Satisfied 17 – London-wide Mission Week – Final Round Up

Each year many of the central London CU’s hold events in the same week as part of a city-wide mission.  As a team we were working in particular with the UCL CU; it was nice to come back to London as I had spoken at UCL during the first two city-wide missions eight years ago.

Mission in London is not easy at the best of times.  The bigger the city the more challenging it can be to really make an impact – there are just so many people and so many things going on. Not having a campus can also make it more difficult as people are spread over a broader area and no single venue is suitable for everyone.

In spite of the challenges, we welcomed 60-80 each day to a series of five lunch bars.  35% of the UCL student body is international and this was reflected in the attendance at the events.  As a result the response to the talks seemed to be one of intrigued interest rather than skeptical questioning that we might expect from a western audience.

An advantage of doing a mission in UCL is that after the talk on the reliability of the Bible I was able to take a group of the students around the British Museum, which is only 10 minutes walk away, to show them the evidence I’d referred to in the talk!  Those who came found it really helpful and attended all the other events.

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For three evenings the CU’s across London joined together at All Souls Church where the Canadian theologian Don Carson was speaking.  This year the staff had worked incredibly hard to provide cooked meals for £2 at the start of each evening – turning the church into the cheapest restaurant in London!  Up to 350 came along which was great, including a good number of guests.

Each evening Don unpacked the theme of satisfaction, and then there was time for questions afterwards.  On Tuesday we began with, “What if I could start again?“, followed by “Can I ever be satisfied?”  On the final evening the topic was, “Is there really life after death?“, and it was great to see many students listening to the answer and then talking it over after.

By the end of the week, although we hadn’t seen clear professions it was obvious that in the lives of several students there had been clear movement in the right direction and a number were going to start studying the Bible with their friends and going to church.

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