“The CCO staff people at Penn State stressed the truth that God could be glorified in pretty much any chosen career field,” says Kristi Ryan. “After becoming a Christian in high school, I thought I should become a teacher and ship off to a Third World country where I could be a missionary. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that idea, God taught me, through the CCO’s ministry, that He could be glorified by my teaching any demographic. I’ve had experience teaching in urban, suburban and international schools and have seen God’s blessings in each location.”
Kristi first connected to the CCO’s Christians in Action fellowship group at Penn State University during her first year of college. “I visited quite a few fellowships at Penn State with a Christian girl I met in my dorm, and I choose CnA because it seemed like a more ‘intellectual’ group of believers who were down to earth and inviting. I liked the fact that each week we had a different speaker. In addition to our own CCO staff people, pastors from local churches often came to our large-group meeting to share their knowledge with us and challenge us in our walk. This helped build a solid relationship between our fellowship and the local Christian community.”
In addition to attending the large-group fellowship meetings, Kristi also participated in and led small-group Bible studies and retreats, and she served on the leadership team.
Today, Kristi and her husband, Daniel, live in Germany, where Daniel works as an electrical engineer. Kristi is grateful for the opportunity she has to stay at home with their infant daughter.
“Living overseas presents interesting challenges,” Kristi says. “Since I don’t speak fluent German, I’ve not been able to become very involved in the neighborhood and local community. However, I’ve tried to become involved in our local military community by joining Protestant Women of the Chapel and a Mothers of Pre-Schoolers group.”
Kristi is grateful for her involvement in the CCO’s ministry during her college years for several reasons. “The first, most obvious reason, is that I met my husband there! As a team, we rely on our faith when it comes to making decisions—where we live, how we spend our money, and how we raise our daughter.
“My involvement in CnA served as an encouragement to me to live out my faith on a secular campus and in a secular world. It helped me to realize that I could glorify God in all areas of my life, regardless of my place in life. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that I could be a witness to others in simple ways such as doing my best academically, being responsible with my time and money, practicing patience when working in difficult situations, and so on. In addition, the experience I had on the leadership team taught me leadership and people skills that has carried over into other areas of my life.”