In high school, we just knew that Jesus’ heart was to save and love students, and God spreads this message of the cross and forgiveness through us. So we were loud Christians, leading the student Bible club and trusting the Holy Spirit to use us in saving many, just as we did while students (and now staff with Cru!) in college.
Efrain Calderon was our acquaintance in high school. We learned and played guitar in the same classes (although he’s a much better musician). Efrain then moved onto higher education at the same university where we studied, and he constantly heard about God through social media.
“In high school there was a Bible club,” Efrain explained,” and although I wasn’t involved, I was friendly with a lot of its members. After high school, I had Facebook friends who were active Christians. I would read through their posts, which reminded me of this unresolved part of my life.”
Recently, Efrain reached out to me through Facebook, explaining that he had been seeking to reconcile his view of and relationship with God. He shared he was raised Christian but in high school and college, he began denying God’s existence.
We got together for a Dominican lunch of empanadas, tea and coffee to talk.
“I was feeling pretty unhappy with my life for months. I traced back what I was unhappy about and why. When I really examined what I thought I wanted in my life, I realized that it wasn’t even what I wanted. At the core of my heart I didn’t just want a relationship, busy social life, or piles of money. Past all of that what I wanted was something to reassure me that with my own wit and charms I could “win.” I decided that was a pretty egotistical and insecure way of approaching life.
“Simultaneously, I felt like a liar every time I would flippantly deny the existence of God. I was scared to admit to myself that I had to submit to God. I was scared of what non-believers might think of me. I felt foolish and ashamed asking anything of God, who I denied for years. Still, I didn’t think I could just go back and shut God out again. I didn’t want my life to be shaped by what other people want of me, or what I judged to be best.
“I guess after a while of this, I realized that giving my life up to Christ didn’t mean I’d give up anything else worth keeping.”
And so, God saved Efrain!! At our lunch on April 3, 2013, I got to clearly share the message of Jesus with Efrain! It was obvious that the Holy Spirit had already awakened Efrain’s soul to the reality of our Savior and Lord, Jesus! But we prayed as I dropped Efrain off at his house that this new life in Christ would continue to mature!
“I feel like I’ve still got a lot to process and take in,” Efrain shared,” but I’m excited about growing and moving forward with Jesus. I’m at the beginning of something really special.”
Efrain’s story is a huge encouragement! He even shared at our lunch that our “Christian posts” and verses on Facebook were not in vain. God kept planting seeds—all the way back since 2002! So if you’re discouraged because you haven’t seen the fruit of your labor, remember Efrain’s story! We plant the seeds, and although we may not see the results immediately (or ever) Christ is still worth it!
Pray for Efrain! Pray Christ becomes the core of his heart! Pray I steward this renewed friendship well, and that through Jenn and me, God would help Efrain grow. Pray he begins to connect with other believers through Cru and church.
THANK YOU for making our calling possible by praying and giving! We’re so grateful Christ used us in affirming Efrain’s new life in Christ!