Bridge: Home Away From Home
“Welcome to Bridge! Do you have people around you that you can call family? Do you have a community where you can call home?”
If you have come to AABC’s Bridge Fellowship, you are no stranger to these two questions. Our hearts burn with desire to provide a spiritual home away from home for all college students and to help them grow and explore this new season of life.
If you had to leave home and go to college, you know it’s not an easy time. It is a pivotal and challenging season when students leave their hometowns, wave goodbye to their best friends, experience loneliness and navigate through the hustle and bustle while trying to not fail classes—basically, they’re facing countless struggles on their own for the first time. I myself stumbled through those four years, which were neither rosy nor pretty.
In September 2017, my wife and I had the privilege to relaunch a college ministry at AABC. Our hope and prayer was (and remains) simple: to establish a community that cultivates strong and healthy relationship among college students from different cultures and backgrounds to do life together as a family and to anchor our community deeply and utterly in the redeeming grace of Jesus.
Now, two years have passed. So much has happened between the two pictures above—challenges, plans, struggles, tears, joys, laughter, hopes, doubts, prayers, services, deep talks, long nights, dumplings, boba tea, Korean BBQ, karaoke and changed lives. By God’s ferocious grace, we started from having a few students with no resources or helpers to our current status of being a booming, vibrant and thriving community. Through it all, Isaiah 43:19 has reminded me of God’s transforming power working mightily in the lives of students:
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
My heart shouted out to God with great joy by replying, "Yes, God, I perceived it! I have seen God’s Spirit pave the way for our family to join AABC. I have seen how God’s Spirit brought a clear vision and mission for college ministry. I have seen how God entrusted us to build a BLT [not bacon, lettuce and tomato but Bridge Leadership Team] with young adults and student leaders, seasoned disciple maker (Uncle Eddie), all-time favorite chef (Auntie Vi), new students and visitors, let alone the love and support from the church leadership and pastors.”
Today, I am in awe that God has allowed me to be a small part of what He is doing in our college ministry. Bridge is not merely a ministry, a place we meet, an event we plan or even a service to provide free food; rather, Bridge is a place we call home that exists to glorify God by equipping the next generation of men and women to become everything that God has created, called and gifted them to be and to further be seized by the affection of the Gospel to know God, to be known by God and to make God known.
We are not interested in building an audience but an army of God stirred by the power of the Holy Spirit to obey the greatest commandment by making disciples, bringing the Gospel to the nations and standing in the gap between the heavenly realm and this broken world because I believe that they are not the church of tomorrow—they are the church of today. And you, the body of Christ, can play such a vital role in their lives. Don’t miss out, folks! I invite you to join me in raising up the next generation by applying GRIP to our students:
Get to know them by name
Refresh them by bringing meals or boba tea
Invite them to your house
Pray daily for them
Next time you encounter a college student at church, please ask them, “Do you have people around you that you can call family? Do you have a community where you can call home?” And don’t forget to welcome them into your family!