A few months ago the Fusion team visited Canterbury and heard this story from Abigail, the student worker, at Canterbury Vineyard:
In the autumn term one of our third year students, Josie, joined a politics society on campus. She was open and honest about her faith, and often found that her friends would initiate conversations about Jesus. At society a fresher expressed that she was interested in exploring faith. Josie invited her along to church. India said maybe, so Josie didn’t push it much further. But on Sunday India showed up and said she felt welcomed by Church and was moved by worship.
Josie and India started meeting up for hot chocolate and India came along to Church every now and then. Sadly after a while India eventually stopped coming along to anything to do with church. And when Josie graduated, I thought we wouldn’t see India again. It was nice while it lasted, and I just prayed that any seeds that had been sown would grow – eventually.
Working in student ministry, I'm learning a lot about letting God take care of our students. Over and over again I've found myself committing students into God’s hands. Students leave for other churches, they drop out of uni, some of them we just never see again. In the places where I feel like a pretty rubbish student worker, I trust that God will look after them.
As the new academic year began, in a flurry of welcoming freshers and starting up a student small group, India arrived at church. I was blown away by her bravery – she came along on a Sunday without Josie! India began to get really stuck in, coming along to our student small group. We excitedly watched what the Holy Spirit was doing in her heart. During this term, God seemed to invite quite a few people who don’t know yet Jesus into our student community – India was never the only one in the room who had not yet said ‘yes’ to Jesus. We just had to roll with what God was doing. We made sure that every small group session was accessible but refused to water anything down. India was prayed for, prophesied over, and even received words of knowledge for others in the group. Over this term India gave her life to Jesus.
We had the privilege of baptising India in a student flat bathtub. Students crammed into a tiny bathroom to hear India tell her story of how she came to know Jesus, and watched her get baptised. Since that day, India’s faith has gone from strength to strength. She is the first one in the room with hard-hitting questions, and golden nuggets such as ‘saying yes to Jesus isn’t a one-time purchase, it’s a lifetime subscription!’
Even when we didn’t see it, God was pursuing her the whole time, and still is.
Do you have a student mission story to share with the Fusion team? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org