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Author info:  Zach is a senior at American University and enrolled in the PPL Program. He’s from New York (not NYC, mind you!), enjoys playing Unstable Unicorns and works part time at the Kay Spiritual Life Center on campus. Connect with him on Twitter or IG.



For many recent high school graduates, the month of August is filled with big transitions and conflicting emotions. It marks the final countdown to the much-anticipated college “move-in day.” The coming weeks are a whirlwind of final goodbyes with lifelong friends and last-minute trips to Target. In a short amount of time life seems to turn on its head. 

For many soon to be freshman, this experience can grow a pit of uncertainty in their stomachs. At night, as they contemplate their new beginnings, students are bombarded with internal questions such as “Will I make any friends,” “Am I going to fit in,” and “Are my classes going to be difficult?” 

I know these same questions plagued my mind the in weeks before I came to American University. Transitioning from rural Upstate New York, I was terrified that I wouldn’t fit in or find community here in the “big city.” The only place I knew to look was in a campus ministry. 

After a quick Google search, I found an event and decided to step outside of my comfort zone. Going to ‘Cones and Chi Alpha’ during my first week of college was the best decision I’ve ever made! My very first conversation was with a guy whom I now consider one of my closest friends and could not imagine life without. 

Not only did Chi Alpha give me a community where I could fit in, I had found my home away from home! 

What does Chi Alpha mean to me? Well, it means everything! This community has encouraged me in seasons of joy, comforted me in sorrow, and stood by me in trial. The Lord has used each and every person involved to radically change the trajectory of my life. I went from a guy on the edges of my walk with Jesus, desperately clinging to whatever faith I had remaining from my parents, to a man who craves a deep and personal connection with my Lord and Savior. 

I now serve on the XA leadership team as one of the guys' life group leaders. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has allowed me to put my faith into practice and to develop relationships with people that I know will last a lifetime. If I have learned anything from leading it’s that God is ALWAYS in control, and that is a GOOD thing! It was only through His love, patience, and guidance that I am where I am today. It is by his hand that I found my family here in Washington D.C. 

If you are a student at American University, new or old, and are searching for meaning, purpose, and community, Chi Alpha is standing here waiting to welcome you home!

 

Published on August 14, 2019 || Shareable Link: http://bit.ly/2N1K1la


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It’s still shocking to me that it’s December, classes are done, finals are underway, and some of our students are already on their way back home for the winter break.  It feels like it was just Welcome Week, we blinked, and the semester was over. I’m still getting used to wearing gloves every day, let alone gearing up for the new year!  But that seems to be the story of every fall, doesn’t it?

When I look back at the semester that’s flown by, I’m reminded of how much God has done.  As is our tradition in Chi Alpha at American University, we held our Celebration Thursday service last week.

It’s important to us that we don’t let these months pass without taking moments to recognize where God has moved and what He’s doing in our community.  

Written by Rev. Natalie Hill ( Facebook )

Written by Rev. Natalie Hill (Facebook)

Turns out when I take time to notice what He’s done, I realize that even though the semester moved so quickly, God’s packed it full with amazing moments on campus. Celebration Thursday is our way of carving out time to remember that.

One of our graduating seniors, Maura, gave our student message, sharing about what she’s learned and how she’s grown in these years as a student.  As she prepares for what’s next (grad school in St. Louis), she stressed the importance of being present and noticing what God is doing here and now, not just what He wants to do in the future.  

It was a timely, relevant word for our DC students, who are often caught planning the next things instead of living presently.  It was amazing to see how much Maura has grown in her years here, coming to AU as a baby Christian and leaving it after preaching a sermon and sharing her heart with her Chi Alpha community and field hockey team, all of whom came to hear her speak!  And to top off the night, we got to baptize two students in the university pool (while the lifeguard and late-night swimmers watched and cheered with us)!

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It’s so easy to let time fly by and forget to notice what God is doing in the here and now.  He is a personal and present Savior who is involved in every moment; let us never lose sight of that.

Thank you for your constant prayer and support of this ministry and college students in Washington, DC!  We’re praying for a wonderful end of the year for all of you and a Christmas season full of joy!


If you're interested in making a year-end gift towards DC Chi Alpha (a registered 501c3) — we recommend doing so online via our page on MightyCause (formerly Razoo Foundation).

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AuthorOther

My mom, dad, and myself pull up outside of Letts Hall of American University with the back of our rented car filled with suitcases, Ikea bedding, and Rubbermaid tubs. We park. We get out. Then, out of nowhere, strangers with matching T-shirts suddenly start asking us if we wanted help moving in. Seeing as my dad was the only source of muscle, we all quickly agreed. Anyways, I run inside, find my room, and show these random people who said they were with Chi Alpha (a fraternity maybe?) where to take my stuff. As I was helping my helpers, a volunteer started asking me really specific questions, starting with the ones below (paraphrased since my memory isn’t great):

Written by Haley Holtzscher  (Facebook )

Written by Haley Holtzscher (Facebook)

KP: Are you from Tulsa, OK perchance?
Me:…Yes. Why?
KP: I don’t suppose you know of a church called Believer’s Church, do ya?
Me:…Yes. I’ve gone there since I was 2. *laughter*
KP: Do you know someone named Anna Saah?
Me: Whoa, yeah! How do you know her? She was one of my youth leaders!
KP: So your name’s Haley, right? Anna mentioned you while we were in Ibiza.
Me: It is indeed. How did you know? This is so weird! So about this Chi Alpha thing…

I had been on campus for less than 15 minutes and already someone knew me. Kera Package (KP in the conversation above) had no way of knowing where I was from since we had taken off all identifying tags from my luggage and tubs and I hadn’t actually introduced myself since I’d been caught up in trying to get into my first dorm room. To this day I have no idea how Kera knew, out of hundreds of students she must have helped, that I was the girl Anna had talked about. After helping me move in, Kera invited me to some AU Chi Alpha (also known as AUXA) events later that week. I said yes immediately. If my youth leader from back home was friends with this random person, then I knew I could trust her suggestions. 

So that was my entry into the AUXA world. Yeah, I flaked out on going to a few of the events I had committed to but I also knew that I had an accountability buddy who wouldn’t let me continue to make excuses. 

I showed up at AU with finding a church/faith community as one of the last things on my mind so imagine my surprise when I had joined Chi Alpha by the end of my first day on campus. Sometimes all it takes is helping a stranger move some boxes into their new home to create a solid foundation for their college experience. This foundation wasn’t what I wanted, but it must have been something that I needed or else Kera wouldn’t have found me so quickly. 

So, yeah, I believe in this whole reach the city campaign. I know that those who need to be reached will be since efforts like it reached me when I was super far from home.

Note: Today is the second-to-last day for our Indiegogo campaign called Reach the City. 

Posted
AuthorBlane Young

Author's info: Sam Murphy is a recent alum of Chi Alpha at American University. You can connect with him on Facebook.

So I'm at work and my boss is coming down hard. Nothing is good enough, nothing is sufficient, everything must be better. I watch day in and day out as my work is pulled apart and burned like a moth in flame. I'm frustrated and I'm starting to panic every time I hear my name. That's when I remember Blane Young saying, “Make sure you aren't complaining about your miracle.”

You see I'd been praying that God would make me a better worker for several weeks by that point. I'd been struck by how inefficient I was and wanted to work in a way that uplifts Jesus. I wanted to work in a way that made me a good witness that reveals the glory of God.

So as I sat there at my desk and recalled Blane's words, it dawned on me that my prayer had been answered. Yes my boss was riding me like a small horse, but my work quality was steadily improving, my apathy rapidly dropping. So my grimace was quickly overtaken by a grin and I got back to work.

Prayer is such a profound gift that the only fitting adjective is magical.

In Chi Alpha I have learned an incredible amount about prayer. I used to pray before the occasional meal, when I was broken hearted, when I was confused,  but I never really "got it." Prayer is such a profound gift that the only fitting adjective is magical

Through prayer we are able to seek God and to see his profound grace in our lives. We are strongest when we draw near to Jesus, alone or together, standing or reverently bowed, laughing or weeping, we are strongest when we pray.


Syndicated on July 3, 2017

Posted
AuthorOther

Author's info: Sam Murphy will be a senior at American University. In addition to serving as the President of AUXA's student club, he is passionate about cooking, sports (especially pro-football and the New England Patriots), joining as many fantasy footballs leagues a person can handle, and having deep gospel conversations with his peers. You can connect with him on Facebook.

So I'm at work and my boss is coming down hard. Nothing is good enough, nothing is sufficient, everything must be better. I watch day in and day out as my work is pulled apart and burned like a moth in flame. I'm frustrated and I'm starting to panic every time I hear my name. That's when I remember Blane Young saying, “Make sure you aren't complaining about your miracle.”

Online fundraising for Reach the City - 2016

You see I'd been praying that God would make me a better worker for several weeks by that point. I'd been struck by how inefficient I was and wanted to work in a way that uplifts Jesus. I wanted to work in a way that made me a good witness that reveals the glory of God.

So as I sat there at my desk and recalled Blane's words, it dawned on me that my prayer had been answered. Yes my boss was riding me like a small horse, but my work quality was steadily improving, my apathy rapidly dropping. So my grimace was quickly overtaken by a grin and I got back to work.

Prayer is such a profound gift that the only fitting adjective is magical.

In Chi Alpha I have learned an incredible amount about prayer. I used to pray before the occasional meal, when I was broken hearted, when I was confused,  but I never really "got it." Prayer is such a profound gift that the only fitting adjective is magical

Through prayer we are able to seek God and to see his profound grace in our lives. We are strongest when we draw near to Jesus, alone or together, standing or reverently bowed, laughing or weeping, we are strongest when we pray.



Published on July 28, 2016 • Short Link: http://bit.ly/2ac5pQA