Sometimes when sharing the gospel with students, they’ll respond by claiming their life is already pretty great without Jesus.
Josh Watabe, a new believer and transfer at Montclair State University, was one of these people. After beginning college at Bowling Green Univ. in Ohio, Josh was cruising the “great” life until everything went south.
“Entering college,” Josh shared with me, “I had everything a college freshman would of wanted, a great learning community in my residence hall, great academic support and endless social groups to join to make friends. Few months into my freshman year, I joined a National fraternity of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, I had the time of my life to say the least. I had everything and looking at Christianity from the outside was something I respected but didn’t feel was needed. Life couldn’t of felt so good.”
Things were going perfectly swell for Josh. He had no thoughts to pursue God, as he felt self- sufficient and content without Him. This was until things went south after fallout with a fraternity brother.
“As that year progressed I began to think of [family] issues I left back home in Verona, NJ in addition to having the busiest semester. I soon had a very bad fallout with one of my fellow brothers in where it cost me my leadership role. With all that was going on, I felt my heart was ripped out of my chest, this caused me to have serious depressive thoughts, insomnia and waking up after three hours of sleep and staying at local diner till my morning classes.”
It was no accident that amid this personal calamity, God pursued Josh and connected him to the Cru movement at Bowling Green Univ.
“I remember going to the first meeting and being blown away by how many down to earth individuals there were, so passionate about sharing the Gospel and maintaining discipleship. It allowed my heart to open and welcome God’s Son in. I fully committed to Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and I got baptized on April 30th , 2017.”
Josh was moved from an old life of sin and brokenness to a new, healed life in Christ! Josh has been a joy to begin getting to know. As a transfer at Montclair State Univ., he immediately got plugged into to Cru to grow in Christ as a new believer and share his faith. He’s gotten connected to a local NJ/NYC Group pic at fall retreat! church through Cru friends and even recently went away for his first Fall Retreat from October 6-8, which we (Jersey) hosted with NYC. He was so encouraged to go!
“My time at Fall Retreat was nothing less from a blessing. Whether it was the morning worship, Bible talks or free time enjoying the campgrounds in God’s grace, it couldn’t have gone any better. This retreat allowed me to connect with so many great Christ Followers from the NY/NJ area, strengthen my relationships with my own campus CRU at Montclair State University and redefined my Christian values and commitment in glorifying the gift of God’s Grace.”
Praise God for Josh’s new life in Christ! And praise God for the Cru connection across several states lines. It’s a blessing to be part of an international ministry whose goal is to make Christ famous no matter where someone is personally. Whether a student is having a “great” or broken life without God, they still have a need to come to faith in Christ, as Josh’s story reveals. Please pray for Josh as he continues to mature. Pray he’s filled with the Holy Spirit’s power to grow and share his faith. He’s got that young passion we all should seek to renew! Pray also for the movement at Montclair as they continue to make Christ known!
Thank you for your faithful prayer and partnership in this valuable, necessary Kingdom work!