Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Send Me

These are some of my favorite people. We get to meet every week to love each other and grow together, and it's been a blast!

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’
And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” - Isaiah 6:8

Our theme at FOCUS this year is Send Me, and this month, I’ve seen God use broken but submitted people in our community who are willing to be sent for Him to do some really cool things.

For one, our first outreach display of the year was a huge success. We set up a display inviting people to ask a spiritual question in exchange for a piece of candy, and in just a few hours of us being there, we had so many cool conversations. Not only was it encouraging to see our students step outside of their comfort zones to make an impact on our campus; it was also very illuminating to see just how hungry for truth college students are. I can’t wait to see what God does with the relationships we were able to form through these conversations.

This was taken about halfway through our outreach time. Look at how many questions our campus had already asked (and conversations we were already able to have!) by that point!

In addition, we have been asking our students to share with the community each week at Thursday Night Fellowship (“TNF”, our large group gathering) how they have said “Send me!” to God that week, and it has been some of the most impactful time spent at TNF this year. From going to another campus to get a student plugged into FOCUS there, to venturing into the potentially awkward territory of spiritual conversation with classmates, to initiating Bible studies at work, our students have clearly bought into the mission and are even taking Jesus beyond the college campus. How cool is that?

Our most recent TNF! Each of these students took time out of their busy weeks to worship with and serve our community. God is working in people's hearts!

Finally, we’ve begun engaging our students in “campus conversations,” which is what we call our contact evangelism. In recent weeks, I’ve walked about the campus with either a staff person or student in our ministry and asked students whether they would be interested in discussing their spiritual beliefs with us. As simple as this sounds, it has yielded some pretty exciting fruit. For example, one student shared with us how family issues associated with church involvement had driven her away from spiritual community, but how she still attributes much of the healing in her life to God’s intervention and how she felt like God set up our conversation. She now has a spiritual friend in one of our staff people who is purposing to represent Jesus’ love to her in a personal and authentic relationship. We also talked to a young man who conveyed to us his need for friends and desire for a closer relationship with God. We brought him to TNF that night and he explained that he had prayed earlier that day for Christian friends and that God answered that prayer by introducing him to our community. He is now friends with several of our staff people and student leaders. I cannot wait to see what God does with these two children of His.

I hope these stories can serve as encouragements to you as you reflect on what God can do with the little that we give him. Whether you have contributed to this work financially, through prayer, through investing relationally in me or any of our students, THANK YOU for being faithful with what you’ve been given. God is doing big work here and it’s so exciting!

With love and gratitude,
Jalen