“Challenge Århus” – Final Reflections

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Tom is now back in the UK after a week with KFS, the student group in Århus, Denmark. Looking back over the week, Tom writes…

“This is my city and it’s been amazing to see what God has been doing this week. Thank you for coming to Århus, to my city.” KFS Staff Worker.

This week, God has been doing some incredible things in Denmark. In a climate where apathy and antagonism can define people’s reaction to the gospel and where undesired media attention during past missions strikes genuine fear into the hearts of some of the CU, the Lord has surprised everyone by his actions this week. Not only was the events week a very successful first attempt by the KFS group in Århus, but it also provoked interest and responses none of us expected.

When I first heard what was planned for this first ever mission in Århus, I confess I suspected that they had taken on too much. Simultaneous lunchbars on two campuses plus ‘first contact’ waffles (the best kind) on two more and evening lectures over four days. These guys were not easing themselves into mission at all. But from the first 8am prayer meeting when the church hall was filled with students and helpers, I knew that they had a large team who were passionate about this opportunity to reach their friends.

This team was an incredible encouragement to me as I arrived incredibly nervous for my first mission trip travelling solo. Carsten, Daniel and the students and helpers they led were remarkably welcoming. The mission planning team did a tremendous job both in sorting out the practical details and in keeping up the spirits and energy levels of everyone involved!

My week speaking over at the Business School was mixed. Initially I found it a very tough environment to gauge and we struggled on the first day to get people through the door. The students there are very focused and hard working, not especially keen to discuss existential questions. As the week progressed, the struggle moved onto getting the crowd engaged enough to ask questions and say what they really thought. I confess that it was the bright spirits of the rest of the team that made me realise how much of a miracle it was to have 15-20 non-Christian guests attending each session on a campus like that. And when, by the last few days, we had guests staying for over an hour after the event ended to continue talking, it became crystal clear that God was definitely at work.

A number of interested students from the Business School signed up for follow-up courses, joining those who had shown interest from the lunchbars on the main campus. These main lunchbars had attendance inching perilously close to 100 and Christian, the (fantastic) speaker, was able to meet up with a number individually. Add that to those who ventured into the evening events, where Ellis Potter invited us to play outside our “Western, rational, Aristotelian, Cartesian box”, and you get a glimpse of the numbers of minds and hearts open to the truth.

Please join me in praying for those who have trusted Christ this week, those who are close and those who want to see more of him. Pray for the KFS students, that they might be well rested, well encouraged and well challenged to keep sharing Jesus with their friends. And pray for me, Christian and Ellis as we commit this past week to God.

I’ll leave the last words to a KFS student: “Before this week, I was sure God wanted to do something with this mission. And if that was just to give the KFS students a good experience, that’s fine. I suppose it’s easier to have low expectations, it is more comfortable. But God has done so much more this week! It’s amazing!”

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Thank you Tom for keeping us up to date – makes it so much easier to pray.
We are never ‘alone’ that is why we can keep going on. Actually sometimes feeling that way is good because focuses us on the real source of our strength.
Christine (pr. in Taiwan)

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