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The pressure of drugs, alcohol, family dysfunction, and a lack of hope among other things are common daily struggles teenagers face. Before God impacted his life through Cru’s high school ministry, Ivan was caught up in many of these struggles. “A disrespectful little punk” is how he describes himself before he placed his faith in Jesus.

A year ago, Ivan, who was then a freshman in Littleton, Colorado, showed up at a Cru outreach, and from there, began regularly attending the weekly meetings. He found the truths he was learning about God spoke to the deepest longings of his soul. Intrigued by this God, Ivan wanted more and decided to attend a Cru winter conference. God faithfully continued working on his heart and during that conference, Ivan surrendered his life to Jesus!

Since then, Ivan has grown tremendously in his faith. For example, as a result of previous poor choices, Ivan had to complete court-ordered community service. He asked his Cru leader, Shawn (pictured here with Ivan), about where he could serve, and Shawn saw this as an opportunity for Ivan to be surrounded by strong believers. He had Ivan help him coach a youth soccer team and connected him with an after school program. In both environments Shawn knew Ivan was seeing how it looks to trust and follow Jesus through the example of people who loved him and held him accountable.

This November, Ivan took another step of faith, and asked Shawn to baptize him. The difference in Ivan’s life is evident at home, school and in his community. When asked what his life might look like if he hadn’t connected to Jesus through Cru, Ivan said,

“I would probably still be a really disrespectful little punk. I would sin and not give a crap, and I would just be lost in life. I would probably be failing my classes, and I would be really depressed especially after my break up [with my girlfriend], but I look up to God now, and I know things will get better because he’s there for me, and because I trust him.”