The Path of Discipleship

Front row, fourth from left: author Vivian Aivi Nguyen

Front row, fourth from left: author Vivian Aivi Nguyen

One-on-One Discipleship is part of the Encounter Christ program you make possible. You helped Vivian discover that her role as a one-on-one mentor to an underclassman was as much a journey of her own faith as for her mentee.

BEING A PART OF THE CC@S HAS BEEN AN INTEGRAL PART OF MY STANFORD JOURNEY. Much of the seeking of Christ and community that I sought during my transition freshman year was answered by joining the leadership in CC@S my sophomore year. Since then, my prayer life has grown tremendously—growth that I attribute in large part to the discipleship that I experienced in this community. I found myself in a unique position this past year as both a mentee of our campus minister as well as a mentor to an underclassman in one-on-one discipleship. In my experience, I came to know discipleship as less of a mentor-mentee relationship and more of a relationship in which two individuals meet each other where they are in their spiritual journeys and continue to walk with one another in faith.

During my time here at Stanford, I’ve built a prayer life around three themes I explored in discipleship: listening to God, studying His Word, and being led by His Spirit. In discipleship, I had the opportunity to actively listen to God’s voice in my life through the practice of discernment. By praying and engaging in discernment, I was renewed in the mission of my studies and found comfort in the idea that “we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do” (Ep 2:10). While discernment revealed to me the grace with which God endowed us, it was through the study of scripture that empowered my prayer life. Studying His Word provided me depth in my prayer that rooted my beliefs and anchored my hope. The Word equips me to face any situation with confidence because of my rightfully placed trust in God. With both the grace of discernment and the empowerment of Scripture, I began to truly recognize God in my day-to-day activities on campus, and it inspired me to allow myself to be led by the Holy Spirit. I began to pray and recognize that the source of my strength and motivation was Christ.

In my one-on-one discipleship experiences this past year, I’ve been able to root down in my personal growth. Upon this foundation, I wanted to continue to grow while giving back to the community that facilitated my spiritual growth. As such, I served as a co-leader for the Freshman Catholic Leadership Team, reaching out to the freshman who—like me—were seeking God and a community on this campus. This year, I have the absolute joy of branching out further into our community as an Encountering Christ small group leader, creating a conducive space and community for students to engage in fellowship and share in their faith. Through the CC@S, I’ve been blessed to build and thrive in my relationship with God and with those around me. After all, at the end of the day we’re all walking each other home to our Father in heaven.

Vivan Aivi Nguyen ’19 is pursuing a major in Human Biology.