Thursday, March 23, 2006

Changed Life Story of Josh, a Freshman Leader

There is nothing more exciting and rewarding to me than seeing a teenager move from darkness into light, from aimlessly wandering through life chasing empty pursuits to having meaning and purpose. That's what we get to see in Student Venture. And there's nothing like it.

Try to remember what your life was like before you had a close, intimate relationship with Christ. Remember the incredible joy and peace when you finally understood the Gospel and placed your faith in Christ. What an unbelievable privilege we have to help teenagers come into this same relationship. I've included a story below about a teenager named Josh who had achieved great success but knew that something was still missing in his life until he placed his faith in Christ.

We're almost to our final deadline to apply for one of our U.S. summer projects but still have some spots available, especially for guys. If you know someone who has a heart for reaching teenagers and wants to invest their summer in something that will make an eternal difference, tell them to visit: to apply for one of these life-changing projects.

Yours for reaching teenagers for Christ,

Howard and Laura

During this past fall, we had an outreach for the freshman football team at Loveland High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Lots of guys came out, the outreach went well and, as always, some of the guys came to faith in Christ. We started a follow up Bible study, called "Cross Training", with the guys who were interested. One of those was a guy named Josh Lay. Josh is an incredible athlete. As a freshman in a school of around 1,400 students, he is the starting quarterback on the freshman football team, on the varsity baseball team and a varsity wrestler. Josh, however, had not attended church since he was around 3 and had very little spiritual background.

During the second week of the study, we talked about assurance of salvation. In other words, how do you know that you are going to heaven when you die? At the end of the study, Daniel McKee, Student Venture staff member, went around the room and asked each guy what he had learned that night. When he got to Josh, Josh had tears in his eyes. He just said, "Will you guys pray with me? God, I don't want to try to do life on my own anymore. I trust you to save me from my sins. I receive you as my savior. Amen." Well, the guys went nuts for a while after he finished praying. Everyone was so excited to have been a part of seeing their buddy, Josh, place his faith in Christ.

It seems the light bulb has come on for Josh and he is just growing like crazy. He learned how to share his faith in Christ at a training we had one Sunday and the next day, he led a friend to Christ in math class. Then he went home that night and led his two brothers to Christ. He continues to share his faith regularly. Although Josh was very successful in sports he was still searching for something more. Now that he has experienced Christ, he can't stop sharing the Gospel with all of his friends. He has been talking with one friend for some time and, two weeks ago, gave him a "Connecting With God" booklet. That night his friend went home, talked with his parents, and placed his faith in Christ with them.

This is what Student Venture is all about. We help students come to faith in Christ and then help them multiply that faith into the lives of those around them, using the natural sphere of influence that God has given them.

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