Matt & Susi Lundquist, Campus Crusade
Another student introduced me to Courtney one afternoon in the Student Union. She was cheerful and friendly and seemed interested in our campus ministry. As she began to attend our meetings, I took the opportunity to get to know her and hear her story. What unfolded was a painful past which included an aborted missionary journey which resulted in very fragmented family relationships. Coming to college she carried some deep emotional and spiritual wounds which left her connection to the Gospel very tenuous.Over the next few months I enjoyed seeing Courtney at our meetings, and she seemed to enjoy the company. She also joined us for potlucks in our home on Friday nights and got to know the group in a more informal setting. She seemed to feel at home with us and began attending a women’s group which Susi was leading at a local coffee shop.
One week near the end of winter term last year, Courtney asked for my advice regarding a decision about coming back to school after Spring Break. After hearing about the two options she was considering, I sent up a quick prayer and went out on a limb, offering her a third option.
“Come and live in the Lodge,” I suggested.
(The Lodge is a building on our property where some students live and where we hold some of our social functions.)
Courtney was surprised and asked, “Really?”
But she talked to her mother and ended up coming back in the Spring, and being more involved in C.A. than before.
I have fond memories of seeing her down in the “Great Room” of the Lodge, with some Art or Craft project spread out, listening t music or watching a movie on her laptop.
As summer approached, she asked me to write her a pastoral recommendation for a camp where she wanted to work.
Knowing it was a Christian camp, I had to tell them that although she was involved in our group and would probably do a good job as a counselor, she hadn’t yet made a decision to follow Christ!
Well, they decided to take a chance on her, and we found out later that on the first night of camp, while listening to the testimony of a fellow counselor, she decided that she really needed to be “all in” and she gave her life to Jesus!
Months later, we got a letter in the mail describing her accelerated discipleship, the books she had been reading and the opportunities she had to serve. Along with the typed letter was a special handwritten note: I’ll quote the part that really blessed us: “I also wanted to thank you two. You guys both helped me take another look at God, and look past my bad experiences with people. Your honest, loving lives helped me with a new perspective, and come to be where I am.”
Now that’s a “keeper!” I think I’ll put it in my “encouragement” file. Praise be to God for freely giving us the resources to invest in people’s lives, and allowing us to share in the blessings of watching them flourish and thrive!