Connecticut

Southern & Western New England Update

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  • At Eastern CT State, a dozen students are interested in helping lead dorm-based Bible studies in just the third week of this chapter plant.
  • At the new chapter plant at Rhode Island School of Design a Buddhist prayed to Jesus for the first time.
  • At UConn, At UConn, students across racial divides and councils of the Greek system are exploring Jesusand praying for their fraternities and sororities
  • At Roger Williams younger students are stepping up in leadership and evangelism after a strong class graduated last year.
  • At Smith College, community members and volunteers served ice cream to 360 students (over 13% of the whole campus) while staff and student leaders worked the crowd and collected contact info from 150 students.
  • At Connecticut College, ten of the 17 students coming out to Bible study are freshmen who are inviting their friends to come too.
  • At Mount Holyoke, a sophomore (in middle of photo) gained a vision to start a Bible study for first year students. At the second meeting a seeking first year was overcome by God's presence during the prayer time and said "I don't know who I am in Jesus yet, but I feel like God is giving me love and hope."
  • At one college, 200 students (1 of every 8 students on campus) came through an interactive survey where the gospel was shared, even with the college president!
  • At least a dozen students have made solid commitments to follow Jesus for the first time so far this year, and staff and students are following up with dozens more who have responded to calls to faith!

By, Liz Joyal, Divisional Director | SWNewEngland

Sorority Story

Last semester, a shy student leader and myself walked into a room of 115 sorority women to share with them about Greek IV. We both were nervous, but took a step in faith and made the announcement and passed out spiritual surveys. We were astonished to receive back 8 surveys (this is a record at UConn!) saying girls were interested in learning more about Greek IV and who Jesus is. One of those women was, T., a Sophomore who grew up in the church, but like most freshman fell away from her faith as she entered college and joined her sorority. T. and I began to meet weekly last semester and we talked bout how amazing it would be to start a Bible study in her sorority house. This semester (which just started) T. has joined our leadership team, she has invited 6 of her sisters and a fraternity man to come on our spring break trip, ServeUp, where they will all hear the gospel... AND next week we are starting a Bible study in the Pi Beta Phi house!

Praise God for new student leaders and for their hearts to reach their friends. Pray with me that T. will continue to grow in Christ's love for her sisters and for her protection as she takes major steps of faith in a hard to spiritually dark place. 

Servant Leaders

This past year, we have started something called a Servant Leadership Team within Greek IV. This is for students who are a part of our vision and want to see it lived out on campus. This semester we have been studying what it means to be a servant leader and how Jesus is the perfect example of being just that.

This week we are looking at and praying through the Litany of Humility from Cardinal Merry de Val (1865-1930). This is a powerful prayer that makes you say, "ouch!" as you read it. I want to invite you to be praying this prayer with us throughout this semester.

I am praying that God will continue to transform my heart and my students hearts as we long to see students lives transformed, Greek systems renewed and world changers developed.

Click HERE to read the Litany of Humility with us.

By, Alexa Higley, Campus Staff | UCONN Greek

Servant Leaders

This past year, we have started something called a Servant Leadership Team within Greek IV. This is for students who are a part of our vision and want to see it lived out on campus. This semester we have been studying what it means to be a servant leader and how Jesus is the perfect example of being just that.

This week we are looking at and praying through the Litany of Humility from Cardinal Merry de Val (1865-1930). This is a powerful prayer that makes you say, "ouch!" as you read it. I want to invite you to be praying this prayer with us throughout this semester.

I am praying that God will continue to transform my heart and my students hearts as we long to see students lives transformed, Greek systems renewed and world changers developed.

Click HERE to read the Litany of Humility with us.

By, Alexa Higley - Campus Staff | UConn

Acts of the Apostles at Yale

Yale

Chapter 2 1 And some of the believers were gathered together at Yale University, worshiping the Lord at the place which is called Old Campus. (It was on the twentieth day of February in the final year of President Levin.) 2 Now there was a student, named Taylor, who had suffered a concussion. And the believers went to Vanderbilt (that is, the place where she was staying) to pray for her because she could not leave her room. (For she was sensitive to light and to noise.) 3 And hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, one of them asked her, “Do you have pain in your knees?” And again he asked her, “How about the pain in your chest?” Now she had not told anyone these things and was amazed that he knew them. 4 And the believers, who were themselves students, laid hands on Taylor and prayed. And immediately she said, “I can breathe!” For the heaviness and pain was lifted from her chest. And the students prayed a second time, and her knees were also healed. 5 And when they had prayed a third time, the effects of the concussion completely left her. And the believers rejoiced in the Lord and testified of His goodness. 6 Now the believers departed because it was late, but two of them remained behind to talk with her and her roommate. And when they realized that one of those who had left also forgot his backpack, they waited for him outside on Old Campus. 7 But in their excitement, they began to testify about what had just happened to anyone who would listen. 8 And when he had come to get his backpack, the other believer remained. And the three of them went about sharing the good news until the fourth hour of the morning.

9 And many experienced the love of Christ through their witness – both believers and non-believers. For it says, a“Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all, and is in all” and b“In the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” 10 And some of the students prophesied. Some prayed for the first time. Still others were healed from various ailments. 11 One of them who had difficulty hearing, when they had prayed for him, exclaimed, “Thatʼs so weird. My ears just opened!” Others were healed of sinus congestion, flu symptoms, and headaches. 12 And the Lord was with them all.

___________________

a Col. 3:11 b Acts 2:17

I want to let this account speak for itself. Therefore I will only say three things about it: 1) This account is entirely true. Every detail is factual. (2) I do not claim to be writing the authoritative word of God. Rather, my aim was to show the reality of the New Testament in our lives today. Regardless of the New Testament's archaic writing style, its content is still fresh and alive. I also wanted to emphasize that what happened to us that evening is very real and very Biblical. Sometimes it seems like things need to sound a certain way in order for us to accept them into our religious systems and beliefs. Similarly, we sometimes have trouble believing that miracles still happen in the same way that they did in the first century A.D. I hope that this account helps us make the connection. (3) What happened that night is available to everyone. If He used us, He will use you. Be encouraged, beloved.

© 2013 by Iʼnoli Hall. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with written consent from the author.

Iʼnoli may be contacted at inoli.hall@gmail.com

Colby’s Story

Quinnipiac

When Colby decided to attend Quinnipiac, he planned to finish an MBA and proceed to a career in the business pharmaceutical world. But God had other plans. Right before his freshman year, Colby perceived a call from God to go into pastoral ministry. After hearing the Lord’s leading Colby decided to continue with his business major but not go on for his MBA.  I (Andy) met Colby last fall and immediately recognized his leadership gifting. I quickly invited him onto our Core team and have continued to walk alongside him as he grows as a minister of the gospel on campus. This year, Colby has been the first student to pioneer ministry in a new place—his dorm. What’s more, Colby has invited a group of missional freshmen to help him, with the vision of equipping them to plant new groups in their dorms.

His Dana Hall Bible study is a perfect example of what we hope to see in InterVarsity New England—a student catching a vision from God for his sphere of influence, inviting apprentices to help him reach that place and together inviting those who don’t know Jesus to study the Gospel. God continues to bring students like Colby—passionate about the Gospel and ready to reach the campus!

By, Andy Ober, Area Director | Southern & Western CT

Everyone Fakes It In One Way Or Another

Yesterday a band of travelling open air preachers visited UConn for the second time this semester. They come, they deliver their message in an antagonistic way for the sake of stirring up the crowd and provoking anger (I talked with them personally and though their intentions are actually that students would hear the gospel and respond, their methods are ineffective and distracting). Last time they came many of my students saw them, and most of them responded with anger before walking away, but two of my students pressed in and started to talk to other people in the crowd.

They asked good interpretive questions and helped people in the crowd feel hear. That night we had our large gathering and we debriefed the preachers together – as a community we highlighted the actions of these two students and asked ourselves how we can be a community that listens and finds the good in every situation – helping people feel heard and pointing them to Jesus.

Yesterday when the preachers came back my students made me extremely proud – for the hour and a half that I was in the crowd, and as far as I know the rest of the time that the preachers were on campus, a rolling 5-6 of my students were also there, debriefing, listening and inviting. They helped people feel heard, they found the good and looked for opportunities to love people that had gathered – then on top of this many of them joined me later to run the Fake Proxe in another area of campus and present the gospel in a way that was a stark contrast to these angry men – I am a proud staffworker!!! One of my students Melissa had a good conversation with one of the angrier and more vocal students in the crowd, named Jacob and ended up inviting him to come check out InterVarsity the following night.

Tonight at our large gathering we talked about “Fake Love vs. the Real thing” which is the 3rd week of the LG series that accompanies the Fake Proxe. The outline has a call to faith in it, and so I decided that we should do one tonight, and use it as a way to respond to the preachers. We went through the content of the night, and then, after affirming my students for their Christ-like response to the preachers, I explained that I wanted to tell them all the gospel as I understand it, the gospel as I would tell it should I preach in the open air. So I did. I preached the gospel to them for 20 min, and invited anyone who wanted to accept Jesus for the first time to stand with me, and no one did. So I tarried and eventually asked again, and it was Jacob who responded. He stood, and two of my students stood beside him to support him as he accepted Jesus for the first time!!!

I am praising God that the Gospel is life changing, and good news! That it can lead to real clarity and real repentance, instead of just anger and confusion! And that there are students who are ready to respond to the gospel if we would just explain it in a way that they can hear.

Please Pray for Jacob! There are some difficult discipleship conversations ahead for him, but God is doing a new thing in his life! And Pray for us as a community. That we can continue to see God’s movement even in the messes made on campus, and respond with Love and Truth!

By, Kyle Van Etten, campus staff UConn