Greek Student Makes 1st Time Decision to Accept Jesus!

*Jesus Christ = JC
*Jesus Reyes = JR

Jesus Reyes

October 2012, InterVarsity at UCLA launched their Proxe, “Who Will You Be”. I tagged along hoping to meet Greek students during the first quarter of the UCLA Greek Plant. One day, I stopped a student on campus to chat about God and Identity. Little did I know how fruitful this short interaction would be.

The student’s name is Jesus Reyes and after running through the whole Proxe I found out two things:

JR grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness and he’s Greek (Omega Sigma Tau). We had a great time talking about these two things and he expressed his interest in learning more about God.

I immediately invited him to check out Greek InterVarsity and started talking with him weekly through the Gospel of John. For the next 4 months, I would meet with JR and we would talk through a lot of scripture, share lots about one another’s life and dive into the differing beliefs he grew up with and compare them to the bible.

By the end of Fall quarter, we had been halfway through the Gospel of John and I felt encouraged in my regular time of prayer for him. I summed up the boldness and asked him to make a commitment to follow JC as I felt so encouraged by the Lord through the way He had been leading our conversations. While I was hopeful, JR mentioned that there were things that he was still wrestling with in truly believing that Jesus is God and the concept of a Trinitarian God.

After letting that sit over the winter break I continued praying for Lord to continue speaking to JR.

With a new start to a new quarter I was very excited to hear about how all my Greek students were doing, especially JR. Praise the Lord, it looks like the He had been speaking to JR.

On Monday, January 28th JR and I got together. I asked him how he was simmering on our last conversation and the first question he asked me was, “Why JC?” I was eager to answer his question and the best way I knew how was through a dirty hands analogy.

I took a piece of paper and told him that the paper represented all of the sin in our lives. Many people will say, “If I pray enough hail Mary’s, do enough good or just be more of a moral person, I will get into heaven.” As I said this, I began crumbling the piece paper into a ball and told him that this action represented someone following those 3 beliefs to inherit Heaven. I threw the paper away and stuck out my palms face up and said, “Here’s the problem… Now my hands are dirty.”

I explained to him that it does not matter how good of a person you are, how many good deeds you do or how good you look on the outside; That, in fact, is exactly what the Pharisees believed would champion yourself into the Kingdom of God. We need someone who can take the filth that we cannot remove ourselves and cleanse our hands clean and the ONLY one who can do that is Jesus Christ.

We then studied John 10:1-21 which reads:

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some ot

her way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.

They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep

know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided.

20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Here, JC clearly tells us that HE is the gate, HE is the good shepherd and HE is the only one who has authority to take his own life and take it up again.

JR’s biggest observation was John 10:18 where Jesus says:

18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to

take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

JR grasped how much JC loved him because He had the only authority to take his life and to take it up again. JR understood that He came into this world knowing exactly what the plan was from the begin: to die on the cross out perfect love for us.

After the dirty hands analogy and reading and studying through John 10 JR said, “It makes logical sense and it’s very clear now!”

I was a little taken aback as I was expecting some kind of hesitancy or resiliency but he continued to talk about how clear the analogy was, how clear the scripture is and how clear it is that Jesus is God!

After the Lord opened up his heart, I began to share the Gospel through John 10 and the dirty hands analogy. We spoke about what it means to commit our lives to JC – submitting every aspect of our lives to the teaching and following of Jesus, standing in the face of persecutors of faith and devoting your life to glorify God through receiving the undeserved grace of JC’s death and resurrection.

After making these expectations super clear, JR said that he still wanted to pray and accept JC into his heart as his Lord and Savior! HALLELUJAH!

Let me just say that it is such a humbling honor and privilege to be the one the Lord uses to lead someone to faith and hear them pray to accept Christ into their hearts!

The Angels in Heaven are throwing a fat party for JR (Luke 15) as he professes with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart (Romans 10:9-13)!

Please join me in celebration and prayer for JR as he is born again of the Spirit. Pray for his spiritual protection and strengthening in the Word and for him to become a world changer to his Fraternity Brothers!

First Greek IV of the Winter Quarter

We just had our first Greek IV of the Winter Quarter and we did a study with 7 Greeks on Mark 4:35-41; Jesus calming the storm. While doing this study, I was refreshed by seeing Jesus’ authority. This miracle was not an isolated miracle but it’s a miracle that needs to be held in tension with God using Moses to part the Red Sea. Jesus is not showing everyone that he wants to calm the storms in our lives and that we need not to have fear when Jesus is with us, but by performing this miracle, He displays that HE IS GOD! He displayed the same authority over creation He did when God parted the Red Sea to show that our God is never changing, from OT to NT. Praise the Lord!

One highlight I have to share from the first Greek IV bible study was from a student that came to Greek IV for the first time. We spent some time chatting and he mentioned to me that he was born and raised Catholic and has read most of the bible.

What encourages me in continuing to be a missionary for the Greek Community is when God gives me little nuggets like these:

“I’ve grown up reading the bible and I’m pretty familiar with it but I feel like I’ve never read this story before. The way that we’re studying the bible it is helping me understand the message for the first time.”

He also said that he can’t wait to continue learning how to study scripture inductively and that’s he’s excited to come every week! Praise the Lord.

We are getting together for lunch tomorrow to chat more about his spiritual life and talk more about the identity of Jesus.

Keep throwing up the prayers for Greek IV @ UCLA!

Greek InterVarsity Conference 2013!

Greek Conference is a National Conference for Greeks put on by Greeks. Over 600 Greeks go to Indianapolis every year to learn more about God and how to lead in the chapter.

So hopping on a plane and heading to a hotel on a random weekend in February in Indianapolis may not sound like the best use of your time.  However, Greek Conference is more than a random weekend. It’s an event that can shape the rest of your college experience as well as those years after school sometimes referred to as “real life.”  To help enumerate the awesomeness that is Greek Conference, we’ve put together a list of ten reasons to consider attending Greek Conference. Like what you see? Share it with a friend. Have a suggestion for the list? Leave a comment below.

1. You’re not the only one

Sometimes it may seem like you are the only person in your fraternity or sorority who thinks about issues of faith or wakes up on Sunday to head to Church or makes time to pray but at Greek Conference you are not the only one. You’ll be joined by hundreds of Greeks from across the country who are looking to combine their Greek identity with identity in Christ.

2. The NY Times thought it was cool

At the 2011 Greek Conference in Indianapolis, the NY Times decided to send a writer and photographer to see what was bringing several hundred Greeks together for a weekend to talk about God. Turns out they had a pretty good time. Check it out for yourself.

3. It’s a great deal

When you consider all that is included in the cost, it’s a pretty incredible deal for a weekend. You’re getting two nights in a luxury hotel, a fantastic banquet on Saturday night, great resources and content from Greek InterVarsity staff and a weekend experience unlike any other. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive than some fast food and a round of…bowling…but you are getting an incredible deal for a one-of-a-kind event.

4. By Greeks. For Greeks.

Greek Conference is a conference designed by Greeks, carried out by Greeks and made specifically for Greeks. Our staff were members of fraternities and sororities. Our speakers have been through the college experience. We’ll talk about the stuff that is actually relevant to life in the Greek system and you’ll get to experience a community of Greeks who are coming from where you’re at.

5. The dance party is legit


Enough said.

6. It’s a great way to connect with your chapter

At Greek Conference you are given space to connect with members from your house on a deeper level. It’s a great opportunity to be able to have time to be real with your brothers and sisters and share about the deeper things you are dealing with in your life on campus.

7. Where else can you find this?

Greek Conference is fairly unique in that it is one of the few conferences to bring together Greek life & God for an entire weekend. From Greek-specific bible studies to staff whose primary job is fraternity & sorority ministry, this is a unique conference with a very specific focus: helping Greeks to know God, grow in their faith and learn how to live it out in their chapter.

8. Great resources

At the conference you’ll have a chance to check out the latest and greatest resources from Greek InterVarsity including House Ministry Guides, Quiet-Time Resources, Greek-specific Bible studies and much more. You’ll also be able to purchase InterVarsity Press books at a special conference discounted rate!

9. It’s an open invitation

All Greeks from all chapters on all campuses are welcome. This is a Conference by Greek and for Greeks and we welcome any and all students to attend. Whatever your faith background, wherever you stand on hot-button issues and whether you wear your shoes with socks or without, you are welcome at Greek Conference 2012!

10. Because staying home is overrated

You’ll have plenty of weekends to hang out on campus, hit the usual spots and see the usual scenes. This is a weekend to break the trend and try an experience outside the norm.

Get more conference information here! 

Ending 2012 Right!

After reflecting on the year 2012 there are several highlights that come to mind:

Getting Married to my beautiful wife, Natalia Kwok! (video on pictures to come)

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Planting Greek Ministry at UCLA

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Urbana Missions Conference 2012!

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16,000+ people attended one of the world’s largest mission’s conferences – Urbana. It was an opportunity to hear speakers from all parts of the world talk about God’s global mission, meet missions organizations reaching unheard and untouched communities and using our own time and talents to serve Swaziland in Africa by buildings 32,000 AIDS kits!

What was refreshing for me was that it was not just a business track that talked about how to be missional in a work setting (which is extremely important), or in the business but not of the business — the track was designed give participants an opportunity to meet CEO’s and entrepreneurs who have created non-profit and for profit businesses that use their entire business model to bring Kingdom changes to the world – from where they place their revenue, how they structure their internal hierarchy and what types of products they manufacture.

There were many powerful speakers and messages at Urbana. One powerful moment was a preaching on the Prodigal Son given by Ram Sridharan which can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqHiVrNi3YU&feature=plcp (beings at 35:00)

89 First time commitments to Jesus and 3000+ recommitments to faith!

God has done tremendous things in 2012 and I am eagerly expectant and waiting for Him to do even greater things in 2013.