Susanna is going into her third year at the University of Bristol and shares how God is impacting her time at university.
"Looking back over my second year of university, I just love how God always has something up his sleeve. One thing’s for sure, He rarely sticks to the status quo. So, just when I thought that the purpose of my second year was to spend the whole year preparing to smash my exams, God began to interrupt and show up all around me.
It started when a group of us went out on to campus to pray over students and talk about Jesus, I’d been doing this since my first year, so I didn’t really expect much else for this year – I guess I thought I’d seen it all. Until one Thursday afternoon when we approached a group of lads. It soon became clear that these guys had opinions about faith and wanted to know more. They had questions about Jesus. We spent some time sharing the Gospel with them and praying for them – in the weeks and months that followed, one began going to church, reading the Bible and going to Bible studies, while another started to try out church and was really interested in learning more about Jesus.
Suddenly, my second year wasn’t just about my degree. It was the greatest opportunity for mission yet. This climaxed into a whole prayer weekend where 10 churches came together to fill a chapel on campus with powerful, faith-filled prayers believing for revival in our student community. And now I’m convinced that revival is already here. A chapel that has been filled with church-plants and people coming to faith over the last 100 years was once again filled with united churches interceding for miracles in the lives of students.
"God is pursuing the heart of students, those with Christian families and those without."
It’s been so apparent this year that God longs to be heard and seen and felt by students. Co-leading a small group this year brought with it some challenges, but God’s heart for students became so apparent to me when we began to finish each gathering with a few moments of silence – where we’d simply wait on the Spirit and listen to Him. Although awkward and seemingly empty at first, as the weeks went on, people began to receive words, pictures and scriptures from the Holy Spirit to share with each other: left, right and centre! God was speaking. And He was speaking through us. I’ll never forget the time one of our small group members received a picture from the Holy Spirit for the very first time, and let me tell you, it was the first of many!
God is pursuing the heart of students, those with Christian families and those without. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a friend I have been walking with in their faith journey asked me to baptise her. I may have almost dropped her in the pool (it’s harder than it looks!), but I could feel the joy of Heaven and the presence of the Holy Spirit as she came up out of the water a brand-new creation.
This year, I’ve seen first hand the power of the Gospel. Jesus’ death and resurrection still holds as much power as it did on Easter Sunday. It has the power to heal and restore, to redeem and deliver – and students have never been excluded from that.
God is moving on our campuses. It’s time we as students said yes to partner with Him. If we have been so changed by this Gospel, how could we not share it with others?