression. That summer, I was confronted with the Gospel clearly for the very first time in my and I surrendered my life to Christ as my Savior, Redeemer, and source of security. Upon my return to college my sophomore year, I had such a passion for ministry in sharing about how Jesus had completely changed my life that stayed with me throughout my college years!
This initial passion for ministry (personal and interpersonal, alike) was never very structured in terms of how to study the Bible deeply, how to share my faith, and how to evangelize and disciple others effectively. I became involved with Campus Outreach towards the end of my junior year when I connected with Alan Marsh and he began to disciple me in what it meant to be a spiritual leader on the college campus. Campus Outreach has greatly impacted my walk with the Lord by giving me useful tools for engaging in spiritual conversations, studying the Bible and praying at a deeper, more intimate level, and connecting me with other brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the nation! I love the heart and vision behind this ministry of "Glorifying God by building laborers on the campus for the lost world" and I can't wait for the next chapter of my life of going on staff with this amazing ministry!
Georgia Southern University
Major: International Studies
While I grew up in an involved Catholic household, I came to know Christ personally in eighth grade, after attending a retreat in Daytona Beach, FL. That weekend was the first time I remember perceiving Christ not as being a distant being, but as one who died for my sins so that I could have a personal relationship with Him. However, due to neglecting the importance of strong accountability and discipleship throughout high school, my life became consumed by the idols of busyness and perfection. On the outside it looked like I had it all together but on the inside I was broken and struggling with anxiety and eventually, an eating disorder and depression. I knew the Savior but was running my own course of life and quite literally, as running became yet another idol in my life and I signed to run cross country and track at Georgia Southern University. Going into college, God was a part of my life but not in the center. However, throughout this past sophomore year of mine, God has brought me back into fellowship with Himself, along with others, who God has used to propel forth my walk like never before.
Specifically, becoming involved in Campus Outreach in the past year has greatly impacted my walk with Christ. Campus Outreach's commitment to reach the lost world is profound, which has helped shaped my personal life vision post graduation. Additionally, the fellowship I have found within Campus Outreach has displayed to me the importance of accountability, prayer, and the Word. Now, I may still be an imperfect mess but I am grateful to have an environment in which my hunger for God can be fed and I am blessed by the fellowship that endlessly encourages.
My family didn’t really go to church much when I was growing up, and I had no relationship with Christ. I thought being a Christian meant simply believing Jesus lived and walked on Earth, but I knew nothing about the life He lived, the death He died for our sake, or the relationship we are meant to have with Him. I struggled with wanting to control every aspect of my life. I had a plan and when things didn’t go as planned, I felt like my life was crumbling around me. In 2015, my sophomore year of college, a girl in my sorority invited me to Fall Retreat, and I thought if nothing else it was an inexpensive weekend away with friends. Little did I know that weekend would change my life. I learned so much there about the gospel and His plan for us. I realized I didn’t want to be in control of my life anymore and that I wasn’t meant for that burden. That weekend I gave every part of myself to Christ and allowed Him to take the control of everything.
Through Campus Outreach, I have found how to walk with Christ daily and to live my life according to His will. I have found how to truly trust in His plans and have learned to recognize sin in my life as well as how to fight that sin. Through CO, I have been blessed with people who influence me daily, push me, and encourage me and who I know will be lifelong friends. I have been so blessed through my experiences in Campus Outreach and am confident Christ is doing amazing things through this ministry.
I’ve been a Christian since I can remember. I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school, and had many Christian friends. I always knew God and had a relationship with Him, but it wasn’t until college that the Lord put on my heart Matthew 22:37: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” I definitely loved the Lord with all my heart but it wasn’t until Katie Evans (staff) challenged me in loving God with all my soul. From that instance I took a leap of faith and started a bible study with my cheer team. My team always knew I was a Christian, but I never mentioned why. This is when the Lord showed me that loving Him with all my soul will take me out of my comfort zone for His name to be glorified. I am so thankful for the sanctification of the gospel and my Campus Outreach family that I get to walk along side with to see others commit their lives to loving the Lord with all their soul.
Campus Outreach has provided a community that has helped transform the way I live my life for the sake of the gospel. Whether investing in others or cheering on the court, CO provides encouragement that always points me back to Jesus. I attended Winter Conference last year which lead to a taking the opportunity to invest my time in Summer Beach Project. God has used Campus Outreach in tremendous ways to build up laborers right in front of my eyes that encourage, transform, and put the Lord first in order to build relationships for the sake of the His Glory.
I grew up as the church kid and wore that badge with great pride. However, I always felt like something was missing, and it was almost as if there was a hole in my heart. To me Jesus was a “get out of jail free” card, and as long as I prayed each night I would get into heaven. My freshman year a friend invited me to a conference with Campus Outreach where I realized that the Christian life I was living was a fraud. I began to understand what it truly meant to have God as the Lord of my life. It was March 2014 when I fully surrendered my life to Christ, leaning fully on the death and resurrection of Jesus for my salvation. Since then, knowing God has been the greatest joy in life.
God has used Campus Outreach to radically transform my life. Through Campus Outreach I’ve learned what it means to walk with God deeply and give my life away for the glory of God. CO is devoted to raising up laborers who are committed to knowing God and making Him know. I am thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of his redemption plan through the ministry of Campus Outreach.
I grew up in a semi-religious family. Growing up I was never forced to go to church, but I was told to pray every night and show God that I was thankful. Going into middle and high school, I found my identity in whichever friend group I was a part of. Entering college, I was so happy to be free and started to find my ultimate comfort and joy in partying and men. It was not until my second year of college that I found a deeper purpose in the Lord. I had finally found the One that laid his life down for me and from that day forward I have been living for the Greater One. My journey has not been easy, but it has been rewarding.
God allowed Campus Outreach to impact my life in a very substantial way. CO showed me that it was okay for me to take the masks off, because Christ knew what was hiding under those masks. Campus Outreach gave me the tools for building a personal relationship with God and loving him past the superficial level. Now those tools are helping me lead women in my community and I am forever grateful for the foundation God has given me.
I grew up in a Christian home, and I would have claimed to be a Christian. My view of the gospel, however, was that my salvation depended on how good I could be and how well I could follow all of the rules. I saw God and Jesus as rule enforcers, and often I resented having to fit into what I thought was a "Christian mold". During high school and the beginning of college, I started to question what I had always said I believed. My freshman year, a Campus Outreach staff member shared the gospel with me over lunch. For the first time, I saw clearly what people has been telling me my entire life, that while I could never be good enough to earn my way to heaven, Christ paid the price for my sins and was offering me the opportunity to have a relationship with him. I don't know exactly when, but sometime during that first semester my life was surrendered to Christ.
God has used Campus Outreach to completely change my life; he has changed the way I relate to other people, the way I see my future and career, and most importantly, he's given me a relationship with him. Before, I never understood why anyone would share their faith, but now Christ has given me a desire to grow in my relationship with him and to share with others the amazing gift that Christ offers. During my time with CO, I've been able to have opportunities on the campus, in Daytona at Summer Leadership Project, and in Manila, Philippines to go out and practice sharing the gospel. Campus Outreach has taught me the importance of discipleship and community, about living missionally where I am, and has helped grow my heart for college students and the world.
Growing up I always considered myself a good Christian kid: I went to church every Sunday, I didn't break the rules, and I taught Sunday school at my church. Because of these things, I always placed the burden of salvation on myself. I never knew my need for a relationship with Christ or my ability to even have a relationship with Him until I got to college. Fall semester of my sophomore year, a CO staff girl named Janet shared the gospel with me and the verse Ephesians 2:8-9, which says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of good works so that no man may boast." This verse radically changed my perspective because it showed me my inability to save myself and my need for a savior. Since claiming Jesus as Lord and savior of my life, I have known a joy that only comes from glorifying and being loved by Him. Campus Outreach has been such a blessing in my life. Having a community of Christ-centered believers to run to has pushed me to continually walk deeper with the Lord. Campus Outreach has provided me with so many opportunities like New Year's Conference, Summer Leadership Project, and retreats that grow both my desire for the Lord and my ability to share my faith with students on the college campus. I am so thankful to be a part of an organization like Campus Outreach that not only pushes me toward the cross but also pushes me to share my faith boldly and create laborers for the lost world.
Until college, I never actually loved God. I grew up knowing about the Bible, praying to God, and sometimes going to church—all in an attempt to be forgiven for sin and permitted into Heaven. I wanted to be on God's side and I tried to seek him, but I could never sustain that desire for long. That all changed my freshman year, when a man on staff with Campus Outreach named JT Martin explained to me over lunch that God doesn't seek good behavior, good works, or religiousness. He told me that because of my sin, I could not earn God's favor, but the only way to be right with God was by trusting in Christ for his righteousness. It was October 2014 when I first believed this and started my relationship with the Lord. Since then, getting to know him is the greatest pleasure I have had.
Campus Outreach has been huge for me. I received the gospel through their ministry and have since developed so much in character through life-on-life discipleship and retreats (especially the Summer Leadership Project). I've also grown in Christ alongside laborers whose friendship will last a lifetime. I thank God for CO, and I will continue to be involved because I believe God is using this organization to do big things for the campus and for the world.