Highlight Reel October

Highlight Reel

Every week the staff team shares ministry celebrations with each other. We want to share those with you as well! Here are some glimpses of what’s been happening this fall:

above & below:┬áscenes from New Student Retreat. Praise God for 15 students committing to God’s mission on campus, 4 students recommitting their lives to Christ, and one new follower of Christ!

New Life at New Student Retreat

Brittany Small

Matthew, a small group leader, met Rachel, a non-Christian Chinese international student during NSO and noticed that she had so many questions about Christianity! Matthew texted me one night: “Should I have a staff meet with Rachel to answer her questions?” I replied: “I think YOU should meet with her, Matthew!” So he gave Rachel a Chinese/English Bible at our annual Trivia Night and instead of answering trivia questions, Rachel was reading the Bible the entire time.

Two weeks later, Matthew invited Rachel to our New Student Retreat. While I was giving the call to commitment, in my heart I was praying that she will stand. She didn’t. But the next morning Rachel approached me to ask for a pen. I replied, “I actually don’t, but I can get you one! What do you need it for?” Rachel said, “Well I wanted to write on my commitment card that I just became a Christian.” I responded, “I think I can find you a pen!”

Rachel shared with me her story about how she’s been impacted by our community and the way that our students love each other and live out their faith. She said, “I really want something to believe in.” It was an honor to pray with her. Honestly, friends, our NSO has experienced some setbacks. But Jesus is alive and drawing students to Himself and we’re grateful to be apart of it. Thanks for praying and partnering with us!

above: Justin and Matthew discussing outreach to Pilipino students

Helping Students Reach Students

Justin Sebastian

When I attended the Kapwa Leadership Institute last July, the Lord gave me a clear conviction to reach more Pilipino students on campus while providing a space to wrestle with faith and ethnic identity for Pilipinos inside AND not-yet in InterVarsity. As you may know, I am not a student, but what I love about InterVarsity is that the DNA of our ministry is that our students are the best missionaries to other students! My role as staff is to train and equip students as they show the love of Jesus to those around them. Two weeks ago, I started discipling Matthew and we both shared our unified vision to create this space for Pilipinos as well as wrestling with the implications of being a Pilipino-American Christian leader. Pray that other students will share this God-given vision with us as we follow the Spirit’s leading in evangelism!

above: Small Groups have all been studying the gospel of Matthew this semester.

Good Soil

Brittany Small

Junli, a non-Christian Chinese international student came to a Small Group for the first time this week! We were studying Matthew 13, the parable of the four soils, and Junli’s curiosity about Jesus made him ask great questions like: “Who are the disciples?” and “Why would the farmer sow seed on rocky or thorny soil?” Kevin, the Small Group Leader, was patient with Junli’s questions and eventually asked what he thought the parable meant. Junli quickly spoke up, “I think Jesus is using this parable as an example to help people decide who they think Jesus is.” Praise God for non-Christians like Junli who are curious about Jesus and actively participating in Small Group!

Highlight Reel August

Highlight Reel

Every week the staff team shares ministry celebrations with each other. We want to share those with you as well! Here are some glimpses of what’s been happening during New Student Outreach:

above & below: Quad Day 2016

below: Returning students studying Jonah at Back to School Blitz

below: About 75 students played sports, games and socialized at Fun in the Sun on Labor Day


Mini celebration from NSO! So today at Allen Hall, Nick, Marshall, and I had a late start and ended up only getting 2 contact cards the first hour… but then suddenly a bunch of people started coming out of Allen. Turns out a power outage happened and everyone had to come outside and therefore stop by our table ;). We ended up getting about 15 or more cards because of the power outage! Praise the Lord for His divine intervention!


A post on Facebook by a student leader to other leaders:

So today I had lunch with an international transfer student from China. As we got to talking, I learned that she’d prayed occasionally throughout her life and that she believed that there was a God, but she just didn’t know who it was. After talking talking for a while I asked if she’d like to study the bible with me this semester and she said YES!

This is not only super exciting for me, but I hope this makes all of you leaders feel like you can do this too! As we continue NSO (New Student Outreach) and pouring into new students, keep in mind that you too have the ability to make an ask and lead a GIG (evangelistic bible study) no matter what your background is! Let’s go U of I and transform the campus!


Lydia, the Area Coordinator for Busey-Evans (residence hall) attended their first small group of the year where 15 girls were in attendance! An international student, Lucy, came and asked lots of great questions during the study. Afterward, the Evangelism Area Coordinator asked Lucy into a GIG and she said yes!


Over the summer at IVLI (InterVarsity Leadership Institute), Oceanz, a black student in the chapter, felt called to lead a small group for black students on campus. Without much time to prepare for his first small group, Oceanz knocked on all of the doors of black students on his floor in ISR (Illinois Street Residence Hall), made some phone calls to friends he had met in classes over the years and attended Ebony Umoji, ISR’s black student union group to network with more people. Three new students came to his first small group!


Matthew, a small group leader in the apartments area, found out that one of the new students he’s been connected to marked on her Large Group card that she wanted to become a Christian! Surprised and excited, Matthew texted a staff worker to ask what he should do. After being encouraged to talk with this new student about how to become a Christian himself, Matthew found a Bible to give to her. This new student is so hungry to know more about Jesus, she started reading the Bible during an NSO event!