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Erin’s story: Seeking a place to belong and finding more

Sep 16, 2015 | Danielle Kinvig

When Erin stepped onto campus she was trying to find her place in the world.

And she’s not the only one. Erin began following Jesus in high school, but her needs and desires were not all that different from many of her non-Christian counterparts.

“That’s one of the largest themes I see on campus,” explains Erin. “Students asking, ‘Who am I?’ ‘Where am I going?’ and ‘What am I doing with my life?’”

On Erin’s first day of university, she opened up her orientation book and circled every Power to Change event. She didn’t know anybody involved. She didn’t know anything about the group. All she had was a sense of God’s leading and a desperate need for friends and a place to belong.

At her very first meeting with Power to Change-Students, Erin heard a message on the Great Commission. It was a new concept for her, and the idea of evangelism was intimidating, to say the least. “I didn’t know if it was something I could do,” she says. “But, as I started sharing my faith, participating in outreach events and being discipled, God was really shaping me and teaching me a lot about Him and His word and what ministry looks like.”

By her 4th year, Erin had shared her faith with a lot of students. She was leading a discipleship group, planning campus outreaches, and publishing articles and poems that were engaging students in online faith conversations. She saw eight young women make decisions to follow Jesus and she discipled them in their faith as new believers.

Erin Gateway

But, it was only when she travelled to South Asia on a mission trip with Power to Change, that she got a fuller glimpse of her purpose and who God had made her to be.

“I studied International Development, so I always wanted to help change the world. But I realized that it was sin that was preventing real, deep change from happening. The only way to really see people’s lives change is to see their hearts change through encountering God.”

At the outset of her university career, Erin was only looking for a place to belong, but by the end, she had discovered so much more than that.

“I’m part of Power to Change because I want to see students changed by the power of the gospel, not just because I want friends,” she declares. “Finding purpose and discovering that God had placed me on this campus to help build His Kingdom transcended every other desire that I had—like having friends, a boyfriend, or even getting good grades. Over time, God changed my heart and helping students discover Jesus became the ultimate purpose for my life.”

Erin DG at P2Cplus

When students like Erin are prepared and propelled to engage in faith conversations with non-Christians, radical life-change is possible. Every student needs Jesus. Erin does. So do the eight young women she led to Christ during her university years. So do over two million Canadian students back on campus this September.

At university, students will make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives; meet people who will influence their destinies; and learn things that will shape their worldviews, relationships and leadership potential.

Power to Change-Students is poised to help students discover Jesus. In fact, for the first time in their 48-year history as a student ministry in Canada, they have an active presence from coast-to-coast. They are a community that equips students to have an eternal impact on the world by living out and sharing their faith for a lifetime.

Erin speaking

“God used Power to Change to challenge me to be bold and to recognize and speak into opportunities to share my faith,” adds Erin, who is now serving as a national intern with Power to Change-Students. “Those practical skills I learned doing ministry as a student are so helpful now that I’m out of university. I know how to engage in gospel conversations in different contexts, how to relate to people and really listen to what they’re saying.”

About the Author

Danielle Kinvig

Danielle is the Associate Communications Manager at Power to Change, the parent organization of P2C-Students. She’s a small-town prairie girl at heart, but now lives on the west coast with her sports-writer husband and two lively toddlers. She began following Jesus while she was studying journalism at the age of 21. She’s passionate about many things, but usually only for a month or two. Right now she loves to read classic literature, watch BBC dramas and host overly ambitious and way over-the-top children’s birthday parties.

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