Kevin came on staff at American University Chi Alpha in 2012 after graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in Business. He is the director of Chi Alpha International and also disciples student leaders. In his free time he likes to cheer on his Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins. He also has an impeccable bowling form.
It’s always hard to pinpoint specific events within a terrific year of ministry! When a roller coaster is awesome, nobody says “well turn 1 was the most exhilarating part!”. NO! It was all good!
Likewise this year has been an amazing ride! But alas, I will try my hardest to share 3 of my favorite stories from this year.
#1. One of my favorite moments of the year was the result of a culmination of events. As a staff we had decided to do a semester long sermon series on the book of Acts. This was done because we really wanted to see the Holy Spirit work through our students, and there was no better way to do that than to preach about it.
Additionally we began Holy Spirit labs, which were lunchtime sessions open students to come study about what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. We began to see students come to a deeper understanding about the power of the Spirit and even began to see students start to pray in the Spirit.
This led up to one of my favorite moments of the year. On our last worship night of the year we did something called a “study break worship”. There were no sermons, no announcements, just worship for two hours in the middle of exam week.
This event happened on a continual basis, so it wasn’t a unique one-time event nor was it anything new to the students. As the night went on we began to see numerous students either approach the altar on their own volition, or cry out their own personal songs of praise.
It almost seemed like every person was engaging the Holy Spirit in their own personal way. I’ll never forget the one image that capped off that incredible night: sitting in the front pew, a student with endless streams of tears for the entire night, passionately and fervently singing songs of praise.
It was truly beautiful.
#2. I remember several years ago I went to visit a friend in Texas. While staying with my friend’s family, they had a guest Pastor sleeping in the room next to mine. After having several conversations with him, he gave me a prophesy that I never could understand: that I would be a blessing unto the nation of Japan.
I walked away extremely skeptical because the only thing that linked me to Japan was my last name. And that was a loose connection at that, because it’s been 4 generations since my family moved from Japan.
Anyway, I would receive my answer almost three years later at an international student retreat over Thanksgiving called Mosaic. It’s a retreat for international students all across the Atlantic coast.
Over the holiday they learn more about Christianity, and engage in numerous activities; the highlight being a day trip into New York city over Black Friday. Coming to the retreat with me from American University were two Japanese students that I had few interactions with prior to the trip.
Both came from Buddhist backgrounds, and both had modest English speaking ability. Naturally it was very difficult to engage conversation with them that wasn’t about the weather or food.
The speaker for the retreat happened to be a Japanese American missionary stationed in Japan named Joyce. Having lived in Japan for several decades she was able to speak fluent Japanese and also understood the cultural background the two students came from.
Being the only two students at Mosaic from Japan, it was obvious that Joyce developed an affinity towards them. She sat with them for every meal, and made sure to talk with them on every bus ride. Through those numerous conversations the two Japanese students received the Gospel; and on the last night of the retreat during the altar call, gave their lives to Jesus.
Perhaps the prophesy came true in a way I could not have expected. The stars aligned and God orchestrated everything so that these students might know Jesus! Maybe my role was simply to enable those two parties to meet.