With mission coming to a close, we asked some of the first year students to reflect on what they have been challenged and encouraged by over the week.
It’s been encouraging being with all the higher years and serving alongside them in a range of things, in particular doing walk up evangelism, and hearing them teach well. I was also quite encouraged by how well the youth group understood and appreciated the Friday sermon.
I was confronted by how little the local community appears to know about Jesus, and particularly about the gospel. Speaking to some high school kids from a Catholic school, but when asked what they knew about Easter, they knew it related to resurrection – but they didn’t know who was resurrected!
It has been encouraging to see God at work changing [another student’s] heart and approach to evangelism. She has a real gift for it and a passion for the lost.
I have also been encouraged by my billet family – how they nurture the kids with great patience despite it’s challenges. This family has opened my eyes to what marriage and family look like.
I was given lots of opportunities to participate in unstructured evangelism, like walk-ups and door knocking. There were a few people who were willing to have even a little bit of chat after I introduced myself as someone from church. Several young people were very unsure and non-committal when it came to Jesus and many were quickly dismissive. I expected that to be the case, so I wasn’t surprised or fazed by that very much. What caught me off-guarded was from some of the softly spoken elderly people. One elderly lady said she doesn’t believe in God because her dad died when she was very young. Another said she doesn’t want anything to do with church because her daughter died of leukemia at the age of 16. After I recovered from feeling deeply sad for them, I couldn’t help but think about the link between their tragedies and loss of faith (if they had any). What did they expect from God? Did they expect God to save them from such tragedies in life? Did they demand that? To put it more bluntly, did they expect God to obey their demands however reasonable it may have seemed?
I hope I will remember to train Christians that they are to receive evil from God as well as good while living this life on earth (Job 2:10), knowing we do ultimately receive only good through our Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 84:11, Ephesians 1:3, Romans 8:28).