Recently, a team of Epic staff flew out to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a conference called “Epic Legacy Summit.” Adam Go, the Cru Twin Cities Metro director, along with his wife Hanni, had been working to build Epic movements in the region for years. Epic staff Tanya Thomack began to see great momentum at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, and they decided to partner to put on a movement launching and recruiting conference — the first of its kind in Epic.
They prayed for forty student leaders, and God answered! Students of Hmong, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese American ethnicity came from not only Stevens Point, but the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
That weekend, all of us Epic staff were overwhelmed by the way the students joyfully welcomed us into their community. We were rejuvenated as we learned about Hmong and Southeast Asian culture, and the unique challenges they faced with family, finances and career. We were inspired by their courage, as we heard one student tearfully share that she had decided to put aside her stable career path, to take a step of faith to intern with Epic. Another student shared that he would go on a summer project, despite incredible family and financial pressures.
But even above all that, God had designs of which we weren’t even aware. The students and staff drove to a nearby Hmong community area to eat lunch, and initiate spiritual conversations. On the way, however, a car of Epic students from Nebraska was rear-ended and their car badly damaged. The driver was in tears, as the car was her parents’, and she worried about what they might think about the accident, and the Epic conference as a whole. But the Epic student and staff community surrounded them with support, and they were able to get medically cleared at a hospital, and a rental car to drive back home. The students from Nebraska showed great courage and resilience amidst it all, and the driver’s father was gracious and understanding.
And God had still bigger plans: that night, one of the students in that car confessed to the others that he had never accepted Christ. He shared some of his struggles and barriers, and the students surrounded him with care, as they prayed with him to receive Christ into his life!
The next morning, he told us, “You know everything that happened yesterday with the car? Maybe things happen for a reason.” And the following day, the driver of the car wrote: “It’s amazing how so many good things can come from something bad. God is CRAZY and has never felt so real.”
This Epic Legacy Summit was historic in many ways, and many objectives were accomplished as we in Epic National continue to invite students to be fully “sent” as they consider the scope of their lives, and what it means to truly surrender and follow Christ. But more than all that, this weekend reminded us that we in Epic are about changed lives — to see students enter into new life for eternity, and new hope and purpose for life here on this earth. We are about changed lives — as we ourselves were changed by the hearts and spirits of these Hmong students, and the honor of being part of God’s amazing redemptive work. We will never forget this weekend, and how God reminded everyone there that He is longing to grow our faith and love in Him, even as we take steps of courage to share His good news, and serve others.
Ti Le, Adrian Pei, Tom Virtue & Margaret Yu
[Epic National Staff]