More and more frequently on the USF campus I notice how students' beliefs about religion are polarizing. While some shift to one side of the spectrum, holding a critical skepticism towards Jesus, their opposites on the other side claim to have Jesus, but have no idea what that actually means for their life outside going to church once a week. We labor on campus to see a new group of people emerge: students to live radically for Jesus, abandoning empty routines for a whole-hearted pursuit after Him.
Since I've had the blessing of learning and being impacted by so many remarkable people at the Underground, I'm able to see the great void missing in (first myself, and then in) our students to value justice and care for the poor and mistreated Coming back to the USF campus this semester I've been able to tailor the way I view leading students. I feel like Im stepping into shoes too big for me to fit, but I'm learning with each failure and success how to value justice and pass it along to others. Each month some of my closest students and I join together t watch different documentaries that expand out perspective on things happening in the world, and they have really begin to be broken and confide about why they've never heard any of the many verses on the poor in the Bible. Their hearts for the poor and broken in our area are growing and they begin to see the people they once placed a stigma on with refreshed vision. Al of the core values that the Navigators are known for are still essential areas of focus for us at USF. I feel like when I see a mass of Navigators standing around each other, I see a group of people dedicated to growing closer and closer to God and becoming more and more like Him. They strive with their entire being to grow in the areas of the Word, prayer, fellowship, and evangelism. It's with these already foundational values that I can build a love for the broken around us, and also work at healing the many wounds students have.
Like I said, I'm just a beginner in this calling, but I am eager to see the way that Jesus will open eyes, mold hearts, and change perspectives. On campus the ways we minister and reach out to students is through weekly Bible studies, either topical or inductive, weekly large group meetings, one-in-one discipleship, and trainings and workshops held for students who are hungry to be leaders among their peers.
Their passion for making a difference at USF is contagious, and I see a newfound understanding of the urgency of the gospel to be shared to their classmates and dormmates. It makes for an exciting anticipation to see where exactly Jesus will lead them as they step out of their comfort zones.
- Jessie Rajski