by Jenny Calsyn, Salt Company Coordinator
We have seen God work in big ways this year as we have had the amazing opportunity to launch The Salt Company in Cedar Rapids, IA. God continually draws new students to our ministry each week. I can still remember our fall kickoff so vividly. We had spent hours upon hours on campuses promoting and getting the word out for our kickoff. As we were getting ready that evening a panic came over us as we began to fear that no students would come. As 8:00 came closer, students began pouring into the room. We had 74 people there that night and left praising God for what he had done. That has been the theme of this year, understanding that God is the one who is doing the work and we just get to be a part of it. So many times we have seen God’s power at work when we feel like we haven’t done enough.
One really encouraging story is that of two of our student leaders. Hannah and James have been dating for about 3 years and just last year because serious about their faith and have made some God honoring changes in their lives. We had an informal soft launch for Salt in the Spring of 2015 where we meet each Thursday and had a girls and guys bible study that met each week. Hannah had begun to feel like she needed to make a change in her life and was told about The Salt Company by a friend. She told James about this feeling and they both decided they would attend Salt together. Both of them throughout that semester really experienced God. James had been dealing with depression and Hannah was dealing with a lot of anxiety and emptiness. They both made a stand for purity and experienced the healing power of forgiveness in their lives and relationship. It has been really awesome to have them both on leadership this year. James is going to be an intern next semester and has been able to witness to some of his high school best friends where he has begun to see changes in their lives too. Hannah co leads a connection group on her campus and is a very faithful leader to her girls. She has a desire to do full time ministry in the future as well and I believe has a gifting for women’s ministry.
We also have a guy named Mark that has started coming to our ministry a few months ago. During the Spring Conference as he listened to the messages and worshipped alongside other students, he realized that he wasn’t a believer and wanted to devote his life to Christ. Our director had the chance to pray with him and it has been fun to see him get connected with the guys in our ministry.
I have learned a lot from this past year. I think the biggest thing I have learned is that God is at work and I am just a tool. It is easy for me to put all the pressure on myself but I just need to surrender to him and allow him to work through me. I also have learned how to better minister to my girls. It was hard at first to know how to dig deep into heart issues but God has taught me through the last year how much better it is to speak truth in love. I am a people pleaser and my tendency is to shy away from offending anyone no matter what but I have been convicted of how wrong that is. If I truly care about my girls, then I will care more about their relationship with God instead of about how they view me.
I am so thankful for the network of BCI churches and the support they have given me! I can’t express how much it has meant to receive it. I truly believe God has big things planned for the lives of students at Coe College, Kirkwood, Mount Mercy and Cornell. This is just the start of what he will do and I can’t to see more of it unfold! Thank you so much!