I wish you all could have been in the room last night to hear student’s stories and hearts as we celebrated what God has done in InterVarsity this year. He has been so good to us and I want to give you a year-end update. Here are some highlights of the work God has been up to this spring semester.
Partnership with Drake Sociology class
What a privilege we had as a non-Christian Drake professor paired her 25 students with 25 of our InterVarsity students for her “Sociology: Art of the Interview” class where they researched young adults and faith through interviews with our InterVarsity students. The professor even asked me to teach the class twice this semester, asking me to share parts of my faith journey, what it means to be a Christian and why I believe what I do! One atheist student in the class, after being partnered with Ben, an IV student, said that his interview and interactions with Ben made him seriously “reconsider his understanding of Christians and Christianity” and told him he feels like he wants to “give Christians a second chance”. Other students shared stories of brief scheduled 30 minute interviews turning into 2 hours conversations about faith and God, moving way beyond a class assignment. The professor has done the same with me, asking me to meet outside of class and office hours to talk more about life and faith!
2nd Annual Des Moines Spring Break Urban Plunge
28 students gathered for a week of learning and growing in their love for Jesus and His heart for “the least of these” in Des Moines. Students had such a significant experience that week--so much so that a number of them organized (completely on their own) a follow-up day where they prayed for Des Moines and went out together to re-connect with many of the refugees and homeless they met during the Spring Break Urban Plunge.
Greek InterVarsity Growth
Our ministry to fraternity and sorority students has continued to grow and thrive this semester. 34 students have been involved regularly this spring with weekly worship, Bible study, and motivating one another into reaching out to their fraternity and sorority houses. One sorority student, Margaret, decided to start following Jesus in February and has had an incredible transformation. When I met Margaret this fall she had pattern of dangerous drinking habits and unhealthy romantic relationships, as well as a deeply broken relationship with her mom. Just yesterday I sat across from her and watched her laugh as she talked about how drastically her life has changed in a semester. She's now having conversations with her old boyfriends, sorority sisters, and family about why she's so different and how Jesus really loves them. During Drake Relays weekend she wasn't the one out drinking and needing help from her sorority sisters this time, instead she was the one taking care of her sisters who needed it. Margaret even invited her mom to campus to visit her this spring—something she’s never done since being a student at Drake. God is changing Margaret’s life and so many others in Greek InterVarsity!
Drake Relays Free Taxi
70 students chose to use their Drake Relays weekend to drive their drunk peers home and make sure they were safe. Over 700 students were given rides home, we’re loved and taken care of in desperate situations, and so many InterVarsity students learned the joy of following Jesus into messy places! It was so successful that Drake administrators want to partner with InterVarsity next Spring for this event—resourcing us and making this an official Drake University program!
12 students made decisions to follow Jesus this year, and many others had significant growth in their faith journeys—identifying that they’ve moved from a place of Christianity as a family tradition or simply something they’ve grown up with, to a personal relationship with Jesus.
New InterVarsity Staff
Three Drake students who are graduating this year have decided to join InterVarsity as campus ministers! Ann is moving to Omaha to work at UNO, Seth is going to Central College in Pella, and Aaron is staying in Des Moines to serve part time as a the Greek InterVarsity staff at Drake (a brand new position!).
God is good. THANK YOU for praying, for giving, for loving students and supporting me as I follow Jesus onto the campus and into the city with students!
As I finish my 8th year with InterVarsity I see the needs on campus and in students lives more clearly. There’s an incredible need for life-changing encounters with Jesus, for transformation and discipleship and an ever-increasing need for campus renewal and I’m eager to continue saying yes! I also have a growing need in financial partnership as I use my time training and mentoring student leaders, supervising staff and leading the team in Des Moines, directing the Urban Plunge and connecting students to the city, as well as exploring unreached campuses in the Des Moines area. The opportunities to step into God’s work on campus are amazing, as are the opportunities to rely on God’s financial provision! Would you please pray and consider giving an end-of-the-year gift to support and sustain the ministry to students in Des Moines? You can give online here: https://donate.intervarsity.org/donate
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
Attached are some pictures from the semester:
This is the crew from the Urban Plunge and a picture of some of them praying for and blessing one of our speakers--a friend from Des Moines who was formerly homeless and shared his story.
This is the big group photo from our Greek InterVarsity group at their last Bible study of the year.
These are students during Relays Free Taxi, planning, praying, and posing in our florescent shirts!
And finally, one of our student worship team leading us on a Wednesday night.