Destino is a ministry of Cru, and so our roots stretch back to the founding of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951. On the campus of UCLA, Bill and Vonette Bright founded a ministry to reach college students. The idea was to “reach the campus today, and reach the world tomorrow!” And we’ve really seen that vision come to pass: countless students have heard about a relationship with God, have experienced changed lives, and have seen how their destiny is to know God and help others do the same. Today Cru is active on thousands of college campuses worldwide; students and staff with Cru have gone all over the world to help people start a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Destino Emerges from California and Texas
Alex Garcia was a student at Fresno State in the the late ’80s when he got involved with Cru. He wanted to grow closer to God and help others do the same. He loved attending Cru’s meetings and made friends, but he recalled,
“I was the only brown face in a sea of white.”
Alex stayed involved with Cru and learned how to share his relationship with God with other students. He felt a burden specifically to reach the growing numbers of fellow Latinos in Fresno, and found himself a missions pioneer! He eventually decided to join staff with Cru and committed himself to continuing to reach college students for Christ. Meanwhile, Cru leaders were trying to figure out how to best reach Latinos and involve the Latino community in changing the world for Christ. In 1995 Cru leaders asked Alex and his wife Diane to lead the efforts of the whole ministry to reach Latino college students. Just two years later Alex and Diane started a new ministry at the University of Texas—El Paso with a vision to reach Latino students and equip them to take the good news of Jesus Christ all over the world. They especially wanted to see other missionaries come out of the Latino college student community:
“We want to change the face of the campus ministry by seeing hispanic campus ministry staff serving on campuses all over the nation.”
The name Destino was chosen in 1997 to represent this new spiritual movement of Latino college students. Over 120 students gathered at the first ever Destino Winter Conference. Today Alex and Diane are pastoring at First Baptist Church of Three Rivers, California.
Destino Across the U.S. and Around the World
What began as one staff couple with a vision to mobilize Latinos to change the world with the message of Jesus Christ has expanded to a missionary staff of over 80 men and women. Today there are Destino teams in 7 cities, and we have a presence on over 35 campuses nationwide.
Our heart for the world extends back to the Garcias’ first campus ministry missions to Mexico City and outreaches across the border from El Paso in Juárez, México. We want to see the whole world come to know Jesus Christ. In 2010 we began our Mediterranean missions partnership, and have since begun summer missions in Vail, CO, and Los Angeles.
Each year Destino grows: more and more are joining us as staff, interns, and volunteers. Students all around the country are joining the movement by establishing new Destino chapters in order to reach their campuses for Jesus Christ. Our goal is a generation of Latino leaders equipped to help others ask, ¿Cuál es tu destino? and to find the answer in God’s Word.