Summer is in the rearview mirror. School has started or is about to start across the state.
The heat may still be here, but everything else is a memory.
As I review reports from student summer missionaries, I think of the 305 reported professions of faith – 305 lives changed by the Gospel.
That memory is one that those new believers, student missionaries and others will long remember – and those memories impact eternity.
What a blessing for us to be allowed to be a part of their story by praying and supporting student missionaries.
The professions of faith reported help us understand that lives were changed for eternity. The stories below help us see that God is at work across the globe – using students to make His name known, challenging them to see their role in the Great Commission. I hope these stories encourage and challenge you as you seek to follow the Lord’s direction in your life.
A student who served in Colombia, ministering to Venezuelan refugees, was touched by the opportunity to wash the feet of refugees who had walked many miles in their journey to flee the country:
My favorite moment this summer was washing a Venezuelan woman’s feet. After days of traveling in sandals and no shower, you can imagine how dirty their feet get. All my team had were Wet Wipes and muscle cream, but we used it as a tool to minister to their physical needs and talk about Jesus. Thinking about how my Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and realizing I was doing the same thing humbled my spirit in a way I never experienced before. I felt lowly washing stinking feet, but at the same time, I felt on top of the world because it felt like I was washing Jesus’ feet at the same time. “What you do for the least of these, you have done for me.”
A student who served in South Asia shared this story of a God-ordained moment, where he was privileged to see a man learn of and believe in Christ:
I was at the park one day where I decided to share the Gospel with random people. After having a few conversations, I was sitting down on a park bench ready to leave. God had other plans. A man sits down beside me, and naturally, I begin to talk to him. He began to talk about how there was something missing in his life, and he would try to fill that missing spot with material things. They would satisfy temporarily but ultimately would not fulfill what he was looking for. I then explained to him a time in my life where I felt the same and how God was the One who satisfied me, He is the living water and I will never thirst again! I shared the Gospel with him, and the exclusivity of Christ was so different than what he was used to in his culture and religion, so he wanted to take some time to process what we talked about. I invited him to a Bible study I led a few days later, and he came. Afterwards, I got to follow up on our conversation. The man tells me, “I am sure!” To that I reply, “What are you sure about?” He answers, “I am sure that this message is true, and I believe!”
A student who served in Washington, D.C. was challenged by the opportunity to canvas the community:
We did a lot of canvassing this summer. The primary reason was to promote our sports camp, but obviously, we wanted to leave having had Gospel conversations. I am not a door-to-door type of person. I very much fear rejection and, because I’m such a people pleaser, I don’t want anyone to be mad at me, and I know having two random people knocking on your door might tend to do that. So, the whole time leading up to our first day of canvassing, I was dreading it. I absolutely did not want to do it. The monologue going on in my head sounded something like this, “I do not want to do this. I do not want to do this. I can’t do this.” And that’s when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that I was right. I can’t do this. Not by myself at least. I am totally and utterly useless for the Kingdom without the power of the Holy Spirit. When I realized that truth and truly died to myself, the idea of canvassing became a lot less scary. Our group prayed, and then we started. At first, it was discouraging because the first four or five doors we knocked on had no answer. But, by the end of the day, between the two groups, we had five Gospel conversations, one profession of faith and numerous kids signing up for the sports camp. It was one of the most beautiful pictures of how He uses our weaknesses to further His Kingdom!
A student who served in Southeast Asia God open doors that only He could:
Our focus this summer was on students from a few campuses in the area. We had prayed hard for openness on the campuses and that we would be received well because we had heard that in the past the campuses hadn’t been very open. We got to the first campus and, after walking around praying for a little bit, decided to try to go inside the building and saw a girl we wanted to talk to. While we were talking, a faculty member walked up and started talking to us. This was the only thing we had to do all day, the Holy Spirit just carried us through the rest of the day. That faculty member proceeded to introduce us to most of the faculty of the school, give us a tour and have us sit down with the vice president of the school. We spent the entire day with her, and at the end of the day she and the vice president of the university even invited us to attend a traditional wedding with them! We returned a few days later and she was able to get us a meeting with the president and spend more time with us. This led to us gaining full access to the campus, and even being encouraged to talk to the students. God flung the doors wide open, and this led to so many people on this campus hearing the Gospel throughout the rest of the summer. God then proceeded to do a very similar thing at the next university we went to a few days later. God very clearly answered our prayers for openness with a yes and set us up for having tons of opportunities to share the Gospel with students throughout the summer.
A student who served in Utah was prompted to reach out to a friend back home and was privileged to see God work as she obeyed the Spirit’s direction:
While I was in Utah, God spoke to me through many messages about how we were given the responsibility to share Jesus because it is a matter of life or death. … I felt so convicted after God made this clear that I picked up my phone and called my friend back home. I told her, “I’ve been a horrible friend to you. The reason I’m calling you is that I wanted to apologize, and I’m worried about where you’ll spend eternity.” I shared the Gospel with her, true and real, right there. At this point, we were just sharing tears, but that was the moment that she decided she wanted to change – to accept Christ and following hard after Him.
Another student who served in South Asia saw a lady turn to Christ, despite the cultural and religious challenges that she wrestled with:
After sharing with a Hindu lady, we began to see that the Lord was at work in the lady’s life. We explained that Jesus Christ is the one, true God. It took a while for her to wrap her mind around the fact that she could not just add Jesus to a list with her other gods. She began to explain that her son was very sick, and she was praying to other gods for his healing. She finally realized that she had to believe that only God has the power to heal. At the end of the conversation she said, “Even if it means my son’s life, I reject those gods and follow Jesus Christ.” The proof of the spirit became so evident in this woman. Immediately after this, the women were sent out to share the Good News. We joined back together after to discuss how it went. Our new sister stood up eagerly to share that her group got to share with several women!
Another student who served in Colombia reported that he shared the Gospel EVERY DAY.
Those words challenged me to think about the countless opportunities that God gives us each day.
May we be found faithful in engaging and sharing with those whom God has placed on our path.
May we be intentional to see Him at work and join Him – seeking to share our hope EVERY DAY!