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July 7, 2021

Recent Yale Alumni - In Their Own Words

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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July 6, 2021

How Christians Can Gain Trust in a Suspicious Culture 

Learning to Engage for the Sake of Mission   

Christian leaders falling from grace has become a routine headline over the past few years. Our leaders have been caught in abuse, scandals, addiction, or lavish spending of church funds, leaving a trail of wreckage in the congregations they led, but also a bad impression on a watching world. It appears that Christians, who declare love and grace and humility with their lips, are often living a life that is out of sync with their declared good news. The word for this is hypocrisy, and it’s hurting the church more than ever.

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July 2, 2021

A Spirited Send Off

CU Libertas Celebrates Seniors

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

In an exciting and encouraging end to their time in college, seniors of CU Libertas gathered in person to be celebrated and recognized by underclassmen and to get off campus for a seniors-only day retreat. Though these kinds of events are typical for the graduation season, Ministry Fellow Laurel Copp says that these were the only two in-person events the ministry formally hosted all year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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June 29, 2021

Repent America!

Revival, Reformation Are Preceded by a Return to God 

By Chuck Hetzler

“We need to admit that there’s a problem,” said Matt Bennett as he addressed the need for widespread repentance to Christian Union Cornerstone Partners in a Zoom meeting, Monday evening, June 7, 2021.

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June 8, 2021

Q and A with George Otis

Prayer, Revival, and Societal Transformations

At Christian Union’s Cities Conference in Manhattan in 2018, George Otis, Jr. talked about the first Great Awakenings in the United States and the ensuing socioeconomical impact that followed in various cities and communities that were “overwhelmed by the grace and presence of God.”

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June 3, 2021

The Fading of Forgiveness

Tim Keller: We Need a Gospel Perspective 

In the past several years, the new racial justice movement has begun. But unlike the previous racial justice movements of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, whose actions and methodology were marked by Christian beliefs and “the ethics of love, forgiveness and reconciliation,” this new battle for justice is leaving the concept of forgiveness behind. 

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June 2, 2021

Double Duty

CU Gloria Law Leader Pursues Dual Degree

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

 

After serving in the Marines for seven years, Joel Malkin made a major career change and enrolled in the joint degree program at Harvard Law and Business Schools in 2020. One year into pursuing his Juris Doctorate and Masters of Business Administration, Malkin has been an active participant in Christian Union’s ministry at Harvard Law, CU Gloria Law. 

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May 18, 2021

Praying for Another Revival at Cornell

Santavicca ’73 Serves with Other Alumni on CU Vita Board

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

 

The year of 1969 might call to mind images of anti-war protests, Woodstock, or landing on the moon, but for Ed Santavicca it was the year he experienced a revival on Cornell’s campus. Arriving as a freshman in Ithaca, New York, Santavicca’s world was saturated with the cultural upheaval of the Vietnam war, rigorous academics, and a very limited understanding of God.

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May 17, 2021

Astronaut Monastery

Christian Union Alumnus Founds NYC Design Studio

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

Strategy is the name of the game for Cody Min, the founder of Astronaut Monastery, a creative studio operating out of New York City. 

With the tagline of “Making work that thinks and thinking that works,” Min, the company’s head of new business and strategy, has created a sleek and successful firm serving clients like Hyundai, the popstar Kesha, Cole Haan, Rowing Blazers, Disney-ABC, Samsung, and Uniqlo. Min’s creative work today is deeply rooted in his faith, which was cultivated through the ministry of CU Martus (formerly called Penn Faith and Action or PennFA).

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April 23, 2021

A Weekend of Fire

CU New York Hosts Retreat for Young Professionals

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

A group of ten young professionals recently attended a Christian Union Fire retreat in New York City. Based on their feedback and ensuing testimonies, the event fueled a greater depth of seeking God and a passion for seeking revival.

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March 19, 2021

Has Religious Freedom Had Its Day?

Cultural Changes Are Reshaping the Landscape 

Religious freedom is an expectation and reality in our country, but with radical legislative changes and a major shift in the cultural understanding of identity, religious freedom may be evaporating before our eyes. In this article from Gospel Coalition Australia, Akos Balogh examines the cultural changes that are quickly reshaping the freedom of the church in the west. 

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March 12, 2021

Asking the Wrong Questions about Ravi Zacharias…

Missing the Most Important One

By Dr. Chuck Hetzler

The revelations of Ravi Zacharias’ failures have invited a host of questions to discern how such destructive  sins could have occurred. Seeking answers, Christians have primarily probed RZIM from an organizational perspective.

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March 8, 2021

The Loneliest Generation

How Can We Engage Them with the Good News? 

Who is Generation Z? Yes, they are the individuals who were born between the early ’90s and mid-2010s, but for Christian Union, they represent one of our primary mission fields.

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March 5, 2021

Quakers for Life

Prayerful Penn Students Are Making a Difference

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer


While most college students spend their Saturday mornings sleeping in, recovering from a week of late nights and coursework, a group of students from Christian Union Martus at the University of Pennsylvania participate in sidewalk abortion ministry with Quakers For Life, a pro-life organization founded by Martus alumnus, Eric Hoover ’19.

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February 26, 2021

Christian Union: The Magazine Launches New Online Version

Digital Publication Continues Ministry's Long History of Reporting

Welcome to The Magazine, Christian Union's online publication of feature stories, ministry updates, commentary, and news.

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February 19, 2021

Deny Yourself and Take Up Your Cross

Three Biblical Reasons to Fast 

By Dr. Chuck Hetzler

Twenty-first century American Christianity is not known for self-denial. Most of the American church’s marketing mirrors the world’s. The church sells good-looks, fashion, and personal happiness. No doubt, following Jesus makes your life better, but true discipleship promises hardship and absolute surrender along the way. 


And He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23

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February 17, 2021

Christian Union Introduced Me to Fasting

Yale Alumna Recalls Seeking God Lifestyle Course    

By Alisha Reginal, Yale ’15

Christian Union whet my appetite for fasting. Nine years ago, I participated in Christian Union’s Seeking God Lifestyle Bible course at Yale. The course discussed seven principles to intentionally draw near to God. The first was “humility with fasting.”

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February 12, 2021

Law and Justice

Adewuyi ’20 Thankful for Christian Union’s Influence

By Catherine Elvy

A recent Harvard Law School alumnus plans to use his skills and talents to advocate for housing access and affordability. Yemi Adewuyi ’20 wants to play a role in initiatives that empower the disadvantaged to become self-sufficient.

“Justice is making sure that a person experiencing homelessness can escape poverty,” said Adewuyi.

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January 12, 2021

The Great Gospel Opportunity

Report Details ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Gen Z and Millennials

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

With its report, The Great Opportunity: The American Church in 2050, the Pinetops Foundation examines the fruitfulness, or lack thereof, when it comes to the engagement of today’s teens and young adults. According to its 2018 report, approximately one million young people are leaving the church each year—but a “great opportunity” exists if we can reverse the current trends assigned to Generation Z and younger Millennials. 

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December 23, 2020

The Life of the Mind

Christian Union Gloria Hosts Lecture with Ryan Gregg 

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

This fall, CU Gloria, Christian Union’s ministry at Harvard, virtually hosted Ryan Gregg as a speaker for their Leadership Lecture Series, Doxa. As former co-president at the Harvard Graduate Christian Fellowship, Gregg discussed how to approach Christianity from an intellectual perspective.

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