Rachel Fatyanov, in her home in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

A Google Search That Led to Peace


Rachel Fatyanov woke up scared. Barely able to breathe, she couldn’t move or speak. But she could see and hear. The then 23-year-old looked into the complete darkness of her grandparents’ house in Indiana. The only light she saw was a vision of a cross glowing brightly.

She heard a voice in her ear clearly saying, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God, sent from heaven, to die on the cross for our sins.” Suddenly, a strong tingling sensation washed over her from head to toe.

The next morning, Rachel uttered those same words. She had never heard those words before, and she certainly didn’t make them up herself.

Shaken, Rachel opened her computer and searched for those words on Google.

EveryStudent.com® popped up in the search results. When she scrolled through the website and saw the page describing how to know God personally, she realized that the text matched what she had heard that night.

She knew the words were true.

A website for those seeking answers

Every day, hundreds of people begin a relationship with God through EveryStudent.com and EveryPerson.com, both online ministries of Cru®.

The sites answer people’s most pressing questions about life and God. And they give readers reasons and an opportunity to begin a relationship with God.

What can God do through a website?

Chris: “A couple of years ago I started having problems with anxiety and depression. I was not doing very well emotionally. About a year ago I started reading the Bible on your website and asked Jesus to come into my life. It has changed my life, maybe even saved my life. I thank God every day for helping me.”

Katie: “I tell anyone who asks me about God to check out EveryStudent.com to get in touch with the real God, not what society says about Him! This site helped me through a terrifying, dark time in my life. I know it’s how God chose to speak to me, so I share every chance I can!”

Kolusha: “Thank you. Accepting Christ is a bit hard. Being from a Muslim background was hard for me but it was easy for God. He changed me from my stubbornness and lingering, but here I am preaching the gospel.”

George: “Thank you for the spiritual adventure pack. To say it has transformed my life would be an understatement. I grew up in a passionately atheist family, so it was only with the independence I got at university that I allowed myself to even explore my faith. I realized that I had to let God into my life and couldn’t keep on living with philosophical skepticism, regardless of how my family would judge me.”

What Rachel found

After reading the article titled “Knowing God Personally” on EveryStudent.com, Rachel knelt in her room.

She prayed an example prayer from the website that helps individuals express a desire to trust Jesus.

Jesus, I want to know You. I want you to come into my life. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sin so that I could be fully accepted by You, Rachel prayed. Only You can give me the power to change and become the person You created me to be. Thank You for forgiving me and giving me eternal life with God. I give my life to You. Please do with it as You wish. Amen.

Rachel recognized her need for Jesus when she saw the gospel message on EveryStudent.com. Now, she wants others to hear the same good news.

As Rachel trusted in God, her anxiety about decisions diffused, whether minor daily decisions or larger ones, such as her education, job and finances. Before Rachel put her faith in Jesus, she felt depressed, lost and uncertain, yet now she could see that God used those things to bring her to Him.

“Ever since giving my life to Christ, the Lord has been a part of my everyday life,” says Rachel. “He gently transforms me, little by little, glory to glory, as I let Him into every area of my life.”

One changed life that piqued curiosity

Once Rachel put her faith in Jesus, she knew she needed to tell her husband.

Rachel shared online Christian sermons with her then 29-year-old husband, Michael. Curious about her new faith, Michael agreed to listen. She also gave Michael a Bible. One evening while listening to a sermon together, the pastor led a prayer and Michael followed by professing his faith in Christ.

Michael’s life transformed almost immediately. Things he once idolized working as an HR director — such as the pursuit of self-improvement, power and financial prosperity — dimmed. Instead, he experienced contentment, peace and joy.

Rachel and her husband, Michael, stand in front of the George Washington Bridge, which overlooks the Hudson River and Manhattan. After they each placed their faith in Jesus, they noticed internal transformations and a positive difference in their marriage.

Now in the four years since coming to faith in Jesus, Michael has encouraged Rachel to join him in putting God first and in seeking to love Him more than they love each other. Michael initiates prayer for them every morning and throughout the day.

“Now that I am home with our newborn,” says Rachel, “he reminds me every morning via text to put on my armor [Ephesians 6:10-20].”

A message that crossed time zones

As Michael read the Bible and saw transformation in his life, he shared his experiences with his mother and sister in Ukraine via Skype. He challenged each of his family members to also trust Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Rachel and Michael gave his family a link to EveryStudent.com in Russian. Michael sent a Russian Bible to his mom, who is now reading the Bible through a second time and desires to learn more about Jesus.

Rachel and Michael told family members in Ukraine about EveryStudent.com, which has sparked conversations about Jesus. EveryStudent.com has been translated into 45 languages.

During one Skype conversation, Michael’s mother confided in him her distress over ongoing disagreements with her daughter.

“You can experience peace through God if you would allow Him to fight your battles,” Michael explained.

Michael opened the Bible to John 1:3 and said, “God created everything and everyone, and He even foreknew the grandson you are worried over.” He continued, “God is in control and you are only a tool in His hands. Trying to solve disagreements in our own strength and earthly wisdom never produces a good outcome.”

At the end of the conversation, his mother acknowledged that hearing about Michael’s faith in real-life examples inspired her to read the Bible and understand God more deeply.

What one step can I take?

Like Rachel and Michael, you can direct friends and family members who have questions to search for answers at EveryStudent.com, a site tailored to students. EveryPerson.com also provides the same messages. Recommending the website can help you start a spiritual conversation with someone you know.

Reach out

With whom would you share EveryStudent.com or EveryPerson.com?

Share your story
Jan Stewart
Words by

Jan Stewart

Jan serves as a journalist with Cru®. She has had an interest in creative writing ever since her high school newspaper column days. She hopes to inspire hearts toward Christ.

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Guy Gerrard
Photos by

Guy Gerrard

Guy isn’t much of a city person. Paddling down the Wda river in northern Poland with participants of a Cru® summer mission project describes a great place for him to photograph. He likes being outside, doing anything with water, and he enjoys making things with his hands. Guy serves as a photographer for Cru.

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Read more from the July 2018 issue


A Spring Break That Breaks the Norm

Students from Virginia take courageous steps of faith to continue Cru®’s 54-year legacy of spring break beach outreaches.

July 2018

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