Getting Comfortable With the Gospel

A step of faith from one student changes the life of another.

  • by Amber Wiley
Left to right: Audrey Beahlan, Akilah Williams, and Maria Dinverno at University Detroit Mercy. photo courtesy Maria Dinverno

For the past two years, Audrey Beahlan, a sophomore nursing student at University of Detroit Mercy, and staff member Maria Dinverno have been meeting for one-to-one discipleship and training.

“Audrey comes from a strong Christian home and desires to continue to grow in her walk with God, as well as impact others with the Gospel,” says Maria. In meeting together, Audrey expressed discouragement about evangelism because she felt it was not one of her giftings. Because of this, it took her awhile to feel comfortable going out on campus to talk with people about her relationship with Jesus.

“I meet with Maria almost every week,” Audrey says. “Occasionally we’ll go out to share the gospel and truth of Jesus Christ using a survey or Soularium and then following up with the Knowing God Personally booklet,” which explains how someone can give their life to God.

Earlier this month Audrey felt ready. She and Maria focus on visiting the freshman dorms, so the first room they visited was 19-year-old Akilah Williams, a freshman at UDM. Akilah had filled out a Cru survey earlier in the school year and indicated a desire to learn what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

“We sat with [Akilah] and explained the gospel,” says Maria. When Akilah indicated that she wanted to accept Jesus as her Savior, Audrey was especially excited because it was her first time seeing someone pray and ask Christ into her life. “It was awesome seeing this young woman lay down everything to follow Jesus,” says Audrey.

Since then, Maria has been able to meet regularly with Akilah to help her grow in her understanding of Jesus so that she’ll know how to live the rest of her life with Him.

“I know of Jesus, because I grew up in church,” Akilah says, “but I didn’t really know God. I had been struggling through my first semester and had thought about leaving, but Maria and Audrey helped me get through it.”

“It’s been an exciting journey in seeing Akilah’s desire to grow and her desire for Christian community,” says Maria. Akilah’s been attending Bible study each week and hanging out with the girls involved, like Audrey. “We call our Bible study a community group so it’s not just time in the Bible but living life together,” Maria explains.

Seeing Akilah come to Christ reminded Audrey of Matthew 3:11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” “Whenever we witness, we need to realize that God will take care of the words we speak,” she says, “we'll just mess it up if we rely on ourselves. Let God be the fire inside of us. Every day there is an opportunity to share the gospel or witness to someone.”