Rachel Schluckebier’s conversation with Jon Gregoire

The following were the private FB messages Jonny sent me over our years as friends. I want you to read them/incorporate them into your scrapbooking because it shows how intentionally Jonny was in helping lead me to Christ, being there for me as a caring friend, and encouraging me as I continue to walk with Jesus.
Toward the end of this FB conversation is the first time Jonny invited me to REFUEL, before I was saved. Him inviting me to REFUEL was a HUGE part of me seeking Jesus, and finally finding Him when I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior in the hospital just months after these messages.
July 12, 2012
Hey Jonny! Sorry, this is extremely random, but I am seriously thinking about applying/going to Liberty, and I was wondering what you thought of your school. Like, what do you like/dislike about it and stuff. I’ll probably come up with more specific questions later, but if you wouldn’t mind just letting me know what you think of it, being a student there, it would be so helpful as I figure out what I’m gonna do now that I got sent home from USAFA.
Hope you’re having a wonderful summer vacation!
Jonny:
No, it’s awesome that you’re thinking about my school and you can ask me questions anytime!! and i think the absolute world of my school! Liberty has changed my life completely this year with all the amazing people and professors i’ve met, how i’ve grown in my faith through the RA’s, SLD’s (Spiritual Life Directors), and PL’s (Prayer Leaders, and I’m going to be one this year). 
Liberty is my favorite place in the world—the scenery and the people are just awesome! and nothing like being surrounded by Christians who try to build each other up! and i’m not gonna lie, there are some kids there that are there just for sports or because that’s where they could get into, but it is a place completely centered on building “Champions for Christ!”
And the programs there for law, business, education, and nursing are awesome! I hope you would check it out more! and if you ever need questions answered or what not just text me!  I guarantee you wouldn’t regret it one bit if you went! and my summer is going great! I’m actually leaving for a missions trip tomorrow morning for about a week! Hope yours is going well too!
Being intentional as he was, Jonny messaged me again about a week later.
July 22, 2012 – 
Jonny:
hey rachel i hope everything i sent to you last time was helpful! if you need anymore help with anything just lmk!
Rachel:
it definitely was! I will be sure to ask if anything else pops up. how was the missions trip?
Jonny:
ok cool! and the missions trip was awesome! i got to build a wheelchair ramp for the sweetest woman ever, and i got to talk about Jesus a lot so it was an amazing week!
Rachel:
that sounds amazing! wow! was it done through liberty?
Jonny:
nope just done through my church, Bethlehem’s youth group. went with 42 kids and adults and we all got to build/paint houses which was awesome! but liberty does tons of missions trips that they sponsor which i think i’m going to do this spring break!
Rachel:
that sounds great. now, i did kind of have a question/concern with liberty that i’ve been thinking about a lot. i’m afraid that i’m not christian enough all the time…what is the student life like? sort of, like i do other things than listen to christian music and pray
Jonny:
haha there’s no requirement for being christian enough! God doesn’t care about how good of people we are at all, he cares about how he’s able to work in your life and the faith that you have in Him. 
i don’t listen to christian music all the time, even though i like it a lot. and i’m not perfect but the student life there is amazing because it builds me up and encourages me a lot!
and i’m a prayer leader this year which is part of my job…to be there for new students and guys on my hall. the student life is amazing because for every 6 students there is a prayer leader to go to…and there’s convocations 3 times a week to help have more Christian influences. it’s awesome!!  Haha
Rachel:
ok, i know that sounded silly lol but i had been worrying about it a little. i mean, i love God and am so devoted to my faith and love it being a huge part of me and my life. but i also like outside things too, and i was afraid that at Liberty i would not be allowed to do that. if that makes any sense.
Jonny:
no not at all!! i love how liberty encourages me to grow even further in my faith through campus church, sunday night church, and convocations…and the guys on my hall are very encouraging to help each other out. the liberty experience is all about growing continually in your faith and never stopping if you let God do it for you! i love it!
Rachel:
that sounds great. i’ll have to apply and come down for a visit this semester! what’s your major there?
Jonny:
you totally should and lmk! we have CFAW’s (college for a weekend) that goes on twice a semester, and you can schedule your own visits. and my major is international business and marketing…i might change it but i know i want to do something with missions that helps people financially as well. but i’m just relying on God and praying about it!
Rachel:
that’s great, and i really hope that works out for you! do you know any education majors by chance? also, do all students have to take theology classes as a requirement? like are there core classes everyone has to take?
Jonny:
i do know elementary ed. majors who enjoy their program a lot. and yeah there are core classes that you would have to take like old testament, new testament, contemporary issues 101 and 102, evangelism (these aren’t that hard at all) and philosophy and theology classes (which i haven’t taken yet)…
i’ve enjoyed these classes so much and they’ve helped me understand so much more about the Bible and having a biblical perspective. i’ve loved them!  Haha
Rachel:
that’s exactly what i want out of college. i’m really interested in taking more bible literacy classes and stuff so i can be more knowledgeable about my faith. i know that liberty is one of the top schools for education majors, and right now i’m thinking about maybe majoring in secondary education, so it’s good to hear people like the program there. 
Jonny:
yeah the classes are awesome and i’ve got notes and books for some of them that i could let you borrow if you want. but i’ve gained so much knowledge this year, especially in my NT class. I had to read the whole NT and the tests were tons of memorizing, so i actually learned it and didn’t have to just pull it out for the test. it’s awesome if you want to get something out of it, which i know you’d want to!
Rachel:
that’s great! it’s exactly what i want. also, how is the town surrounding Liberty? Lynchburg, right?
Jonny:
yeah! lynchburg is a great area with a lot to do on campus and around town…there’s a street, wards road, which is like a boston road on steroids haha. and there is a downtown area where there are cool places and restaurants. there’s a couple bad parts downtown late at night but i haven’t heard anything bad that happened this year
and roanoke which is 45 min away is like a nice version of northampton/amherst and there’s cool mountains there
Rachel:
that sounds pretty sweet. how far away is lynchburg from d.c.?
Jonny:
i think it’s like 4 hours? not positive…i avoid going through there to and from school haha but i need to go there this year haha
Rachel:
haha year d.c. driving is a nightmare! i used to live there
Jonny:
yeah i just avoid I-95 completely haha…but that’s really cool! i didn’t know that! when did you move to wilbs again? i remember having a spanish class with you soph. year and i think that was the first one
Rachel:
haha yep. sophomore year! my Dad was stationed at the pentagon, and then we lived there another time at some base… i forgot the name…
Jonny:
oh wow that’s really cool! so have you moved around a lot cause of that job?
Rachel:
yep! 10 times in total 
Jonny:
WOW!!! that’s absolutely crazy!
Rachel:
haha i loved it. we got to go to some really cool places. South Korea, Japan, Hawaii…
Jonny:
that’s awesome!! i want to travel and do stuff over in asia! that’s really cool!
Rachel:
asia is the bomb. highly recommend it haha. i want to travel all over too, which is why i was interested in mission trips and stuff.
Jonny:
yeah liberty sends missions trips throughout the year like at spring break and christmas and summer i think…but it requires help raising money. but they’re really awesome about helping you out with giving credits for it and setting them up…but that’s not the important part of it haha
Rachel:
haha right.
Jonny:
so what happened again with the air force if you don’t mind me asking?
Rachel:
i don’t mind! last summer i went to basic training, got hurt, and sent home for medical reasons.  i went back a few weeks ago for training once again, but then a week into it it broke my finger and they sent me home again.
Jonny:
that’s always tough to have that happen to you! sorry to hear about that since that’s what you were chasing after!  but are you focused on something else now?
Rachel:
it was pretty hard, but right now i want to be a Department of Defense teacher, so i could travel the world from base to base teaching at the schools the military kids go to (like the ones i went to in South Korea), that way i can still serve and travel. but i’m also pursuing my writing, which had always been a passion of mine.
Jonny:
wow that sounds just awesome!! you gotta make sure you keep pursuing it with Christ cause you could make an amazing impact doing that!!
Rachel:
yeah, definitely. i’m trying to keep a really open mind and open heart because i realize now i was so dead set on USAFA that i didn’t even consider that it might not be God’s plan for me, even though it is such a prestigious school and all that. 
Jonny:
it definitely is! but don’t ever be set on something that you’re personally set on, because if you leave God out of the equation, you don’t allow Him to do something bigger and better than you could ever do on your own! that’s what God has been teaching me recently! and i’m glad he’s opening doors for you like possibly Liberty!
Rachel:
me too. i like having all these opportunities present themselves. i’ve always had trouble trusting that God has some plan, but i’m learning to believe that he has something great for me. 
Jeremiah 29:11 really helps.
Jonny:
Amen!! and it’s awesome cause God said that to the people of Israel when they were being exiled to Babylon…so even when situations don’t look like they’ll work out…
God’s ultimate plan will. and it did for them when they were able to return back to the promise land and God was able to work through people in Babylon…God’s got your back!
Rachel:
thanks for that. it’s good to talk to someone about all this. church on sunday isn’t enough haha
Jonny:
hey you know what!!! you should totally come to my Bible study REFUEL tomorrow night! we get like 30 kids together and worship and dig into the word and discuss what was talked about!
Rachel:
you know what…i might just do that! my number is 8@-@0@-@2@1 if ya wanna text me with the location and stuff tomorrow. id really like that!
Jonny:
yeah that’d be awesome! we do it at TC’s house at @@Oakland St. we get together at 7 to hangout for an hour and then we start the bible study at 8…but just a warning we go in depth and sometimes it doesn’t end til like 10 haha. but we’re trying to make them shorter
Rachel:
ok! i’ll see if i can tomorrow and let ya know!
Jonny:
yeah i put your number in my phone so i’ll text you to remind you! and if you can’t that’s fine! we do it every monday til we go back to school so we have like 2 or 3 more
Rachel:
wow. time flies haha. well i really appreciate that. i hope i can go!
Jonny:
yeah it really does! it’s crazy! and Liberty starts early too, which takes away from summer haha. but i’m excited to get back!
Much later, after I’d been saved, had been at Liberty for half a semester, and had been meeting with Jonny periodically for coffee, we had a conversation that convicted me heavily to share the Gospel with _______, who did not know Jesus.
Jonny told me to preach the Gospel to myself daily for a while, then write it down and send it to him so he could give me some solid advice, as is show in the conversation below:
Rachel:
hey sorry to bother you with this, but this is what i wrote when I free wrote the Gospel to  ________. It’s extremely rough, but it was from the heart. I would love your thoughts if you feel obliged to share. 
Thank you for our talk today. It was so encouraging and God really used you to open my eyes to so many things in my life. 
After reading my letter sharing the Gospel with _______, Jonny wrote:
Hey Rachel that was great hearing your heart. And all of that is true. I would say a couple things:
1.) Have Scripture throughout. You need the Words of God to be that biblical support so ______ can see that it’s all truth from the Bible and not just your own knowledge.
2.)Watch out with making it too much about lofty, spiritual words. That might cause disconnect, and
3.)   Don’t let the Gospel come off as a charity case. Christ doesn’t need anything from us. If we beg others to accept, we’re making them the ones with the authority, and we’re also unintentionally devaluing the Gospel. 
It must be a definitive stance. Let the Gospel have all the power it has. Don’t  tame it. Just speak it, and let it soften and break hearts. 
All of that were my first thoughts and none of it was to be critical. I really loved hearing your heart in this and it was so great to see your passion for _______ and the Gospel. Don’t take that away from what I said at all!
I’ll be praying for _______ and that the veil over h__ eyes will be removed and h__ heart of stone will be softened.
Rachel:
Thanks Jonny! I will definitely consider those things. like i said, that was really a super rough draft with no preparation other than what came off the top of my head and from my heart. I will keep asking for God’s words because it’s His Gospel, and I wouldn’t want to infect it with my emotions or words. Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.
Jonny:
Glad you’re eager to share His gospel
Re-reading all of this for the first time since his death, I clearly see how much Jonny impacted my life for Christ. How God used him to get me to REFUEL, to have a deeper understanding of what it looked like to love Jesus with all of one’s heart, soul, mind and strength, and to have a friend whose indwelling with Christ made me desire the same thing.
And later, as Jonny helped me and cultivated my desire to know Jesus more and to share the Gospel, I see this immense blessing God gave me in having Jonny in my life. It’s amazing what a ripple effect his faithfulness and love for Jesus has had upon my life. I’m just one story of the countless people he met and befriended.
Because of Jonny’s love for Jesus and commitment to sharing the Gospel and making Jesus famous, I pursued Christ, attended a Bible study, am a senior at Liberty University, shared the Gospel with _______ for the first time, and was encouraged when I otherwise would have felt discouraged and alone.
Praising God for Jonny Gregoire!
Love, Rachel Schluckebier
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