When people meet Andrew Park, his dedication is obvious, especially when it is related to God. Andrew grew up attending the Detroit Korean SDA church, but never made a decision to be baptized. After graduating high school, he enrolled at Michigan State University as a major in Packaging Science, and it was there that God brought him to the point of surrender. It was after finishing his sophomore year at MSU when God interrupted his typical college life with a calling to follow Christ. The work of God in his life is something to be celebrated, but he also recalls the continued journey after he made the decision to follow Christ. See his testimony here
After canvassing the summer after his sophomore year for the summer, he decided to take a year off of school and attend Ouachita Hills College – this provided a more concentrated time to deepen his experience with God. He later served as the president of “Adventist Student Fellowship (ASF) at MSU, and student ministry took place every day. Andrew explained, “Things were getting difficult because there was so much ministry. It came to the point where we were doing a lot of ministry but we were not connecting as a team.” There were multiple small groups during the week, Friday evening CRAVE, sundown vespers on Sabbath with games nights following, and meetings on Sunday. He admits that although he never stopped doing ministry, in his heart he became tired.
God provided a reprieve the next two semesters as he moved to Maryland and Tennessee for major-related internships. During this time, God taught him how to be a Christian without the support of a student ministry. Separation from the Adventist community at MSU created new challenges in his walk with God. He learned the importance of finding accountability. More practically, he suggests, “Find someone that you can talk to about your struggles and your difficulties. People always talk about ministry, yet we struggle with self every day and we need support.” Andrew recounts the faithfulness of God to keep him in the faith.
His advice to student leaders is to invest time in relationship building, and create a safe community to help one another. He concludes,
“We cannot neglect each other; we need to take measures for things to be sustainable. Embrace the fact that we are going to struggle; it will be hard, but this is part of the process. Just because we are a Christian now does not mean that we no longer have difficulties. There are more testimonies to be made and God will constantly work on the areas in our life that need to be renewed. We all have brokenness that God wants to heal, and it is a continual process throughout life. When we have crises or obstacles in our faith, view it as a call from the Great Physician to heal us. Consider Isaiah chapter 61. He came to heal the broken hearted. He wants to set us free, and God will engage in this work as we engage in ministry.”
Andrew Park is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Packaging Science from Michigan State University this summer. He currently serves as the president of GYC and will serve with CAMPUS as a Fellow for the 2020-2021 school year.
As Decontee began her math class at Lansing Community College, she knew it was going to be a difficult class. Along with the growing difficulty was also a desire to be closer to God. Little did she know that God has been preparing for a few years a divine appointment to not only help her with Math but introduce her to a saving relationship with Jesus.
Halee Boughton, CAMPUS Missionary Alumnae ‘17, continued in East Lansing after the MTP program and was instrumental in starting a small group Bible Study at Lansing Community College. She happened to be enrolled in the same math class as Decontee and signed up for the same group study at the beginning of the semester. The two soon became friends and became study partners for their difficult math class. One time when they met, Halee had a book she was reading about a man who went to prison because of his faith. Afterward they continued to talk and Halee invited her to study the Bible together in October of 2019. Decontee enjoyed the studies and Halee invited her to their weekly Bible study on campus, and Decontee began to attend occasionally.
She began to attend regularly and met Pastor Jermaine Gayle in December at one of the last Bible Studies of the semester. He invited her to attend GYC. She opened her schedule and attended. On Sabbath evening, the speaker made a call for those who wanted to give their life to Christ and make a public profession through baptism to come forward. She was thinking about what the speaker said. Two pastors from Michigan were sitting near her when one of them nudged her and said it was okay to go. She stood up and went forward. Pastor Jermaine and his wife Allie joined her at the front to pray.
The time at GYC was life changing, and she began to study with Halee. Every Sabbath Decontee would faithfully attend church bringing her nephews and nieces. She continued the studies twice a week and was eager to be baptized. God was transforming her life. One day she looked at her wardrobe, and decided to get rid of everything and find clothes that were more modest. No one said anything to her about her clothes, but the Holy Spirit had touched her heart. She desired for her love for God to also be revealed in how she lived and even what she wore.
A date was set for her baptism, and Decontee expectantly waiting for the day she could share publicly her love for Jesus. Then the Covid-19 crisis broke out, and the baptism had to be rescheduled. Those disappointed she knew it was just a week away. But then there were restrictions and her baptism had to be postponed. Her heart sank and her grief overflowed in tears.
Decontee expectantly waiting for the day she could share publicly her love for Jesus.
Then on April 11, 2020, she was able to publicly declare her commitment to Christ and be baptized at the University SDA Church in East Lansing. You can watch her testimony below.
It has been a few months now, since the time I was pulled over by the officer, and each time I sit in a police car I am thankful for the opportunity to serve. Having done a few ride alongs I am learning a new culture, my eyes are being open to new needs in my community. My prayers are being answered by a God who cares for and extends grace to me as a Pastor and to those in uniform who work to keep us safe.
CLICK HEREto read the full article published in the Lake Union Herald.
At the North American Division’s Year End Meetings which take place in the fall of each year, delegates made a unanimous decision to include students attending public universities as part of the division’s highest decision making body. During a short, but very powerful report given by the Adventist Christian Fellowship President Lucien Nana-Yobo, a PhD student in geology from the University of Houston, Nana-Yobo made an appeal to the body to include public university students in this committee. One of the delegates from the floor responded to this appeal and made a motion to add 10 new delegates representing public college campuses to the Year End Meetings. The motion passed.
This action follows a similar action which took place previously when students on Adventist college campuses were added to the NAD Executive Committee.
Alanna Knapp has extensive experience in public campus ministry. In 2002, she served CAMPUS as an intern, serving as a missionary at the University of Michigan. Following her internship she served CAMPUS as an Administrative Assistant and Student Network Coordinator. She founded and served as the president of a student organization at Michigan Technological University and led the student group during its strongest years of ministry and fellowship. Now, she is completing her graduate studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. With a vast experience in campus ministry, Alanna is an excellent representative of the more than 75% of Adventist young people who do not study on Adventist college campuses.
This vote by the North American Division is an enormous stepping stone in the work of public campus ministry for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.
Surrounded by the beauty of Camp Au Sable, CAMPUS staff met, at the close of June, to pray and plan for the coming academic year. It was a time of spiritual renewal and convivial camaraderie – we sensed the presence of the Lord!
In a couple of weeks, we will kick off the year with our leadership training program: We’re excited about what the Lord will do for, and in us, this year, as we prepare secular universities for the imminent return of Christ. We humbly expect great things because we serve a great God!
You will not want to miss this year’s leadership, education and development seminar for all Adventist students attending secular universities and colleges! Networking and team-building activities will characterize the first portion to be held at Camp Au Sable, and the training will continue in conjunction with the iShare conference at Great Lakes Adventist Academy over the weekend: July 27-31.