Thursday, July 15, 2010

Testimonies of NAU InterVarsity

PAUL KIM- 24/7 Prayer Team
    24/7 prayer has changed my life. It has been such a huge influence on my prayer life and my relationship with God. I have grown and learned so much about God, myself, and the importance of prayer and the role it plays in the life of a Christ follower. I love 24/7 prayer and what it brings to the NAU campus and its students and I will support it until the day I die.

JORDAN STEELE - Large Group Team
     Being on large group team this past year has been a bigger blessing to me than most people know. The summer before that year started, I guess I was having a sort of identity crisis. I felt like I was just “the funny one” that people wanted to be around for laughs, but nothing more. I was dying to prove to people that I could be deeper—that I could be a real friend to them and talk about things that mattered.     
     I kept praying to God that he would give me a gift that I deemed worthy for myself. Something like a deeper compassion for orphans that would compel me to go on mission trips to Africa six times a year. But deep down I knew I was praying these things selfishly—like I wanted to prove to people that I loved Jesus, because I felt they didn’t take me seriously. 
      Then at the beginning of the school year, I was asked to join large group team by staff member Ashley Boelter. She asked me to write the weekly announcements for IV that would be sent to all the students and staff via Facebook. I agreed, and decided to put my own flair on them; open with a joke or weird news story, try to weave my own comments into the announcements and at the end, BAM hit ‘em with a funny YouTube video. And I quickly found out that people actually appreciated what I was doing. They were really reading these announcements because they found them entertaining, and then were more apt to go to these events I was telling them about. 
       God made me realize that he really did make me this way for a reason. He might not have given me those gifts that I wanted to impress my Christian peers with, but he gave me a gift that still has weight for his Kingdom—the gift of a sense of humor that has mass appeal. He also made it clear to me that all I needed was balance. I was made to bring laughter and joy to others, but I still needed a small group of people who I could really go deeper and grow with. And He made it known to me who those people in my life were. So through this past year, I really found myself by searching for my identity in Christ rather than relying on my own standards. And that wouldn’t have been possible without large group team.

CHRISTY STUHAN -  Bible Study Leader
     Well, I was a bible study this last year and it was definitely one of the best periods of growth for me ever. This was because of several reasons. When I decided to lead a Bible study I don't think I had any idea what it would actually be like. It was really hard. 
      There were a lot of situations, this year, where I was not really allowed to show my emotions or be vulnerable, and that was a really hard position to be in. Through all of this, God had to show me a lot about myself I didn't really know. He had to show me that I was stronger than I thought, and had to break me so I would realize it. He had to show me that I was really bad at sacrifice. He threw me into situations where patience was like gold. Basically, especially second semester, God showed me that everything that I was not and needed to be, when we read James. It's kind of earthshaking to get all of that at one time but it was better in the long run. I guess the thing I learned most is that pain leads to growth but we have to be willing to change for Him, to glorify Him in all of our actions. We have to actually be willing to surrender all our wants and needs and to trust that He is in control. 
      These lessons were some hard ones but I know that God has already blessed me through them. I have a group of great girls that I know will do great things for Him and who are the most beautiful girls I have ever met. Their love and compassion and patience is amazing. God showed me through them how beautiful He has made me and that when I change and grow through Him it is a beautiful thing but in this world its hard not to listen to lies. The thing is though, God showed me when we change into other people for other people we just change into someone else THAT we still won't like. God is graceful through the process of change and through all of the struggles this year He is the one who has never stopped loving me. Being a leader is excellent but I believe that these lessons are something He would show anyone because our God is a God of Love, the most perfect Love. In Conclusion, God is Good all the time and all the time God is Good.

BARRY JORDAN- Chapter Camp
     When I came to NAU my freshman year, I didn’t have much of an idea where I would go as far as church or campus group was concerned. Somehow, I heard about and went to, a large group meeting for Intervarsity and then joined a small group within the first week or two of school. I didn’t get too involved with IV throughout my first year, but still felt connected through Bible study and found accountability and friendships through that.
      Towards the end of my second semester, I started getting closer to more people in the chapter and one of my bible study leaders, Eric, started pouring into me more. He also invited me to attend “Cross-training”, which is the meeting for people who are considering becoming leaders for the next school year. I attended and we went through several ideas and “gifts” tests to get an idea of what leadership or service team each person should be apart of. After this meeting and much prayer, I felt God leading me to be a bible study leader.
      I led an all guys freshman bible study my sophomore year, and although we only had 4 people consistently show up, we had a pretty tight group and were very open and discussed and prayed for our struggles and sins and had friendships with each other outside of bible study as well. To this day, I am still friends with all of the guys from that bible study, and one of those guys is entering his second year as a bible study leader this fall semester.
      Last year, my junior year, the leadership structure changed a little bit and I lead a co-ed small group with my friend Emily. Bible study was good, but discouraging at the same time. Most of the people who consistently came were girls, and on the average night girls outnumbered the men, about 10-5. We were able to split up at the end up bible study men and women separately and talk about stuff, but I feel it wasn’t quite the same as when I lead an all guys group.
      I was also able to mentor one guy consistently, who I met with every other week. These meetings were amazing because we got to get into deeper stuff and really see where we were in our faith and bring up tough questions to talk about. It was awesome to be able to point him to Christ and what the Bible says about certain issues and questions, the most common one being sexual purity, and challenge him to keep those things in prayer as well.
Although, overall I have had good experiences leading small groups over the last 2 years, I felt really convicted towards the end of this last year about my devotion to small group and being more invested in people inside it, especially with the men. I am very excited to be leading an all-men’s study again this year and am committed to a much more intentional group this year. I have several ideas for this year that I am committed to following through on, including discipleship groups, where I would meet with about 3 guys from bible study a week and then they would meet with the rest of the guys to disciple them. I also plan to have my group partner with Anthony and his men's small group, to get together and meet to fellowship with each other as the men of our chapter, and have events like going out in the woods and grilling up burgers and having a massive fire pit. This would also be a great place for us to invite our friends and other non-Christians so we can reach out to those who might not otherwise go to IV or a Bible study. My goal for the small group is to be focused on God and serving Jesus as a lifestyle, by following Him and reaching out to those around us.
      Since I have been a part of InterVarsity, I have had many opportunities to grow in my faith with Jesus and learn what it means to be a leader and lead by example and truth. I am very excited about this year and what God has in store for us.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Release 2010... What Happened.

Last night was our culminating event of Release 2010. 
We invited the campus to hear about what Jesus has to do with the AIDS orphan, and we took our final offering.  We had over 10 students stand up to receive the healing and restoration only Jesus brings.  If you missed Theo Davis speaking, the talk will be up on our NAU InterVarsity blog sometime next week. 

We raised $6515.43!
We will be able to build a home for children orphaned by AIDS with World Vision in Africa.

We are still short of our $10,000 goal, so if you have family or friends that would still like to give, we will be taking donations until March 5th.  You can give them to Adriane Goffena or any of the IV Staff. 

Thanks for all your hard work.  It has been an amazing couple of weeks.

Release 2010 Training

For those of you who were unable to attend the training this past Saturday for Release 2010, here is a summary re-cap of the AIDS specific training. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail them to or talk to any of our IV staff.

Video #1: Hidden Faces of AIDS

(Click on the title of the videos to play)

Pretty intense, isn't it? I've seen that movie numerous times and every time the story of the mother asking that her children die before she does kills me. In the western world we often say that one of the worst things a parent could face is having to bury their own children, but this mother is wishing for that, so her children would not be left alone and abandoned.

We didn't show this video in an attempt overwhelm you. We just wanted to put a human connection to this issue right from the beginning. This is an issue effecting real people, real mothers, fathers, siblings, children, and real communities with real stories of pain and broken hearts.

The magnitude of this issue is undeniable. It’s severity is incomprehensible. But, we don’t want to be paralyzed. We don’t want to throw statistics and pictures and videos at you to make you feel ill-equipped to take action. We want to show that in the midst of this horrible situation there is hope and there is something we can do.

We have two options in this: we let ourselves become overwhelmed and give-up saying, "There's no way we can do anything," or we can grab hold of the hope, the promise for change, and fight for that.

Let's do the second.
Doing something requires some education. So, that's what we want to give you. A brief overview of the issue and what we're doing to fight it.

We have 4-facts we want you to remember. These provide the base for our understanding on this issue.

4 Facts:
1. AIDS is one of many global crises we face today, but many consider it to be the WORST of our time
2. AIDS exists all over the world but it’s the WORST in Africa
3. AIDS is horrible for everyone, but it’s the WORST on kids
4.The plight of the AIDS orphan is fixable and the WORST thing is that it’s not fixed yet.

Keeping those 4 facts in mind, let’s take a look at some other information about AIDS.

History: The exact origin of AIDS is debated among scientists and historians. However, research indicates that HIV originated in primates in west-central Africa during the late 19th century or early 20th century and spread from these animals to humans. AIDS is thought to have arrived in Haiti in the 1960s from the Congo and then spread from Haiti to the United States in the late 1960s. The first "official case of AIDS was reported reported in 1981 in a group of homosexual men in Los Angeles. The virus was first referred to as "killer pneumonia" and was recognized by the CDC as GRID (Gay-related Immune Deficiency virus). In 1982, after further research, it was discovered that the disease was not isolated to the homosexual community and was officially recognized as AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

Science: AIDS is the most progressive acceleration of the HIV virus. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk. AIDS progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to infections and tumors. AIDS destroys the body's natural defense system so that something as "minor" as a cold is life threatening. This is why the virus is often referred to as "The Cough" is developing nations. Symptoms of AIDS often include fevers, sweats, chills, severe weight loss and weakness. In the absence of antiretroviral therapy, the median time of progression from HIV infection to AIDS is 9-10 years. The average survival time after developing AIDS is only 9.2 months

Treatment: Currently there is no vaccine or cure for AIDS. Antiretroviral treatments are the best bet for reduces both the mortality and severity of the infection. However, these drugs are expensive and access is limited to wealthy, developed countries. Experts say that prevention and education are the keys to controlling the pandemic, with promotion of safe-sex and needle-exchange programs.
Aids Today: 34 Million People are Infected – 75% of which are in Africa.

More than 15 million children are AIDS orphans.

More than 1 in 20 children in sub-Saharan Africa have become orphans because of AIDS.

Every 90 seconds another child becomes infected, most during pregnancy, birth, and breast feeding.


But AIDS is so much more than numbers.

It's the face of this HIV-postitive mother, Vilote and her daughter, born without HIV.

It's these orphans.

It's the face of this girl, Hilda.
And her grandmother, Theresa, the rest of her family killed by AIDS.

It's this funeral, one of too many that happen on a regular basis.
And, it’s this little girl Maggie and her story.

We CAN do something about this.

And we are. If you were at the teaser training you heard us talk a little about the fact that doing nothing sucks. It doesn’t grow us individually or as a community, and it doesn’t produce fruit. It leaves these children without a voice and without the support that we CAN give. For those of you in a small-group Bible Study with InterVarsity this semester, you know that James tells us that faith without action is dead and useless. We don't want dead faith. We want to live out our faith in real, tangible ways.

So, we are doing something.

During the week of Release 2010 there will be numerous opportunities to get involved. You can join us by signing up to work a Proxe station for an hour Tuesday-Thursday, partaking in the "Eat Like an Orphan" meal on Wednesday, buying a bright orange ORPHAN t-shirt and wearing it around campus this week, inviting friends, family, classmates, coworkers, and church members to our campus wide forum on Wednesday night in the Cline Library Auditorium at 8pm and the Invite Night "Jesus and the AIDS Orphan on Thursday night in Chem106 at 8pm.

And, you can ask people to give, to give generously to support our fundraising goal. Our goal is to raise $10,000. $5000 of this will go toward constructing a home for orphans and the remaining $5000 to provide food, clean water, education, and health care to these kids.

Think about it: College students in Flagstaff, Arizona stepping out saying that we want to put feet to our faith, that we want to impact this world for Jesus, that we want to make a difference in the lives of children whom we've never met, to speak out against injustice, and to share the hope of Jesus and His heart for justice with students on our campus.

We can do this by giving generously, by rallying others to give generously (family, friends, churches, etc.), and by getting involved in one, many, or all of the above mentioned ways during this week.

Together, focused on Jesus, we can be a part of a different story - a story of hope.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Release 2010, We Need Your Ideas!

At last night's Movement meeting we decided to work with World Vision for Release 2010.  We will be bringing awareness to the campus about the thousands of kids orphaned by AIDS in Africa every day. 

But statistics aren't enough.  We need to bring students into an experience so that they understand and care about the crisis in Africa.  

What are your ideas and thoughts for how we can successfully put this event on for Release 2010?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Release 2010...

Last time it was individual, now it's communal:
What's your vote?  

1. Work with International Justice Mission again like we did in 2008 and free women and children from slavery in Southeast Asia

2.  Raise awareness and money for kids orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in Africa

3.  Or, do you have an idea of something globally world-changing with an established organization?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Changed the World With 20 Dollars.

How did you use your 20 dollars to transform a life, renew the campus or change the world?  Post your story below!