I am Becky Arvan, originally from St. Cloud, Minnesota, serving with Cru in Riga, Latvia with student ministry. Cru is very special to me, because I was a student when God used people from Cru to transform my life and build into me as a disciple of Jesus. Cru helpd me learn how to be a witness for Christ on my campus. Sometimes the only thing a student needs is a little push, a little bit of trust, a little bit of vision, and it can change everything! I am in Latvia today because of the impact of my student years in Cru had on me. Now I get to be the one giving the little push, vision, and trust!
We want to obey the command in Matthew 28:18-20 to make disciples of all nations so that the the gospel and the truth of who God is is shared with Latvian students in a relevant way. My calling is to serve the national Cru ministry by helping surface and equip Christian students to walk by faith, communicate their faith, and multiply their faith. We want to give every student the opportunity to hear the gospel during their years at the university, and the best way to do that is through Christian students who actively share their faith on campus.
The best part of my job is meeting students, like Eva, at the university. Eva, soon to be a junior at the Latvian Sports Education Academy, received a “freshman survival kit” on the first day of school back in September 2012 and got connected with Cru. God was at work in Eva’s heart and she had many questions about spiritual things. My teammate Gunita and I met up with her to share the gospel. As Gunita shared with Eva how to know God personally, tears started to stream down her face. She believed in God, but she had never trusted her life to Christ. With tears of joy, she said, “Yes, I want to pray and ask Jesus to come into my life!” Eva now recalls that as “the best day of her life.” She joined the Bible study in her dorms and is actively sharing her faith with the students around her. Not long after Eva trusted Christ, she shared the gospel with her roommate Diana, and Diana trusted Christ. Eva is now the leader of the group in her dorms and is mobilizing others to reach every corner of their university for Christ!
Latvia is one of the Baltic countries in Northern Europe that was once part of the former Soviet Union. It is a beautiful country with rich history and tradition, but also a very dark place spiritually because of its pagan roots and the atheistic influence of the Soviet Union.
As we begin a new school year (September), please pray that God would raise up Christian students who have a passion for reaching their university for Christ. We also will start International groups at a couple of the universities. Many student from Muslim backgrounds are coming to study in Riga. The nations are coming to us, and we want to make the most of this new opportunity!