About a month ago, one of the Arbor Road interns, Faith Uy, helped create a new outreach program to pray for Cal State Long Beach (CSULB). Faith, and other interested students, meet every Thursday morning from 8-9 on campus to pray that CSULB would be open to the gospel and for the unity of Christian students and faculty.
The ministry is only a few weeks old, but God has already been working through their faithfulness. I spoke with Faith Uy and Victoria (Tori) about their experience with this ministry. They highlighted the small yet profound ways in which God revealed Himself just last Thursday.
Tori shared that after they spent the hour praying last Thursday, she and Faith sat down to wait for class to begin. They were carrying a lot of extra bagels leftover from the meeting and she encouraged Faith to share it with a group of students at a table next to them.
Faith said, “It was kind of weird asking them, but that’s when I saw one of them holding a Bible.” She asked them about it and one of the students responded, “Yeah, we were just getting out of a prayer meeting.” Faith was surprised to find out that they were a part of another campus ministry called Cru. As they spoke, a student named David said he wanted to find a home church and Faith suggested he attend Arbor Road. Some of the other Cru students said they wanted to support this outreach as well, and would join Faith in the following weeks. Faith left the group feeling thankful that God brought her to those students and began to unify her with other believers.
Faith said, “I sat back down with Tori and a professor and student stopped right in front of us. It was crazy because they were talking about the Bible.” The student was seeking answers from the professor about the story of Noah. They discussed the meaning of the rainbow in the story and then they started discussing philosophy. The student explained that he was getting a degree in biology with a minor in philosophy to help him answer his questions about the world. The professor looked at the student and said, “philosophy can’t satisfy you” and surprisingly the student was open to it and wanted to know why. Faith and Tori were overjoyed that they were able to witness a professor lovingly share the gospel with a student.
They had to leave for class after that. They took an elevator with another man who looked really upset. Tori asked him how his day was and he responded with, “Actually, I’m doing terrible.” He told them his name is Edward and he had recently fractured his skull in an accident and it caused internal bleeding within his brain. Tori asked, “Can we pray for you?” They stepped out of the elevator and prayed for healing and comfort. After they were done he said, “Actually, I do feel better now.” He thanked them and they continued on their way to class. Tori said, “Only God’s timing could have put us on the elevator with Edward.” They weren’t sure if he felt better physically or spiritually, but they were thankful someone was open to receiving prayer.
Faith and Tori were both elated as they shared their story from Thursday, but it wasn’t always like that. Faith struggled in the first few weeks; “I found it hard to get motivated for this and it’s hard to lead other people when you’re not motivated.” She was discouraged and struggled to understand what it meant to be faithful even when you don’t get to immediately see the fruit of your work. She quickly accepted, “I may never see the fruit of my prayer because God doesn’t guarantee that.” Although weary, she persisted and her peers kept earnestly praying for CSULB. Tori said it so well, “Keep going even if you don’t see the fruit.”
Last week they were able to see the some of the fruit and they both agreed, “God really is working in this; God blessed us by letting us see what He was doing.”
In every experience they were able to witness that God was already being faithful. Tori shared, “We just walked around. Imagine the big picture, what God is doing around the entire campus.”
I then spoke with Jeremy Driggs, the college pastor and friend of both Tori and Faith. I asked him how their story impacted him. He said “it reminded me that prayer isn’t passive.” He shared that at times we just pray and move on as if nothing happened, forgetting to recognize that we are speaking with God. The experience of Faith and Tori is so encouraging because it reminds us that God clearly hears our prayers.
This outreach to CSULB isn’t done. They still have a lot of people to connect with in the coming weeks and months. I look forward to sharing more of their interactions as they move towards creating a brighter and brighter light on the campus of Cal State Long Beach.
Written by: Robert Heckert