...Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...

Hebrews 12:1-2

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mighty to Save

"...'Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"
"...'Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, 
but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, 
you will be free indeed.'" 
John 8:32&34-35

God is using CUs to reach the individuals on Munster's campuses! Several students who don't know Christ have been attending various CUs and asking their Christian friends questions. They are desperately seeking something greater than themselves and the Spirit is leading them to Christians for answers!

Just today, a student attended CIT CU for the first time and engaged in a discussion about God and the Bible after the speaker's talk. I had the privilege of sitting in on this hour-long discussion in which the student asked questions, gently argued his point, listened intently to the responses, and took a Bible away to read! It was amazing to see how God was turning the wheels in his head and working in his heart as the discussion went on. It was equally encouraging to see a student in CU so eloquently, patiently, gently, and respectfully answer his questions, respond with Scripture, and argue for Jesus.

Because Jesus is the one true God, I have total faith that He will continue to draw these people into Himself. Because the Bible is the Word of God, is living and breathing, is sharper than any double-edged sword, reveals our sin, and reveals Jesus as the solution, it will speak for itself and prove itself to be the Truth (Hebrews 4:12). I am praying and have faith that these students will accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. What a testimony that will be!

Hallelujah! Our God is mighty to save! 


Lately I've been trying to focus more on individuals in CU: how I can lift them up in prayer, how I can encourage them in their walks, and basically how I can love on them. Jesus gave us a great example of how it is so important to invest time in individual people so that they can grow into Jesus' likeness and be equipped to spread the Gospel.

This month I got to meet up with girls who are in a wide variety of places within the Christian walk (newer believers, solid in faith, struggling with anxiety or stress) as well as girls from various cultures and religious affiliations (American, Swiss, Irish, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, non-denominational etc). It is very cool to see how God can use me with any of these people in whatever situation they're in, and also how he reveals more of Himself to me through these people. Most of the time I walk away from a one-to-one (121) feeling really uplifted! It's "funny" that the purpose of doing 121s is to encourage others but through it I am encouraged as well!

God has also showed me that if I can't meet up with someone 121 or if we don't even open the Bible when we meet, that He can use relationships for His glory. Sometimes being there as an ear, or to give a word of comfort, or just to have a laugh is revealing God to a person. (It's also a good reason to constantly be on guard in my words and deeds so that I don't cause anyone to stumble.)

Doing 121s and investing in people is not just a Relay thing or a Keystone thing. It's a God thing that we're all called to do. So it is my hope that you will be encouraged and challenged to come alongside someone to be led and to lead. 

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. 
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
- Matthew 28:18-20

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CUs: Illuminating Limerick

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  
Philippians 1:4-6

It's been ages since I last posted. Sorry about that! I guess it proves how busy I've been! Here's one of the (many) highlights from October:

One Wednesday Peter and I went up to Limerick to meet up with some students at UL and to go to LIT's first official CU meeting! First off, it was great to meet up with with students! I met with three international girls who are here for the semester. It's fun to hear where they've been traveling, to give them my own travel advice, and to empathize with what it means to be on study abroad. It was great to talk about God and pray with them on campus, in the middle of the canteen (cafeteria), in front of other students! They're all lovely girls and I'm glad that I have the privilege of meeting with them and befriending them even if their time here is short. It can be frustrating that I can't be in Limerick as much as I'm in Cork but I hope that the time I do get to spend up there is fruitful.

The student CU leaders at LIT have been planting seeds, planning, and praying for the past couple of months to get the CU up and running. At LIT's societies' day they had a lot of people sign up as interested in attending and most of those people were non-Christians! This came as a bit of a surprise because the vision the girls initially had for the CU was a place for Christians to fellowship and support each other. But I guess God had other plans! So we all had to shift our thinking and ideas about what the CU at LIT would look like. We decided that a "seeker" style Bible study would be best. It allows people to examine the Mark gospel and discover who Jesus was/is and what he did. People can ask questions, make informed decisions about Christ and Christianity, and hopefully encounter God in a real way. So, needless to say, we were all super excited about the first CU meeting!

There were 13 people at the first meeting!!! Considering some CUs in Ireland have 1 or 2 people in them, 13 is hugely encouraging! Peter led the study which looked at Jesus' healing of the paralytic in Mark 2. The discussion was good, the fellowship was good, and the tea was good! It is so exciting and encouraging to see a new CU get up and running! It took a lot of hard work, a lot of prayer, and there was a lot of stress for the girls who planned it, but it all came together in that first meeting! Like all CUs, LIT will still need to be bathed in prayer and will still need a lot of commitment and hard work. But the first meeting just proves that God brings to completion those things He desires for His kingdom's sake!

Please keep praying for LIT CU as they start making moves for God's kingdom on campus, and pray for the girls at UL as they travel, study, continue to acclimate to Irish culture, and eventually go back to their home countries. Pray that all Christian students in Limerick would shine God's light on their campuses!

Me, Sarah, and Noemi (2 girls from UL)