We find ourselves at the start of day 4, with two days left of events… thank you so much for your prayers so far! It’s been thrilling to see how much the CU students here have taken to the week- they’ve served with fervour and have been so committed to loving their friends and creating the best space and atmosphere possible to discuss the big questions of life across the brilliant STORY-themed events.
I’ve loved witnessing alongside Callum (a student from Canterbury Christchurch) this week; his enthusiasm and sensitivity to people’s questions in conversation has been inspiring for me. Tuesday we joined a pair of sceptical students for 45 mins or so navigating their scattergun questions after initially they wouldn’t take flyers. They seemed to be a lot warmer to Jesus as they left for work, and I’m reminded that these moments, along with a frustrating 3 hour conversation with a triumvirate of stringent, closed atheists (typically rarer across student circles these days), are not lost. Pray for ‘A’ in particular, who began to see that the scientific method simply couldn’t provide the ultimate answers to all of life. Also pray for ‘D’, a graduate I met in passing whilst flyering who said these questions about life were questions he’d been searching for answers in over the last year and a half. He couldn’t come along to the events due to work shifts, but we met up for a couple of hours over coffee yesterday morning and had a cracking time. He says he feels a deep sense of emptiness that nothing can fill and is seriously considering whether Christ could be the answer. He was stunned by the Jesus he discovered in John’s gospel, and seemed very open to relationship with Him as we prayed together at the end. He’ll continue to meet with someone beyond our time here, so please pray for him!
Events have been packed right through the week. Christchurch Canterbury had the largest lunchtime event they’ve ever had, where 50/60 students have been attending, including a group of Algerian PHD students who have been very engaged in Q & As and in discussions with CU students well beyond the event’s finish. The international meal had 52 students attend last night to hear another talk from John’s gospel, with many continuing to return to the evening events that immediately follow- ‘F’ was telling me just last night how influential this week has been for him as he’s heard about Christ and His good news, sharing that he’s been reading John’s gospel before sleep every night through STORY after not reading the bible for years since he moved to England. He says he’s experiencing a new peace as he presses into relationship with Jesus. Praise God!
So far, we’ve heard of 3 professions of faith through the week, with many more taking giant steps and others seemingly on the cusp as they weigh up the cost. One of these 3 professions was a woman who was drawn up the stairs of Pret A Manger yesterday where we were worshipping Jesus together in the morning during our prayer breakfast for the day ahead. She had tears in her eyes as she perched on the stairs watching us, later saying she was blown away by how ‘beautiful’ it all was. She later met up with CU guest, and came along to the evening events where she gave her life to Christ. What a joy! Pray for a firming of faith in her as she comes back to events today and takes her first steps as a new believer. Yesterday evening drew together drama, spoken word and songwriting to supplement a talk in John 4 on satisfaction. The events are creating a real buzz as seeking students continue to come in their droves. The team behind the week have done a fantastic job- STORY Canterbury’s a really easy invite! We have two more lunchtime and evening events, so do pray on for us!