‘Life: More Than This?’ Mission Report (Strath & Cale CUs)

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A little bit of everything for everyone…

‘Life: More than this?’ was the first time Strathclyde and Caledonian University CUs in Glasgow came together for a joint mission week, with double lunchtime events happening at both university campuses and shared events each evening. It was a joy to join with the 60-70 students from both praying fervently each morning for their friends to come along and receive Christ- it impassioned us to persevere, particularly with the trepidation we were feeling speaking at our first full mission week without Michael! God sustained us through the week, giving us his peace and strength where often our individual talks all landed on the same day for each Associate. Glasgow’s a big, buzzing city with lots of students and lots of things to do, so we were impressed with the time and effort spent on the CU’s part to draw students along, particularly with the publicity and jumpers (some say they took close cues from Pizza Express on designing the logo…), and the format of the evening events. As the heading suggests here, the CUs looked to cater for all types and personalities through the week in shaping a packed schedule of events to meet their student friends in this small pocket of Glasgow. Alongside two acoustic nights where gospel presentations exploring meaning and suffering were supplemented by performing acts offering a few lines of reason on what they were signing, we also had an international dinner, a five-a-side football tournament (with a talk before the semi finals) and a fantastic testimony evening from an ex-offender-turned-believer all building toward a final Friday great banquet night where Heike spoke on the resurrection. Though things kicked off slowly – we only just got Strathclyde’s marquee up in time for Monday’s lunchtime event due to the weather – momentum and numbers of guests grew through the week, as elaborated on below…

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Returning faces and quirky questions

It’s always especially pleasing to spot returning faces coming back to events right through the week and engaging with topics as they hear more of the gospel. This was true of a group of PHD students who, after turning up on the Monday lunchtime at Strathclyde, joined us right through the week- as we chatted first time round they said their intrigue had been stoked by coming along to the carol service back in December, where they took away John’s gospels! ‘A’ was particularly invested in discussions right through the course of the week, always staying long after talks to chat, where he began to agree with many of the answers the Christian worldview had in making sense of the world he saw around him. He concluded at the end of the week that these were the best discussions he’d had in years – we trust Christ continues to work in his heart. Another returner was ‘M’, who had his CU and long time home friend overjoyed with tears as he signed up to do Uncover John after one of the lunchtime talks. His CU friend had been praying for him over many years, and for a guy so previously closed, this was a massive step for ‘M’! ‘A’, from a culturally muslim background, also joined us through the entire week of events (both lunchtime and evening) after turning up Tuesday night and having a wonderful conversation with a CU member following the talk. He’s now beginning to explore John’s Gospel with a friend, and remains very interested. I also must doff my cap to this mission season’s best asked question during Q & A times: ‘If I cloned myself, would my clone have a soul?’ The guy that pitched the question actually came dressed in a lab coat- I kid you not.

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Fruitful Friday

Our final day of the mission week seemed to be a fruitful answer to prayers prayed before and throughout the week. It was wonderful to spend the entire day with ‘D’ – a seeking sceptic who I chatted with immediately after the lunchtime talk. We for a 4 hour coffee straight after where we looked at the last study in Uncover John together and our discussion jumped here, there and everywhere as we explored his questions about life and the bible. After joining us at the evening event on the resurrection, he said he really appreciated the time we’d taken to explore together, and though he wasn’t entirely convinced, took a copy of John’s gospel with him to explore further. We had the chance to pray together too. It was also a real thrill to meet my CU host’s friend ‘G’. We had a long, invested conversation following the evening event where he was really struck by the question of how we can make value or moral judgements on anything without God in the picture… he admitted this was a void that couldn’t be met for him, and was a little shaken. Having already been along to an Alpha Course meal at my host friend’s flat, we challenged him gently to explore Christ some more on our walk and talk home from the event. He began to understand that if the resurrection really is true then it changes everything. We all prayed together as he parted, and he seemed stirred to unpack more about Jesus- hopefully in John’s gospel or in further Alpha Course sessions with a friend.
We’d prayed earnestly as associates, along with others, that we might hear of at least one student professing faith. With little tangible fruit in way of new life over the last couple of years in this context, we knew it would be such an encouragement for the brilliant, faithful CUs here to see at least one student give their life to Christ over the course of the week. So we were delighted to hear of ‘R’ saying she was ‘convinced’ on the Friday lunchtime after coming along through the week, and praying with a friend to receive Jesus. We hear she went along to church Sunday with a friend in the CU who she looked at John’s Gospel with last year, and had a lovely conversation with another CU member a few days ago who said she seemed “so much happier and calmer”. Praise the Lord for this new life- He is gracious in answering prayer. Pray that the Lord may firm and flourish faith in this girl’s heart!17148773_10155012078334857_923930732_o

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Christine

So encouraging. Wonderful report – I appreciate hearing these details. Sounds like in coming weeks and months there will be more fruit. Would be good to check back with them in 2 months and let us know if anyone else has ‘crossed the line’ and accepted the universe’s best gift.

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