CO reaches students from coast to coast

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More than 3,000 miles apart, two students found freedom in Christ through strikingly similar stories.

Christie, a San Diego nursing student, grew up in a Catholic home where Christianity represented a set of impossible rules to follow. 

Marissa, a student at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., entered college with a vague belief in God, and little understanding of Jesus.  

Both girls pursued the “college lifestyle,” focused on grades during the day and friends at night. But shallow friendships and lingering doubts left them wanting more. 

“I was living a life of pride and dishonesty, pursuing worldly aims and fleeting pleasures,” Marissa shared. 

Through friends, both girls connected with Campus Outreach staff women who shared the gospel and set up consistent individual meetings. 

For the first time, Christie found the freedom to ask difficult questions and Marissa explored her assumptions about God and sought answers in scripture. 

“I wrongly assumed that when someone committed their life to God, it was because they had had all their questions answered,” Marissa said. 

Still unsure about the gospel, both girls decided to attend their respective Summer Projects to dig deeper into the Bible. 

“I was shocked when she (Christie) wanted to go on Summer Project. I think she was surprised too, because she knew very little about CO,” CO San Diego staffer Berkeley Gomez said. “She wasn’t connected to the larger CO community at that point, so it was a huge step of faith. It seemed like a step five instead of a step one.”

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 On two completely separate summer projects, both Christie and Marissa accepted Jesus as their savior. 

“He (God) showed me the burden of my responsibility for my own sin, opening my eyes to the fact that I deserved the wrath of God…As I felt this conviction, I finally became aware of how glorious it truly was that Jesus died to bear that punishment so that I wouldn’t have to,” Marissa said. “God gave me a regenerate heart and an eagerness to serve him within a strong Christian community.”

Returning to their campuses this fall, Christie and Marissa are each strengthening their new faith through CO discipleship groups. After a year of seeking truth, these young women finally claim the freedom of a relationship with Christ. 

Christie and Marissa are just two examples of hundreds of students who accepted Christ this summer through CO projects, an unprecedented trend in the U.S. 

This new generation of college students may require a shift in the way CO approaches ministry. But our Biblically-grounded core pillars of evangelism and discipleship are still effectively building new leaders for Christ in a new context. 

Bennett Rolan