“Destino is Like Family”

One of the most frequent questions we get in our role is “why do you have separate ministries to reach out to ethnic minority students?”

Dina Martinez’s story provides an answer to that question.

Dina Martinez (left) and Lidia
Dina Martinez (left) and Lidia

Dina is an intern with Campus Crusade and Destino at UC Santa Barbara. Dina grew up in South Central Los Angeles where most of her friends were either Latino or African American. When she arrived as a student at UC Santa Barbara she experienced culture shock because she wasn’t accustomed to being in the minority.

Being a Christian, Dina decided to check out Real Life, Campus Crusade’s weekly meeting. Even though she loved the mission and vision of Campus Crusade, and how bold they were in sharing the gospel with students on campus, it was very difficult for her to attend the weekly meeting and get involved because of how radically different it was culturally.

“There was only one other ethnic person at the weekly meeting besides me”, Dina recalls. “I felt very alone and self-conscious.”

Dina prayed that God would give her the strength to keep attending, even though it was draining for her.

When Dina’s bible study leader wanted to start Destino, Campus Crusade’s ministry to Latino students, Dina asked if she could help. She wanted to start Destino to minimize some of the barriers that ethnic students face in getting involved and coming to Christ by sharing Christ with fellow Latinos in a way that was culturally relevant to them.

This year UCSB took 11 students to the Destino Winter Conference in San Antonio, Texas. One student who attended the Conference was named Lidia, who considered herself to be agnostic. Lidia had a spiritual encounter with the Lord at the Conference, and two weeks later, she put her faith in Christ. Dina says, “Destino is so important because it is like a tight knit family, and I want Latino students to experience the love of Christ in a safe environment.”

Thanks for partnering with us so that students like Dina and Lidia can experience Christ in the context of “familia”!

Click here to download the pdf version of The Lowedown!

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