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What do Yolanda Adams (Gospel Artist), Michael Strahan (NFL), Barbara Jordan (U.S. congressional representative), Mickey Leland (Activist and Congressman), and Belvin Perry (former Chief Judge) all have in common? These, amongst many other notable artist, physicians, judges, politician, U.S. and state representatives, activists, lawyers, and NFL players and coaches, all graduated from Texas Southern University. TSU is a university birthed from a small private junior college that has become one of the most comprehensive and largest historically black universities in the nation. TSU is noted for its law, justice, public affairs, and athletic programs, but how can TSU be known for loving God and spreading the Gospel?
Three years ago, as I was walking past the campus after a school shooting, I thought to myself, “Oh God, what can I do?” Seeing the hurt and fear in the students’ eyes and knowing that this was only one in a series of incidents that were happening on the campus, I knew God was the only way this campus would heal and change. I was just an intern with Chi Alpha at the University of Houston (a university two blocks away) and wondering what could I do that would make a difference.
That year I talked to my small group about how much I wanted to see God move at TSU, and a few of the girls in my small group caught the vision. That summer we started doing weekly prayer walks on the TSU campus and having intentional conversations with students. Before the summer was over, almost 15 UH students were meeting weekly to pray for and meet students at TSU. The next year we had six faithful TSU students plugged into our small groups. PRAISE GOD!!! My heart is to see TSU have a Chi Alpha of their own. One that has just as much TSU DNA as Chi Alpha DNA.
The Lord has definitely used this experience to challenge my thinking and the way I minister to students. Am I teaching cultural Christianity or Biblical Christianity? Am I being an active listener? Am I stepping out of my comfort zone when engaging with students?
He’s also given me creative ways to meet students and start up Godly conversations. Something I’ve realized through this experience is the need for minority missionaries and U.S. missionaries that will go outside of their cultural comfort zones to minister at HBCUs. I’m grateful the Lord is raising up those who are saying, “I will go,” and those who say, “I will train.” Both are crucial for what the Lord is doing. The Lord has faithfully answered my question and taught me what I can do: Always be willing to learn and serve others. So, in reading this, I hope you will begin to ask yourself the very same question I asked myself three years ago: “What can I do?”