"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
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.
anna wyman | University of south carolina | senior | public relations
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.
Rachel Berg | georgia college & State University | Junior | marketing & Management
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.