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Christian Union: The Magazine
July 7, 2021

The Impact of Christian Union Lux

Editor’s Note: The following article contains first-person accounts from alumni who were actively involved in CU Lux, Christian Union’s ministry at Yale University. 

VALENTE HERNANDEZ, YALE ’21

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Houma, Louisiana
CUYale1a hernandez with racine edited
valente edited copyThroughout most of my life, religion and faith had played small roles. In the latter half of high school, I became more interested and started attending church and reading the philosophies of religion. Then, when I came to Yale, my focus was on other things, but it did leave a sort of void. My college experience did not feel complete.

In my junior year, I joined Christian Union. It was such a welcoming community, and I was able to learn so much about the gospel and its philosophies.

Through the Bible courses, I was able to deeply engage with the text and learn what it meant on a deeper level. Through Christian Union, I have also been able to find some very good friends with whom I will most certainly keep in touch with out of college. All in all, I am so glad I decided to make it a part of my Yale experience. I feel as though I now have a better foundation to be able to meaningfully engage with Christian communities no matter where I go. 

CASSANDRA HSIAO, YALE ’21

Hometown: Walnut, California
Majors: Ethnicity, Race & Migration; Theater & Performance Studies

CUYALE2 hsaioMy time in Christian Union Lux has been incredibly formative to my development as a university student and leader over the last four years. Through this organization, I’ve not only made lifelong friends but also formed relationships with mentors that have poured endlessly into me.

When I first arrived on campus, I did not expect my faith to grow at Yale. I am so glad that could not have been further from reality: my faith has grown exponentially thanks to Christian Union’s Seeking God lifestyle, Bible course structure, and emphasis on prayer and fasting. I rediscovered the importance of walking in community.

Additionally, I’ve been transformed by my experience serving in leadership, first as a co-vice president of CU Lux in my sophomore year, then as an ABCL (Assistant Bible Course Leader) for my Bible course in junior year, and finally as director of operations. Through working closely with our ministry fellows and directors, I’ve learned leadership skills that will impact all areas of my life moving forward. I’ve matured in my faith while forming mentoring relationships with fellow students and learned to problem solve by resting in God’s grace, wisdom, and patience. I feel so blessed to call Christian Union Lux my home.

AUBREY HUANG, YALE ’21

Major: Cognitive Science
Hometown: Reston, Virginia 

Audrey Huang Headshot copyThe Christian Union community has meant a lot to me over the past four years. I've been a part of a Bible course for three of the four years. I have also been a part of planning for our weekly large group event, Rooted, participated in a summer Bible study hosted by one of our ministry fellows, and served as an ABCL for a freshman Bible study group.

All of these mini-communities within the larger body have been the foundation on which some of my best friendships have been formed during my time in college. Especially this past year, the senior women’s Bible course, which met every Friday night over Zoom, has been such a gift to my fall and spring semesters. The girls inspired me weekly, as we talked about our own faith journeys, interpersonal relationships, endeavors, insecurities, and hopes, and as we continued a daily prayer on a weekly rotation, such that we were constantly checking in and praying for one another.

I honestly believe that some of the people I've met through CU are some of the most God-fearing and inspirational people I’ve yet known in my time as a Christian. Doing life alongside these people has in many ways formed and continues to form my view of God. Thank you so much to the CU community, including our beloved ministry fellows and ministry director, for being a significant part of my college experience! I will dearly miss these people.

BRIAN LI, YALE ’21

Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey

CUYALE3 brianWithout the fear of sounding hyperbolic, I can say that Christian Union Lux saved me. It was through these members of the body of Christ who call Yale their home that the Father showered his reckless love upon me, the Son shared his eternal inheritance with me, and the Holy Spirit whispered the true gospel to me.

I came to this campus utterly lost, having never known the Lord, yet curious about the figure of Jesus Christ, having felt the Lord occasionally tug on my heart. My mentors, in particular Michael Racine, Clay Cromer, and Jason Entgelmeier (who departed CU after my first year), and the brothers in my Bible course that I spontaneously joined, noticed the Lord's anointing upon me and immediately seized the opportunity to disciple me in the faith. Through their steadfast presence and Christlike example, I came to know the Lord and began to see the fruits of the Spirit in my life. Today, I am grateful to God for blessing me with this community of faithful, generous, and loving disciples to walk alongside me on our journey to seek Him more.

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” - Matthew 5:16

SNEHA SUDHA, NAT’L UNIV. OF SINGAPORE ’21

Majors: Theatre Studies and Business Management
Homeland: Singapore

cu yale SnehaSanjay 1 edited copyAs a visiting student from Singapore, God gave me the opportunity to spend my junior year of college at Yale. On the flight to JFK, I distinctly remember writing a prayer letter to God. In that letter, I asked Him for a community (at Yale) where I could strengthen my faith and grow spiritually. Looking back, God not only gave me a Christian community, He gave me three— and CU was one of them. 

Yale has seen the highest highs and the lowest lows of my life so far. The one thing that carried me through it all was staying rooted in God and trusting that He makes all things work together for my good. I simply don’t think it would’ve been the same without the support of a community that kept me accountable and has repeatedly reminded me of God’s immense love for me. I’ve spent most of my Christian life journeying alone, or with people I didn’t consider to be in my innermost circle. It felt lonely and scary to think that everyone seemed to have church friends or some kind of community except for me.

But just when I started connecting with the people in the Christian communities that God had placed me in at Yale, COVID-19 hit and I had to abruptly fly back to Singapore. I honestly felt betrayed, lost, and jaded. It felt as though I was back to being alone in my faith and all that God had given me was snatched away abruptly without a chance to even say goodbye. Little did I know that even a global pandemic couldn’t stop this group of God-loving friends from coming together virtually to read His Word. CU has never treated me like a “visiting student.” I’ve never felt like a “temporary investment” and am always made to feel at home.

I’m overwhelmed by the love that everyone has shown me in this community and remind myself every day that God doesn’t make this happen by chance. I’m so happy to still be connected with CU and be able to say that I still feel accepted and welcome even though I’m literally thousands of miles away!

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