If we are saved, God granted us citizenship in heaven by grace alone. Our heart is to see increased citizenship. In order for more people to meet King Jesus, we must go and introduce our Ruler to others.
This is, has been and will continue to be our core mission. And we love Jesus so much, we not only want students actively evangelizing on campus but continuing to live on Spirit-filled mission in their churches, families, workplaces, geographies and other spheres of influence.
So from here on, we want to feature former Cru students one summer month a year. We recently chatted with Drew who went to Rutgers New Brunswick in the Fall of 2000 and who is now married to Nancy. Both work in New York City and love Jesus.
Q: What did you believe about Jesus going into college?
A: When I started attending Rutgers University in the Fall of 2000, I put Jesus on the back burner. I was excited to meet new people and experience everything that college had to offer. Rutgers gave me a chance to really figure out who I was and what I believed in. I would talk to people about religion, and actually defend Jesus Christ, but my defense had little credibility because I did not live as a Christian ought to.
Q: Describe your college lifestyle before trusting in Jesus.
A: I went through several stages my first 2 years at Rutgers. My first semester, I partied as much as I could, slept very little, and didn’t go to class. Popularity was my new god. That quickly landed me on academic probation. Over the next 3 semesters, I learned how to balance parties, girls, and studying so that I could stay popular but also excel in school.
I thought this would make my parents and me happy, but it was very unsatisfying. My parents were concerned about my lifestyle (very much like the prodigal son), and I was actually pretty depressed. I had a girlfriend, made the Dean’s list twice in a row, and had lots of friends. I felt accepted and successful, but something was missing.
Q: Describe how Christian friends, Cru and ultimately Jesus affected your lifestyle on campus.
A: I remember Christians coming up to me, sharing the Gospel, and inviting me to church. I would tell them I was a Christian, and actually checked out a few services. Things were not going well with my girlfriend at the time, and I actually met with a pastor from Tenth Presbyterian to talk about life. He encouraged me to break up with her and take Jesus more seriously. After several months of contemplating this, I decided in December 2002 to end that relationship. I saw a flyer for Cru and attended the first meeting of the Spring 2002 semester. The worship style was different than I was used to, but I met a lot of nice people there who instantly accepted me and the point I was at in my life. Cru staff such as Rob Mittuch and Cooper Ford encouraged me to start a Bible study in my dorm, which eventually became very popular and cemented the truths of the Gospel in my heart.
Q: How did Cru help you prepare for the real world?
A: Cru helped me prepare for all the obstacles that come with being a Christian in the NYC Metro area. I learned that there are plenty of Christians living in this area, and we need to hang out and worship together in order to sharpen one another and share what is going on in our lives. The people at Cru were just normal people who believe that the most important thing in life is living for Christ and sharing his love with others. It was so refreshing seeing this every week during our Thursday night meeting.
Q: Where are you now spiritually?
A: I am currently a deacon at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. I met my wife Nancy at Cru, and we have been married for over 4 years. We live in Jersey City and host a community group. We have a great circle of Christian friends in our
area and also strive to preach the Gospel to our non-Christian friends. We have our struggles and imperfections, but the Lord is strengthening us and working in our lives.
Q: What tips for sharing the gospel do you have for college grads now working in their secular fields?
A: Don’t hide your faith, but don’t be too bold about it either. Be respectful of your co-workers and where their lives are at. Everyone is at a different place spiritually. Some will be willing to talk about God, but others feel very uncomfortable about it.
You have to trust that God has you in your specific job for reasons you may not ever understand, which can be very tough to remember!
Q: Why do you and your bride love Jesus so much?
A: Any other option besides Jesus leads to misery and ultimately an eternity separated from God. I am not a great husband as it is, but if I didn’t know that Christ died for me, I’d be even worse. The fact that the Bible tells me I must die for my wife is humbling and convicting, and helps me make tough decisions I would not normally make. And the fact that Nancy knows I am dying for her helps her put up with me! Our love is growing stronger each year as we watch Jesus mold and shape our hearts.
We’re so thrilled to know students transition into the “real” world, knowing their Savior, his message and heart to see others become citizens of heaven!
THANK YOU all for sacrificially giving and praying so that we might continue to send graduates with deep, Gospel convictions into different spheres of influence.