Talk into the Phone #10: Life is Hard. You Need Jesus.


What’s your name?

Kendelle. Polsley.

What’s your middle name?


I didn’t know that- that’s cool. Describe your perfect meal.

My go-to perfect meal is my mother’s homemade chicken soup that has all this random vegetables in it from our Mexican market. Then you put avocado and cilantro in it and salsa in it, and then they have this amazing fresh bread from the Mexican market, although I actually go with the chips because the bread is glutenous.

Is there a dessert with that?

Churros. Of course.



How did you find Agape/Ecclesia?

A lady from my church worked for Intervarsity and knew Taylor Norris. She emailed me Taylor’s info, and then I heard from Taylor about org fair. I went and saw the “We heart Jesus/We heart you” signs and I met Blythe right away. I went to Agape and fell in love with everyone and the rest is history.

What continues to draw you in?

I know you’ve heard this several times, but there is something so unique about Agape/Ecclesia that is so different from other campus ministries that I’ve witnessed. I think it’s the tangible love in our community. I experienced that from day one. That only increased through my personal trials, my suffering; I just felt like I could see Jesus as I was talking to all of these amazing people. That’s an experience I’ve never had and something I hold on to.

Why are you a Christian?

Why not? Take a crazy chance, why not do a crazy dance.

I honestly can’t imagine my life not as a Christian. Not only have I grown up in the church, but it’s a part of who I am. I have had moments where I wanted to walk away, but that’s pointless. We are created to worship God and if we’re not worshiping God, what is the point of life?

What draws you to Jesus?

I love Jesus

Who doesn’t?

I thought you said who does.


One of the biggest things which has been constant over the past four years is that no matter how far I am from Jesus, he’s always drawing near to me. Even if I don’t want to draw near to Jesus, he’s there. His love. Jesus. Period.

How have you experienced that recently?

One time I packed up the car and went on a road trip to Tennessee. I hiked roughly 7,000 feet up Mt. Lacontte- I didn’t know it would be that steep. Once we got to the top and we were watching the sunset over the Smoky Mountains, it was just breath-taking. You can’t explain it- you have to experience it to understand. I was basically crying up there- there were people up there drinking whiskey, they were offering us whiskey. I declined, even though it was cold, because you shouldn’t take whiskey from strangers. Stranger danger. Anyway, as I was looking out, I had this moment where I thought “wow, this is so beautiful. God created this.” And then when I thought about the fact that God created us, I can’t comprehend how God feels towards us- “I created that; I love that; I love Kendelle.” That was a profound moment of that trip- realizing that I am so small in this big world and God still knows me intimately.

What has God done for you that you couldn’t do for yourself?

Everything. Do you want a list? I mean, I was born. The majority of my faith journey, though, was in college- the big things happened in college. Getting through these four years without God would have been impossible. Even my freshman year, I was on the edge of dropping out because I was in so much pain. Same thing sophomore year, and then with my surgery- I wanted to take a semester off. Without Christ through the community and Christ’s strength in my, I feel like I would have gone to a really dark place. Not to say that I didn’t go through depression or anxiety, but it could have been a hundred times worse. God bringing me through college is something I couldn’t have done on my own. Oh! And climbing that mountain! Seriously! God was so present on that mountain.

What gives you hope?

This answer could be different depending on the season. My parents recently transferred job titles and now they oversee a dozen or so adult rehab centers in the Midwest. These centers have programs for any man or woman in addiction. They go through a nine-month program and end up being a part of the church. I never thought a lot about it because I grew up with it being a big part of our church, but over Christmas I went to a service at a rehab center in Detroit. We had all these former rock stars and broadway producers who got caught up in drugs and went through the program. Now they’re clean but they stick in the church. They are using their amazing gifts to glorify God. It was incredible to see how God transformed their lives. Those kinds of stories give me hope. A lot of these folks come off the streets and are caught up in addiction, and they are the people that are often looked down upon the most, but those are the people that Jesus sits with. That gives me a lot of hope.

Is there a book you think everyone should read?

I have a list of books that I’m taking to Malaysia- I haven’t read any of them yet, but I’m gonna steal Emma’s author, Sarah Bessey and tell everyone they should read her books even though I haven’t read them. Only because Emma speaks so highly of her and at the women’s retreat, she gave a talk about going through Bessey’s book and I think it transformed the way a lot of us look at Godly, spiritual relationships.

Any parting words of wisdom?

There’s this quote and it goes like this: “Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then you get eaten by worms. Be glad it happens in that order.” My dad used this in a sermon once- he talked about hardships and the pain of life, but at the end he said, “Life is hard; you need Jesus.” That’s my parting word.

Talk into the Phone #8: Eggs Without Pepper


Sanj, would you rather live the life of a feral cat or a stray dog?



I’m allergic to cats. I never really liked cats because they always didn’t like me, and also caused me allergies, but dogs always showed me affection. Stray dogs are still cute. Feral cats are terrifying. Stray dogs are either rabid or they’re not.

How did you find your way into Agape?

I just kind of dove in and committed. I think when I came to Loyola, I immediately started attending Agape and never really thought I should do anything different. I was transformed through Christ’s work, and I was a part of it from then on. Also, the worship at the first Ecclesia made an impact on me.

Do you remember the first person you met?

Yes. It was Jackson Tenclay. We had Arabic 101 together and then I came to Ecclesia and he was leading worship, and he led “Jesus Paid it All” which was my favorite hymn at the time and it was really beautiful, and then he made Nutella pound cake and the rest is history.

What draws you in to the community?

As someone who’s been raised in a lot of different denominations and cultures, worship in an interdenominational setting like Ecclesia has been something that’s comforting for me. I feel really at home because no one has the same church background. So I feel like Ecclesia is the space to seek God whole-heartedly where you are based on where you’ve grown up, what your past is. We call each other deeper by showing each other different ways to worship. I’m practically Catholic, charismatic, Pentecostal, who knows.

Why are you a Christian?

I think in the beginning, I was a Christian because I was raised Christian, and then as I started deconstructing the world around me, my thoughts and practices, I’ve realized that the Spirit of the living God has been what’s given me life every time I’ve felt alive.

What draws you to Jesus?

I think that my own emptiness and brokenness and my reality of knowing that I need living water, I need a savior to do anything, to be anything, keeps me coming back.

What breaks your heart?

I spent two hours at a bar this weekend talking about everything we hate about millennial culture. It breaks my heart when humans deny care or acknowledgement to other humans, whether it’s based on your own self-absorbed living in this self-serving, capitalist world, or if its because of race or religion or sexual orientation. When humans deny the humanity around them, I could be angry forever.

What gives you hope?

I have a lot of hope. I think people give me hope. I am somehow able, even in people who break my heart, I still see how good God made people and how much love they are capable of. Christ in the people around me and their ability to be living, loving, laughing flesh to the people around them- it gives me a lot of hope.

What did Jesus do on the cross that we couldn’t do for ourselves?

Jesus made us new every single moment and every single morning on the cross. He didn’t just make us new once; He is making us new. We couldn’t do that for ourselves.

How is He making you new?

He is healing me from things that should hurt me through my whole life and teaching me really exciting things. He’s giving forgiveness and mercy and grace where I naturally wouldn’t have it.

Is there a poet, prophet, preacher, teacher that everyone should listen to?

I love all of Andrew Murray’s writings. He wrote Abide in Christ, which was incredible; he wrote a piece called Humility, which changed my life.

Any final words of wisdom?

There is this saying that all of my great aunts and uncles say- please note that they are all from South India so they have an accent, but it goes like this: “kissing a man without a moustache is like eating an egg without pepper.”

Talk into the Phone #7: 200% More Burps



Alex, what did you want to be when you grew up?


That’s going in the transcript.

Please! Oh my gosh, yes! I wanted to be a doctor, specifically I wanted to work in the ER and eventually do Doctors Without Borders with the long-term goal of eventually moving to Africa.

Why did you want to be a doctor?

I was obsessed with (the tv show) ER and I would record episodes and just watch it for days. I wanted to help people, and I was also intrigued by all the big words like Haldol and Adivan, I would say them to my mom all the time.

How did you find Agape/Ecclesia?

The first couple weeks of school, Sarah Harrington and I had met because we lived on the same floor. We’d both heard of Agape/Ecclesia at FaithFest and so we thought we’d check it out together. We went and we liked it and went again and again and didn’t stop, and now here we are!

What were your first impressions of the church?

I remember thinking “wow! These people talk about God a lot! They keep referring to him like he’s their friend and like they hang out with him.” I remember thinking that was pretty cool.

What continues to draw you in?

I couldn’t put my finger on it for like six months. Whenever I was with our community, there was something about it that felt special. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but whether I was at Tuesday Night Prayer or Agape or Ecclesia, there was this incredible sense of love, both an immense love for one another, and also this great love and reverence for God. Something about it was so attractive. Looking back, I think that was the Holy Spirit at work in our church. That’s what kept bringing me back.

Why are you a Christian?

One answer I could give is because that’s how I was raised and that’s what I grew up thinking and doing and being. I feel like the other part is that God chose me and called me and brought me out of sin and death, even when I didn’t know what that was and set me on this path and ever since realizing and recognizing that, I’ve wanted to keep going in that direction.

What draws you to Jesus?

I think the fact that I don’t have to be anyone but myself with Jesus- I can be real and who I am and I don’t have to impress him or gain his acceptance or approval, because he already loves me and approves of me, he’s created me, and I don’t have to work towards that; it’s just a relationship that’s already there. He just wants to love me and that’s pretty awesome.

What has God done for you that you couldn’t do for yourself?

I think God opened my eyes to the brokenness and messiness in my life. Whether it be personal struggles or family issues, he didn’t leave me alone to deal with those things. He came alongside of me and redeemed and restored those things. I never could have done that on my own, and I never would have imagined these things could be so reconciled.

What gives you hope?


I’ll take that. Do you have a book that you always tell people that they should read?

Okay people. You should all read KYLO. It is not a book about our apartment, but it’s “Keep Your Love On.” It talks about how to choose love and to keep love alive in relationship, whether it’s with your significant other, your family, or in our case, roommates. It very practically talks about loving each other, addressing conflict, communication. This book was very eye-opening and helpful.

Any parting words?

Don’t be afraid of being wrong. Don’t be afraid of not having it all together. You’re not perfect and you weren’t supposed to be. We are all broken and messy and God has redeemed us in that. We don’t have to figure that out alone, but he’s blessed us with this amazing community. When you come with your walls down and your arms open to receive, it is amazing what God will do for you and what God will show you.


I like to burp.