I’m back in AZ for about a week, tying up some loose ends and finishing support raising. Weirdly enough, this trip coinsided with the first week of school at ASU- aka the busiest week in Chi Alpha world. It’s the week that every club, party, & cause is vying for the attention of the thousands of new freshmen. Davis’s will be in a few weeks!
I stopped by Passport to ASU, the club fair on campus, to see ASUXA in action….
This is a huge connecting event- loads of freshman come & there is TONS of free stuff to be had. It gets so crowded and sweaty that it can resemble a cattle drive. EVERY club- from mixed martial arts to organic farmers to computer programming- shows up to attract new members. (This year there was a vice president of a club advertising by walking around in her underwear…only at ASU.) By the end of it you have no voice from meeting tons and tons of first year students. This event basically =’s heaven for me….ok besides the underwear girl.
I got into a conversation with a student who had stopped at the XA table, and he mentioned he was from India. I responded, “That is SO cool! Where is your favorite Indian restaurant? I’m always trying to find a good one in Tempe.” He ignored my question and instead responded, “You’re the first person to say it was ‘cool’ that I was from India.” Whoa.
I explained that Chi Alpha was about building supportive community on such a huge campus and some of the super fun events we did. He broke eye contact with me and said, “That is a great need on this campus, but I have to tell you, I’m not religious.” Luckily for him, neither are we and neither was Jesus. Ha! I told him we had friends who were of many beliefs and that didn’t change the fact that we wanted to be his friend. “I am worse than a Buddhist or a Hindu,” he laughed, “I’m an atheist.” I laughed too. I told him that STILL didn’t change the fact that we wanted to be his friend. We got his contact information and I really hope that he’ll be around!
There are a few things I realized from this short interchange:
-International students are awesome and need more of their awesomeness known.
-Conversations are easy ways of breaking down bad stereotypes of Christians- This student thought that just because we were different we were automatically going to reject him.
-Everyone- from atheist to the most hard core Christian- recognizes & is attracted to the idea of community. They can see the need for it on our campuses.
God is love and God is 3-in-1. Community was HIS idea- He is community. Pray with me that every freshmen would get a taste of this fresh, authentic, life giving community that is offered only through Christ!