SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — When you work with college students, you never know what skills may be required. In the case of Andy Estrella, he says a love of being around people is central to his success.
“God’s given me the gift of ‘hanging out,’” said Estrella, who serves as director of Missouri State University’s Chi Alpha campus ministry group. “I just love being around people, and I really feel it’s a gift Jesus had. He was always around people, and He was really strategic in being around people.”
Estrella is a 2004 graduate of Central Bible College, and he will be honored during Evangel University’s 2016 Homecoming celebration as the CBC Outstanding Young Alumnus for 2016.
The award presentation will be made during an 11 a.m. luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the University Plaza Convention Center.
“Young adults are in the height of their need for community,” said Estrella. “They are leaving home, and they are looking for friends; they are looking for who they are going to be. What we do as a gospel community is create a place of love, friendship, and brotherhood.”
A campus leader
Estrella’s first exposure to Chi Alpha was when he went to hear a friend speak.
“The Lord spoke to me in the middle of that service and said, ‘This will be great; this will be next for you.’ My wife was in the service and listening, and she looked right at me and said, ‘This will be great for us.’”
Andy and his wife, Candice, a trained nurse, now work in the campus ministry together. They have a daughter and are expecting a second child in 2017.
Their work at Missouri State University carries on a Chi Alpha tradition that officially started in 1953. They work with more than 200 students, including a group of international students.
“People come from all over the world,” says Estrella. “They are free here to learn about the life-changing experience of the gospel.”
In addition to two services, they run small group programs, leadership training, retreats and missions’ trips.
“We are a part of students’ lives just in the moment when they are making the decision on who and what they are going to be for the rest of their lives. It’s just amazing!,” he concluded.
EU Homecoming 2016 honorees
Four additional alumni awards will be given during this year’s homecoming celebration. The recipients were chosen by the Evangel University Alumni Association Board of Directors:
- Evangel Distinguished Alumnus – Brigadier General Jeffrey Johnson
- Evangel Outstanding Young Alumnus – Chaplain (Captain) Delana Small
- CBC Distinguished Alumnus – Greg Beggs
- AGTS Alumnus of the Year – Chaplain (Major) J.P. Smith
For more information, contact the Evangel University Alumni Relations Department at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7333.