Dear Friends and Family,

For the first time in my six years on staff, I was able to attend the commencement the graduating seniors of my students. I grabbed my umbrella as the weather forecast called for heavy thunderstorms – yet the university president in his final ceremony called for the show to go on.  Pomp and Circumstance plays, and as the students walk in, memories rain down as I reflect on the lives of these students over the last four years.

This edition of Building the Kingdom will tell the stories of three of these students – Amy, Christine, and Sammy.  Three very different people, three amazing stories.

What continues to amaze me over the years is what God is able to do in the lives of students. It never gets old. Their stories are what remind me that God’s power is greater than the rumble of thunder and bolts of lightning.

For one, a flash of inspiration comes like lightning through a faithful friend and reveals truth of God found in Jesus.  All of the sudden, a student becomes a follower of Jesus – and their life is completely transformed.

Another encounters God’s love in two of the most unlikely of places – a sorority house, and a garbage village – and in turn becomes a conduit for God to shower his love among others in her life.  She begins to pour out God’s love to her sorority sisters, and leaves a legacy of a house ministry where women are able to connect deeply with Jesus and each other.

A student feels a call to leave his comfort zone, and leaves the comfort of his fellowship in order to serve a group that he doesn’t know if he really loves.  It turns out, as he begins to lead a struggling fellowship, God uses his gifts of leadership to advance and grow the La Fe (Latino Fellowship) to be known throughout the Northwestern Latino Community and beyond.

I see these and other students who are walking onto the field. The clouds are darkening overhead, and the abbreviated ceremony begins. I hear women and men with honors and degrees wax upon what it means to succeed, and I can’t help but think of how the students I’ve had the privilege have found success through being faithful to loving Jesus and others.

The university president quickly moves the ceremony on to completion, and the clouds open up and a downpour begins.  We all take cover in Ryan field and I run into many of the students.  Soaking wet, we look at each other and laugh and I think about how much God has showered his blessings on his ministry to students through InterVarsity at NU.

Thank-you so much for your partnership in prayer and gifts in building God’s Kingdom at Northwestern.  It’s through your gifts that God does his great life transforming work on campus with students.

Grace & Peace,


Andrew Bilhorn

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May 2021

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