Connectweek Leiden, Netherlands

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This week the MOET associates are in the lovely city of Leiden, Netherlands. Mary writes: Leiden is one of the key university cities within the Netherlands and Europe and boasts a heritage of having the oldest university in the Netherlands and some of the greatest cultural and intellectual figures in all of history have lived and studied here (René Descartes, Rembrandt, Einstein and current Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, to name but a few). Along with its history, the university is renowned for its academic excellence- it was rated 28th best university worldwide in 2013. With 50 departments, the university enjoys an outstanding international reputation. After cancelled flights and recent illness in the MOET team, we eventually arrived Monday lunchtime. A small planning team have worked hard to organise a week of lunch-time and evening events.

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The events “connectweek” has the theme of “In search of God.” There was a brilliant discussion Monday evening between Rik Peels, a Christian professor of Philosophy and Religion who lectures at Amsterdam University and an atheistic professor from Leiden University. Rik is a keen evangelist and author who attended the Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of Europe (FEUER) conference last November. One unbeliever came, and I’m now hearing of Christians who regretted not inviting their unbelieving friends. Pray we see a shift in enthusiasm involving inviting friends, and that students who form a part of one of the four major Christian student association groups at the university would see the urgency to share the treasure of Jesus as they grow in confidence and free up time in their schedules to help with this mission week and continued university evangelism. The lunchtime venue each day sits in a strategic location, opposite the central library making it the ideal place to invite students when flyering. We’ve seen engaged Q&A times following recent lunch talks with unbelievers seeking to find genuine answers. Pray for ‘D’, called himself a Christian, though had some doubts. Pray for B in search of God had a very long conversation with one of the team and the 1 unbeliever who came to the Monday night discussion. There have been encouraging stories from last nights dish washing, the team went into two large houses each with 17 students in. On both occasions they queried them why they were doing it for free and the team got to share about Jesus with unbelieving students who had many questions. Pray they come to the events as they seem keen to attend. Pray for M who I spoke with this morning for a couple of hours in the café and is now serious about starting his search into the person of Jesus by reading John’s gospel. Heike, Joe and myself will be speaking tonight on meaning and purpose. Pray for the small core team committed to putting on events. Pray that their commitment and enthusiasm will spread to others who will see that missions can work and are worth committing to and inviting friends. Pray we see lives changed by Jesus this week. I believe it can happen like last year I was here when a girl professed faith at the final lunch talk and still continues to let me know how much she loves Jesus today!

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Christine

One of the biggest blocks to people coming to know Jesus is that their Christian friends don’t believe in the power of the good news. May the Christians at Leiden come and pray +++ and invite their friends. Your friends are far more interested than you’d think. They just want to have people share in a non-cringeworthy way.

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