For many college students at Antioch Community Church, hearing radical testimonies and stories of God’s power on display is normal, and even expected to some degree. If you stick around long enough, you will eventually hear Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert tell stories from his experiences overseas in his early 20’s. So when the opportunity arose for students to travel to Europe to engage what’s been labeled the greatest refugee crisis of all time, over 200 students from Waco alone jumped at the opportunity.
Associate College Pastor Maddie Phenix considers her experience volunteering this past summer an opportunity that brought “so many of the passions and real purpose” that she was made for to life. “It was an honor and privilege to attempt to live out so many of the stories I have read and heard about in the past 8-9 years of being a part of the Antioch family. Having the opportunity to be on the front lines of what God’s doing in the nations was the adventure that my soul has been craving…”
It seems as though a new generation is rising to live radically for Jesus, no matter what He says or where He calls. In his book Passion and Purpose, Jimmy shares about his experiences early on when He started saying yes to Jesus in a radical way. Now many college students and young adults are following His footsteps - this time to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a broken people in great need.
A few weeks ago the Antioch College Worship Band released a new album, “When You Call.” Many of the songwriters and musicians who contributed to the album experienced God’s call in Europe this summer while serving refugees from the war-torn Middle East, inevitably marking them forever. The songs are a representation of the heart cry of the upcoming generation and describe the longing to say yes to Jesus in every circumstance - even overseas in the midst of sobering reality. Now 10% of the proceeds of the album are being donated to Antioch’s work with refugees in Northern Greece.
Songwriter Caleb Seibert describes the album: “There was just something so right about singing songs of absolute surrender to Jesus, telling Him again and again that we will say “yes” with everything in us any time He calls, because what we have found in Him is so much better than anything we could find in the world.” Since the live recording last Spring, Caleb has moved to Northern Greece to continue volunteering with Antioch’s relief organization, Acts of Mercy.
In many ways, the students who participated in the relief effort, Engage the Crisis, created stories of their own and deeply resonated with the songs included in the album. Singer Arden Beckham explains how much one song in particular meant to her throughout her time in Europe.
“The song ‘Yes Lord’ absolutely came to life in me this summer. The words of the chorus were basically my cry the entire three months we were there… Every single day God gave us fresh purpose and showed us the fruit of simply saying yes,” explains Arden. For several band members, the album captured the theme of surrender to Jesus and provided language for the responses welling up in their own hearts.
When asked about her experiences overseas in relation to the album, Arden shares “laying down our lives, risking looking foolish, pressing in when it doesn’t make sense, and then being absolutely desperate for more of Him… all these things rose up in me throughout my time in Greece… These revelations, truths and emotions are all things we hope people will experience personally when they listen to the album.”
The album released on September 30th and is available for purchase in iTunes. Join the hundreds of college students following the lead of those who have gone before and choosing to surrender their lives to Jesus. Whether it’s through volunteering overseas or reaching out in your local sphere of influence, our hope is that these words inspire you to say yes to Jesus.To get a closer look into Antioch’s relief and development efforts in Northern Greece, follow Engage the Crisis and sign up for their newsletter. And to read the stories that played a part in inspiring it all, visit our bookstore or Amazon to purchase Jimmy Seibert’s book ‘Passion and Purpose’.