New Jersey Student Finds Courage in her Faith, Emboldened by CCO’s Reassurance
August 23, 2021
PITTSBURGH— For many students, their college years are the first time they are actually tested on their faith and beliefs. Having grown up in a Christian household, it is easy for some students to just go to church and follow to motions of their parents’ faith without actually having any firm beliefs. But once they are in college and out on their own, the strength of their faith in Christ is put to the test.
This is where Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) comes in. CCO firmly believes that the college and university campus is the most influential mission field in the world. CCO becomes a helpful resource, ministering to college students at this important time in their lives, and providing a sense of belonging, direction, and purpose. For students that are struggling to make their faith from their childhood their own, CCO provides invaluable support.
Dan Dupee, former Chairman of the Board for CCO, stated, “The transition into adulthood is difficult at best, but many Christian students struggle with their identity in Christ once they are out of their own. This is why CCO believes that the college years are the most strategic time to share the Gospel and reaffirm these students’ faith and knowledge of Christ. By meeting these students on campus and connecting them with local churches, CCO helps bolster their faith and give them a sense of belonging within the Christian community.”
For Kayla, a student at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey, the opportunity to proclaim the truth about God came on her very second day. When a professor asked, “What is the meaning of life?” Kayla knew it was her duty as a Christian to speak biblical truth. “’I believe that we were created to know God,’ I answered. A few people looked my way. I felt a blush creeping up my cheeks, but I held my chin up. The room stayed silent.”
When the professor questioned her further, Kayla stood her ground, claiming that Jesus is God. When the professor asked her to write a paper defending her beliefs, Kayla thought any chance of a good relationship with this particular professor was gone. But God had other ideas. The professor encouraged Kayla to speak more throughout the semester, and at the end of the term, pulled her aside and told her that he had kept the paper Kayla wrote and read it frequently.
For Kayla, this was a defining moment. “Growing up, I remember my parents always telling me that God can use your stuttering, but he cannot use your silence. I think back often to that encounter and think that if I had never spoken up, my professor, and maybe even my entire class, would have never heard about Jesus or that there is more to life than what they were living for, that they were created for a purpose.” Kayla is currently a student leader with the local campus fellowship group led by a CCO staff member.
For 50 years,CCO staff have reached out to college students by entering into their world. But this is only part of the story. CCO partners with local churches, so that college students who connect to CCO ministries find themselves integrated into the life of their local church, where they worship in a multi-generational congregation, participate in Sunday school classes, and get to know church members over meals.
The college and university campus are the most strategic mission fields in the world, with only 2 percent of students being reached with the Gospel. CCO partners with local church congregations to help students feel a sense of belonging. A community is formed between the CCO staff and students, who are invited into the lives of local congregations. Through this community of fellowship, CCO is able to minister to students in a life-changing way.
To learn more about Coalition for Christian Outreach, and how individuals and churches may become involved with CCO on university and college campuses, visitwww.CCOJubilee.org.
To interview a representative from Coalition for Christian Outreach, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.