It’s been hard some days, harder other days, and there have been days that I will never forget for the rest of my life. The Lord is changing lives every day, and He is, using us to do it!
What is so unique about a campus like UCA is that it operates as its own city. If you were to cut it off from the surrounding city of Conway, most of its residents wouldn’t notice. It has its own government, police, judicial system, food, housing, culture, and about 15,000 citizens. Sometimes, walking onto campus as a missionary feels just like walking into the streets of another country, even though I was a part of the culture for 5 years. But this is why we operate as full-time missionaries, because the majority of students spend 95% of their time within the borders of this pseudo-city.
I’ve been practicing being an evangelist, and praising God for His faithfulness! I’ve known for a while that God has designed me to be a front door into the Kingdom of God, to be a point of first contact and connection to the larger family, but sometimes campus does feel like a foreign country. So I’ve been purposeful to plan time on campus to meet new people and make connections, and God has been so faithful to provide a harvest!
A story, you say? Well, not too long ago, I was spending time in the Cafeteria just asking who I should reach out to, and I met a guy at the door to the men’s restroom. He recognized me from the music school, and we sat and began to talk. God willing, I’ll tell you his name in another letter soon. He has been living a homosexual lifestyle for a long time. He was in a relationship with a man who was a few years older, who was also intensely emotionally abusive and manipulative. When they broke up, my friend’s identity was demolished. Now, he has been seeking healing and comfort in a lot of different places, including Buddhism, Catholicism and dating other guys. However, he has found that he really enjoys being around “you Chi Alpha people,” and I told him that when we get our identity from God, it’s unshakable. I’m praying that he would really begin to talk to God and ask Him hard questions.
Praise God! So, what’s next?
Funny you should ask! We’ve been working our [rear-ends] off to get ready for “Come Together”, our state-wide Chi Alpha retreat, and we leave tomorrow! (Which means, if you’re reading this, it’s probably already over.) And the guy I’ve been telling about is coming! We’re gathering hundreds of students and lots of pastors and staff to have an intense get-away of worship and seeking deeper intimacy with the Father. And lots of fun and family, of course.
Our mission on UCA’s campus is a full time endeavor. We are never done at 6 o’clock when “our work day is done.” But God gives us so much grace to do his work, and the reward is greater than any paycheck. So I thank you for your continued support and prayer. Most of all, thank you for your investment of money and prayer into this community, and into the Kingdom of God. Pray for more grace and wisdom as we journey on!
May Christ be with you always!
Evan and the Chi Alpha family