Learn About/Subscribe:
Christian Union
Christian Union: The Magazine
February 11, 2022

CU Lumine Provides Treats, Answers Questions about Christianity

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

“Does belief in Christianity work with belief in evolution?”

“Will God ever forgive me?”

“How can you say there’s only one true faith?”

These are a sampling of the questions submitted by Columbia students when Christian Union Lumine hosted its Message Me for Macarons outreach in December. After publicizing the event, students with CU Lumine delivered the macarons and answered questions via text messaging, all while earnestly praying.

A pair of sneakers with mobile headphones and macarons on trendy blue background. Concept of youth and teenager lifestyle in flat lay

“What a wonderful way to end the fall semester, by connecting with students who had questions about Christianity and about Jesus,” said Stan Thomas, Christian Union’s ministry director at Columbia. “There were 168 students who texted questions.”

Jesse Yebouet and Lydia Robbins, students leaders with CU Lumine, explained the motivation for the Message Me initiative.

“Our aim with the outreach was to engage with our community and have friendly conversations that could potentially address many students’ search for growth and understanding [regarding] faith and Christianity,” said Yebouet ’23, a biomedical engineering major from Poughkeepsie, New York. “We also wanted the outreach to be an opportunity for us at Christian Union Lumine to have fun together and grow in our own knowledge and servitude of Christ.”

Robbins noted that in previous years CU Lumine has organized “Text Me for Toasties,” which inspired this event. She was hopeful that this outreach would likewise bring clarification and truth to what the gospel is really about.

“Many students have come in contact with Christian ideas or people in their lives, but many don’t really know much about it,” she said. “Message Me for Macarons was a way to start answering some people's questions about what it really means to walk a life following Jesus.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the number of participants, CU Lumine was not able to answer the questions in person. But that did not dampen the enthusiasm around the event. 

“Many students briefly expressed their gratitude, while others were more willing to further talk about their questions,” said Yebouet. “Despite the varying levels of engagement with our outreach, students respected our efforts and greatly appreciated the macarons.”

“Nearly everyone who submitted a question was grateful to receive an answer and some filled out our survey inquiring if they would want to continue the conversation with someone from Christian Union, which was exciting to see,” said Robbins (Barnard ’22), a biology major from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Robbins also noted how students with CU Lumine grew in their faith as a result of serving and answering some tough questions.

“Sometimes we think we know something until we are asked to explain it. This was a wonderful opportunity for students to really think about and dwell on their answers to some of these challenging questions,” she said. “I hope students feel more equipped and prepared to answer questions about their faith and engage in meaningful discussions in the future.”

Prayer was also paramount as CU Lumine engaged their fellow students with the gospel. Leading up to the outeach, Lumine’s outreach team started and ended each preparation meeting with prayer. On the day of the event, volunteers gathered to pray at the Columbia Ministry Center, and “sought the Holy Spirit’s guidance throughout the outreach,” said Yebouet.

“Prayer in planning this outreach and other events is an important part of the process,” Robbins said. “It allows us to prepare our hearts and minds for what God is going to do and center each event around him. Prayer is what lays the groundwork for each event we do.”

RELATED: Want to go deeper in your faith? Click here to receive a free download of Christian Union’s "Seeking God Lifestyle” Bible Course Manual.