Story Aberystwyth Roundup

Michael Writes:

‘After a city-wide mission in the middle of Manchester, going to Aberystwyth felt like heading to the end of the world! In fact – we almost got stuck there after much of Wales got cut off with heavy snow at the end of the week. I made my escape after my final talk –  driving over the mountains in falling snow and temperatures that were 10 below!

 

The arctic weather and a strike by many of the lecturers made the week challenging. The CU were also discouraged when the planned marquee failed to materialise and other venues had to be secured last minute – though – given the weather – it may have been a blessing! (Even the best of heating systems would have struggled to keep us warm!)

 

Another challenge to the week was that the CU is made up of a very high proportion of freshers. This means that although the CU have done some very good missions in previous years, many of the students had never experienced one. As a result the mission took a while to take off, with disappointing numbers attending in the first few days – but by mid-week things had started to grow. It took a while for the students to grow in confidence and to become outward looking – it was a real battle to get any of the students to announce the events in their lectures. Another reason for this lack of confidence may be due to the fact that we hadn’t been able to speak at their autumn weekend away, which is normally a key time for equipping and encouraging the Christian students.

 

The events themselves were very well organised. Some creative ideas for flyering were well received. They had several coffee stalls and interactive stations involving, among other things, a cardboard cut-out of the Loch Ness Monster! The team did well to keep flyering in the sub-zero temperatures – their reward will be great! Lunch bars were held in a make-shift venue on the edge of campus due to the lack of marquee. Despite this, people still came, and numbers grew.

 

International suppers were held each evening before the main event and most of the international guests came along to both. The main evening events were held in a hotel on the sea front. Each night we heard a different story – a student, a social activist, a sailor and a doctor. Mike Hood (UCCF Staff Worker in Cambridge and a brilliant young evangelist) shared the lunch and evening talks with me. Mark Picket did a great job of speaking to and working with the internationals. I am deeply indebted to both for being willing to stand in for the talk in the final 24 hours, after I had to leave earlier than planned.

 

One of the joys of the week was seeing how guests became unwitting evangelists – brining their friends along on succeeding days. On the first day Mark invited a couple of Polish students and walked them over to the lunch bar. As a result, they came back that evening and brought a couple of friends. Each day they came, and each time they had more friends with them, until we had quite a delegation of Poles coming along!

We know of at least one student who professed faith, though there may be others, as well. Overall, an encouraging week, once it got going, and one that we pray will have a lasting impact in some lives.’

 

Aber 1

Aber 6

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