Ed is a first year student studying at the University of Exeter. This is his student mission story.
Before heading to the South West to study Sociology, Ed spent last year at Highfield Church on their Campus Mission Initiative*. The vision of CMI* is to train, shape and grow Christ-like disciples who have a passion to reach university students. From there, their mission is to implement disciple-making movements that enables the kind of multiplication needed to reach the whole University of Southampton Campus. This is no ordinary intern year! For Ed, CMI was a pilgrimage of unearthing and soul-searching. It was an adventure that led him, and two others, to every building, lecture theatre and Pret-A-Manger. Everyday looked different. Whether it was prayer walking, treasure hunting, cold-contact evangelism, serving the chaplaincy and CU events week; there were many opportunities to share the gospel with every tribe and tongue. Some students who fell away from church before and during university, re-committed their lives to Christ. Other students with no concept of faith, found hope in Jesus and home in the local church. For more information about Campus Mission 2024/25 message Tim Daulby.
One November morning, last semester, I caught up with Ed on the phone to hear how he was settling in at University. During a time of prayer, I received a picture for Ed of him stepping outside of a school classroom and into a vast, open playground. It felt exciting and enticing! The transition point of the image felt particularly significant... as I was about to find out. Firstly, Ed mentioned how he was loving being in the shoes of student. In the space of a couple of months, he’d thrown himself in to uni life and had already joined the Spikeball team and had taken full of advantage of signing up to the Music Society; this gained him access to any music room he wanted on campus to worship and pray in God’s presence. Prayer walking campus was also a habit that stuck with him upon arrival. Furthermore, Ed noted the amount of time he was spending with people on his course and that was leading him to familiar faith conversations he experienced during his time as a CMI in Southampton.
One evening, Ed was asked to speak at his student night and used this as an opportunity to invite everybody he’d met during freshers and the months following. Nine non-believers said yes to coming to church, and by the end, six responded in prayer. Incredible! Ed hopes to set up a regular prayer group for those he prayed for and wants to use NOVO’s Discovery Bible Study tool to see more of Jesus’ transforming word planted into the hearts of his mates.
'Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work'. [2 Timothy 2:21].
Lord, we simply pray more students would be receptive vessels for the sake of your Kingdom and to see the nation’s campuses transformed by the power of your Holy Spirit.