University Missions: Stories of Eternal Impact
Posted by RZIM Canada on February 13, 2018
Topic: University Missions
Between her classes on Monday, Anne (name changed) was invited to attend the Uncover events. Only the night before, while students were gathered at the Uncover McGill kickoff praying God would open hearts, Anne had been at home praying desperately for God to reveal himself to her.
On Monday Anne, excited by how quickly and directly God seemed to be answering her prayer, started attending the talks. By Thursday evening she was exclaiming that she had fallen in love with God and by Friday afternoon she was praying with one of our organizers that God would give her opportunities to share His love with others.
God didn’t wait long to answer that prayer.
After the last event on Friday evening, a student was asked what he thought about the talk. The student replied that this was the first time he had ever heard about Jesus. He and his brother, who was also present, had grown up in a small village in Vietnam, where he wasn’t sure if he had ever met a Christian. “So am I the first Christian you’ve met?” one of our speakers asked him. “No, she is.” The Vietnamese students replied, pointing towards Anne who had invited him.
This student had many questions about Jesus and was connected with resources that will allow him to explore Christianity in community.
These are only glimpses of the people that the Spirit was working in throughout the week.
We were also excited to see a student respond to the talk “Is forgiveness possible?” by opening up about his own difficulty forgiving his father, recognizing a need for God’s grace in his life and accepting Jesus.
We saw two students who prayed to start a relationship with Jesus on Thursday night, indicating that they sensed a need for God in their own lives and longed for relationship with Him.
Another student began attending the events to research Christianity as part of an anthropology project, but by mid-week had admitted that his interest had become much more personal and has started attending a Montreal church, where he hopes to continue his ‘research’.
We were also excited to recognize the cumulative effect of Uncover McGill over the past three years. We have had students follow the week of events for consecutive years and have seen them take steps towards God over this time.
For example, Brianne (name changed) attended several events last year and joined the Alpha course that was run following Uncover. Throughout Alpha she argued passionately for a world with no supernatural power or influence. Then she attended the Atheist – Christian dialogue this year and remarked that she missed those conversations about God. Brianne also admitted that she does want to know God if He is real and asked one of the organizers if they could begin reading the Bible together.
Stories like these help us remember that God is working, even when we don’t see what He is doing.
Through these stories and many others, one thing that seemed to stand out during Uncover McGill this year was the number of students who were thirsty for a relationship with God. We were reminded that the harvest is indeed plentiful and are grateful for the incredible support in labourers and resources that you have generously given.
University of Toronto
Written by Sandra Weeks
In my short time at the University of Toronto, I was excited to see the cumulative effect of missions over the years. This included a Jewish student that RZIM’s Logan Gates had interacted with last year that he again ran into this year. The student was still interested in meeting to talk about Jesus, though they didn’t have a chance to sit down one-on-one last year.
It also included a Muslim student who came to several events in the past years and this year. He had started reading the Bible since last year and often stayed after talks to continue discussions with the speakers or other students.
Finally, at the first engagement station on Monday I was partnered with a student who told me she had become a Christian during Relevant last year and was excited to be involved as a student volunteer this year.
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA
Written by Logan Gates
After Andy Bannister’s talk on “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” a young man named Joseph (name changed) came forward, full of questions on everything from whether I’d seen a miracle before to whether we need to believe in God to have objective good and evil. Joseph opened up that his dating relationship with a convinced atheist (a nihilist) had actually pushed him in the opposite direction, to look for God and explore questions of faith.
After talking well over an hour, we decided to grab breakfast the next morning, and he agreed to having one of the campus staff from InterVarsity join us. Joseph showed up to breakfast in a suit and explained he was on his way to a business meeting. Instead of going over some of the more intellectual questions he had raised the night before, he opened up explaining, “I have more money than I know what to do with. My life is going fine. But there’s something that I can’t seem to wrap my mind around…“
At this point, this well-dressed, successful young man began to bite his lip and shake, he broke down in tears, and after a few moments whispered, “that God would actually love me.“
I had the chance to talk and pray with Joseph, and we walked the story of another man who felt unworthy of God’s love, the disciple Peter. Joseph identified strongly with the story and was moved that God would have a plan for his life, as he did for Peter. Joseph came to nearly all of the remaining events of the week and is inches from the Kingdom, but said he still had some questions he needed answered first.
We’re thankful he now has InterVarsity staff and other Christian students walking along with him as he, we pray, soon commits his life to Christ.
This is only small snapshot of a much larger picture that God is painting during university missions and it is a blessing to hear how these events are having an eternal impact.
Please consider prayerfully and financially supporting university missions: