York Moore and Grace Biskie when she was just 18!
[This is a series designed to bring you into the the unique A.P.E stories of each writer on this blog. We hope each one of you can find a little of your A.P.E story inside of one of us. Read the other stories]
When I started in campus ministry several years ago, I was 18, unmotivated, and a confused biracial kid with baggage up the wazoo and not a mite of confidence except in the only things I’d managed to perfect: fashion and hair. I started tagging along with the InterVarsity kids not because of Jesus or even to chase after the random hot dudes I frequently pursued.
I went because the InterVarsity staff worker at Wayne State was black. Up to that point, I hadn’t known a single African-American Christian living faithfully to Jesus and I was desperate to see, touch, taste and feel that experience. Instinctively, I knew I’d never follow Jesus in a genuine way if I hadn’t seen it lived out among people who looked, talked, acted, thought and danced like I did.
Long story short, I gave my life to Jesus through the ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at WSU in my hometown of Detroit, MI. About as soon as Jesus swept through and flipped my life upside down I felt a profound burden to bring the same hope I’d found in Him to other African-American students. I became keenly aware of the gap between the top notch training InterVarsity provided and the many storefront Churches dotting 6 mile barely holding on for dear life. If those storefront Church’s were producing compelling, thoughtful or engaging African-American disciples of Christ I’d yet to meet any of them. My desire for change didn’t come from a sense of condemnation, but of longing. I longed to see ALL of my Detroit homies come to faith in Jesus, and starting with campus seemed to be my best bet.
My first task on campus was to lead a small group Bible study. In the next two years, I went on to be our chapter’s small group coordinator and just ahead of my senior year I settled in at the top of the food chain as our Chapter President. All the while, my staff worker, York Moore consistently encouraged me to join InterVarsity staff upon graduation.
“But York,” I argued “I don’t actually know what I’m doing…leading just comes naturally to me.” Ahhh, I was the ultimate novice. However, York won. Within a year I’d graduated, married & settled into InterVarsity staff alongside my husband, Dave at Western Michigan University.