Others: It’s Not About Us

How CVC alumni are loving God and neighbor through service

An interview with Trevor Schmidt, Joost Verduyn and Thys De Hoop

I’ll admit. As CVC’s Marketing Director, I was hesitant to take this year’s theme on (Others: It’s Not About Us, based on Philippians 2:3-5). I hemmed and hawed about this story until it dawned on me the complete irony of my self-pity and inward groaning. What? It’s not about me? Correct. So I stepped away from my desk and began looking beyond myself. I began to find ways that our own have helped those around them, outside of our tan and blue buildings and full parking lots. Beyond our busy classrooms and jam-packed playgrounds. And I was surprised to learn the stories of alumni that were stepping out of their comfort zones to be the hands and feet of Christ and serve in many different ways—all wonderful examples of considering others better than themselves. Read on for their stories of service.

Name: Trevor Schmidt

Year graduated from CVC: 2011

Currently serving as: a college ministry intern with Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ)

Location: Tokyo, Japan



What does a “normal” day look like for you? The main focus of my job with Cru is raising up college students to be
Christ-following leaders on the college campus both while I was a student at Cal State Fullerton and while I’ve interned with Cru in Tokyo. My official job includes using evangelism and discipleship so that students are raised up to be lifelong laborers for Christ during and after their time at college. Throughout the past year I worked on campuses across Tokyo doing ministry with the hope to see an increase of Christ-centered student gatherings. We saw that students began leading and owning the vision of the Great Commission themselves.

What is the most challenging aspect of your service? Being in Tokyo, one of the obvious difficulties was the language barrier; I think in general, one of the biggest challenges my team and I faced while we were there was making the Gospel message relevant and personal in their own culture. It was easy to meet students at universities, but it’s meeting students that were spiritually open that was difficult.

What’s your favorite part, and how has your service impacted others? Easily the best part about my time here has been seeing students make the decision to trust Christ and then immediately grow into student leaders that begin praying for their families, close friends, and classmates around them. The reality is that because only 1% of the population are followers of Christ, the students that do make that decision to trust Christ and become new Christians have amazing buy-in and are immediately disciples of Jesus!

How can the CVC family pray for you? Please pray for me and my team of 11 other recent graduates that will be heading to Tokyo again this month (September). Pray for us to come into contact with students there that are both spiritually open and are interested in practicing English. Please also pray that during our time there we love the students, the culture, and that we trust God to be with us in our ministry!

Stay in touch with Trevor: trevor.schmidt@cru.org


The best part about my time here has been seeing students make the decision to trust Christ and then immediately grow into student leaders that begin praying for their families, close friends, and classmates around them.” – Trevor Schmidt

Name: Capt. Joost Verduyn

Year graduated from CVC: 2003

Currently serving as: Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Air Force (I’ve served in a variety of roles and exercises in Virginia, Alaska, Florida, Nebraska, Southwest Asia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Jordan, Israel and South Korea.)

Location: Norfolk, Virginia

Promotion Ceremony Verduyn 2

What does a “normal” day look like for you? Currently my job focuses on crisis communication.  I am available to go anywhere in the world on only a few days’ notice to provide communication support to military units dealing with crisis.  My support involves advising the commander on how and why he should communicate, creating plans for how the units can use communication to achieve their goals, and working with U.S., international and regional media to inform the public about U.S. military operations around the world.  In this job I have worked at U.S. Central Command, which is the top-level command that oversees the Middle East, and I have deployed into the Middle East to support the communication effort in the fight against ISIL.  I also have conducted smaller exercises in Jordan, Israel and South Korea, where we practice integrating with those countries during a time of simulated crisis.

What is the most challenging aspect of your service? The largest challenge in my position is my constant travel.  In the last two years, I have been gone 364 days or just under half the time.  Being away from my wife, family and friends for all these times is always hard.  It also makes keeping a routine difficult, which impacts every aspect of my life, including maintaining my physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

What’s your favorite part, and how has your service impacted others? At the same time, being away doing these missions is also my favorite part.  Working with people from all kinds of different countries—teaching them, learning from them—has created friendships and experiences that will last forever.  It always is a pain to work on things like counter-ISIL messaging for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, when you are deployed, but it is in those times of crisis where you learn the most about yourself that can shape who you are and your impact on those around you.

How can the CVC family pray for you? Rather than pray for me, I ask that you pray for the military family as a whole.  There are those going into harm’s way each day—ask that they have strength and ask for their protection. Secondly, pray for their families.  Families have said goodbye to their Airman, Soldier, Sailor or Marine and are working to fill the void left, possibly for as long as a year, and in some cases forever.  Pray that the families of all of those in the military continue to maintain their faith and strength while their spouse, father, mother, sister or brother are serving in harm’s way. In many ways, it is a service member’s family who sacrifices most – keep them in your thoughts.

Stay in touch with Joost: Joostie2003@gmail.com

Name: Thys De Hoop

Year graduated from CVC: 2009

Currently serving as: Missionary with The Navigators

Location: Tours, France

What does a “normal” day look like for you? 
Not one day of my week is the same, but thankfully there is a rhythm in each week and season. It takes months, even years to integrate into a new culture, learn the language and how best to love and serve the host culture. A normal” week includes going to French lessons and completing assignments, meeting with a language helper, a weekly team meeting, evangelism at the university, meeting one-on-one with students and my mentor, Bible study with students, and all the preparation and planning for these activities. It’s important to note that missionaries are normal people too—I shop for groceries, cook and clean, do laundry, exercise and rest. And none of these activities happen fruitfully without abiding and relating with Father, Son and Holy Spirit throughout each day.

What is the most challenging aspect of your service? I am most challenged by the tendency and temptation to place myself at the center of what God has called me to do. I love how God has created and gifted me, and I also enjoy my responsibilities within the ministry here in France. Yet, I am surprised at how often I can hurt others and myself with my selfish decisions and attitude that seek to build My Kingdom rather than God’s Kingdom. Whether it’s my friendships, responsibilities, sexuality, time or anything else, which are all good within God’s design and parameters, I don’t always love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Each day and often many times each day, I’m confronted with the choice, whether conscious or unconscious, to live for and love myself or live for our King and others.

What’s your favorite part, and how has your service impacted others? I am highly relational! I don’t want a lot of relationships, but depth within the friendships I have. First and foremost, there is nothing like growing closer to the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As I read the scriptures, I desire to be led by the Spirit and live and love like Jesus did. Secondly, I really enjoy sharing my life and growing with teammates and friends. We have become a family on a mission. And lastly, as I get to know Jesus more, his life and his mission from the Father, I am compelled to befriend and love people who are lost.

“Others: It’s Not About Us” could have very well been Jesus’ motto for his life! And as I’ve been in vocational ministry the past few years, I am more aware of the reality that Jesus has given His life for me. I can only live overseas and give my life away because of what Jesus has done for me. (1 John 4:19). The impact of my involvement with The Navigators is immeasurable. I’ve seen people be physically healed, emotionally restored, surrender their lives to Jesus, discover their role in God’s mission, and many more amazing things. I am passionate about helping others live a lifestyle of Christianity instead of a weekend religion.

How can the CVC family pray for you? Pray that I may continue to learn French and adapt to the culture. Please pray that God may send laborers into the harvest fields of France (Matthew 9:35-38). Pray for unity in my team and the Church in France (John 17:21). Please pray that we may abide in Christ and that much fruit will grow in our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters in France (John 15:5).

Stay in touch with Thys: thysdhoop@gmail.com

Years before our theme was Others: It’s Not About Us our alumni were already being guided to carry out these works in the name of Jesus Christ. Please pray for each of these alumni, and for everyone that lives a life of dedicated service or mission work or is considering one.
May we all live our lives as servants and missionaries in our respective callings.

This feature was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of The Cavalier–our quarterly magazine featuring stories and updates from our current and past students and staff members. Are you an alumnus of CVC hoping to reconnect? Please get in touch with us here!

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