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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stories...becoming a part

When people tell stories, their stories may be personal tales, a recounting of historical events, a search for life within their community, nation or other parts of the universe, and everything in between. In our short time of preparing this ministry, we have heard some fascinating stories. Here are a few we would like to share with you. All of the stories are true.
· A back-up quarterback at MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) moves to Boise to intern with the football team at Boise State. This move was featured by the Nazarene Communications Network. We were contacted by different people about the pending move and the new possible connection with the football team. Fortunately, one of the coaches at MNU is a friend of mine and with a simple call, he provided contact information for us. We were able to contact the new intern within a week and fellowshipped with him and his wife over dinner at our house. What a great way to welcome new members of the BSU community! How many more students are at BSU that we haven’t contacted yet because we don’t have names and/or contact information?
· A BSU student was recently sharing a personal story about his life in which he professed to be an atheist. The campus minister speaking with him asked how this came to be his belief system. Was it due to the church background? No, the young man grew up as part of a Baptist church. Was it from a bad church experience? His response—“No, it was great.” Was it from his time in the military and his deployment to Iraq? The student replied, “No.” Finally, the campus minister asked what made him choose to become an atheist. His response: “After I became a student here at Boise State.” If this student had a safe place, like a coffee shop, to express his doubts openly, would his story change?
· Matt became a Christian and is now actively involved in campus ministry. When asked how that came to be, he replied: “On the outside, I was the person no one thought would be interested in spiritual things. I partied, acted cool, and all of that. But someone shared Christ with me. They didn’t know how interested I really was.” Can simple conversations over coffee pique an interest about God in the lives of students like Matt?
· Hilary was arrested in high school for driving under the influence (DUI). She received court-appointed community service which she completed at the Potter’s House, coffee shop ministry in Springfield, MO. The ministers there introduced her to Christ and continue to disciple her today across state lines. How many students need a place that won’t judge their past, but provides prime opportunities to change their future?
· A young girl casually attends a Nazarene church from time to time. Her family life is challenging and sometimes results in her being kicked out of the house. While attending BSU, she often spent the night in her car. With no food, no place to get ready and the ability to stay in a dorm only twice in a semester, “life” is pretty challenging for her. Crosswalks dreams of providing a safe place for students like this girl and others to turn.
Stories like these keep us moving forward in this ministry to Boise State. And the reality that there are nearly 20,000 similar stories make this ministry vital to growing God’s kingdom at BSU. We can’t wait to see how the stories we hear merge with the story of God!
How can you become a part of this story?
We will find ways to serve and minister to the BSU campus with or without a coffee shop. But, as you can see from the stories, a coffee shop provides a safe God space for students to explore and question their beliefs in a place that may also lead and guide them to a true relationship with God.
· In the next few months we will be seeking out 40 people who will pledge to give $100.00 monthly. Do you want to be one of them?
· We will be seeking out grants to purchase property. Several are in the works now!
· We will continue hosting fundraisers. The next is the Party-On Marathon, April 30th.
We need your help! Together we can grow this ministry to BSU