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Alumnus of the Year Jay Substad '88 addresses Bethel community in Chapel

Alumnus of the Year Jay Substad '88 addresses Bethel community in Chapel

Jay Substad, College of Arts & Sciences Alumnus of the Year, with his daughter Bethany, a Bethel sophomore.

Jay Substad, from the Class of 1988, was named Bethel’s 2013 College of Arts & Sciences Alumnus of the Year. He addressed the Bethel community in Chapel on October 4, the first day of Homecoming activities for alumni.

President Jay Barnes introduced Substad, calling him “an example of a great Bethel grad.” Substad commented about what had changed on campus in the past 25 years as well as what has remained constant: the strong Bethel community and Jesus Christ, “challenging students to investigate who He is.”

He shared that after graduation, he thought of his life as “perfect.” He appreciated his faith, family, neighbors, and his dream job of being a pilot. But with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, he made a “huge step outside of [his] comfort zone” and along with three others (two are also Bethel alums), created the Agua Viva (“Living Water”) ministry in Honduras.

Substad said that at that time, God “began stripping things away,” and that “God was showing me I was relying on other things rather than Him.” He said that God continued to tell him, “I want you to abide in Me,” and “It’s not about the service.”

In 2010, Substad began partnering with Bethel University to prepare students to serve on spring missions trips, saying “If we make ourselves available, He’ll use us,” and “God doesn’t care about our abilities; He cares about our availability.”

He challenged students to “Sit at Jesus’s feet,” and “Don’t limit God.” He concluded, the world “needs the hope that can only come through Jesus. Go—be a world-changer.”

Hear more about Substad’s experiences at Bethel and his ministry and learn about Agua Viva.