Lina Sachango on Learning in Faith and Misconceptions in Christianity


Name:  Idalina (Lina) Sachango


Year: 2019


School/Major: CAS Economics and Mathematics


Hometown: Luanda, Angola


Favorite current book: Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen


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We sat down for a quick chat with The Navigators Christian Fellowship President, Idalina Sachango, to learn more about this Christian fellowship and her own walk of faith.


HC NYU: Could you give us some background information about your organization and your responsibility in it?


I am part of the Navigators, which is an interdenominational Christian ministry at NYU, and its main goal is to engage in one on one relationships with students, allowing them to have their own relationships with God. This is primarily done through discipleships, which is Christian Lingo for coming together and reading the Bible together, discussing together, praying together, and talking about life. It’s been an awesome organization to be a part of, and has strengthened my relationship with God, for sure.


I’m President of the Navigators currently, and as president I oversee the other teams on our board. So we have hospitality, and every week we do a large group meeting, and there’s a team that does that. As president I make sure those around me are flourishing and have what they need. I also do logistics, as a liaison between the fellowship and NYU.


HC NYU: As president, which goals do you have in mind for the Navigators?


I want the organization to flourish, and things that everybody wants, like new members, and more events, and all of those organizations stuff. But at the heart of it, I just want to see the people that do come every week really develop their relationships with God, and really know Him, because we are not here just to play friends, we are here because we want to seek to know God more, and I want to see people develop in their faiths. I believe there is so much more to God, and you can constantly be learning and constantly be in awe, and I’d love to see people be in awe of what He’s done in their lives and what He’s currently doing.


HC NYU: What led you to your walk of faith?


I just knew that there was something more. I wanted something better than I had, and it took me a long time to get to where I’m at, but over the course of a lot of circumstances and events, I just came to know who the God of the Bible was, and I chose to believe Him.


HC NYU: So to build off of that question, how has being a Christian changed your life, whether that be academic or personal?


Yeah. It honestly has transformed my life. It changed the entire trajectory of where I was going. It changed the entire trajectory of who I thought that I was. I read this quote one time, and it was along the lines of, “I believe in miracles because I experienced the miracle of my own heart changing.” It’s hard to put into one sentence how its changed my life, but it’s changed the way I view things, how I view myself, how I view others around me, and it’s just given me a hope that does not waiver.


HC NYU: In your opinion, what is one misconception about Christianity?


One of the misconceptions that makes my heart break the most is when people dismiss Christianity because they feel like they don’t necessarily need it. And that may come from avenues, like they’ve experienced hurt in the Church, which is real and valid, or they just feel like they don’t really need it because they are self-sufficient on their own. I think that misconception, for me, is something that I would love to eradicate because I have seen the abundant life on this side, and I want everyone to be able to experience that.


HC NYU: In this turbulent time, how has the Navs strived to create an inclusive community here at NYU?


I think the Navs has done a great job this year – and for the past few years, really – to create not just inclusivity, but equity, not just diversity, but also reconciliation between people and groups that have not necessarily had a good history with each other. So we have really started to engage in conversations about race in particular right now. For instance, the small things that we do is to have food every week from a different country, and pray over that country, talk about that country, and enjoy its cultural distinctions. We also have family dinners, where we engage with a particular issue about race, or watch a documentary and discuss after. Just this past spring break, we attended a conference about social justice. We’re doing a lot, and we’re engaging with more ferocity and passion because we see we clear eyes that it is heart of God to do that.


HC NYU:  If you could describe this Fellowship in one color, what would it be in why?

It would be a light blue, because I think that’s a very tranquil color.


HC NYU: So NYU has a lot of religious organizations and Christian fellowships. Are there any similarities or differences that you see between the Navs and other Christian fellowships?


We’re all seeking the same goal, among the fellowships. I would say that the Navigators have more of an emphasis on discipleship and one on one relationships, which I mentioned before. We’re really about being family, and engaging relationally with people who you can pour into and who can pour into you, and by pour into I mean like giving you truth, support, and guidance during hard times, and in return you do the same. This is the essence of relationships in the Navigators,


Similarities that I see between the fellowships, we all kind of do the same things. We all have large group meetings every week, pretty much all of them have worship in the beginning. We all want people to know Christ and experience what it means to have a relationship with Him, and know God. And we’re all pretty nice.


HC NYU:  If people want to join the Navs or learn more about Christianity, how can they do so?


If you want to join the Navs, you can come to any of our meetings on Wednesdays. They’re from 6:30 to 8:00 PM in Silver 206. There’s no process to joining the Navs, you just come and show up. And in terms of learning more about Christianity, it depends on what kind of learner you are. If you’re more intellectual, then I’d recommend reading books by C.S. Lewis or Tim Keller. If you are someone who is seeking a more relationship approach, like talking to somebody about it, the Navs does this –and also a lot of Christian organizations have this – events where you can discuss the Bible with someone, and it’s not like a Bible study, it’s like an investigative thing. You can email me more information about that. I’d recommend reading, I’d recommend engaging with people and not just sitting by yourself, making up your own ideas, because you can really see the vibrancy of what this faith and relationship with God is all about when you’re in a room with people who are completely sold out, and are going to be honest with you.