Kendra left her hometown of New Market, Maryland to attend college at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. With a big move comes big change. The very first day Kendra moved into her dorm, she was introduced to her soon to be small group leader, soon to be husband, and Chi Alpha. Through her time at Austin Peay, she grew with God and community, eventually leading a core group her third year there.
Since her experience in Chi Alpha, Kendra was a part-time music teacher and toddler assistant at a private Catholic school. She and her husband continue to disciple and lead a bible study within their local community.
Describe the impact Chi Alpha had on you as a student.
Chi Alpha was my turning point. I grew up Catholic and always believed in God, but didn’t have a real relationship with Him. During Chi Alpha I was able to gain a relationship with Him and Christians who could push me and keep me accountable in my walk of faith.
What lead you to your career you have today?
I have always loved working with kids, and music has always been a deep passion of mine. I never really wanted to be a teacher but throughout my time in college my career kind of made itself known, and now I am loving every minute of getting to live out the career I truly believe God wants for me.
What challenges have you faced in adapting to a new community?
Leading a core group in Chi Alpha has definitely helped me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I continue to lead a bible study with my husband, and another couple. We have had to navigate through growing pains in our life group, and Chi Alpha (thankfully) taught us how to have conversations (difficult and easy) about the importance of multiplying to make room for people who don’t know Jesus. Something that really helped us during these challenges of adapting to a new community and having these hard conversations was knowing that we were doing what God wanted us to do and that we are responsible to, not responsible for.
How have you continued living out Chi Alpha?
Aside from leading a Bible study, my husband and I strive to always have intentional interactions with everyone we meet, no matter if that is at work, volunteering at church or even with family and/or friends. Getting to know people and live life with them is so important. Chi Alpha really helped instill that in both of us.
No one (married or single) can live a healthy Christian life alone. Wives need their girl nights and husbands need their guy nights. Single ladies need their girl nights and single guys need their guy nights. As Christians we need people who we can trust to keep us accountable, we need people who we can healthily “vent” to, and people who can pour into us, and even people willing to tell us the things we don’t want to hear. Without someone being willing to be intentional with us we don’t have the opportunities to grow in our walk with other Christians… and we NEED that! I’ve seen too many people leave Chi Alpha after college and stop being involved… it never ends well. We need community for the good times and the bad times. We can’t live this life alone.
If you feel awkward when you’re trying to be intentional I would just honestly suggest to stop trying so hard. There I said it. Stop trying the same thing over and over again. Have fun! Go get your nails done. Run on a trail that neither of you have been on. Go shopping. Literally anything to get both of you to just be relaxed or out of your comfort zone. While talking about God Is important, you don’t want it to feel like the elephant in the room. Take time to get to know the individual, and be willing to listen as much as (if not more than) you talk!
What is the biggest thing you have learned that you would want to pass along to Chi Alpha students and alumni?
Aside from having meaningful relationships, I would say the importance of showing up for people. It literally never ceases to amaze me just how amazing Chi Alpha is at instilling servitude in its students. A great example was this display of servitude at my own wedding. After the food and party was over and all of the guests had left, do you know who was there helping with cleanup? Every single Chi Alpha student and/or friend that attended the wedding served us by cleaning. What would have taken us hours to clean up took everyone a matter of minutes. I willI never forget that evening, and the awe that crossed over my and my husband’s faces as Chi Alpha showed up big time.