November 2006 - Vol. 2

Can anything good come from the Net?
my experience of discovering Christ at the University of Michigan

by Zach Mabee

When I arrived at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2002, I eagerly awaited to engage people and ideas from which I thought I had previously been sheltered. I sought finally to pursue my own interests, both academic and other, and prioritize my life as I saw fit, and not as anyone else had prescribed.

I spent my first year at U of M working diligently, focusing on my studies and an excessive number of extracurriculars; all the while, though, I generally neglected my life as a disciple. I was pleased with my performance inside and outside the classroom, but, nonetheless, I seriously missed having friends who could help me grow. This prompted me, during the summer break, to work to strengthen some of my friendships from high school – no doubt a graced decision.

In particular, I began talking more with my two closest friends from the previous four years. We studied Scripture together regularly for the entire summer and became even closer friends. They told me how life-giving their Christian faith was, and they inspired me to begin seeking the Lord – and a personal relationship with him – with renewed commitment. These brothers in Christ convinced me, in other words, that a life given over to the Lord, lived in community with others, was worth pursuing.

After this graced summer, finding a tightly-knit Christian fellowship on campus became a high priority for me. I did not know where to begin my search, however; so I turned conveniently to the World Wide Web. I scanned the U of M website for resources and eventually found a directory of Christian organizations that listed, among other groups, University Christian Outreach (UCO). Unsure of which groups to investigate, I sent e-mails to several contact people, and of them, only Brian LaLonde from UCO responded.

Brian and I had a fruitful first discussion, after which he had me convinced to visit UCO. I attended the opening party, met some members, and began showing my face more and more regularly. This increased involvement led me to the one thing I had sought for perhaps most in a fellowship: a strong, committed men's group. I began meeting weekly with a group of guys; we prayed and worshipped collectively and frankly discussed our lives as Christian men.

Since joining my first men’s group in the fall of 2002, I have participated actively in UCO, co-leading our men’s household last year and serving on staff this year. How the Lord blesses our willingness to hear him and seek after him in faith!

[Zach graduated in April from the University of Michigan with a degree in philosophy and linguistics and now spends most of his time teaching gym classes and serving on the staff of  UCO]

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