Ministry partners, family & friends,
Tuesday was a great day for outreach! The weather started to look a bit rainy and I even felt a few drops.
But I prayed that God would divert the clouds around campus and He did. It was a beautiful sunny day!
Welcome Day – campus community
We had around 10 students helping out during the day at the table. I even invited some students we just met to help out right away.
We seem to be gaining some momentum as we head into our next outreach on Monday – My story, Your Story, God’s Story – FREE lunch. (Special thanks to a friend and his small group who sponsored the food for this event). Others are invited to do the same for future events. Students love food!
I disciple several students in how to share the gospel using the BIG STORY explanation (4 worlds). I used a marker board and drew it out for those that we talked with.
Students were a bit timid in sharing, so I encouraged them to share the gospel with themselves first or with a friend. Then I had them watch and listen to my conversations. Pray for the students to have courage and boldness and to be compelled by love for others to share the gospel.
The high point for me was a conversation I had with a student named Arron. He was walking by our table with a friend. He was tall and skinny, with tattoos everywhere. I asked if he would like information about InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He looked kind of smug and said, “No thanks” and kept walking. I called out, “Well what do you believe spiritually?” He stopped. His friend kept walking. He replied, “Well I once was a Christian, but now… I’m well confused.” “I explained that this is the right place to be and that he would be welcome to come share his story with us at our outreach on Monday.” He took the flier and seemed interested. I asked, “Do you have a few minutes that I can draw you a picture that explains God’s Plan or His Big Story?” He agreed. I drew out the 4 worlds and explained creation, the fall and redemption through Jesus. I asked him, “What world do you find yourself in?” He hesitated but said, “between #2 & #3 but I’m not sure.” I clarified what each world represented. Then said to him, “You seem to know about Jesus. So what is keeping you from being in world #3?” He then shared that he and his fiancé used to attend church. But tragically they had a baby that died 20 hours after he was born. Silence. I empathized with him. Then shared the gospel again. I asked, “Would you want to believe in Jesus right now and trust Him as your Savior and Lord?” He said, “I do want to, but I want my fiancé to believe too!” I encouraged him to make that confession of faith right now and share the good news with his fiancé too. I also said I would meet with both of them to discuss in person together. Please pray for Arron and his fiancé. I praise God. This is why I don’t take “No” the first time. The harvest is plentiful! People are searching, people are hurting, people need a savior! Jesus is everything, anyone needs.
I love the work I am privileged to serve in. Thank you to those of you who pray for and financially support my ministry!
I have so many more stories already from this semester. I will be blogging more soon! But it’s even better to meet in person.
With much appreciation and love for you in Jesus,
Have you ever noticed sometimes, many times, we make plans and they just don't seem to work out the way we had hoped. It doesn't mean we shouldn't plan, but I've been reminded about the difference of "doing mission for Jesus" vs "Joining Jesus on His mission." It's easy to be distracted and think we are doing what we are supposed to be doing; even within organized missions and churches.
There are good days and bad days of course, but lately I've been looking with new eyes. Some of this inspiration has been because of getting past the struggles of last year. Other inspirations are several books that I have been reading over the summer, refocusing me to be in close relationship with the Lord like men of faith from history: John Woolman, John Bunyan, David Brainerd, John Newton, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, William Cowper....
These are men that struggled with depression, set backs, discouragements and who earnestly sought after the Lord, although their plans did not turn out the way they expected.
David Brainerd for instance, sought to attend seminary at Yale. He started out there, but after a speaker (I believe Jonathan Edwards) spoke at their campus to encourage the students to follow the Lord's word even at the cost of offending others, David was eventually kicked out. One day in ear shot of some staff on campus, he said something to the effect of "so and so has no more grace than this chair." That statement got him kicked out of seminary. He tried, along with other advocates to get him back in to Yale, but to no avail. After much discouragement and depression, David received an invitation from a friend to apply to be a missionary to Native Americans. So for the rest of his life until he died at the age of 29, he served in this capacity and led several hundred Native Americans to faith in Jesus. He suffered his last few years with tuberculosis, but kept a good attitude and faithfulness to the call God had given him. Jonathan Edwards cared for him in his own house, with his daughter serving him until his death. The sacrifice that Edwards did not expect was that his daughter died shortly after.
I've made plans last year and everything was decimated. Nothing came out as I had hoped. But I have to trust God has his purposes, even in the midst of challenges which come from my sin, others sin and spiritual warfare. Yet we know, "..that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
So I am earnestly praying for and expecting the Lord to move this year in ministry at WCC and beyond. I am watching even more keenly to the work He is doing and joining Him. I am showing students how to watch and listen for Jesus' work around them. The yoke is easy and the burden is lighter when we watch for Jesus and learn from him. I'll share more about missional communities in another post. But for now watch and pray!
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...