After a tragedy, a local church invests in students

By Philip Long   |  12 May 2014
After a tragedy, a local church invests in students (photo)
Photo by Kara Donovan

Jason enjoys a retreat called FastBreak with a group of Cru high school students. He is in the back row to the right of the guy in the red ski mask.

When Jason Dinh was a senior in high school, a football teammate and friend collapsed on the field. His teammate never recovered, sustaining permanent brain injury.

Afterward, a local church reached out to the whole team. Someone from the church asked Jason about his life.

Jason, not a Christian at the time, says this was the first time anyone other than family had done this.

“It kind of kept me around,” Jason says. Christians at the church invested in Jason, and he was reflective enough to make a note of it.

Jason took this note to college. When he heard about a Cru mission trip going to Eastern European country of Estonia, he signed up.

The project was a blend of college and high-school students. The hope for the mixed age group was that college students would naturally invest in high-school students as they missioned together. Two of the six college students are now volunteering with Cru’s high school ministry.

In Estonia, Shawn Faulkner, trip organizer and director of Cru’s high school ministry in San Diego, observed Jason’s ability to invest in young people. So he asked Jason if he’d join him in ministry. “I just said ‘Yes’ because why not?” says Jason.

Shawn has been continually impressed by Jason’s initiative and humility. Jason says, “It’s been awesome getting to know students, live life with them and get to share the Gospel with them.”

Now aged 21, a full-time engineer and volunteer with Cru, Jason says, “Even though I feel that I'm not good enough, I know that through His’ (Jesus’) grace and redemption I am secure, and I'm good enough.”

Learn more about volunteering with Cru.