Updated: Apr 26
Meet our Cru member of the week, Claudia Cava! She is currently a Junior here at West Chester University with a dual major in Finance and Economics and a minor in Journalism. In the future, Claudia hopes to pursue a career in some form of ministry. Something you may not know about her is that she plays the guitar!
How did you first find Cru and what was your experience like?
"I got involved with Cru in the beginning of my Freshman year, but the first meeting I went to was actually in my senior year of high school, because my brother and Lexie [another Cru student] were actually emceeing, so I went out to see them. I was definitely completely struck wondering, "What is this place?", "Who are these people?", "What's worshiping God?". I had already been going out to YoungLife so I was aware of what Christianity was, but the idea of full-on walking with Jesus was new. So I was definitely blown away, especially by the worship music at the end. My initial reactions were that people were so intentional with me, trying to seek me out, trying to have conversation with me, and actually trying to get to know me. It was a very warm and welcoming environment and I knew that people wanted to know who I was."
What is your favorite part of Cru?
"I just love everything that I do with Cru. When at the weekly meeting, I love emceeing, being intentional, and talking to new people. But then outside of that, there are things I like to do like discipleship. This is where I truly get to serve the girls I lead, as we're walking and growing in Christ together, and it's definitely on a deeper level."
Is there a standout moment or experience you have had with Cru?
"I can definitely point out Winter Conference in my Freshman year. The whole conference itself was incredible, but it was the last night. The last night was New Years Eve, there was a dance party, we dressed up, and then at midnight we were all together in the ballroom worshiping in the New Year. There was something about being in a congregation of a thousand students all singing praises to God. I had never experienced something like that before. There was one song we sang, No Longer Slaves, and I just broke down. In my opinion, it was a little glimpse of heaven to be worshiping with all those people. In that moment, I felt very at peace and I knew that faith was real. It felt very tangible."
How has Cru specifically helped grow your faith?
"I think the biggest thing Cru has done for me is expose me to how little I actually knew, or thought I knew. I was raised Catholic and thought I had all the Bible knowledge in the world. I was the perfect Sunday school kid, but it was only head knowledge. But with coming to college and getting involved with Cru, I was actually learning more and everything was clicking, as I developed a relationship with Christ. Then in my Sophomore year as I stepped into leadership, I realized how ill-equipped I was. I felt so nervous to lead a community group, to disciple girls, and to actually step out and talk about my faith. But, where you're uncomfortable is where you grow. God showed me that when you step out, you aren't equipped. By no means are you capable of doing the things God calls you to, but where He leads you, He will meet you. God will give you what you need. And that's what I've been seeing so much; my dependency and my trust in God. It's so humbling to recognize that I'm not capable of "x,y, or z", but knowing that Jesus is providing for me in every moment, to glorify Him."
From now, compared to high school, how do you think you are a different person?
"I'm going to be honest, I am still so anxious and so insecure in a lot of areas. I do see a lot of my old-self coming out under stress or pressure. For me that's people-pleasing and doing the most that I can to win the approval of other people. That's how I lived in high school, because I had idols in my life and I was responsible for how I succeeded or failed. When I failed, it was a defining factor of who I was as a person. I did not know how to extend myself grace, in the slightest. I do see so much growth in this area and I can look back and say that now I am absolutely a different person."
What do you think your life would be like in college if you hadn’t gotten involved with Cru?
"This reminds me of the end of my time in high school because I had come to know Christ and surrendered my life to Jesus, but I was like, "What now? I'm a Christian, but what does that mean?". I had no direction and no sense of guidance whatsoever, so it was just perfect timing when I came to college and found Cru. To have that sense of community is what I was really lacking. If I wasn't involved with Cru, I definitely think I would still want to pursue Christ, but I wouldn't have known the "What now?". I wouldn't have known what community to get plugged in with. I think I would still be searching, and honestly, I would be searching in all the wrong places. I would not be surprised if I would have fallen into different college scenes. I'm very happy I have Cru."
What makes you most passionate about Cru?
"Cru is real people who are really intentional with you because we are serving a real God. I think that's what actually hit me. It's not just people doing things. It's people doing things to build God's kingdom, which is unlike anything that I have really ever experienced. I'm passionate about Cru because it's done so much for me and I'm so encouraged by it. I don't know what my college career would have looked like without [Cru}. I want people to be as plugged in, as known, and as connected as possible to this organization, because we care. We just want to see people grow in their relationship with Christ. I just have such a passion to lead and to serve."
What would you say to someone that's on the fence about joining Cru?
"One-thousand percent, just come out! It's a Wednesday night, it's a fun time. There's people here who will sit with you, I will sit with you. It's a cool place for people who truly want to get to know you, regardless of where you stand spiritually. If you are a professing Christian of if you don't know the name of Jesus, come to this place. [Cru} is just these people that want to get to know you and want to see you grow. You wouldn't regret it in any sense."
Along with attending our weekly meetings, Claudia has emceed our meetings, sang on our worship team, led a Cru Community Group, and she currently disciples two younger girls in Cru!