Alumnus Award

Jay Substad '88

2013 Alumnus of the Year

Jay Substad graduated with a degree in business in 1988, and then achieved his dream of becoming a pilot. Later, he was laid off from his "perfect" job, so he and three friends (two of them also BU alums), along with his family-wife Susie Mathis '88, and their kids Allison, Bethany, Trent, and Burke−answered God's call to serve the people of Honduras.

This led to the creation of Agua Viva ("Living Water"), an organization committed to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Living Water. North American volunteers work alongside their Honduran counterparts to build water systems and share the hope of Christ.

Agua Viva focuses on cultivating intimate, long-term partnerships."We live in their homes, we eat their food. We don't bring gadgets. We try to enter into their lives, just like Christ did," Substad says. "It's important to meet the needs of the poor. But having the vehicle of bringing them water, working side by side . . . that is living the gospel and it gives us a platform to speak the Word as well. Christ has a plan to redeem this world: it's US! There are hard conditions with mission work, and everyone thinks they don't have what it takes, but if you make yourself available, God will use you."

Bethel Remembers Jay Substad

Jay Substad, class of 1988 and Bethel's 2013 College of Arts & Sciences Alumnus of the Year, died suddenly on January 17, 2014. He was 47. Read more about Jay Substad and his legacy.