Have you met the interns yet? They're pretty amazing. The following post is from Kristin Caldwell. She's a graduate of Central Washington University and is becoming an expert at navigating public transportation in the city.
I had only been at Central Washington University for five days before I discovered Chi Alpha. My friend Anna invited me to come with her to the pizza party Chi Alpha was having in place of their usual Tuesday night worship meeting. The room was full when we arrived, so we got our pizza and sat by ourselves outside. Even though we weren't inside with everyone else, it wasn't long before someone came and started getting to know us.
This person's name was Rachel, and she was an intern with Chi Alpha. She was the first person I met in Chi Alpha, and she ended up being my mentor that year. As a result of her meeting with me every week, my life started changing dramatically. Because of her example and the example of so many other students in this community, I saw what Jesus' call to follow Him really looks like. I had grown up Christian, but somehow what a real relationship with God actually looked like in practice had never quite translated. I had never before seen people so open about their faith.
I also had never had anyone mentor me before, so having someone actively asking me questions about what I thought about a particular passage of Scripture was a totally new experience. As was having someone praying with me consistently. Not just praying for me, but actually with me. And so I started growing like crazy because I quickly realized that what she had was something I wanted.
Five years later, I'm here in DC as an intern myself learning how to be a campus missionary. What I am most excited for is to learn how to pour into students as I was poured into myself. The community as a whole made a big impact, but it was this single relationship with Rachel that really made the biggest difference. What happens this year will probably look very different than what I experienced as a freshman, but I'm excited to see how God grows and stretches me through it all.
Needless to say, being a campus missionary requires me to spend a huge portion of my time with people. I'm naturally an introvert, so being around people as much as I am every day is definitely a stretch. I'm learning that even though I'm not naturally outgoing doesn't mean that God can't use me. I'm also realizing more and more that my way of doing ministry probably looks different than those around me, and that's okay. I'm realizing too that the numbers don't matter as much as long as I'm obedient to God and love the students He has placed in my life as best I can. That was ultimately what made all the difference for me. The biggest impact on my life came from someone spending time with me. Looking back at my relationship with Rachel, I really don't remember that many specific conversations. What I do remember is the time she invested in me, whether we were talking about God or not. I'm excited to learn how to do the same.