For DePaul students, today is the first day back to school after a seven week break, which means two things: (1) I’m suddenly very busy and excited about our plans for the upcoming months, and (2) I don’t have any recent stories from campus to share with you all, because it’s been closed for a while.
This isn’t to say I haven’t been doing anything for the past month; most of my time since Thanksgiving has been spent connecting families, alumni, and churches with the movement at DePaul and inviting them to join in through prayer, volunteering, and financial support. I’ve visited seven different states in the past seven weeks sharing stories and cultivating partnerships; chances are, if you’re getting reading this, you and I have talked sometime in the past month. (It was good to see you; you’re looking great!)
Speaking of partnership, as far as support goes, this past month has been incredibly encouraging. As I mentioned in my last update, it’s been a struggle to raise the money needed to fund our ministry on campus. However, in the past couple months, dozens of people have generously given extra gifts; an additional $9000 has been donated since October! What amazes me most about this is that the majority of these recent gifts have come from people I’ve never actually met: alumni, their family and friends, and friends of current monthly donors. I can’t express how encouraging it is to experience God’s provision through the generosity of strangers!
Which brings me to the story I promised in the title, the story of “the best donation I’ve ever received.”
When I got home last week, after spending most of the month out of town, I found a large manila envelope leaning against my door, with a return address from Kentucky. Reaching inside, I found this card, from a couple I met only briefly when I spoke at a church they were visiting in Michigan:
And this stack of coloring pages:
This is awesome for so many reasons.
Our theme for this quarter is “embodying God’s love.” I can’t think of a better example of God’s love embodied than this group of kids working hard on some coloring pages to support a group of strangers at a university in a city they’ve never visited. They couldn’t help fund our ministry or volunteer to mentor a freshman, and they’re still just learning how to pray. But they did what they could, and it made my day.
These coloring pages sum up what has been so moving about my recent season of support-raising. This past month, I’ve been reminded of the vast network of people across the country doing what they can—some giving $100’s of dollars each year, others praying every week, others inviting students into their homes—to embody God’s love for students at DePaul. And I’m filled with gratitude for each of you. It’s a joy to be the staff worker for the chapter here, but it’s an even greater joy to be a part of such a large team of generous families, loyal alumni, hospitable students, and now, artistic little kids.
To follow what’s happening with DePaul InterVarsity throughout the rest of the school year, click here.
To support DePaul InterVarsity financially, click here.