The Grace of Friendship

Last May several of our seniors shared their testimonies with the group. Here is what one of them shared.

“Finding a Christian community was not my top priority when I first came to RISD, but over a couple months, I began to feel the emptiness without it. On a whim I decided one Friday night to ask my suitemates (who I knew went to a Christian fellowship) to take me to a gathering. That was my first RUF gathering and I remember feeling that this was what I was missing. I felt really welcomed by so many people I had never met before not only from RISD but also from Brown. Right after gathering I searched for the praise team leader so that I could sign up to join. I assumed that serving at this fellowship would really encourage me to keep attending and be involved. And it did. Through the first few praise team practices, I met all my best friends in RUF. We had nights of spontaneous discussions about God, the Bible, and the church. I opened up to my friends in ways that I didn’t think I could. They kept me accountable, and despite my cynical mindset, I knew that their care was genuine.

“When I signed up to be a leader and part of the praise team, that was another step I didn’t expect. Being a leader in RUF challenged me in so many ways, but I always felt safe. I felt safe to share my weaknesses, and I felt safe in knowing that I would have the support to grow. I am a shy person. As a leader I learned to put my personality aside, because God is greater than that. Through outreach, I met so many great friends and younger folks that I have come to love and really respect. Through RUF leadership I’ve seen how a team needs to work together. We can work hard and not burn out as long as everyone supports one another. Going on mission trips with RUF were also experiences that are hard for me to describe. Each trip felt like a wonderful secret I shared with my team members. RUF has been an enormous part of my personal and spiritual growth during college and I’m so thankful to God for giving me this blessing. I’ve seen God work and I never expected to find such a great Christian community during my time at RISD."

Do you remember a time when God’s grace fell upon you unexpectedly with new joy, new friendships, and a fresh grasp of scripture and the gospel? This senior did. Praise God! This is the sort of connection we work to establish with so many every year through outreach efforts—not only advertising or getting the word out about RUF but also making fast friends and going deep. It's the sort of thing we will work to establish with freshmen in September. This Summer, we (staff and student leaders) are already at work in prayer and preparation for the new year of outreach and ministry.

Eddie Park, Campus Minister at Brown/RISD
June 26, 2014 • 610-691-0988 • 631 Fourth Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18018