Choosing Revive – College Students
Welcome local college and graduate students to Revive Church! Revive Church is 10 years old in September 2017. From our inception as a church plant in a nearby living room, college students have been active leaders in our church. Two of our initial meeting places were at Harvey Mudd and Pitzer colleges, and we have been blessed with many students from all the Claremont colleges. Students from University of La Verne, Azusa Pacific, Gateway and Talbot Seminaries, Western University, Biola, Mount SAC, Citrus and Chaffey colleges have ministered in our church community. If you are looking for a caring church where you can serve, here are a few of the experiences of Revive students, alumnae and alumni.
Steven Hung, Claremont McKenna College, 2017
“A little less than four years ago, upon the invitation of a friend, I visited Revive Church for the first time one September Sunday during my first year at Claremont McKenna College. I was immediately hooked by the friendliness of the welcome team, and after going week after week, about a year later I began to call it home. I stayed at Revive for the remaining time of college, and while there I experience what it means to be a church community. A diverse group of people who places Jesus at the center of their lives, and despite the different happiness and struggles that they face, they do not forget to come together as a church family to love God and love one another.
As a maturing young adult, I have learned a great deal from the men at Revive. Not just the elders who preach on Sundays, but ordinary church members who faithfully follow God. Christianity is not only theoretical in Sunday sermons but in action in real life. We can have high school diplomas or PhD degrees, be single or just married or retired with grandchildren, working as an accountant or a police officer or a scientist, yet despite our differences we are one in Christ. At the foot of our Lord Jesus Christ we are all sinners, and on Sundays each one of us must come before God to confess and repent of our sins before we dip the sacramental bread into the grape juice for communion. While attending an elite liberal arts college where almost every student seems well-off, being part of Revive reminds me of the situations people face in real life: finding a job, fighting cancer, facing difficulty at work because of faith, becoming married, raising children, and more. Being part of Revive reminds me to stay humble and to not take my education for granted, and that eventually when I am no longer a student I would be off to join this world too. In the middle of the week we would have men’s group (which now becomes a co-ed Disciple Living on Wednesdays), and it is powerful to join hands and pray with my brothers and sisters. I am also often encouraged by random texts of people praying for each other and encouraging each other with God’s Word.
In addition to strengthening my faith, Revive Church also helped me grow spiritually in knowledge and in practice. My second year I learned about Revive’s practice of multiple leadership and how this model creates leaders who take ownership of their faith. I had the opportunity to preach twice at Good Shepherd (Revive’s sister church at Glendora and a disciple training center for Revive’s preachers), and even though I cannot say I did well either time, the congregation was very encouraging of my continued pursuit of God. People at Revive not only believe in God’s Word but also put them in action, and its outreach ministries such as Crucified with Christ Street Ministry, Operation Christmas Child, and Mercy Gate allow me to witness the work of God. During my third year, many had to leave Revive for various reasons, and at one point we were literally short-staffed. But I saw the fortitude of those who called Revive family grind on and put in extra work to fill where there was a need. I think this period only brought us closer in our faith.
In conclusion, I appreciate being part of Revive Church for the past four years, especially those who took the time to mentor me and pray for me. During the time of college where some believers lose their faith, I actually have a sense of pride for sticking with these brothers and sisters for four years. To me, the people of this community reflects the light of Christ and inspires me to follow God.”
Kevin Choi, Western University, 2016
“I used to spend Sundays church hopping or streaming church services online during my first year at WesternU as a Physical Therapy student. I thought my Sunday routine was sufficient for my spiritual well-being and growth, but I was wrong. My routine did not allow me to grow in my faith and balance demands of graduate school. A friend invited me to Revive Church and I felt that God was calling me to join this community. I quickly got involved with their Men’s group, young adult ministry, and softball team at the start of my second year of school. The Revive community was extremely welcoming, encouraged my spiritual growth, and provided a community that I could rely on for day-to-day support. My church family walked alongside me by praying for struggles I faced in my daily life which included upcoming exams and being away from family. They provided great daily encouragement and accountability. This community has been such a blessing in my life and I only wish I had gotten involved earlier!”
Rebekah Justice, Harvey Mudd College, 2018
“WHY I CHOSE REVIVE–
Church hunting can be incredibly difficult. Whether you are checking out church for the first time or whether you grew up always attending the same church service, it can be challenging to find a place to land that truly feels like a “church home”. However, when I began attending Revive, I knew that it was a place I could call home. The sermons focus on what the bible actually teaches and dig deep into the text. The church is small enough that people noticed that I was new and welcoming enough that I felt cared for rather than put on the spot. People in the church made a point of asking me to go out to lunch with them, join them in service activities, and offered to help me out if I needed a ride somewhere. I said I was willing to serve in the church and was welcomed onto the worship team and as a nursery worker, allowing me to get to know the people serving on both teams and the parents with young children in the church. It is a place that I feel comfortable inviting friends to — both Christians and non-Christians — because I know that they will be welcome. It is a place that I invite you to come try out, particularly if you are a college student like I am, because I truly believe that they will bless you throughout your college experience.”
Hayley Hulin, ULV, 2017
“As a ULV freshman, I felt totally blessed to call Revive my college church. Whenever I spent weekends in La Verne, I attended service at Revive and always felt completely welcomed. I became especially involved during my senior year in women’s Bible study at Ann and Russ’ house. Tuesday nights quickly became my favorite — home cooked food, kind women and the word — nothing could be better. Quite often it felt like a safe haven during a stressful senior year and I can’t imagine attending anywhere else. I’m still incredibly thankful to the women who encouraged me and loved on me; they’re truly the loveliest.”
Alejandra Teresa Vazquez Baur, Claremont McKenna College, 2017
“I went to Revive Church for the first time last Fall when I was going through a very difficult period in my life. Walking into the space, I was met with smiles and welcomes from all in the congregation. When Miss Ann noticed I came without a Bible, she brought me one as a gift from the Church. Whenever our homework schedules permitted, Russ offered to take me and my boyfriend to lunch after services, where we engaged in spiritually and philosophically enriching discussions. Russ and Ann made us feel at home very early on, and we felt comfortable talking to them about anything. Over time I got to know other members of the community as well, and I enjoyed meeting more as time went on. Even though my time at Revive was short, I am so grateful for my 7 months in this community. I hope to always stay close to Russ and Ann in may post-graduate life no matter how far I am from Claremont, California.”
Kofi Sekyi-Appiah, Harvey Mudd College, 2018
“I’m Kofi, a rising senior at Harvey Mudd College. I began attending Revive Church during the summer of 2016 and have since been showered with so much love from the church community. I’ve always felt welcomed worshipping with genuinely loving and kind people. The community at Revive is one that is very welcoming to Christians from various denominations and people coming in from all walks of life. The thing I love most about Revive is the diversity within the congregation. You get to grow in faith with and learn from people whose testimonies about God’s work in their lives are truly inspiring and encouraging.
I’ve also had the pleasure of engaging in spiritual conversations with members of the community and very generous and great leaders from whom I’ve sought spiritual advise time and again. Revive offers me a spiritual space where I can constantly remind myself that being where I am and the challenges that come with it is all part of God’s plan for my life. It has been comforting to have this space while juggling an intense academic program among other personal events. I’m very appreciative of the congregation at Revive and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me and the church.”