• Leah Bostelaar

Longing for Revival at UM

The following is Amanda's story on how she got reconnected to IV after graduating from UM...

On my graduation day in May of 2012, I remember my greatest desire in my life was to seek Jesus more, but I had no idea what that meant or what that would look like. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts, opportunities weren’t exactly lining up for me. I already knew the road wouldn’t be smoothly paved out for me and that was scary. All I know is on graduation day, I whispered in my heart, “I just want you Jesus.”

I had been growing in my love for Jesus as a college student, which was strengthened by my involvement with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. As a student I was mentored and discipled by Rachel, the staff at IVCF at the time. (She was a crucial part of my development and growth as a believer, I’m so grateful for her.) I led a small group, went to every IVCF conference I could, and had a desire to see students come to the Lord. Even post-graduation I would volunteer my time to go back on campus and help with different Intervarsity events and would evangelize to students when I could.

The year from 2012 to 2013 was probably the most formative year of my life. I was growing in my faith and seeking God more and more. My heart was longing for college students at UM to receive salvation and encounter the Love of God. I had a vision that on the green lawn outside the library, that God’s glory would fall and students would begin worshipping Him. A vision of revival and my burden for lost students at the University of Miami stayed with me for years. Unbeknownst to me, God would have me reconnect with IVCF 6-7 years later and I would eventually join staff with IV.

It was in December of 2018 that I was reconnected with Intervarsity through a friend who was volunteering. Shortly after connecting with her, I started to volunteer on campus. Excited for the opportunity, I started to go on prayer walks around UM. Walking around the campus was a surreal experience after so many years. I reminisced on what God had spoken to me about his beloved UM years prior.

When I started volunteering, the undergraduate chapter had been inactive for two years. I became part of the Adopt-A-Campus Program, where I was coached and mentored by Eric Rafferty, (the associate program directory for chapter planting), and Leah Bostelaar (the Area Director of South Florida) on how to plant a chapter as a volunteer. Their wisdom, insight and support were so essential and catalytic to the events that followed. It really felt like a team effort.

As I was trying to meet and engage with students at UM for a short moment, I felt like nothing was happening. One day, I met a student named Hula. She shared with me she had fasted and prayed for God to send her people to teach her and disciple her in the ways of God. Right then and there, she invited my husband and me to meet the Gospel Choir. After singing along with them, they asked us to pray over them. (Since I was a student, Intervarsity has been partnered with the Gospel Choir for almost a decade!) God had me encounter Hula, who reconnected me to The Gospel Choir at that same moment. God was reestablishing right where Intervarsity left off.

Meeting Hula was just the beginning of God opening the door for myself to build connections and relationships with students. Since then I have come on staff as a campus minister at the University of Miami. I have been discipling and mentoring Hula in the ways of the Lord. I even had the opportunity to share the snapshot of what God is doing at University of Miami at Intervarsity’s annual staff conference whose theme was “Longing for Revival.”

Amanda and Leah Sharing at SC '20

Clearly God is doing a mighty work at this campus. I’m excited to see how God is going to move on His beloved University of Miami and all the college campuses across the nation, this year and the years to come. Thank you for taking the time to read and catch a glimpse, a small fraction, of what God is doing in South Florida. I’m grateful to be a part of this team and part of what I believe with all my heart, to be one of the greatest revivals our nation’s history has ever seen! May God bless you immeasurably!

- Amanda Raghunandan

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