Their Story

Lillian: Melting My Bitterness

Lillian started college at the University of North Texas as angry freshman. Her parents had recently divorced; her grades in her classes weren’t turning out to be as nearly good as she thought.

Lillian enrolled in a class taught by physics professor Dr. Sam Matteson [right]. As he did every semester, Sam explained that he was a husband, father and grandfather, and a follower of Jesus. “Because of this, you are more important than your grade; and my door is always open if you want to talk.”

Lillian rolled her eyes and thought “He is going to preach all semester; this will be awful.” Sam never said another word about his faith. But she noticed how excited he was about physics, how interesting he made the course, and how he cared about each student.

Looking back she said it was that one remark that started to melt the bitterness toward God that she felt. She started hanging out with Christians in her dorm, attended a Bible study, and later received Christ. Later she was able to thank Sam for what he said about his faith — and how he showed it that entire semester.

Cameron: Finding Mercy

Cameron was a computer science major at Texas A&M in October of 1995 when the verdict was announced in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. The next day Cameron was sitting in the class of computer science professor Dr. Mac Lively [right].

“How many of you think O.J. Simpson got justice yesterday?” Mac asked his class. No hands raised up. “Then how many of you think he got mercy?” Many hands went up. “I think mercy is available to all of us today,” Mac said and then began writing computer code on the whiteboard.

“I think he is talking about God,” Cameron thought to himself. Though raised attending to church when he was very young, he had not attended in years and wasn’t sure God even existed. After class, Cameron approached “Dr. Mac” and asked if they could talk.

Over coffee Mac explained how he had come to know Christ personally, and how Cameron could as well. They met several other times for coffee, and Cameron did trust Christ. Later he became involved with the Navigators, a Christian group similar to Cru. Today, more than 20 years later, he is the director of the Navigators at Texas A&M.

Sabrina: When Faith Is Attacked

Sabrina graduated from college ready to follow Christ. Then she went to graduate school. As she sat in graduate classes, professors began to attack her faith [actual ones not pictured]. As the months went by she grew more and more uncertain about Christianity. By the time she completed her PhD she felt that God, if He existed, was far away.

When Sabrina became a professor she met another professor in her department who was a strong Christian. They began to talk over coffee and eventually the two women started praying together.

Today Sabrina is a growing Christian — but it has strengthened her resolve to help students know that it is possible to be an intellectual person, even a professor, and to be unashamed of faith in Christ.

Parent or grandparent of a college-bound loved one?

© 2017 Steve and Sarah Pogue
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