“Stay away from drama … and the college party scene.”
Not bad advice from an older brother to his kid sister as she sets out for college. But Grace, from Long Island, NY held out hope for something more substantial - and she got it.
Somewhat new to the whole Christian thing (a HS friend invited Grace to youth group halfway through their junior year - eighteen months later, the “aha” moment came, and the gospel became real for her), Grace quickly rooted into her new-found faith and even considered applying to a Christian college.
Her parents, though not yet believers, were supportive, yet all three agreed that SUNY (State University of New York) Albany better fit their budget. That’s when Grace’s Youth Group leader helped her learn about Cru.
Grace got to work, locating Cru’s CollegeBound site. She joined it, filled out the survey provided, and pressed “send,” releasing her bona fides into the digital world.
A couple of hundred miles away, Chris Cox, Cru’s CollegeBound concierge, received Grace’s email. Armed with software to access Cru’s nationwide network of infobases and ministry locators, Chris was able to connect Grace with Stephanie, a local Cru staff member.
“Overjoyed … Relieved … Grateful ...” is how Grace describes her feelings that first Friday night as a college student. After her initial meeting with Steph and another student, the three of them met up again Friday night, traveling to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), site of the first Cru meeting, preceded by dinner at the Sarnackis (Cru UAlbany staff).
“About 50 students were there, worshipping and learning from the Bible. It was so much like the youth group I’d had to leave behind.”
The next week Rich Sarnacki gathered 7 or 8 of the SUNY students for a Bible Study, Grace among them. “Rich taught us from John 1, how God brings light. We all shared insights and made connections to our personal lives.”
With Cru Friday meetings and mid-week Bible studies now part of her college routine, another Cru event glimmers on Grace’s horizon - Fall Getaway, the last week-end of September.
“I’m so excited. I’ve never done anything like a Fall Getaway before!”
Because SUNY Albany does not yet recognize Cru as a sanctioned club, such a connection between Cru and Grace would have been “hit or miss” before CollegeBound.
Please join us in helping to reach this year’s college bound seniors, their parents and youth pastors by directing them to www.cru/collegebound.org.
For $350 you can scholarship five students like Grace to one of the many Fall Retreats happening within the next few weeks. Invest in students with us here.
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