Birmingham mission report

2 comments

Michael writes:

 

‘Who do you say I am?’ – Mission Week at University of Birmingham – January 2018

 

This was the first time I had spoken at a mission week in the University of Birmingham – one of the few Unis left in the UK that I hadn’t been to before. It’s a large ‘red-brick’ university, with a large international student population. Its claim to fame is a huge clock tower in the centre of campus – the largest freestanding clock tower in the UK – which, like most students, was five minutes late for the whole week!

 

The Christian Union is not huge (around 60 go regularly), but they are keen and have a disproportionate influence; at their Christmas carol service they attracted over 1,500 people!  A large marquee in the centre of the campus helped to attract lots of interest, and up to 200 came each day to the two lunchbar talks. Evening events were held in the Student Guild, which was well filled each night for a winning combination of music, food and talk. The CU also organised two international events during the week, at which we had the privilege of Dick Dowsett speaking, and a good number came.

 

We had a large team of guests to help out for the week, including students and staff from Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, all of whom plan to do missions in their own universities in the coming months. So the impact of the week may be far reaching.

 

It was a joy to have singer-songwriter Andy Mayo with us on Wednesday evening. The presentation was interspersed with stories and songs which illustrated the talk. It proved to be a very effective combination that connected to the heart as well as the head.

 

Some real highlights of the week were the excellent testimonies that we heard each evening. The CU had worked hard to find students who had clear stories that related to the theme of the evening. It adds so much to the talk when it is illustrated with a powerful story from a ‘local’ at the end, as people see that the message is far more than just a theory. On the final night, when we explored the topic of ‘life after death’, we had a very moving testimony from a student who had very recently lost his father to cancer. He was able to speak of the hope that the resurrection of Jesus gives, and God’s presence in his suffering.

 

We’re often conscious that we are in a spiritual battle during mission weeks and they can be an emotional rollercoaster. I was particularly aware of this on Thursday. I felt discouraged after a rather flat prayer meeting, and it seemed that, despite good attendance, there had been little movement in those who were coming. By the afternoon I was feeling quite down, so it was really helpful to chat and pray with a good friend. The first thing that happened after I got off the phone was that I heard a girl had professed faith the night before. Encouraged by the news, I went to the evening event and felt an unusual sense of God’s Spirit powerfully at work as I spoke. At the end, at least two more had indicated that they wanted to trust in Jesus. By the end of the week we knew of 6 people who said they wanted to do so, and about 50 others who wanted to find out more! According to the local staff worker this was the most fruitful mission they have seen for several years.

 

Do pray for the CU as they follow up those who came and expressed interest – and for the new believers to be well discipled, and that they get stuck in to local churches. Pray that it is also an encouragement to the CU to press on and grow further through the coming year.’27650189_10159865476850425_1967755238_o

 

2 comments

Christine

the favourite posts of my year are the ’round up’ reports from missions in Europe. I especially to relate to the spiritual opposition you feel because that is so prevalent in Asia. And it is always when I’m at my lowest and weakest and the opposition feels strong that God works most powerfully. Very encouraged to hear of those 6 students and the many others wanting to find out more.

Michael Ots

Thanks so much Christine!

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