Gene & Lynn Breitenbach

Lynn and I are both products of Chi Alpha. I became a Christian just a few weeks before attending Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. It was there I was rooted in the faith. Lynn had become a Christian earlier but it was as a result of her time with the same Chi Alpha ministry that she was equipped and called to ministry.

After graduation and a year as interns with Chi Alpha at Western Washington University, Lynn and I became Chi Alpha’s first national campus evangelists. We traveled throughout the United States and Canada sharing on college campuses. I did evangelistic presentations in residence halls and classrooms and led open-air discussions. Lynn is a songwriter and a singer, and she used her gift in evangelistic concerts in campus squares and residence halls.

Ephesians 4 states that the work of an evangelist is to equip others for the work of ministry. To that end, Lynn and I spent most of our time training Christian students in how to share their faith by bringing the students with us as we did personal witnessing on campus. In the middle of our campus evangelism experience we returned to Western Washington University and served as campus pastors for five years. In addition to our hands-on work with students, we have created evangelistic materials that have been used broadly. I created an evangelistic newspaper for campuses called, The Communication Thing, in the eighties and early nineties. The paper reached a total circulation of half a million copies. I also created Chi Alpha’s first evangelistic CD-ROM, and have done extensive work to use the Internet for outreach.

In the fall of 2006, we began work on Boston University in Massachusetts where we currently serve. Our emphasis remains reaching the lost on campus. We continue to create resources that are used on a number of campuses throughout the U. S. and are working to create new material that will allow Chi Alpha to partner with churches throughout the Northeast to reach even more campuses.

Thomas Van Der Laan

Thomas grew up in California and came to Boston to Study at Northeasern University.   During undergrad he studied entrepreneurship/management, rowed competitively, was a church member of Boston Worship Center, and a student member of the Christian group Northeastern University Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.   He also took a few of what turned into nine trips to Russia to help out in an orphanage and a women’s prison.  After graduation he coached rowing, did accounting for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and volunteered with BU Above the Haze: a Chi Alpha Campus Ministry.  His part time volunteering turned into full time, then an internship and now full time.  This will be Thomas fifth year as in campus ministry with BU Above the Haze.  He is a Campus Missionary and University Chaplin.  He just married the wonderful Cassie Van Der Laan.  Cassie works for an STM publisher publishing biomedical science books.