Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Difference That Students Make

I'm spending this week visiting some of our Impact chapters in the Midwest and I've had a great time hanging with students and spending time with them on their campus. I'm sitting in a Starbucks across the street from the campus of the University of Illinois right now. It is invigorating to join in the hustle and bustle of the university environment and to have conversations with young people in the midst of that stage of life.

I continue to be struck with how open college students are in discussing spiritual issues and their desire to make difference in the world. For example, I spent the previous two days at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. During one stretch of time in the student union, I was asked to take a survey about my views on Sarah Palin (I got a free snickers bar for my time), was approached about giving blood (couldn't do it because it was later in the week) and encouraged to register to vote (thanks, but I'm already registered in Florida). Not only that, I talked with several students about their views on hip-hop music and transitioned from there to discuss their relationship with God.

All of this just demonstrates that contrary to popular belief, the college campus is not just a place for young people to get drunk and fornicate. There is a free exchange of beliefs and opinions and a burning desire to leave the world different than how they inherited it. My job is to help these young people find that real truth is found in Jesus and that he can work in and through them to bring lasting and eternal change to the world and to the hearts of men and women everywhere.

As Charles Malik (past president of the United Nations) once said,
"The university is the clear-cut fulcrum with which to move the world...More potently than by any other means, change the university and you change the world."

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