As Chris looked at the photo, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Sixty students from Apple Valley High School (a public school) gathered at 6:30 a.m. for Bible study, of all things!
Just a few months before, Chris had come home for the summer after his freshman year at the University of Minnesota (U of M) with a new-found passion for Jesus. He had a vision to start a summer Bible study among peers in his hometown. It started with a few people, but quickly grew to more than 40 people each week, continuing even after he returned to college.
How did an ordinary college student like Chris come to be used by God in this way? Let’s rewind. It all started in the fall of 2012, Chris’s freshmen year at the U of M. Early in the semester, Cam, a buddy from the dorm, invited Chris to attend a Navigator Bible study. “I said yes, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” says Chris.
Chris grew up believing in God, but he describes his experience as empty and legalistic. “There really wasn’t a passion for Jesus inside of me,” he said. “However, through The Navigators I was constantly challenged in the Bible study and through fellowship opportunities, and over the course of the first semester Jesus became real to me. By winter break, my faith had grown into a wonderful relationship with Jesus, who I could confidently call my Lord and Savior!”
This spiritual awakening wasn’t something he could keep to himself. “It changed my life, and I want to help other people find that same joy.” Chris shared the Gospel with his 15-year-old brother, Jon, who responded by receiving Christ. “It was one of the happiest moments of my life. Watching him grow over the past couple of months has been incredible,” Chris shared. Soon after this, Chris launched the Apple Valley Bible study with his girlfriend.
God transformed an ordinary college student, and gave him a vision and a burden to see his family and hometown high school reached with the Gospel.