University of Utah
Dear Latino college student,
You might not know it, but there is an army of people praying for you. You may not have the support you need at home, but there are people who believe in you. Your dad might have not been around or he might have never told you that you are loved, valuable, cherished, and that if you work hard, you can be anything you want to be. Your mom may think you are wasting your time on campus —between philosophy classes and study breaks-—while you could be working more hours at McDonald’s to help your family. I see it all in the way you walk.
You probably carry the weight of responsibility on your shoulders. Your sibilings look up to you. You are the first one in your family to ever go to college. You are the only one of your brothers that hasn’t been to jail. You are the only 18 year old in your family who isn’t preagnant or that hasn’t done drugs. You are studying hard to keep your scholarships. You’ve lost hope that your immigration status will ever change. I see it all in your big brown eyes.
Yet you wake up every morning and believe.
I know you’ve been marginalized and that you have to prove yourself. I know you hurt. Yet you wake up every morning and believe. You believe that maybe, and just maybe, today will be better than yesterday. You walk around campus and greet your classmates with the friendliest and warmest smile the world has ever seen. Like you have it easy. Like things are going to be O.K. You have experienced God in the deepests of pain, and you have found Him to be faithful. I see it all in the way you talk.
Dear latino college student, I believe in you. I believe that you will lead this nation. I believe that you have what it takes and, with God’s help and perseverance, You will succeed. For His Glory. For the good of His people.
Dear tired latino student, I pray for you. I pray that God would draw you to Himself. I pray that God would build you up and make you a man or a woman who shares the good news with his/her family and the world around you.
Dear latino college student, even if you never read this, I promise to keep showing up on campus and to keep interrupting your conversations. I promise to keep sharing the Gospel with you. I promise to keep texting you and calling you and inviting you to a Bible study. I promise to keep offering to buy you coffee to hear your story. I promise to keep pursuing you. Because God loves you too much, for me to even dare to stop.
Do you want to grow in your relationship with God and help others do the same? We are starting Destino in Salt Lake City and would love for you to be a part of la familia! If you’d like to learn more, tell us about yourself!
Diana is on staff with Destino and posts on her blog, Diana La Latina.
Photo credit: Leo Hidalgo.